I did a run with hill sprints. Six 10 second hill sprints in the middle of an easy run. It was fine. The plan calls for a lot of rest between each sprint and that was a little boring. A 10 second sprint is a great place to start, but it wasn't that hard. Yet. It will build from there.
I did an easy run where I tracked my heart rate. The basic calculation for an easy run is 180 minus your age, so for me it's 180-37=143. I had heard this before, many times, but when you start running by heart rate you slow waaaaay down. I thought I was already running pretty easy, but nope. I averaged over a 12 MINUTE MILE on that run. It would have been more like 10 min/mile before. I was shuffling along and even then had to constantly keep walking. Tried tackling one of my favorite hills to see what would happen-- unfortunately at that point my HRM (heart rate monitor) went haywire and started spiking, so I am not exactly sure what my HR was on that section. Basically I walked the whole hill.
Speaking of spikes, here is what my reading was for the run:
It's pretty obvious where the HRM spiked. I have read all sorts of things about why HRMs spike like that, but feeling a bit too lazy to figure it out on mine.
And see how the line goes a little up and down over and over? The down is every time I had to walk. For real.
The other thing you can do, I recently learned, is try to breathe only through your nose while running. If you're running easy enough you can do it. If you are running harder you can't.
The long run at Rainier last weekend, which was much longer than I would typically do in training. My runs in training will mostly be between about 4-5 hours each weekend, a couple shorter, one longer.
There was one other short easy run in there, too.
My other challenge this cycle is to focus on time on feet over distance. That way when I head for a run with a ton of elevation I don't have to get frustrated with how much more time it takes me to do my prescribed mileage.
And that's that! Looking forward to keeping my easy runs truly easy, my hard runs hard, and becoming a stronger runner.