During these dog days of summer it is important that you remember that whenever you run or ride outside, that it’s all about the time on the legs, and keeping the heart rate under control.
It’s not about the speed. It’s not about the miles covered.
Your heart and legs only know that they are working. If you score yourself frequently (your progress) by comparing HR to speed, you’re going to quickly be brought down to your knees with feelings of failure, or that you are lacking in some way only known to you.
Your legs don’t ever know what speed that they are going. They only know that they are moving, and moving at different efforts when prescribed. They could care less if you ran 8 miles or 10 miles at your prescribed heart rate.
They just know that they are working.
Walking = Work
Strength Training = Work
Jogging = Work
The list is endless.
What you do have to pay attention to is making sure that you don’t overtrain in this heat. Because it is easy to do.
I’ll use Speedy Steve as an example: SS normally runs around a 9:00 mile for his maximum aerobic heart rate training runs. But in this heat of 95 degrees, he gets really bummed when he’s doing more walking than running and ends up with 11 min mile averages. SS is smart though, because if he goes to that 9:00 mile he’s going to affect any workouts coming up in the next few days that might need him to work harder. The accumulated fatigue can end up causing him to get injured so he can’t perform at his A race when it is cooler.
SS decides to let his ego go, and just relax because he knows that in a few weeks it’s going to be cooler, and taking the time to keep things under control is going to pay off big time. After all, SS just had a 10k PR doing just this over the past few months.
The ego is a tough thing to battle, but once you let it go? You suffer less, your body will thank you, and you will know that you have gotten the time on your legs needed for success!