Here are the results of Hadd mini-test 1 (baseline). (doc file explaining Hadd mini-test) This test is likely slow biased. It was the first time I’ve run in real heat this year – heat index 90F+ during workout. I also ate too close to the work out and my legs were tired from the start. That said the data doesn’t lie.
As background, a Hadd mini-test consists of a series of 2400m intervals during which the goal is to run a set HR for the entire interval with a first interval target of 140 beats per minute (BPM) and going to 180 bpm in 10 bpm increments. Ninety seconds of rest follows each interval. It is preferable to bring the HR up over 600 or 800m than go out too hard and slow down.
Target HR – 140 — 150 — 160 — 170 — 180
Actual HR – 140 — 149 — 159 — 170 — 180 (Damn, I’m good!)
Ave Pace – 8:22 – 7:34 – 6:57 – 6:26 – 5:56 (Oops, I suck)
A pictorial representation of the pace and HR data for the entire run.
It’s disappointing to see that I slowed down during every interval except the first. (I realize that it’s hard to pick up the start of the first interval. It’s that way because I was at 140 bpm running to the track, so I decided to stay with it.) Part of this slowing problem is that I should have been more patient in letting my HR rise during each interval. I guess I consistently incorrectly correlated beginning interval paces with HRs, thereby going out too fast and then needing to slow down. That said, I’m still a bit surprised that I was so slow at 170 bpm. I’ve been working out at a slightly lower HR [workout 1, workout 2] and running a faster pace even after 4 or 5 continuous miles at that effort.
It will be interesting to see what happens when I repeat the test in 4 to 6 weeks. While I suspect that I’ll show some improvement at the faster end of the spectrum, I expect to see huge gains on the slow end. Why? Well, the 140 bpm pace on the track seemed slower than a shuffle. It was an entirely different stride than my stride at 150 bpm. The difference between those two strides is a full 48 seconds per mile. Right now, I shift gears somewhere between 140 and 150 bpm. If I can improve my fitness to the point where that gear shift is below 140 bpm, that would be significant.