So having said I would be training in Zone 2 and 3, the first step was to get a baseline of where my fitness (both running and otherwise) is…or isn’t. I remembered reading in Runner's World a “How Fit Are You?" article, what the hell I thought, that will do. So Saturday I headed off to the gym to conduct the first two tests; the Endurance test and the Cardiovascular test.
The Endurance test, was treadmill based and was similar to a tempo run, the instructions were as follows:
1) Set a one-percent incline. Warm up at an easy pace for 10 minutes.
2) Do a 30-minute tempo run at 85 percent of your maximum effort. This is a bit slower than your 10-K race pace--an 8 on a scale of difficulty from 1 to 10.
3) Cool down for five minutes, and note the distance you covered during that 30-minute tempo run. (It might be easier for you to gauge that distance if you reset the treadmill after your warmup.)
I set my Garmin to chime if I entered Zone 5, 167bpm and set off 50 minutes and an extra half mile later (I had a 6 miler on the docket) later I was done. The results were interesting and with the help of SportTracks I am able to really dig into the data.
The first data set show my HR over the miles and and time, over 75% was spent across Zone 3 and 4, the 28% in Z3 probably means I should have been putting a little more effort into it, but as you can see from the red line trace my HR increase steadily through the session and I had to back off at the 32 minute mark. The next screen shot shows even more detail:
So the splits are based on the first miles then at 10 minutes, then every mile thereafter through to 30 minutes at tempo pace and finally 5 minutes cool down, oh and 3 seconds fudge. The interesting columns are the Starting and Finish HR, you can really see the impact of easing off the pace has in mile 4 and although I eased off it seems that mile 5 despite being 32 seconds slower my heart rate crept back up?!? General fatigue…maybe, perception wise I was feeling it and would have rated the PRE here as and 14/15. Having poured over this data and analyzed it in both GTC and SportTracks I reconciled it to the results section of the test and officially I got a…wait for it; Good!
The second test was pretty simple, step up onto a 12” step for 3 minutes and monitor my heart rate at the end of a minute of recovery, again I used my Garmin and got the following data:
The results based on the HR at 4 minutes measure cardiovascular strength and uses a test you would typically not do for a workout, here’s the results table: