I never thought running in 80 degree weather would be considered a cooler run, but that was the case this morning. The high yesterday was around 105 so starting out my run this morning when it was 75 degrees did seem cool. The sun was bright and by the time I finished it was about 82. The goal for my long run today was to stay in zone 2, or even under a heart rate of 130, which is in my low zone 3 range. I ran 7 miles outside in my hilly neighborhood. I would walk when my heart rate hit 130 on the flats and 135 on the hills. I wasn’t able to keep my heart rate as low as yesterday, but that run was only 3 miles on my flat treadmill and a fan blowing on me. My average heart rate was 127 and my maximum heart rate was 136. It was just as difficult as Thursday morning. Intentionally running slower to keep my heart rate down is a challenge. But I did notice a little progress. This entire run was outside, Thursday I ran 3 of the 5 miles outside. While my heart rate was two beats higher both on average and maximum today versus Thursday, my pace was 4 seconds per mile faster. A very small advancement in three days, but with the agony of running so slow, I will recognize even the smallest of improvements.
With it being such a beautiful day, I went to my fitness center after lunch to spend some time in the sun. First I got in the outdoor lap pool and tried out some of the technique I watched on a few videos that Total Immersion Perpetual Motion suggests. I only swam a total of 800 meters. The philosophy is counter intuitive, but it is designed to create a channel to swim in like a dolphin. I swam with dolphins twice this year and those fish are fast, so I will give it a try. I noticed that by using the slower, longer stroke I was not tired and I was swimming my 100 meters about 1 to 2 seconds slower than my 1,500 meter time trial on Friday. I felt good and was not out of breath. Hmm, there may be something to this. I ordered the DVD that is considered the self coached method. There is a six part video series on YouTube that I discovered. The first of the series is this one. Terry Laughlin is the creator and is over 60 today, from the video it is obvious he is no way built like Michael Phelps, yet he is a masters champion in long distance swimming. He actually swam two miles in open water in 47 minutes in the 55-59 age group. I swam 1.2 miles in just over 48 minutes in the half iron swim I did last year.
My training today is teaching me that slowing down, focusing on form in swimming and improving my aerobic base in running, will help me go faster. Slowing down to go faster – for a linear minded detail person like me that is difficult to embrace, but the experts are experts for a reason. So I will work at it, as difficult as it is, because I want to improve every day. Even if it is baby steps.