So, I think I finally had what I call the breakthrough run. Each time I've trained the 9Miler way, I've had a run that was so much faster than the previous ones that I knew I had made a breakthrough. As all of the other times, I'll do a few more MHR runs before I'm completely sure that I'm able to run faster at MHR, but this is probably it. I'm especially encouraged by the fact that I was more tired than usual for this run because I went for what was meant to be a super easy bike ride yesterday and overdid it a bit. It was still a pretty easy ride, but it was certainly more than I intended. So, two days after my longest MHR run so far in training for Hampsterwheel and one day after an overdone 'recovery' ride, I posted a much faster run at MHR. This is a very good sign. It is just in time, too, because I only have 7 more training runs (not counting easy taper runs) before the race.
I was able to continue strong through the end of 2 minutes at 15kph. I tried to accelerate up to 16kph but there wasn't anything left :-) My HR hit 170, and my calculated MHR is 147. I have been training primarily at low HR for 3 years. I am looking forward the next 9 weeks, and making this transition to a new way of running. Thanks @Marlies Kort and @Baz Zwaan for accepting me into the The 9Mile Marathon 👊
Well, here I am, training for my first 'ultra'. I'm really just training to finish a marathon (my second) and a nice, mellow pace with the intent to add on some distance after with a little run/walk/run. My first marathon, I fell apart a bit because my training was thrown off by a variety of issues, including my HR being thrown off by beta blockers, which I thankfully don't have to take any more. I did experience an injury about 6 weeks ago and tweaked it again last weekend, so I'm easing into it and fully intend to change gears if I'm not getting in enough training without re-injuring myself. Staying healthy is a bigger goal right now than doing the ultra. Anyway, I went for a 15 minute dribble at lunch time to check my healing progress, and my left hamstring, the guilty party, felt great. I did feel a tiny bit of tightness under my left SI joint (a known and ongoing issue that should be fine if I stick to my yoga) but the hamstring itself was pain-free. I'm going to scale up slowly, but I'm off to a promising start.
My initial workouts have been more about working around my recent hamstring issue than doing my MHR and speed work. This has been the smart thing to do, because I really don't want to make this a prolonged injury like I did when I was having SI joint issues and didn't take it seriously enough. However, on Thursday I finally had a workout where I did a pretty good job of keeping close to MHR and stopped because I had done enough for someone 7 weeks out from his event rather than because I was worried about my hamstring. Below is my HR chart. It wasn't as tight a range as I expect late in training, but given where I am in the process, I'm pretty happy with it.
I was somewhat hampered by my recovering left hip/hamstring, so I wasn't quite able to go all out, but my CHR test resulted in a CHR of 171 which translated to an MHR of 150. I was expecting it to be about 150 or 155 based on past tests and how my HR has been lately running at what I would consider marathon speeds. So, given that I would have gotten a slightly higher result if I were completely healthy and rested, I feel comfortable with the idea of using 150 to 155 as my target range (as if my MHR were 152.5) during my training. I've got 7 weeks to work with, which is why I tested today rather than resting a bit more before getting started. I don't want to waste any time since race day is so close.