In the past, sometimes, I’ve run my best races/workouts while in the midst of running really low mileage. Some of my best workouts have come just a few weeks removed from an injury or setback, planned or unplanned. Why the hell is that? Recently, I ran an 8mile tempo workout on a treadmill and, after gobs of mileage and fitness, it felt much more difficult to maintain 5:27pace than it did 11 months ago. I’m way more fit than I was. But, my heart rate was higher this time around. Everything felt more difficult. Maybe, it’s because the body is using some blood to recover from the previous day’s workload which makes less available blood for the current work output. I dunno. Here is a simple graph of what I’m talking about in the grand scheme of things (below)…plateauing or becoming stagnant. Hopefully, motivation will rise again and fitness will, too.
On a side note, yesterday I ran a workout on the Thompson’s treadmill and it was great. I call it my “Decline” hill specific workout. I made it up myself. It’s a nonstop 55min workout, constantly at a significant incline, gradually declining in percent grade and time, gradually increasing speed, run in my New Balance Trail Minimus shoes. After a 3mile warmup (and later a 3mile cooldown), here is a snapshot of the workout:
15%…15/100 = 0.15…60/4.5mph = 13:20pace (for 10min) = 0.75mi…0.15 x 0.75mi = 0.1125mi vert…x 5280 = 594ft
14%…14/100 = 0.14…60/4.6mph = 13:02pace (for 9min) = 0.69mi…0.14 x 0.69mi = 0.0966mi vert…x 5280 = 510ft
13%…13/100 = 0.13…60/4.7mph = 12:45pace (for 8min) = 0.63mi…0.13 x 0.63mi = 0.0819mi vert…x 5280 = 432ft
12%…12/100 = 0.12…60/4.8mph = 12:30pace (for 7min) = 0.56mi…0.12 x 0.56mi = 0.0672mi vert…x 5280 = 355ft
11%…11/100 = 0.11…60/5mph = 12:00pace (for 6min) = 0.5mi…0.11 x 0.5mi = 0.055mi vert…x 5280 = 290ft
10%…10/100 = 0.1…60/6mph = 10:00pace (for 5min) = 0.5mi…0.1 x 0.5mi = 0.05mi vert…x 5280 = 264ft
9%…9/100 = 0.09…60/7mph = 8:34pace (for 4min) = 0.47mi…0.09 x 0.47mi = 0.0423mi vert…x 5280 = 223ft
8%…8/100 = 0.08…60/8mph = 7:30pace (for 3min) = 0.4mi…0.08 x 0.4mi = 0.032mi vert…x 5280 = 169ft
7%…7/100 = 0.07…60/8.5mph = 7:03pace (for 2min) = 0.28mi…0.07 x 0.28mi = 0.0196mi vert…x 5280 = 103ft
6%…6/100 = 0.06…60/9.5mph = 6:18pace (for 1min) = 0.16mi…0.06 x 0.16mi = 0.0096mi vert…x 5280 = 51ft
Total Elevation Gain = 2,991ft (which would be about 21k’ per week average)
All in all, I wasn’t trying to hit this workout outta the park. I was just trying to get on first base. My AVG HR was 145 (MAX HR was 163) right in a solid fat burning zone, positively improving the efficiency of the mitochondria. Hell of a leg workout, building my climbing legs for four huge ultra trail races next year.
Just good honest work.