Posts Tagged ‘heart rate’

A 4 Hour Treadmill Run and Two Movies

Well today was the day. It is the last long run for my marathon training before I start tapering off.

But I had a problem. As these runs have been getting longer and longer, I needed to hydrate during the run, but being a minimalist, I never carry water with me.

For the shorter runs (2.5 hrs) I run the boardwalk near the beach. I’ve been running this area for a long time and know exactly where to place my water bottles without worrying about them being picked up.


So I first drive to the various locations of my route and setup my stations. But for a 4 hour run, the beach was not the best choice. I also thought about running straight down to the Ocean along the reservoir (a 26 mile path that ends up at Huntington Beach), but there are no water stops a long the way and it’s not easy to get in there (by car) to drop of any water before starting the run.

I prefer running outside, but then again, my wife has been using the treadmill for her long runs, so I decided do the same just this once. Besides, there are a lot of advantages to running on a treadmill! No weather problems, water always available, a steady pace, and entertainment.

I found myself two movies that I could watch back-to-back (Sherlock Homes I and II). I also took a few bottles of water and headed to the treadmill located in the clubhouse next door.

There was no one there in the morning until noon, so I basically had the place to myself. Everything was going great and I was right on track. I way hydrating perfectly and and really enjoyed watching the first movie with my bluetooth headset and an iPad setup on the magazine rack of the treadmill.

But then talk way through the second move and 3 hours later, I was getting very very tired. It ended up being a struggle at the 3.5 hour mark and even though I was in the correct HR Zone, my RPE was getting higher and higher! To top it off, I was also starting to get some pain in my lower back and neck.

I finished the run, but it was a lot harder that I initially thought. Yet, that was only the beginning!

For the next 4 days I had lower back pain, aches in my upper shoulders, and a horrible back neck. I was in so much pain that I decided to skip one of my runs. The good news is that the pain did go away temporality on my next run – at least until it cooled down and started to stiffen up again. All sorts of stretching just didn’t help though. So let’s face it, to over taxed some muscles.

The reason?

I was looking down at the iPad while I was running, so my upper posture was all off. I should have put the iPad up higher so that I was looking forward – darn! Four hours of bad posture was just not a good way to do my long run.

Nonetheless, this taught me a valuable lesson about keeping a proper posture while running and not to get too distracted. I should really stay focused and think about how to keep my body working efficiently. Even after reading my book on Chi Running, I should have realized what I was doing. Well – experience is always the best way to enforce actions that you need to remember. I can promise you this – I will think twice about my running posture when doing a long run next time!


Long Run Season – Dreadful or Delightful

Training is going good, but the summer months were a killer. Hot and Humid. Of course, I shouldn’t complain because after all, I will be running a marathon in Honolulu.

Speaking of which, there are about two months to go, and that means long runs. I used to dread long runs. It was hard to find time for them, especially with weekend plans. Plus I always thought that the run would kill me by the time it was over.

But the key to a long run is to NOT run too fast or hard. You want to keep an RPE of around 3/5. Using a Heart Rate monitor, that is usually Zone 3 – the moderate zone at 70-80% of your max heart rate. At my age that’s 100-115 bmp (with a max of 165). But if I use the Karvonen formula that takes in account my resting rate, then my 60%-80% training HR would be 122 – 144. As a matter of fact, I find that my RPE for a level of 3 usually falls into the 128-138 range. After 60-80 minutes, my HR usually starts going up and can pass 144 bmp after 100 minutes. The main reason for this is because I don’t hydrate.

So I try to find my RPE 3 by…

  • being able to breath through my nose
  • taking 1 breath once every 3 strides
  • being able to talk easily


Then there are a couple of other key indicators that are great (before I get too dehydrated)…

  • I feel that I can maintain this pace forever
  • I feel better than walking a very brisk pace


This has been working out pretty good for me, so now I try to find a flat route were I can enjoy the scenery and try to run while watching the sunrise. This is usually down along the coast, on the beach at low tide, or on a boardwalk.

As long as I can keep my pace slow and steady, I fall into the right zone . I actually enjoy these runs more than when I need to run at a max intensity or with a heart rate above 145.

I just need to remember that the long run is all about time on my feet and not speed.