My last post, When Something Is Wrong, discussed the circumstances around a less than enjoyable endurance run that I have come to nickname the dork run for its awkward pace. In that post, my weekend activities created a chemical imbalance in my body that caused my heart rate to spike easily and my mood to be not so gracious. I also suggested that training with metrics was a great way to keep you focused on your fitness and triathlon training goals.
My most recent dork run on Thursday morning was quite the opposite experience. In fact, it went so smoothly and at fast enough pace that this dork run became more a Short Run (endurance run but over short distance). The comfortable pace I found was between 11:30 and 12:00, which produced a heart rate of 149 on the flat surface. It was so comfortable that it felt like a run and not a dork moment. I was also back in my FiveFingers barefoot running shoes for this run. Data set is below:
If you recall, November 9th’s dork run was plagued with heart rate spikes with a wide range of pace. It felt far from relaxed and felt more like a burden to maintain. All of this was caused by my body being out of balance.
On Wednesday, I payed particular attention to detoxification, rest and having fun at the new job. I ate a very healthy breakfast, had an amazing salad for lunch, and a simple dinner. No coffee, no sweets, no alcohol, and a good night’s rest prior to Thursday’s run.
There is one additional difference between the two runs that I need to point out. Stress. Last week and early this week, I was caught up in changing jobs and my stress level was quite high. This likely made the weekend’s exhaustion worse. On Wednesday, after starting the new job, I felt like a ton of weight had been lifted, allowing my body to be in a very relaxed state for Thursday’s run.
Going forward, I will incorporate a stress variable in my training with metrics dashboard. As much as it is important to track the hard data, there is soft data that surrounds your emotional state that should also be recorded. Fitness and peak triathlon performance requires not only physical readiness, but mental as well. If you are stressed out, find a way to de-stress before you workout. Otherwise you are just taxing your body and making yourself suffer.