I've had a couple of pieces of correspondance, a text and an e-mail, which means only one thing. there are still some people out there reading this rubbish! Only joking, or am I??
Both messages asked, Why Cardio? Why concentrate on the heart rate when it's the legs that'll be doing the work. First the graph.
This is one of the graphs from the university tests from last year. I think I printed this earlier in the blog, but i've written so much i don't have time to check back. No matter. On the left is heart rate, on the right, the last two columns, are fat burned as fuel to maintain work rate, and calories burned. It shows that the faster you go, the higher the heart rate and the more calories burned to achieve that HR. Now if it was a steady rate of increase, the distance gained by the higher speed would be compensated by the extra calories burned, but, as you can see, the difference between 10kph and 12 kph is just over 300 calories, over a third more calories burned for a fifth more speed.
On my first 10k in November, I did 6mph for just over 60 minutes, and burned 1195 calories. In April, I did the Jeff Ford 10k in Sheffield, 6.5mph, burned 924 calories. Nearly 250 less for the hour and a faster time. In a long race such as the parish these calories have to be replaced. This is the result of cardio training, the heart is stronger so it has to work less to achieve the same output. Working the heart at these higher rates means at slower Parish speeds, the curve of the graph means you probably burn up to a third less calories, which, overall, means stuffing less food down your throat when you don't feel like it.
I was up really early this morning, 4am on board for sailing, but was back home at 7am for the rest of the day so out for another quick Cardio session. The pain in my hip has focussed in the abductor, not a nickname for a kidnappers van but the muscle on the inner thigh from the knee up to the place inside where the sun don't shine, where a tailor measures to for the inside leg measurement. This stops race walking, the hip swing uses this muscle, so normal walking only. I walked the 10 miles into work yesterday afternoon again, speeding up on a power walk, and managed 1h 50m, and felt nothing from the abductor. This morning's Cardio was up the steep hill and I wanted to see if yesterday's passing of the cattle grid was a one off, and was surprised to pass yesterdays mark by another 50 yards, so improving daily.
So, improving, and getting further than last year. And the average heart rate you can see is 138, which is upo and down again, just up was 155, when last year it was nudging 170, so cardio working good.
I was back by eight, showered and re-hydrated by ten past, and back in bed by 8.30. Still tired as I'd been up early. Still, up by eleven and out again, nothing on telly and it was fine and cool outside and I had a couple of good podcasts to listen to. I was just going to do my 8.5 mile. Averaging 10mins a mile over hilly ground (and, most pleasing, overtaking a cyclist on a steep uphill section, he passed me on the down slope and shouted "Good speed you've got there mate!) went round again, although down to 10m 30s a mile, then, glad that I'd brought enough water, one more lap to make it 25.5 miles, just over 4h 38m. A reasonably long one that I'd been putting off for a while, but is necessary in Parish training. I only stopped because I'd run out of water and Barack Obamas famous speech to Parliament was on telly. In the end, after the initial joke, it just turned into mumbling and I ended up flicking through this months copy of Viz. I'll read about it tomorrow. Weighed myself though, after the 25 mile, and was a couple of pounds down on last year, although re-hydrating with pints of tea afterwards would have repleced some of that. I'll try the weight loss until a couple of weeks before the big day, then keep it steady. not a good idea to try and lose a few pounds in the fortnight before the Parish, especially if your doing a full circuit. It's a time of rest and recovery, all injuries will be needing full nutrition to aid quick and efficient healing.
Right now though, one more cardio session in the morning, then rest until mondays race. A few of us are meeting on the train down to London so it'll be a nice day out. There's no real pressure, I'm never going to meet the 90 mins qualifying time unless I can use a motorbike, so a good chance to be able to watch it next year with friends and nod wisely saying "Nice course that, I raced on it recently." No doubt ducking as they throw things at me.
Above is the route of Mondays race, it looks about 2km a lap so ten laps, and lots of long straights, shelter from any wind the trees in the mall. I can just imagine the Queen on her mobile peering round the net curtains in Buckingham Palace saying "Police? There's a strange looking Northerner keeps walking past the front yard. Yes, he's a northerner, he's only wearing a vest. Ten times now in the last couple of hours. Can you deport him back to the North? Thank you."
In all other races I've heard the same mantra, "on a good course you would have done blah, blah etc." Well, it seems this is a good course, just dependant on the weather. I'm just hoping I'm not way out the back, last. As long as it's not embarrassing, it is a 2 hour qualifying time race which I only scraped through by three minutes so I'll be close to the back, but it's for the experience. A couple of good pictures for the scrap book'll do me, race walking with Buck House in the background. That's if the Abductor clears up enough, it is easing so a few days rest might be enough. And stretching, and lots of protein shakes, and a little massage, and pain killers, and hopefully crossing of fingers.
I'll try anything if someone says it'll work.