Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Double Down part 1

1/5 run 40 min "easy" out and back on Sycamore trail @ Umstead

The temp was about 5 degrees cooler than yesterday (42ish), so I wore my silk base layer bottoms as well as the top along with my headband, glasses and regular running gear. I also figured this would be a good time to test out the heart rate monitor with my Timex Global Trainer.

Something which I forgot to mention the other day is I've been playing around with the Timex Global Trainer and my wife's Garmin 310xt. I wore both of them on my pace run yesterday and I wore them both again today. I definitely feel like the Garmin is the superior device but I've also been to a 310xt specific training class with our regional Garmin Rep. It's taken me quite a bit of time to figure out the Timex. I did manage to setup my time intervals before my repeats yesterday, but I wish the watch would vibrate in addition to the audible alarm. I had a pretty big discrepancy between the two on distance yesterday, but today they were pretty close. The Timex Global Trainer is consistently shorter in it's distance calculations compared to the 310xt, I can't speak for which is more accurate, but based on the online data I've seen the Garmin is closer to actual distance. I'm not passing judgment until I get a chance to use the Timex on a measured course. So back to the heart rate strap.

Back in the day I used a Polar strap when I would do cardio, so I was at least used to wearing one, but this was my first time doing so in the great outdoors instead of on a piece of cardio equipment. I was concerned it might come loose between the deep breaths and unpredictable nature of the terrain, but I didn't have any issues. I found the monitor really helped me to figure out when I needed to push and when I needed to throttle back, especially with some of the longer hills. I found that as long as my heart rate was under 170, I could manage pretty well. On some of the hills I would push up into the 170's and this was where I realized recovery could become an issue if I didn't adjust my pace to get my heart rate under control. My average heart rate was 158bpm including warmup, so I would say I hover around 160 once I'm cruising, my max for the run was 175, which I know I hit on more than one occasion. Looking at the zones on the watch, I was in "Zone 4" most of my run with periods in "Zone 5" during the climbs. I don't really know what the implications of this are, so I guess I have some research to do tomorrow. I think I will start using the strap on all my runs to help me train a bit smarter. I think it could be really helpful when I do Uwharrie so I can tell when I'm really getting myself into trouble and when I'm just psyching myself out.

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