Today I went on “just another training run”, a 6 miler to be exact. I woke at 5:00am, ate a quick breakfast, dressed, and headed out for my run. My goal was to keep my target heart rate around 149, or below. This would keep me in an aerobic area rather than breaking into anaerobic levels.
I know everyone is probably tired of hearing about it, but in mid-February I ran my first 50 mile ultra and it has been very interesting how my body has reacted and is recovering from it. I’ve never done anything in my life which has had such a profound affect on my body. It seemed crazy to me that many say it takes one day of rest for each mile of a race. In the case of a marathon it means 26 days for the body to fully recover, and from a 50 mile ultra that means 50 days! Well, I ran a marathon and followed it 14 days later with a 50 mile ultra, so guess how long that recovery should take? Now I realize it doesn’t mean “total rest”, and still allows for some training. However, the value of the training while the body is still recovering is something I wonder about.
Immediately following the ultra my heart rate was pretty high, compared to normal, during runs. Here is my progression so far:
- Prior to the ultra a 9:15 pace had my heart rate hover around 148, and when I did hard runs of an 8:45 pace my heart rate was around 154.
- After the ultra I found that my heart rate was 156 at a mere 9:48 pace a full week later, and I felt like crap.
- Two weeks later I found my heart rate at 147 at a 9:35 pace, and felt better though not good.
- Three weeks later I still didn’t feel great, but did feel good. My heart rate was around 150 at 9:00 pace. THIS is when I realized that my fitness level was about to surprise me.
- Four weeks later every day was a new surprise as my 8:33 pace was reaping 156 heart rates (11 miles), and runs were starting to feel easy.
- Five weeks later, WOW! I am running 8:43 with a 151 heart rate. But strangely still do not feel 100%.
- Six weeks later, today, I ran a very easy 8:43 pace for 6 miles and a heart rate of 146 and, AND, felt GREAT!!!
Now, I’m not trying to say that I have fully recovered. (This is obvious when I practice judo, and my form sucks.) But I feel great! I feel rested, my weight is back up to where I want it without fighting to keep it there, and my fitness level for running has greatly improved…score!