Getting better. Slowly.

With the emphasis on the slooooooowly.

Now that I’ve decided to get smart and have someone more knowledgeable take over my training, I’ve become intimate with the frustrations of z1 training. 

z1.  Meaning, not really working.  Meaning, pacing so slow that you might as well be walking.  Meaning, not just easy but skin-crawlingly easy.  Meaning, grandmas with walkers are passing me by and flipping me the bird because I’m in their way.

I know the science behind heart rate training.  Easy z1-z2 runs provide the aerobic base.  Give you the endurance on which to build a season.  Teach your body to be as efficient as possible.  What I’m finding, though, is that the laid-back, easy-going personality I like to think I have doesn’t actually exist.  At least not on these runs!  It’s an exercise not of body, but of mind:  run 10 seconds, look at my watch, slow down.  Repeat.  Again.  And.  Again.

Today, however, I got to stretch my legs a little, let loose, even.  I was allowed not only into z2, but into HIGH z2.  Just thinking about it made me tremble in anticipation.  Quite honestly, the excitement of being able to run faster than going backwards was enough to make me want to take a vacation day from work so I could go outside and get the workout in.

And what a beautiful day!  Not even much a breeze to slow me down.  And run I did.  And you know what?  I was faster at a lower heart rate than I had been in the past.  Huh.  Perhaps this is all working?  Dare I say I’ve made progress?  Dare I??!

I understand why I’m doing it and I even think I agree that this is going to help me in the long run (heh).  That doesn’t make it less challenging, but for the time being I’ll take each z1 run as a mental training day: getting through each run with my sanity intact!


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