A few days prior to running, I was on the elliptical every night for 30-60 minutes. I definitely felt the muscle soreness with the longer workouts, so I know I was making a difference!
Then, I attempted a run. That was 10 days ago. I was at a pool party, and decided to run home from it, while the kids and my husband drove. It was only 2 miles, and I fully expected to do intervals. 90 seconds running, 60 seconds walking....all the way back. It did take me 25 minutes, but I was ok with that, especially since people were assuming that I would be found on the side of the road by my husband when he was driving home!
A few days later, I attempted the street near my house. 8pm in the summer seems to be my time. This time, I tried to run a bit longer in the intervals, but didn't have a set plan.
A few days later, I attempted the same run again. Felt stronger from the get go, but failed miserably near the end. It was really hard to run the same number of seconds as walking, so I dragged my sorry feet into the house and plopped down with an ice pack on my knee.
Sunday night, I ran again. I decided to run 3 minutes, walk 2 minutes...throughout the whole run. I actually felt really good. The last leg was tough for me. I ran a total of 24 minutes, aggregating those "run" sections. I also wore my HRM this time out, and was quite surprised to see that I was pushing it too much. In fact, the heart rate scared me a bit!
Per garmin's website, my Training Effect (according to my heart rate) indicates this:
Have you ever wondered what good your workout is doing? Training Effect measures the impact of exercise on your aerobic fitness. Using your heart rate, Training Effect tells you if the exercise you do is maintaining your current fitness level or improving it. With that information, you can vary your intensity to achieve your goals. Training Effect is for all aerobic sports, all equipment and all healthy individuals.
Training Effect Scale
Obviously, even though I felt better, I was overdoing it according to this standard % of Max formula. I know the concept of having a maximum heart rate is bunk, but you still need to take it with a grain of salt. That being said, I don't think I would have ever known the extreme of my run without the heart rate monitor. My HR quickly recovered during my walking intervals, but continued to escalate throughout the workout.5.0 – Overreaching
4.0 – Highly Improving
3.0 – Improving
2.0 – Maintaining
1.0 – Minor
I'll continue to do this same run a few more times to see if it improves, as well as be diligent about the elliptical on the non-running days. I don't expect it to dramatically change, but maybe I'll at least get out of the "5" on the Training Effect scale! At least, now I have a baseline. And, if you can measure it, you can control it!