80/20 5k Training – Week One

Hey there!

I know my posting has been a little infrequent lately, but don’t worry, I’m still here! I’ve just been busy with work, studying, and commuting. And, then I spend most of my internet time reading other people’s blogs rather than writing in my own. ūüėČ

The big news over here is that I FINALLY started my 80/20 training plan! First, I read the book during my self imposed 3 week break from running, and then I took some time to slowly get back into running while looking for a goal race to stick at the end of this training plan. Unfortunately, mid-March isn’t race central around here so I ended up with a goal race in April which pushed back the start date of my training plan.

I spent the time setting up my heart rate zones and corresponding pace levels, and making an excessively complex (but awesome) spreadsheet about the whole thing. The spreadsheet is still a work in progress, but some day it’s going to be super cool. All of this prep work was probably a lot more effort than required, but I was in a weird sort of training plan limbo and needed something to motivate me. Manufacturing all of these set-up “requirements” did the trick, and I’m more excited than ever to finally be actually following the training plan.

Which looks like this:

80-20 Schedule

Neat, isn’t it? I color-coded all the runs. ¬†And in the spreadsheet if you click on a run it takes you to a little description of what the run actually is. ¬†This part is still in the works, but is completed for the week I am on. It was too much to put every single thing in the spreadsheet all at once.

So, anyways…I settled on the level 1 5k plan in the book. ¬†The description says it’s good for beginners and runners who for whatever reason want to have a lower training volume. I’m in that second group…and my reason for wanting lower training volume is what I mentioned before about work, studying, and commuting taking up all of my time. ¬†After I complete this cycle, I’d like to move up to level 2; I will hopefully have passed my exam in March and will be spending less time studying and more time running. ¬†(Fingers crossed!)

As you’ll notice from the picture above, I have crossed off ALL the workouts for week one. This is because I actually completed every single workout for the entire week! This is unheard of….I’m sure I”ll be receiving my Nobel prize for consistency in 20 minute workouts any day now. Feel free to praise me!

It was fun and exciting trying out some new workouts and it was definitely interesting doing heart rate training for the first time. I’ll have to give you some more details on all of that in another post because for now, it’s time to get ready for bed. Gotta start the week off on the right foot!


Calculating Heart Rate Zones and a Short Rant

Last¬†Saturday, I took my heart rate monitor out (well, to the gym) for another spin in order to set up my heart rate zones for running. I’m glad I had already tested out the process a few weeks ago with uphill walking and using the arc trainer, because it¬†was a bit tricky and awkward. Especially the part where I would type my heart rates into my phone every 3 minutes or so, and then flip open my 80-20 running book to see the description of the next effort level.

Side note: Why on earth, when there are at least 20 open treadmills do people get on the ones right next to me??!! Seriously, WHY? I’m not kidding, I want to know. And, it’ll probably be better coming from you, than having to get an answer out of the large sweaty man that I’ve just punched because I can’t stand him staring directly at me from 3 inches away, while he’s stretching his groin on the treadmill right freaking next to me when there are 20 flippin’ open tredmills.

Anyways…..As with uphill walking, making small adjustments to my perceived effort was difficult to do on the treadmill. Also, coming off of a three week break and having not¬†run consistently on a treadmill since last march, I had very little idea of what to expect different paces to feel like. ¬†So, I ended up with a list of heart rates that are probably not super accurate. ¬†Whatever. I tried. And, I do think that I got better at it as I warmed up, so maybe the level six heart rate that I recorded wasn’t too far off. (That’s the one I need to set up my heart rate zones.)

Being the giant nerd that I am, I put my heart rates in excel right away when I got home. I wanted to compare the running heart rates with the other two activities.

Heart Rate Graph2  The orange line is running. 

As you can see, my heart rates for running were higher. I don’t know what that means. But I have a few guesses: a) I didn’t want to admit that some certain slow paces lined up with certain easy difficulty levels. b) I’m not good at evaluating my effort level while running. or c) I’m better at evaluating my effort level while running than the other activities.

Whatever the reason, I’m sticking with what I’ve got until I do the test again. So, I calculated out my heart rate zones and matched them up with effort levels, and now I’m ready to go!

heart rate levels(Except for matching up paces; that’ll be another day’s fun.)

Hopefully, I’ll have some exciting running stories to tell soon, but for now my runs have all been pretty much the same. I upped the length of my runs from 20ish minutes to 25ish minutes this week. I have done them all at a pretty easy pace, and all on the treadmill since there’s so much snow around here. I’m having a good time getting back into, and I’m really looking forward to starting my training plan soon.

This week, I went running.

I’m back! Monday was my first run after my 3 week break, and it was just delightful!

2015-01-26 16.56.00I ran in legwarmers. I had worn them to work, and they were soo comfy!

I was let out of work early because of the impending storm, so I was able to head outside for (probably) one last outdoor run of the season. I planned to take it easy for 20 minutes and just see how everything felt. My goal was to have fun, and not push it. It would be totally insane to get hurt by coming back too fast from an “injury prevention” break.

2015-01-26 17.08.24You can’t even tell it’s about to blizzard, right?


I headed to the ocean, my favorite view. But the view wasn’t the only reason I wanted to run out that way. On the previous Saturday, Jeff and I had gone out to the park to play in the snow, and I wanted to see how our snowman was holding up. (Hint: not good!)

2015-01-24 08.02.45

Snowbert on Saturday.

2015-01-26 17.07.34And, Monday night.

By the time I had reached the beach, the wind was kicking it up a notch, but it didn’t really start snowing until after I had made it back from my run. I ended up with about a mile and a half for my 20 minutes. I took it slow, and there was a fair amount of slowing down for ice, pictures, and snowman investigation. I saw 3 other runners (one who waved and said “what blizzard”…haha…it was on it’s way dude), all trying to get in one last run before the storm.

It wasn’t much of a run, but it was certainly fun, and that’s exactly want I was looking for.

After that first run back, I ran twice more (both on the treadmill) to bring my weekly total to 3 runs (and just over 12 miles). Wednesday’s run felt pretty tough, but Saturday’s went really well. I’m obviously not at my fastest, but I’m¬†pretty happy that running doesn’t feel awful.

When was the last time you built a snowman?

Ever run in a blizzard? (I have…but not this one)

P.S.¬†The Pats JUST won the Superbowl!!! ūüôā