I have not written much here for a while, been to busy elsewhere. Training wise I have had a good week this week and I might still do yet another run today or tomorrow.
But I also got a great motivator this week, my new sports watch. A Suunto T6c runner’s watch with pulse belt and foot pod measuring heart rates as well as speed and distance. The best thing about it is that is has a very advanced way of measuring the heart rate, it does not just measure the number of beats in a minute, but it also measures the time variance between the beats. By sophisticated methods it is thereby able to calculate VO2 profiles as you work out and using them it can tell you the quality of the work out.
If you are working out too hard for a period it will tell you to schedule a few workouts with lower intensity. If you are slacking off and not developing your strength, endurance, speed or cardiovascular functions it will tell you to step it up.
It also has a really great interval timer which is great, you can set it for any kind of intervals and it will alarm you to start or stop your intervals based on time or distance.
It also has a very accurate barometric altimeter that shows you the terrain profile of the track you run, much more accurate than any GPS based measurement I have seen, in fact it is accurate to within a couple of meters providing the barometric pressure does not change too much.
The software for this training partner is among the best I have seen. It is great for a stats buff like myself who loves, and finds motivation from, statistics on how I am doing. I love running the same track over and over and note if I am doing the first or second lap faster than last time and so on. Really great stuff that.
The watch also changes your parameters over time, it just recently told me my condition was a step better than I thought when I entered the initial parameters so it has automatically notched it up meaning that to achieve the same training effect as before I have to run longer or faster. Depressing stuff but probably true. In the process I have also lost another couple of kg of excess weight.
Above is the heart rate curve for my last 5 km run. It shows also clearly the intervals that I was doing (6 speed intervals with jogging between) and that my heart rate was varying quite a bit at the start, this happens if I have not been sleeping well the night before and then does workout.
The next is the speed/distance curve where ther intervals are even more pronouced. The first little plateay is a warmup walk before starting to run. The pace is very even as well which indicates that I am running on a treadmill, outdoors the speed varies much more with the ascent of the track.
EPOC is the Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption graph. This is an interesting graph. By measuring the heart rate, speed and distance, time and the variance between the heart beats (the harder you work out the more even the heart beats) the system can calculate how much stress you put on the system and graph how well your workout was in terms of cardiovascular stress.
This was a level 4,8 workout which is a highly improving level. After such a work out it is recommended to make a more low profile workout as a recovery, keeping to an EPOC level of 2-3 rather. If you go as high as level 5 you need several days of rest before training again.
Level 1 is very low intensity training building a base but not stressing the cardio-vascular system really.
Level 2 is a maintaining level, you will maintain what you got but not improve your endurance much. However you are still improving muscles and building up to be able to take more stressing workouts.
Level 3 is improving rate, you are now improving your cardio and endurance quite a bit.
Level 4 is greatly improving (doing intervals for example) but you should not work out at this level for more than 2-3 times a week and make sure to rest or have low-intensity workouts between.