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Since going through November and December last year skipping lot of miles from my running schedule, I have been trying to get stronger and faster through the past few weeks. As a result I have transformed myself into a self-made lab rat. Keeping close track of my activities, checking my progress week by week or actually day by day. I had set up two specific virtual training routes for our treadmill and to keep the circumstances as consistent as possible and I decided to use treadmill runs on these virtual routes to check on my progress.

Nothing to be proud of...

Nothing to be proud of…

I do not know how much progress I should have made after two months of core strength training, but I have been very anxious to be able to run outside on a clean morning and see my performance. One of the many things that keeps me going is a sad training run from December 16, 2012 and I have been looking for a warmer day to attempt a more decent run as a confidence booster and to see my progress.

Running these runs on the treadmill helps to minimize any difference in pace and difficulty of my runs. So instead of long descriptions here are the facts:

Week by week my heart seems to handle the load better and better, spending less time in the “red zone”. Also the ups and downs are getting closer and closer to each other, so it means that my heart handles this current load easier and easier.

HR chart side by side: increasing the speed

HR chart side by side: increasing the speed

HR analysis: higher speed, but still less time in the red zone

HR analysis: higher speed, but still less time in the red zone

And this morning I also confirm the ongoing performance improvement with an unofficial PR. I run a 13.1 route that I timed to see how I would perform and beat my Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon PR. Now I will only have to get better and repeat the new PR setting performance on a timed event…

Confidence booster: unofficial PR

Confidence booster: unofficial PR

In conclusion: my heart seems to handle the challenge better and better. I keep thinking about this year’s big event for me: running a marathon that I want to finish in less than 4 hours is what helps me keep going every early morning. As long as the weather is not so grateful for runners outside, I will keep running most of my miles inside on a treadmill with the weekly long runs outside.

Can’t wait for the first race of the year!

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