I was reading John's blog this week, and got a laugh how he feels he failed a HADD test this week. I know the feeling, but it is also like failing a blood test.. the results are not a performance test, they are a measure.
Well..... I aced mine today. In fact, I had such significant improvement, I thought something was not working correctly.
Here is the data today (1 mile warm up @ 6mph on flat dreadmill, 1.5 mile invevals)
Interval Speed (mph) Target HR Actual HR
1 6.5 125 120
2 7.1 135 132
3 7.7 145 142
4 8.5 155 154
5 9.1 165 159 (my max was only 162)
Check out my Hadd test from a year ago this month.
Interval time speed (MPH) avg hr
1 14:04 6.4 126
2 13:13 6.8 136
3 12:30 7.2 143
4 11:32 7.8 153
5 10:35 8.5 166
On every level I improved.... a lot.
Here is my test from a week before Chippewa 50k in April
1 6.6 127
2 7.05 137
3 7.6 147
4 8.3 156
5 9.0 168
So I blew this one away as well, and I thought I was in pretty good shape then.
Here are my results from last month
Interval Speed (mph) Avg. heart rate
1 6.5 125
2 7 136
3 7.5 144
4 8.4 157
5 8.8 165
So in one month I improved on every level, especially the upper end.
What did I do?
Well, first let me tell you what I didn't do.
> I didn't follow a Runner's World training program designed to destroy the average runner
> I didn't push hard, I just ran a lot when I felt good, and backed off a bit when I did not.
> I didn't miss a whole lot of days.
> I didn't have the attitude of "I can eat whatever I want as long as I keep the mileage up"
Here is what I did do
> I started doing tempo runs again (I am still trying to figure out my zone)
> The long runs I did happened on mountains, climbing 2000 feet or so. I ran them instead of walking them.
> I backed off when I was tired.
> I continued to lose weight. (I am down to about 166 from 178-180)
The biggest difference I think is the absence of 12 pounds. More importantly, I have forced my body not to rely on any glycogen/carbs as fuel. I can now run for 3 hours (with some decent effort) and not feel a bit of the "glycogen crash".
There is no doubt in my mind that my body has not only switched to fat as its primary fuel source, but a very high percentage of fat burn compared to glycogen.
Also, most of my running in October and November was pretty low intensity.
So, in conclusion, the loss of fat, sticking to a plan, and being flexible pays off.
Maybe I just had a good day and nothing else.