Week 1 of 2019 – Looking Back

The first week of 2019, was an interesting one to say the least.

My running went really well this week, even though I did most of my running on the treadmill. It just is more enjoyable than freezing my arse off outside during January in Maine. 🙂

Could I run outside – sure. However, each year I get older, the more I feel the extremes in temperature and have chosen to not run when the temps or feels like temps are much below 20*F. Just my choice, besides I like running in shorts and t-shirt more than 3 layers of cold proofing.

I am tracking more stuff than I did last year, I want to capture more of what I do in addition to simply running. Two days with over 30,000 steps – that snowblowing thing in addition to everything else that still did made for a tired Harold. Even though I am not basing my training on heart-rate now, I will still keep track of it, just to make sure that I am not being too stoopid about my running.

The other thing is that while my cadence is more dependent on what pace I am running than anything else, but it is interesting to keep track of what it is to see if my running is changing and to figure out what I am doing differently – if anything.

Yes, I know that weighing yourself daily is not what the experts recommend, there is too much variation, just based on differences in water weight. However, since I have been consciously changing my diet to a lower carb (not Keto or completely Low Carb), I want to see what kind of impact it is having and weight is the easiest one to track. Since I started lowering the carbs in my diet I have lost 5 pounds over the last three weeks. Not bad, but I still have another 8 pounds to go.

Heart-Rate Training

For most of it, I was getting pretty frustrated with my attempt at heart-rate training. Really, I am not sure if it was more because of the consistently inconsistent readings I was getting from my Garmin FR35 or I couldn’t wrap my head around how running so slow was actually going to let me run faster.

I have a pretty good understanding of the theory behind the pros of heart-rate trainingand understand that it takes months to get to the point where you are running faster. Which was hard to accept and each year I get older, I am automatically going to be slower, just because I am older and need to have a lower Maximum Aerobic Function based on the formulas being used.

This is based on science, but it also seems to be very limiting, especially for us older runners, who have run for many years and have worked out consistently at much higher heart-rates without croaking.

If I were to continue with heart-rate style of training, I just felt that I would be limiting my running in the short-term and since my long-term is not as long as someone in their 30s or 40s, I am choosing focusing more on the short-term and taking it a year at a time. Slowing down is not an option and will happen, but to have to do it purposely, with no real guarantee that it would be right for me. Well…

I guess that was what really discouraged me about heart-rate training.

When I saw some runners who were switching to heart-rate training on a Facebook group, being enthusiastic about running sub 9:00 minute paces a year after they started. When they had started out running a lot faster than that and other members thinking that was great progress. Yeah, their heart-rate was lower, but it took them so damn long to get there. Maybe for someone who is younger than I am, this is not as big a deal, but since I am over 60 years old, my time in the sun is dimming with each year and I don’t want to waste or purposely limit the time I have left.

While I learned a lot about running slowly and the benefits of doing it, that I hadn’t accepted in the past, the timing in my life and heart-rate zones/limits that are part and parcel of heart-rate training made my running a chore. I stopped looking forward to my running and while I attempted to remain positive, I wasn’t having fun running.

So I am going back to running more by feel for my workout days and probably will use heart-rate training to help me stay in a recovery zone for the rest of the week.

Running Shoes

I am getting rid of 10 pair of running shoes next week. They are all shoes that didn’t work for me over the past year and instead of hoarding them, it is time for them to go away. Otherwise, at some point I will attempt to use them later and just have the same issue that I had with them before, which is something that I have found usually does not work.

So what is my running shoe rotation for the first week of 2019:

Adidas Tempo 9 – My 200 mile review will be out sometime next week. However, I will be upfront and say they are still my primary running shoes.

Adidas Adios 3 Aktiv – I ran 9.0 miles on the treadmill in them earlier in the week and followed up with a 5.0 miler today without any issues. They are a shoe that I will use to run faster in and know that I will be comfortable while doing it.

That is all I ran in this week, although I did get my adidas Response Boost 2s and Saucony Liberty ISOs ready to use for either walking or running when I want a change of pace. I do use my Nike Wildhorse for most of my outside activities now and will be using them for running down-back and snowmobile trails when they open up (when we get enough snow – probably sooner than later).

Reebok RunFast – Will be for racing later in the year.

The reality is that

Overall, it was a really good week and I believe that my choice to discontinue using heart-rate training as my primary focus will be a good one for me. However, it does mean that I will now be able to figure out a few goals that I want for the first half of 2019 and I am still developing what I want to do and how I am going to get there.

So as the weeks progress, I will be getting a better idea of the direction that I will be heading with my running and ensure that I will enjoy what I am doing versus it becoming a chore.

Sometimes Bennie has the best idea, when it comes to what is important. Making sure that we get enough rest.