May 8, 2020

First 100km ever ran

First 100km ever ran

First, as a context, I was never a very sportive person, starting from the middle school, whenever we used to play football I would choose to be a goal-keeper, in time I got pretty good at that role, even though the reason behind it was of course that I could run less.

Another funny story happened at the sports lessons, still somewhere in middle-school when I needed to run 5 laps around the school in order to receive my grade (and of course, I had to be decently fast enough) ... after each lap, I would pass by my teacher who kept the time, during the 2nd lap she asked me "everything ok?", I said yes, at the next lap looking more worried she asked again "Sorin, are you sure you are ok?", again I said yes. I remember being pretty tired but during the 4th lap I probably looked so terrible that my teacher just decided to let me rest (while still making the other kids finish their laps).

Running was my nemesis, the sport that I was especially never good at. In time I started to do more and more physical activities (swimming and biking) but it was still less than the weekly recommended dose until last year when I said to me that I really want to change this aspect of my life. So, I just started going more often to the swimming pool, doing more bicycle runs in the city, even bought an off-road bike when I started my Master's Degree in Switzerland and started doing ~70km runs; overall last year I had over 1.200 km cycled.

Alright, enough with the biking stats ... let's get to the running part. I said that I wanted to be more active, but then the Covid-19 situation arrived and every sports facility got closed (including my beloved swimming pool) so I had to adapt, it was time to face the nemesis.

I started with running a 3km with one or two breaks, pretty fast moved to 4km, and from the 2nd week, I was already running 5km per training without any stops.

Every workout I would feel that it's the hardest thing that I have ever done, was almost counting how many steps are left but I didn't stop, it is supposed to get better ! is it though? kind of hoped that it will ... and after 1 month and a half of practice it indeed got easier, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

I know that building routine is the most important for me not to abandon this new activity, so every-workout would be on the same path. Currently, I am doing an internship at Apple in Cupertino so the best path for me is just to circle the Apple Park building (it's the only way that I can avoid all the semaphores and be sure that I can continuously keep on running).

During my first 5k I hit an average bpm of 190, that was huge and it was making the workout really difficult. But I decided to keep the 5k plateau in terms of distance until I will get my pulse to a more manageable value. In the last few workouts I managed to get a lower average bpm of 170, it's definitely a tight correlation with the pace, the purpose being to hit as a high pace (currently aiming to threshold this value in under 6 minutes per km) as possible while keeping the bpm low enough.

Ps: definitely recommend to have some sort of tracking fitness device on your wrist; it can be a catalyser to your motivation. Currently I have the Apple Watch 5 and use the built-in Activity app to track each running, then I analyse the data with HeartWatch.

So, certainly it is still a challenge, and by any means not an easy one, but what's important is that is not impossible anymore and it should get even easier.

As a way to make sure that I do not abandon this challenge, I will mark here all the milestones that I want to hit:

[x] run a 5k with a avg heart beat rate of 160
[] run a 5k in under 25 minutes
[x] run a 10k
[] run a semi-marathon
[] run a marathon <- long way until here :)

Very curios if I'll continue running after the quarantine is finished and all the above challenges will have been completed. Who knows ??

ps: just exported all my activity from the Apple Watch to Strava

Thanks :)