Thursday, June 4, 2020

Running Progress Update: Six Weeks

So, I've incorporated a regular running routine, running three to four days a week, which I've maintained for about six weeks now.

I've made a small amount of progress in that time, increasing my maximum speed by 30 seconds, and doubling my mileage, but with no change to my VO2 max.

The major obstacle has been the heat. I'm not a morning person, and am extremely sensitive to the sun, so have been running exclusively at night, usually running between the hours of nine and ten, but even then it's been really hot, like still in the upper eighties, so it's been more of challenge I guess because of that.

Anyway, since getting back into running again after a four year hiatus, six weeks ago, I ran my first mile in 11 minutes, which is probably the slowest mile I've ever run in my life. My long-term goal is to run a nine minute mile and to maintain that speed over the course of three miles. That's all I want. I don't care to run a marathon, or a half marathon. Running three miles, 4 or 5 days a week, is pretty much where I'd like to be at. If it's good enough for Bruce Lee, it's good enough for me.

So that's the long-term. The short-term goal is to run a 10 minute mile, and to run at least 30 minutes a day at least three days a week.

When I first started I was just running a mile, but my times weren't getting any better. The fastest I had gotten was a 10:30 second mile, but that was running all out near my maximum heart rate. So I learned that if I want to improve my speed I have to build up my endurance by running longer distances at slower speeds. So instead of running for distance, running a mile at maximum effort, I started running for time, running 30 minutes at slower speeds.

I've been experimenting with different techniques, particularly training in different heart rate zones. My latest experiment was to build my aerobic base running in zones 2 and 3. Up until last week I was running slow easy miles, and walking a lot, to keep my heart rate in zones two and three, but not really seeing much progress. I was getting kind of impatient with it actually, and was going to go back to training in zone 4 and 5 this week, when the shit hit the fan yet again.

This week, starting Sunday, I was going to do another mile run test, running all out at VO2 max, but my progress has since been hindered by my city instituting a mandatory curfew, due to the riots and looting, so I haven't run at all since last Friday. Plus we're having another major heat wave this week, hottest temperatures of year, with highs at 108 degrees, which means that even at 9 o'clock at night it will still probably be in the nineties.

So maybe the rest will do me good. Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, the curfew will be lifted next Monday, I'll get back to it, and will do another mile run test Monday night and post my progress in the coming weeks.

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