Sunday, July 29, 2012

Longer, Further, Faster

The Olympic Games have started. Citius, Altius, Fortius. The official olympic motto. Latin for Faster, Higher, Stronger. I am by no means anywhere near olympic material (It's more probable, I'm not even allowed to say "I" and "olympic material" in the same sentence). That doesn't mean I have no goals. My goals do adhere to another olympic motto "The most important thing is not to win but to take part!" In another blog, I already mentioned my goal. To finish the Dam-tot-Damloop 2012.

One of my passions is being a volunteer for the Dutch organisation "Vereniging voor Gehandicapte Wintersporters" (Organisation for Disabled Winter sports). After last winter season, a new club house was build. Yesterday, all was ready to move all the material from the old location. And of course I worked hard. Maybe a bit too hard. In the evening, my shoulder was hurting like crazy. Don't know what I did but I did something wrong. Aside from hurting my shoulder, I bounced my shins on the edge of the loading floor of the moving truck. My first thought was: "There goes my endurance trainging which I moved to Sunday". Come Sunday morning I was stiff, a bit tired but I had to try. A good thing I did! My legs felt great. My shoulder still hurts but didn't bother me at all during my run and in general it felt GREAT :-D

My primary target for today was 75 minutes. If possible quicker than my last endurance run (7:17min/km). A third goal I had was pretty much out of my hands: Not receiving a stand-by call.... In my head I had my course laid out. It was based on the main "Het Lint" track with a little side track added around the Haarrijnse plas.

There is a tree on the 1.4km loop of the northen most subtrack of "Het Lint". The loop is right in front of my house so I use it in my runs quite a lot. That tree is usually a target for the end of my various training types.

After 75 minutes of running I knew the tree was only about 5 minutes away. Sooooo, I decided to go for those additional 5 minutes. IT FELT GREAT! It looks like I am going quite a bit faster than my schedule has planned for. In addition, my average pace was quicker than last week. The phone didn't ring during my run so I reached all 3 of my goals.

As I am ahead of my schedule, I can start working on my secondary target: averaging at least 5:50min/km during the Dam-tot-Damloop.

Next week, I hope to reach my endurance target of 95 minutes. Would be nice.

Stay tuned, till next blog.


Monday, July 23, 2012


I am truly amazed. With my progress that is. The original plan was to run 45 minutes a week ago and 55 minutes last week. At a heart rate of 70-75% of my max heart rate. Using the Karvonen calculation method that comes down for me to 141-148BPM.

A week ago, when I did my first endurance training, I was able to run 60 minutes at an average of 140BPM averaging 8:05min/km for a total distance of 7,45km. After I posted my blog for that run, I got in touch with Jim again because back then I calculated my heart rate range between 125-134BPM. We reworked the training schedule and for last Saturday I was to run 70 minutes. I also looked for a better heart rate calculation and came across the Karvonen calculation which comes much closer to the heart rates I actually have during my run.

In Vleuten-De Meern, there is a beautiful running area through the new Leidscherijn areas. The main course is 8km so I decided to go for that one during my run of last Saturday. It turned out, the course I choose was too short :-D I ran for 71 minutes with an average heart rate of 145BPM, an average pace of 7:17min/km!!! A quick calculation (or a look at my Runkeeper activity) shows a WHOPPING 9,76km!!!

The bottom line:

  • An increase in time of 11 minutes
  • An increase in distance of 2,31km
  • A decrease in pace of 48sec/km
  • An increase of HR of only 5BPM
But, I am also a realist. I know I can't keep these progress curves going like this and I expect I'll have to flatten them down a bit. There is room to flatten these curves but the end goal is still to finish the 16.2km by September 23rd at the Dam-tot-Damloop. And if possible with a pace of around 5:50min/km (~95 minutes)

Tomorrow, I'll run my next (3rd) Tempo run but when I get home it'll be around 27C so that will probably be later in the evening. We'll see how that goes.

Till the next blog.


Saturday, July 14, 2012


For today, I planned my first endurance run. As you can see above, I added a graph with my endurance schedule. The plan is to increase the time I can run at 70-75% of my maximum heart rate. According to the 220 calculation, my 70-75% heart rate is 124-133BPM. But I have NO clue on how to get my heart rate below the required limit. 

This first run I had to run for 45 minutes. After 2:27, my heart rate came above the upper limit for the first time. During the rest of my run I came down to my upper limit only 5 times... I recorded an average heart rate for the entire run of 140BMP. Oh, and in stead of 45 minutes, I ran for 60 minutes....

Not sure what I should think of all this so next week I'll get in contact with Jim again to hear his idea on what I'm doing.

Another thing, during my run, my RunKeeper app lost the connection to my Bluetooth HRM 2 times. To get the HRM working again and to hear my heart rate every minute, I had to restart the RunKeeper app twice. Resulting in 3 activities :-( So I manned the Googles and thanx to the Google cache (RunKeeper seems to have removed the discussion pages) I found this site: It helped me to merge the 3 activities into 1 :-D So I found out that during my 1 hour "dribble", I ran 7.45km averaging 8:05min/km. I know, I know, my prime goal is finishing 16.2km but 2 hours is a bit longer than I had first envisioned. Ah well, I have 10 more weeks to go, so we'll see how it goes.

Every week I will update the graph so I can keep an eye on my progress.

Till my next blog.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A real training schedule

Until today, I was just winging it. Running an interval, then a "long" run. But yesterday, I had a chat with an old colleague who knows a bit or two about running. When I told him I want to run 16.2km (10mi) by September 23 and my longest run so far was between 6.5km and 7km, his eyes flew open. He though that, since there are only 11 weeks to go, it is a very challenging aspiration. Especially since I can only run twice a week (2 evenings of Aikido stand in the way of a third run). So he proposed a very aggressive ambitious training schedule. Which works towards my prime goal for this run: Finishing the Dam tot Damloop.

Looking at the times and paces I have been running recently, my boss Marijke, who is also going to run the Dam tot Damloop, is "afraid" I will outrun her. To be honest, for this run, my goal is just to finish the run without having to walk slowly. A time of 1:35 would be nice (still slower than her time last year) but not the end goal. (More like an added bonus :D)

My schedule has 2 runs per week, an endurance run, which increases over time until I can run 95 minutes non stop at about 70%-75% heart rate, and a speed  run of 20-30 minutes at 80-85% heart rate.

Today I ran a speed run. So 20-30 minutes at 142-151BPM. After 2 minutes and 3 seconds, I hit 152BPM. After 3:57 I hit 160BPM (=90%!). For the remaining 14:04 my heart rate hovered between 159 and 162. I could NOT get it down (Unless you count the sudden, single 155BPM at 11:48). It will be a tremendous challenge for me to remain around 124-133BPM when I do my first endurance run this coming Saturday...

I will keep you posted on the progress.

Till the next blog.