Friday, December 4, 2015

Ocean Swim & HR Data Collecting Benchmark Session

Used to be that on Aloha Friday mornings we would ocean swim in Kailua. Most of the time it's just Mark and me. For a while (several months) we didn't go because 1-2x/week there was a reported shark siting or attack. These were happening on all shores of Oahu, but since Lanikai/Kailua was included in that, well, it effectively scared us away. I knew at some point I'd go back, though I wasn't sure when? Today was the day.
It was much colder than I remembered it being (last time we swam it was still summer and that El Nino thing is legit- ocean temps were WAY warmer this summer than normal). I would guess water was like 74-75 this morning, which should be fine but next time I'll wear a wetsuit so I won't have anything to whine about. I admit I had a little bit of concern getting in… wouldn't call it 'fear', just concern… but then as I was swimming I started thinking about how danger is everywhere, really. I mean a (seemingly) normal guy could come barging into any public place and shoot me with a gun at any time so I might as well take my chances with the sharks. Yes that's what I was thinking when I started swimming. As is most common, I had nothing to be concerned about this morning so we will bring back the Aloha Friday ocean swims again. :)

Afterward, since I was in Kailua where the land is flat as a pancake, I decided to run a sort of MAF Test. I pretty much despise the word 'test' when it comes to any training session… so really I thought of this more like a data collecting benchmark session, not a 'test'. A test seems so pass or fail. A benchmark session is just a check on where fitness currently stands.

Anyway, I strapped my HR monitor on and jogged a mile super easy, HR 130's (which for me is quite low), 10:07. Then into 4 straight miles HR 148-150. I went 9:16, 9:40, 9:53, 10:00. Def wasn't stoked about that fall-off in pace. To be honest, it wasn't nearly as bad as the fall off I experienced last spring when I did a few HR benchmark sessions just like this on the same stretch of road (back then I was falling off to 10:30+ pace!). I think it has more to do with my body not effectively dissipating heat than it does lack of fitness. Maybe that's wishful thinking? It's true though when I do a HR run inside on a treadmill where I have access to Osmo and temps are cooler I hardly slow down at all. Regardless, I opted to run the 6th mile at HR 158-160 just to get a data point on that HR and that mile was 8:46, a full 75seconds faster at just +10 beats (and it felt good). Usually I'd expect to see a pace change closer to 40"/mile for every 10 beats, so if 8:46 is HR160 pace, then 9:26 should be HR150 pace, and 10:06 should be HR140 pace. I think those numbers are pretty close, the issue is just the drop off as my body heats up. Not exactly sure how to fix that other than to actively work on cooling myself down, which I didn't do at all today (i.e. had no fluids during that 6 mile run).

Back in 2011/2012 when I raced faster I could run 9:00-9:15 pace at HR 150 so I'd like to get back to that point. Gonna spend Dec running mostly aerobic HR 140's then I'll get another benchmark and see if there's been a change?

My legs are still sore all over so I didn't take Maia running this afternoon. We went for a walk instead, which she didn't mind because she knows where the stray cats live and she went straight to them and stalked them until they were out of sight (up a tree or back in the woods). Maia is OBSESSED with chasing cats outside, which makes it even more funny that she will stand aside and lets Ozzie eat her food.

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