Fast treadmill & low intensity training

Date: 3/17/22
Training Day: 102
Miles: 2.8 (treadmill)
Time: 41 min
Shoes: Xero HFS

How It Felt: The run felt alright. My feet and ankles felt uncomfortable, like they might be wanting to cramp but never did.

Commentary: Every since I started my training this year I’ve noticed a difference between my treadmill runs and outside runs. My outside runs are faster than my treadmill runs with the same heart rate. I assumed there was just something about the treadmill that made the runs harder.

Then a guy from the local trail running group said something about treadmill calibration. He said that based on his heartrate, his treadmill at home was faster than the given speed. A lightbulb went on in my head! My treadmill is probably also faster that it says it is! That’s why my runs feel so much harder at a supposedly lower speed.

This means I’ve probably been running further each week that I thought I was. Oh well! This is one of the advantages of training by time instead of distance and monitoring my heart rate.

I did an iFit run this morning with Tommy Rivs. As you know, he’s my favorite. He talked about training in the low intensity zone, and he expounded on why it’s important. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard and read all that stuff before. Then he gave personal examples of how low intensity training worked for him.

As a young athlete he was “untrainable”, as in he didn’t listen to his coaches because he thought he knew better. He pushed himself on every run. He always ran faster this guy he trained with, but this guy was keeping his heart rate in the “zone”. You know, the low intensity zone. This guy kept his easy runs easy while Tommy went all out.

They ended up competing in the Kona Ironman together. Tommy was sure he would kick this guy’s ass because he was pushing himself harder and going faster. During the run the dude passed him. Tommy was gassed. The dude beat him by 30 minutes. Tommy said the guy trained and raced diligently instead of trying to crush everything. And the guy did better.

After that, Tommy trained diligently and paid attention to the intensity of his workouts. He also went to school to learn more about how the body reacts to, breaks down and recovers from training, eventually earning his PhD. He says the science backs the efficacy of low intensity training. This type of training allows you to train your body – heart, lungs, muscles, etc. – without breaking it down. You get all the benefits without the adverse effects (overuse injuries, fatigue, etc.).

I am quite glad I did this particular iFit run today because it is exactly what I needed to convince me to do more low intensity (Zone 2) training. I’m even considering giving up my Tuesday strides in favor of more Zone 2 training. Look at me finally getting to the trainable point!

Training Journal

Christina View All →

Endlessly seeking adventure.

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