The quiet, obscure toiling resumes…

Since December 7th I’ve taken things very easy, having vowed to enjoy the holidays and recover properly from my debacle in California.

This weekend marked the end of this extended hibernation period. I’d meant to run on New Year’s Day but I was fried and decided to nap instead. On Saturday I ran 10 very easy miles on the treadmill, tootling along at 64% MHR.

Yesterday I threw down the gauntlet. I felt good in the morning so I decided to do a “data gathering” run. This meant a longish run on the treadmill, with several sections at varying speed (getting progressively faster) so I could record some data showing speed vs. effort.

The run was a 12 mile progression run, with 3 miles at 64%, 3 miles at 70%,  2 miles at 75%, 2 miles at 80%, 1 mile at 85% and 1 at 89%. I won’t post the paces here because, well, they’re pretty embarrasing. But I’m hoping that when I do this same workout three months from now, I won’t be cringing at the numbers.

One oddity that I did note was that my HR% shot up from 70% to 75% with a mere difference of 6 seconds per mile. That tells me that my treadmill is lying about its speed. My next little project is to spend some quality time coming up with a calibration factor table (Jack Daniels explains how to do this in detail on various threads on so I’ve got a better idea of how fast (or slow) I’m actually running on my particular torture device.

I was zonked after yesterday’s run. But not as zonked as I’d expected to be.

7 Responses

  1. I seem to remember J.D. described treadmill calibration in his book too. Measure the belt, then time the revolutions and do some math. If the paces suck, it’s consoling to think “This is the baseline. I’m going to look really good in a few weeks!” 🙂

  2. Good on you. I’m doing the same with my HR, which is still way higher on runs than it was before September. Instead of freaking out about how it’s gone to crap, I’ll be using today (first day of Boston training) as my baseline. It remains to be seen, however, if I can successfully “live in the now” and stop referring to the good ole HR days.

  3. Yes, you need to have the torture device working well. My thoughts are similar to jime2’s. Measure the belt, put some masking tape (or paint) on it – count the revolutions at X mph for one minute, then calculate the real speed. Repeat for a number of different mphs.

  4. The idea of running 12 miles on the treadmill makes me cringe. Which would explain the amazing chapped face I currently have.

    Flo, I hear ya. I’m getting it back together for Shamrock in March, and it’s sad to see I’m not in the shape I was right before my last marathon. Not that I would expect to be … but it’d be nice. =) What helps is to look at my log from the beginning of the last training cycle, and see I’m fitter now than I was then.

  5. Interesting to see how everyone (including me) feels that they’ve lost fitness since the last major race.

  6. Heh. I did 8 this morning on the ‘mill, and another 4 after I leave work.

    And, I often feel like the effort on a treadmill is harder than it “should” be – it is that many treadmills are poorly calibrated?

    If that’s true, most of the mis-calibration would be in one direction since I’ve never felt fast on a ‘mill. Hmm.

    Best use of treadmill? 2K repeats at 10K effort/pace, with 2 minutes rest. 2-4 of those and you’ll be a hurtin’ puppy with future PRs on the way.

    • I’m actually exploring proper, repeatable treadmill calibration methods even as we speak. Stay tuned. I think I may have found the right tech-wonk to help me.

      If the local track is as covered in snow as I suspect it will be this afternoon, I’ll be doing 5 x 1K repeats at 8-10K effort today on the treadmill. Can’t imagine doing 2K repeats on that thing. But I guess I should start imagining it soon.

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