Things clicked again today. I got refocused on making sporting goals this year and believing that I have a lot more potential to run faster. The catalyst was a VO2 test. It took 20 mins running on a treadmill and 20 mins to explain the results. An hour well spent.
No blood samples by pricking your ear or fingertips. Just a HRM connected to a computer, along with a mask to measure my inhalations and exhalations of breath.
We started at walking pace and a HR in the 60s. Once I was running a bit it got over 100bpm but I felt so easy. Every minute or so the speed and/or incline would go up. I felt comfortable all the way into the 160bpms, running under 4:00m/km by now.
I knew from a previous FTP bike test, you have to push all the way to exhaustion. Don’t give up, try hold the pace and push on a few more seconds.
HRs into the 170s and I knew I was close to 5km pace. More to give. My body position on the treadmill started slipping back. Seán encouraged me and I righted the ship a little longer. Into the 180s (which I never do), now it was hard, and then I was out. My body couldn’t sustain the pace, about 18kmph.
Seán sat me down to explain. I’ve a really big endurance engine. My HR doesn’t go to Aerobic Threshold until 166bpm, meaning I should be doing marathon pace up around there. I probably underestimated my HR zones, so didn’t push as hard.
What did I learn
• I have lots of potential to run faster
• I have great endurance for middle/longer distance
• I need to hit those anaerobic HR levels during short intervals to see speed benefit over short distances. I should track session to get 400/8000m in
• My diet and move to fat adaptation over the past year has shown results. I’m not switching to burning carbs until late on
• I need to ensure I hydrate & fuel well during/before races
• I should set specific goals and target A races, as today I just race one to the next
• I should follow a set training plan with phases
• I should train in a group more, to push me at intervals
• I can run a 2:30 marathon – I just need to work at it