Yesterday I went to the track for the first time in years. It was strange to be there, next to the East River, with Brooklyn in the background, remembering my days in college in France. I use to run the 1500 meters, I was quite terrible, but I loved it!
The people there didn’t seem to know Achilles, when they saw me run with a tether, they were both surprised and supportive. It’s actually very pleasant to feel that initial surprise, it reminds us that what we do is quite incredible, some would say a little crazy.
When I was in college, I didn’t need a guide, I could see well enough to run without any apprehension. It was a little sad to realize how things have changed, but also a great step forward, because fuck it, I am still running!
Now you are probably wondering why we went there. Well, running in Central Park is wonderful, but it can get monotonous. In addition, it’s important to go to the track to do specific exercises. Let me talk to the runners for a sec. (For those of you that don’t care about math or running, you should skip to the next paragraph)”
Stefan wanted to determine my heart rate zones by doing what we call a threshold test. So we ran for 30 minutes at a 7 minute pace, which is the best pace that I can sustain on this distance. Then we looked at the average heart rate of the last 20 minutes of exercise. To get five heart rate zones for my exercise sessions, we took that average heart rate and used it to determine my easy, aerobic /recovery heart rate; my endurance and tempo heart rate, and finally my lactate threshold and anaerobic capacity. So now, instead of looking at the pace during a run, I will know how hard I’m working just by looking at my heart rate. I feel like a pro!
So we ran in circles, as hard as we could. I must confess that it didn’t feel good at all, I am not use to this kind of violent pace anymore! But we did it, and cherry on the cake, I didn’t even throw up. I’m a big boy! But when I finally got home, I went promptly to bed, my wife is a saint for not hating me by now.