Monday, September 19, 2016

New PB on 10K!

Summer is about to end and I am proud to say that I've made the best of it: during the period starting from May till August I ran almost every day (I had only 15 days of rest out of 120) and I improved my PB on the 5K distance, thanks to interval training. Then I decided to have a long break (2 weeks) during which I stopped doing any physical activity, besides walking (and getting a new job, a performance that can be more exhausting than any running session). 

When I started running again, I was convinced that I had lost all the benefits I had strenuously achieved all over the last months. Like Sisyphus, I feared,  I was doomed to start all over again. But I was wrong. The hard summer training proved to be more long-lasting than I thought, as confirmed by my new PB on the 10K: 47:10 (4:43min/km). During the first 5 km I felt light and vigorous, filled with renewed energy. Conclusions: after a long period of training, it's always beneficial to stop for a week or two, in order to recharge the batteries and start again faster than before. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Last blood check: tryglicerides keep going down

Three days ago I had another blood test and this morning I picked up the results. No relevant changes to mention, except a decrease of the triglycerides level, which makes my HDL/Tryg ratio even more reassuring. LDL and total cholesterol figures are still high, but running mostly every day (after a break in March and April) has kept my HDL level quite high. All and all, that should mean: keep on running and eat healthy food! Regarding this last point, I have to give in that in August I indulged a little bit too much on tasty (and unhealthy) food, but it is really hard to resist to Claudio's lobster linguini (Claudio is a member of the family and fantastic chef) or to say no to "cheese cake ice cream" on the coast! 

To wrap up, after 18 months of running, physical activity and adopting a moderate diet, I have achieved the following results (without using any medicament):

Triglycerides:       - 30%
LDL Cholesterol:  - 13%
HDL Cholesterol: + 15%
Total Cholesterol: - 9%

Here below two graphs: the first is the usual overview of my blood values, the second shows the kilometer I've run so far (starting in May 2015).

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Interval training: it really works!

You can call me an "instinct runner". I never cared about schedules, methods, programmes...until this summer. Back in 2011, I ran 5 km in around 22 minutes and since then I've always wondered if that was my limit. Was there really any room for improvement? After 5 years, I finally made up my mind: it was about time to try interval training. 
Yes, it's boring. And yes, it requires discipline and commitment. But it works. In my case, it took three weeks to improve my 5 km pb by 1 minute. Unfortunately I had to stop because of job reasons (meaning: I got a new job and soon I am going to move to... more info soon!). Here below you will find a detailed schedule of my interval training in a 400 m track field. After completing each 400 and 800 m run, I jogged 400 more meters (very slow), whereas after the 1 km run I jogged 600 meters. Each week, I included a 10 km or more session (running at a 5 min/km pace or faster). As said, the results are satisfactory: if last year I could not run the 5 km distance faster than 4'30'' per km, now I improved my pace by 14 seconds, running 5 km in 21 minutes and 21 seconds (4'16'' / km). I think that I can break the 21 minutes barrier, but unfortunately the summer is over and I doubt I would be able to run 40 km weekly in winter...anyway, I will keep you posted!
2 August
5 km, track
22'24'' (4'29'' / km)
4 August
10 km, road
5 August
2 km jogging, exercises

6 August
Repetitions: 400 m. 7 times (tot: 5 km)
1'30'' (400 m)
7 August
2 km jogging, exercises

8 August
Repetitions: 800 m. 4 times (tot: 5 km)
3'12'' (800 m)
9 August
2 km jogging, exercises

10 August
10 km, road
11 August
2 km jogging, exercises

12 August
Repetitions: 1 km 3 times (tot: 5 km)
3'57''(1000 m)
13 August
2 km jogging, exercises

14 August
5 km, track
21'52'' (4'22'' / km)
15 August
5 km jogging, road

16 August
Repetitions: 400 m 7 times (tot: 5 km)
<1'30'' (400 m)
18 August
Repetitions: 800 m 8 times (tot: 7 km)
3'05'' – 3'12'' (800 m)
19 August
12 km, road
20 August
2 km jogging, exercies

21 August
Repetitions: 1 km 3 times (tot: 6 km)
4'00'' (1000 m)
22 August
4 km jogging

23 August
5 km, track
21'21'' (4'16'' / km)