End of Week 5 – When will I learn to listen?


From Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running by Dagny Scott Barrios:

page 46
Week 5. Walk 3 minutes, then run 12 minutes, then repeat. By the end of the week, walk 3 minutes, run 15 minutes, walk until rested, then run the rest of the session.
Goal by week’s end: a 15 minute running segment.

page 45
By the Numbers
If you decide to run with a heart-rate monitor, you can use it to determine when to walk and run during your 30-minute sessions…The method is simple: Just jog until the monitor registers your 75 percent limit, then walk until your heart rate drops to the 60 percent rate. At that point, begin jogging again until you hit 75 percent, and so on.

This week, I’ve highlighted these specific passages because I’ve not quite learned to follow instructions. While I think I’ve greatly improved my training by using my Polar F11 Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) along with my Nike+ SportBand, I’ve failed to actually follow the instructions for this endeavor. I have a nasty habit of pushing myself too hard, or not following instructions to the letter, either because I disbelieve that someone else might know better or because of my tendency to want to punish myself for not being perfect from the start.

My farthest distance this week was 2.2 mi in 30’11”, and I did that by following closely to the Week 5 program, and actually was jogging for over 15 min total during that session. I listened to the beeping of my HRM and actually walked for awhile after the 15 min stretch, and ran most of the rest of the way after my heart rate slowed to about 60%. Granted, I went over my usual 30’03”, so that naturally added some distance, but as you can see above, though I jogged roughly 28 minutes of that 30’03, I didn’t gain any efficiency, and indeed, my HRM was beeping at me a good bulk of the latter half telling me that I was overworking myself.

The thing is, I am not jogging at an uncomfortable rate, so I do feel like I can pretty much jog forever at the slow pace I’m going. If I go faster, though, the HRM starts beeping at me to chill out. I like being able to jog continuously for over 20 minutes straight, but I’m skeptical now that maybe I’m not getting the full benefits by not doing the program exactly as designed, especially with regard to listening to the HRM, which self-programs to my heart rate every session. I actually want to jog faster, but I also want to efficiently train.

I haven’t followed the rules of this program since about Week 3.

I know I’ll get to the point where I can do a 5k in a decent amount of time, but I’m impatient and I want to get to that point faster. I’m hoping that this week I may find more of a balance, and will actually try to follow the HRM recommendations from the book, and also the program for Week 6, which has the end result of ONLY 20 minutes jogging in the middle, with 5 minutes on either side walking.