Checking In 9/22/2021

With nearly 9 miles in the books since Monday and feeling good through all of them (… well, other than fatigue, obviously!), I now feel more like myself again. And, other than the spin bike Monday, I have not been able to cross train in evenings due to various errands. I do plan to get back in the gym tonight, and all permitting try to run outside after work on Thursday and/or Friday.

Yesterday afternoon on a work break, finding that the afternoon runs once again feel rather weary, I decided set my Garmin watch to do a 45-30 run/walk split. The 45’s started easy and I consistently accelerated as much as I comfortably could before I slowed to a walk for 30.

The walks allowed some recovery but weren’t long enough for me to fully recover. They weren’t totally a VO2max interval workout but certainly felt to some degree like one. And none of these run segments were paced in any way. I just started running easy and then made a point to accelerate and push however much I wanted to, so long as I kept pushing faster or harder until the Garmin signaled to walk.

The end result was decidedly faster than my previous afternoon work break runs, without leaving me as gassed as they had before. So for now I think I will stick to the 45-30 accelerate/walk split. I won’t hold myself to any given intensity on the runs, just running them by feel, and see if this split helps me snap back into form.

Garmin says my VO2max has fallen quite a bit since returning to running, even though my training load has held steady. A lot of that is that my running obviously has been slow. I can run fast, but I’ve made a point not to, and doing so (especially on work breaks in full work clothes) is still somewhat hard. I think the subtext of all the data is clear: Run fast in brief spurts when you can, and take it easy otherwise.

Typically, Garmin scores my Training Effect on the break runs aerobically in the 1.5-2.5 range, with no discernible anaerobic activity. But this work break run scored 2.4 aerobic and 0.8 anaerobic. And it didn’t feel worse than those afternoon slogs. In fact, I felt a little better. So perhaps this is a better way to do those as long as I feel up to doing them.

I still plan to cross train in evenings, which is where I’ll mostly work on aerobic fitness, without investing needlessly in slow running. The only slow running I plan on doing right now is, obviously, my long runs… though I may extend the run walk split to fit those as well (maybe without accelerating as much, of course). I’ll mess with this split and approach going forward on breaks, and see what progress I made.

Today instead of running outside after work (it is a bit warm still) I’ll get back in the gym and cross train some more. I will see if I can run outside after work Thursday and Friday, but may go with the gym for those as well. Saturday will be a scheduled full day off, and then I want to run a steady 10K test outdoors on Sunday morning (plus I’ll cross and strength train that afternoon).

I am feeling a lot better about where I’m at than I did last week.

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