Running Challenge with Amber Tree Leaves – February Update

After is rocky start in January due to the Flu, February is progressing very smoothly with regards to the Amber Tree Leaves Running Challenge. From past experience training for a 10km run, a mixed workout regime and a very healthy diet are the key to success.

The mixed workout regime for me consists of actual running, cycling and indoor cardio workouts (Insanity, P90X or similar – go for the plyo type workouts). The goal is to workout at least 3 times per week, less would not allow quick enough progress to run 10km in under 45 min by June of 2016.

After essentially started from scratch early February, I have been able to do about 13 workouts in the last 30 days. An quick overview of the activities is provided below:

2016-02 RWATL Plot

For workouts I use a Garmin 310XT with heart rate monitor to track route2016-02 Garmins, durations, speeds, heart rate and calories (albeit the last is a bit of a useless unit, after all, if you are eating correctly this unit does not matter one bit). The above figure came from GarminConnect, an online database where all the workout data is stored. Handy.

You don’t actually need one of these toys, but they are very useful to guide and tailor your workouts and keep track of progress and improvements. There are many similar systems out there, the only reason why I bought this one is because of the massive discount bought on Amazon (after having done some research on what features were preferred on the unit). It set me back about CAD 175 (~€110) at the time. Still think it is worth its weight in gold, love it!

So, with regards to running, here are a few plots with data from the last month and targets to be achieved. The first one shows running distance vs. pace. As you can see, the pace is still around the 5:30 min:ss/km. For training purposes this should get down to around 4:45 to 5:00 min:ss/km.

2016-02 RWATL Dis vs Pace Plot

The next graph is a plot of duration vs. distance, with pace lines plotted for reference. Also added are the training events from February. As noted above, the goal is to increase pace and distance. The preference is to first get the distance up, followed by the pace. But it may be that both will happen at the same time, depends on how I feel when running. (Yes, “linear” is not spelled incorrectly on the graph, it’s the Dutch way and I could not convince Excel to change to English).

2016-02 RWATL Dis vs Time Plot

The goal for next month is to jack up the running distance to around 8 km, while keeping the pace around or below about 5:30 min/km. Update to follow by the end of next month.

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3 comments

  1. The challenge is not going very well… I had the scan of my knee and now need an injection to overcome some pain that I have. And I do not really like needles…

  2. Hey CF,

    Looks like you are making some great progress. I like the graphs that you create. I might do the same, just to see what progress I make.

    I am behind schedule for now. I have limited myself to 1 rune per week due to a bad knee… It needed a week to recover. Just earlier today, a friend who is a kinesist came an treated the problem. I should be better now to start running again. And I have some exercises to do.
    I will also go to the fitness to do some cardio that is not as stress full for the knees the coming week.

    I will keep you posted.

    1. Hello AT,
      sorry to hear about the knee issue. Hope it will improve soon! Considering it is likely inflamed, you have a couple of options to speed up your recovery. Preferably you should eat lots of foods that have high anti-inflammatory properties, such as berries, curries (key ingredient here is turmeric), apples, broccoli, and pretty much every other whole food. Do not eat any processed foods that contain sugar, as it will only make it drag on longer. If you can, it is strongly recommended to also limit animal based saturated fat intake, as this has also been shown to increase inflammation in humans.

      For references to the various medical literature, see here: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/inflammation/

      Take care!

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