Monday, April 20, 2009

Do I Have What It Takes..... finish a race with a Sub-7 minute per mile pace?

I did it 1 time, when I did the unbelievable time of 6:41 per mile, but that was running on the flattest of courses, the JFK Runway Race.

I think a lot of this will be contingent upon how close I can monitor my health in preparation for something like this.

For example, I am going to be 44 this July. A lot of what I can do is based on what my heart and my lungs can do. Health guidelines say that your maximum heart rate during exercise should never EXCEED 220 beats per minute minus your age. Therefore my max heart rate as of July, should not exceed 176 as of July 9th (lol).

Bearing this in mind, there is a major and obvious relationship between my heart rate and my level of exhaustion. The faster I run, the higher my heart rate goes, and the quicker I get tired. The goal therefore, is to condition my heart to work more efficiently and somehow lower my heart rate while running at the same speeds. I know I can do this.

The treadmill at my gym may become a good tool as it can measure my heart rate. I think I am going to start a program where I run at various speeds for 1 minute each to see how my heart rate is affected, and record it. I'll do this everytime I am at the gym, to see if my levels improve or worsen over time. To make the study as relative as possible it will mean that I will have to take several factors into consideration, such as the time of day, hours of rest the night before, and my diet. Not sure how successful I will be. Perhaps too many variables. However, if I can get to bed at the same time each night (now that's a laugh) and wake up each morning at the same time (another giggle), then I can at least eliminate the sleep factor in the initial stage of my analysys.

I will take my heart rate on the treadmill before I even start the tread and record it. Then I will take it again as soon as I reach the desired speed and record it. Then I will record it 1 time per minute. On the fastest speeds (like 10MPH) I am uncertain if I can run for more than a minute, so I will just record it when I am ready to throttle back down, if I can't make it to the next minute. Then I will wait a minute and see how quickly my heart recovers. This should be a fairly interesting exercise. If I repeat it over the course of a month, I should be able to see if I improve or get worse over the course of time.

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