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One of my primary goals for this season was to feel better at the end of my race. Last season, I seriously bonked during the run and felt terrible crossing the finish line. To that end, I have been experimenting more with my nutrition and hydration during my workouts to see what works best. But even more than that, I’ve been spending a lot of time on run form and heart rate zone training. So much so that I only run listening to a metronome at 180 bpm. Which gets old really fast!!!
Not saying I didn’t believe you Coach AJ about the benefits of both of these, but initially the thought of doing my runs in Zone 2 just seemed so slow. Especially when combined with the smaller steps when trying to run with a cadence of 180. After a workout when looking at my Zone 2 pace compared to how I would normally run, it didn’t seem like I would ever get faster or more comfortable. But over time, I have definitely seen an improvement. At least my watch is not notifying me as often that I am running below my cadence goal! 🙂
For example, a few weeks ago I had a long Zone 2 run scheduled with the last two miles in Zone 3 (basically a 10K). I even incorporated some run/walk into this during the Zone 2 portions. Honestly, I was super surprised that I completed this run basically in the same amount of time (a few minutes longer) than I would have done so previously, although before I would probably have been running in Zones 3 and 4 the whole time. And even better, I felt good at the end and like I could run further if I needed to. So generally the same amount of time at an easier effort (even with some walking!) while feeling better throughout the whole workout. Success!
I’ve also generally felt better during my brick runs after the long bike rides and during the running intervals where we are working in Zone 4/lactate threshold. So for me, fine tuning my workouts will continue to involve working on this concept to try and keep the same feeling when we are finally able to bring the swim back and then when putting all three legs together. But for now I am optimistic that this is possible!