Since Chequered Leaves and the Yellow Runner, I took a 2 months break from running to heal up from a knee niggle that did not seem to go away.
Long story short is that I stopped running for about 2 months which was fairly ruthless but it was effective - I'm now running without any issues albeit without the same tempo.
I started with a few 5km runs and even those were a bit tough, which shows that to be good at running (or rather be comfortable with it), you need to run, otherwise it's kinda tough.
I felt quite rusty, heavy and certainly not a svelte, lean running gazelle and more like an awkward fat rhinoceros. But that's ok - I like to get better so there is scope to improve.
So anyway, I went for a run yesterday and came across something interesting in my stats. There is a point in my run where my heart rate is constant for a while and then about 20 minutes into the run it just goes to another level and then stays there at constant rate. So there was a kind of jump from one level to another. I don't think its good because it basically said that my heart rate was low for a long time (20 minutes) and then just suddenly went high and stayed there:
Figure: 25th April: What happened to my heart rate(red) at 5km?
Now the interesting thing is that it was a 5km mark (about 20 minutes in ). Now for a while, I'd been running about 5km (everything seems tough for a fat rhino at this point). So I'd been running < 6km regularly and only recently ran maybe two, maybe three runs > 5km, and it appears to be in those runs that we see this effect:
Figure: 23rd April run - Hey, look what happens at around 3km... another jump but before 5km.
Figure: 19th April - Same effect at 6km (don't care about what happens at 3km as that's a drop)
Figure: 16th April - hmm, nothing interesting really only that I'm relatively consistent
Figure: 13th April - hmm, same nothing just consistent.
At first I thought this might be because maybe I stopped and then started again, but that doesn't seem to remember stopping on the last two runs. Also, the two of the last three runs (25th and 19th) seem to happen at the same area of the map - when I circle the park. The other doesn't so maybe it's not conclusive.
If you look at the temperature outside when those runs are done, something starts to look out of place:
|Run||Distance (km)||Pace||Time||Temperature||Training effect||Effect seen?|
|April 25th||10.84||4'47||52 mins||12.8||4.6||Yes - onset at 5km|
|April 23rd||10.42||4'48||50 mins||16.1||5||Yes - onset 3km|
|April 19th||11.06||4'54||54 mins||13.9||3.9||Yes - onset 6km|
|April 16th||10.08||4'45||48 mins||10||4.9||No|
|April 13th||8.62||4'47||41 mins||11||5||No|
|April 7th||9.28||4'51||45 mins||6.1||3.2||No|
|April 1st||7.3||5'01||37 mins||10.1||2.7||No|
|March 30th||7.28||5'0||36 mins||18.9||3.7||No|
|March 27th||5.3||5'0||26 mins||11.1||3.9||Yes... - onset a 2km and 3.22km|
It looked as I though it might be because of the temperature but then on the run on the 27th March shows the effect for 11.1 degrees (but its not > 10km) which in itself isn't conclusive that temperature is not to blame:
Figure: stair-casing heart rate - but at half 10km distance ie 5k but also temperature > 10 degrees
I'm still not sure what exactly to attribute this effect to. What's clear is that I'm working harder at these discrete points in the run.
It could well be just the point where my body is reaching beyond its usual comfort zone (Training effect > 3.9) - especially as I've been out of usual patterns (10km/4'40) running for a while. This could be a 'fitness' indicator. Not sure. It's interesting but inconclusive:
Table: This year's runs (Source: Garmin)
Table: This year's runs (Source: TrainingPeaks). Its got TSS (Training Stress Score) and IF (Intensity Factor) and Time in Zones
I do remember times where I kinda remember that point around the park when I thought, 'yeah, this is kinda tough'. I'm used to that feeling though - I just grit my teeth and push on through those.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few runs, which I will try and run in the evening so I can rule out the temperature causing this. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised is if the temperature increases the 'fitness indicator' comes sooner.