in earnest

My half marathon training began in earnest today.  I’m using the Adidas miCoach app on my iPhone and today was run 1 of 103 before the Half Marathon in September.

I’m going to post about my runs once a week because I know some of you couldn’t care less.  I do know that you care about why I’m doing it and I’d be very grateful if you could support Christian Aid by sponsoring my run.  Just click the JustGiving button on the right.  I’ll write more about Christian Aid soon so you can find out just what they do and how they work with partners throughout the world to try to end poverty.

Yesterday I had to do an ‘assessment run’.  Basically the GPS measures your pace.  The app tells you to run at 40% effort for 2 minutes, then up it to 50%, 60%, 70% then 90% for 90seconds before slowing (rapidly) to a walk.

The graph is supposed to go up in steps.  I found judging the effort really hard.  I knew what 90% was… a full out sprint, but what on earth does 60% effort feel like?

Anyway, the line goes up, mostly, and the app decided that I was quicker than it first predicted and reset the zones accordingly.

So, today I had my first run proper.

As you can see, I was supposed to run for 5 minutes at the blue zone pace then up it to green for 10 minutes then back to blue for the last 5 minutes.

The big dips are roads but as you can see I was really struggling to get up into the green zone and stay there.  My pace seems to be very erratic, possibly because the zones were too high.

The green zone pace is 5.18m/km – 4.34 m/km and I should be able to talk in sentences without having to take a breath during a sentence.  Well, I couldn’t and so by the time I got to the end of the green zone section I was knackered.

I’ve now adjusted the Zones down a notch.  Tomorrow is a ‘steady state threshold run’ which involves runing in the yellow zone (faster than green) for a bit!  Yellow is supposed to be a pace I could maintain for an hour if ‘motivated’.  Well, in these settings a man with a gun couldn’t motivate me to run that fast!

I also bought some new gear yesterday.  New Balance is this week’s running apparel supplier of choice, mostly because JJB Sports have a sale on.  I picked up 2 NB Tempo t shirts (one black, one blue) and a pair of black NB shorts.  I also got a blue Nike miler long-sleeve top because I live in Scotland and it ain’t summer yet!

The shorts have an ICE (in case of emergency) tag inside a pocket.  It’s a nice feature but a little alarming!

Anyway, my legs are starting to stiffen up so tomorrow’s run should be interesting!  I’ll let you know how I get on next week, or if you can’t wait that long follow me on Twitter for regular updates.