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John

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More on interval training [Sep. 12th, 2011|09:58 am]
John
So, last Tuesday, I decided to see if I could jog. That was the point of all the interval training, right?

So, why last Tuesday? Well, kightp was visiting Friday through Tuesday. I had to make sure I didn't exhaust myself and feel awful during her visit.

But, Monday and Tuesday I learned that I could do 10 35 second intervals, no problem, so, I wanted to see how that translated to jogging.

I found that I could jog for... 2.5 minutes. Yeah. Not so good. It wasn't that I couldn't go further, but that I was getting signs that my heart rate was rising too high. I found that I could jog for 1.5 minutes several times (at least 5), but the next day, well, I felt tired, and depressed, and while I could still go through my day-to-day stuff, I *did not* want to exercise.

Thursday I felt better, so I tried something new... 1 minute intervals. I did 5 intervals, one minute jogging, 1.5 minutes walking. I felt so good that, even though I took a 35 minute walk on Friday, I tried again, and did *6* intervals. Just the kind of macho-stupidity I'm trying to avoid, but, hey, what could go wrong? Well, Saturday, I felt awful. So, naturally, there was an emergency at work.

Sunday, I felt better, but still tired.

But today, I felt well enough to do 5 1 minute intervals, and then, just to get home quicker, did a sixth. I'll figure out how I feel later.

An interesting note: after a 1 minute interval, my heart rate is 150-156 (25-26 beats in 10 seconds). After the 30 second intervals, I was only getting up to 132, give or take. So, this is good... 152 (or 158, or 164) is still an reasonable heart rate for a 45 year old man (the rule is "don't go above 220 minus your age"), and should be strengthening my heart more than the 30 second intervals.

I hope so. This is the most frustrating part of a fitness program - getting to the point that one can exercise more or less fearlessly, without concern for the after-effects unless one does something obviously stupid.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: wcg
2011-09-12 05:23 pm (UTC)
What kind of pace are you running?
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2011-09-13 04:05 pm (UTC)
You know, I didn't have the foggiest idea, either speed or steps per minute. Counting left-foot falls, 14 every ten seconds, about 85 every minute. (Um. Not that I think you need help multiplying 14 by 6, but I counted both ways.) When I tried to slow down a bit, I went back to about 13/10 seconds (I only counted in tens, here). I don't have anything to use to guesstimate distance though... still no idea about speed. I just hope like blazes it's at least 5.5 miles an hour. (Because otherwise, my legs are a lot worse than they should be.)

Another interesting-to-me thing was that when I counted, I was better at watching my form, and a) ow, and b) yeah, I think I'm fixing my stride, slowly but surely, but I still have work to do.
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[User Picture]From: wcg
2011-09-13 04:17 pm (UTC)
85 per minute is a bit faster than I'd recommend. (90 is a Marine Corps bootcamp run pace.) Try backing things down to somewhere between 75 and 80, and see if you can't sustain that longer.

In terms of distance per unit time, I'm thinking you should aim for a pace that's somewhere between a 12 minute mile and a 10 minute mile. I know that the eventual goal of running intervals is to run a fast minute followed by a slow minute, but for right now I think you need to be easing up on that fast part and just concentrating on keeping yourself at a running stride for your minute. If you find yourself going more than 1/10 of a mile during your minute at a run, try easing up a bit during the next running interval. Yes, you will eventually want to stretch out and go faster. But not yet.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2011-09-14 12:51 am (UTC)
You know... much though I hate to "slow down", I think you might have a better point than I'd first thought.

One of the reasons I'm using that pace is I'm trying hard to keep good form - but I shouldn't need speed to maintain good form. If I can't run slower, and in good form, something is still wrong, and I should find and fix that before trying to improve the rest... especially because I'm trying to figure out how my lower body is supposed to work.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2011-09-14 09:11 pm (UTC)
Update:

Today, trying for 13-or-a-bit-less each 10 seconds (I can't seem to slow down below that!), I was able to do 7 intervals, each a bit over 60 seconds. Given that Monday and Tuesday were enough to leave me headache-y and cranky, being able to exercise today was good, and being able to add an interval is even better. And, I don't feel *good*, but I feel better than I did yesterday.

