I'm currently in my second week of heart rate based aerobic training, and I've got to say...I'm digging it so far. It's actually difficult to run much slower than I'm accustomed to, but I think I'm adapting to it. I'm able to stay within my Zone 2 heart rate (115-125 bpm), and I don't feel beat up after a run. I will concede that my heel has been protesting just a bit. That's nothing new, unfortunately.
I'm making the commitment to follow through with this approach and see if I can gradually build back my aerobic base. Aside from a few 5k races, I'm going to eschew any speed or tempo work for the next few months. I've been reading several articles by Phil Maffetone, and a lot of what he says about aerobic heart rate training makes sense to me — especially as I'm trying to get beyond a stubborn injury.
Despite my "heart-on-my-sleeve" blog posts in the past, confessing my complete frustration with my body, and not-so-subtle hints that my days as a runner may be behind me, I'm going to forge ahead. I can't say that I'll be running marathons again, but running means too much to me to hang it up and call it a day, even after two-plus years of struggle.
So...slow, steady and gradual will be my keywords for the foreseeable future.
Along these lines, I'm in the process of writing another article for NW Runner Magazine. It'll focus on dealing with injuries, both physically and mentally. I'll be illustrating the article as well. Humor will be involved ;-) It will run in a fall issue.
Oh — tangent! My daughter Natalie will be running in her District meet this afternoon, wrapping up her 7th grade track season. As she has been all season, she'll be competing in the 1600m and the 800m. No matter how she does today, I'm extremely proud of how she's done this year. She made some big improvements. Now, if I can just get her to train over the summer...