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[User Picture]From: wcg
2011-09-14 09:25 pm (UTC)
Good. Now see if you can repeat this a few times, and if you can, it'll be time to go for one more. (Also, if you're feeling sore tomorrow you could just do six again.)
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[User Picture]From: kathrynt
2011-09-12 05:24 pm (UTC)
Hey, you're doing the couch-to-5K program! It starts with 9 intervals of jogging / walking, 60/90 seconds. You may have to revise your standards for "jogging" downwards, particularly at first. I'm just going into the second week now.

When I started, I considered a 4.5mph jog pace to be excruciatingly slow. Now I don't. My very slowest possible jog is 3.8mph, and I am not ashamed to use it.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2011-09-13 04:10 pm (UTC)
Uh, no, can't do 9 intervals... my heart's not up to that yet! (Keep in mind, I'm (now) 45 years old, and 265 lbs (about 80lbs over what the doctors would like - about 60 over where I feel I'd be comfortable). But I guess I am building in that direction... I want to get to 10 intervals (25 minutes) if I can, but I might see if I can jog before then.

Yesterday, 6 intervals left me feeling tired and cranky and a bit headache-y, and my experience is that this means that 7 would have made me feel significantly worse, and 8 would have been a bad idea - not quite "crossing the streams", I'd just *feel* that way.
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[User Picture]From: wcg
2011-09-13 04:18 pm (UTC)
Also, do you have access to an exercise bike? (Or any bike, really?)
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[User Picture]From: hobbitbabe
2011-09-12 06:20 pm (UTC)
What's hard for me, while I'm making up my own program, is that until it hurts afterwards, it feels like I'm being too easy on myself, so I feel like I'm not improving. And the only way I can tell when it is too much would be to do too much, which I don't want to do.

This morning I did 8 intervals of 1:45 walk and 1:00 run. I am using an iPhone app called Interval Timer Pro where I can set different interval times and get noises at the end of each, and today was probably the first time I did the whole workout without peeking to see if the minute was over yet. (I guess that's a kind of progress!) I don't have a heart rate monitor though, and I'm curious about that.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2011-09-13 04:21 pm (UTC)
Re: "until it hurts", yes, that's exactly my problem.

My problem is that my heart doesn't "hurt", it gets tired. And a tired heart means a tired body and brain... which means a lot of mood issues for me. (And, a tired body also means stuff like sex getting hideously frustrating because the heart rate going up means feeling worse.)

Knowing that has been a mixed blessing for me. On the one hand, now I know how I feel if I overdo it, and I know I want to get my heart strong enough to avoid those issues. On the other... today, wow, it was *hard* to get myself moving because I felt bad yesterday, and I didn't want to risk overdoing it today, and feeling even worse. But I also want to get past the plateau as well. And I don't want to learn when it starts getting chilly and rainy that I haven't worked hard enough when I had better weather.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2011-09-21 01:26 am (UTC)
Oh, and by the way: Thank you for the name of an app for timing my intervals!
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[User Picture]From: ftemery
2011-09-13 05:37 pm (UTC)
The fact that you are having to go slow and even slower is very helpful to me. The fact that you keep going back is something to be proud of. Good for you.

I like that you keep track of the details - I had no idea that was so important - but it's the long range improvement, that you can't see now, that will be your total reward. Seeing you do this may just make me do something as well.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2011-09-17 11:38 pm (UTC)
Nod. I wanted to log this to track my mood, and see what was going on, but also because I realized that if it takes me 12 weeks (July through end of September) just to be able to jog slowly for 20 minutes, then that can be important information and someone else might need it. I've already been repeatedly surprised at how slow it's going, except, really, 12 weeks isn't a long time.
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