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Building confidence

One of the smaller hills (Scenic Highway) on this
morning's run.

After a quiet training day yesterday, I decided I should run a bit further today and was pleased to find that I didn't feel too bad once I started running.  I wore my Hoka shoes for the fourth day in a row, and am wondering whether the extra cushioning is making a difference to the fatigue in my joints and thereby hastening recovery.  They also seem to be better for my chronic right Achilles injury, but as has been the case since I got them, they don't help my chronic right knee injury which is more painful.  I guess I need to strike a balance and alternates between my Hokas and my Nikes to make sure neither injury worsens to the point of being unable to run.

It is illustrative of my state of mind that I'm now focussing on musculoskeletal issues instead of my heart rate, and that's a positive sign, I suppose.  I haven't worn my heart monitor for a few weeks, so thought that today's run - 15km on road with a few significant hills - would be a good time to see how it's managing.  It's a course I have run quite quickly in the past, and the hills are hard enough to make my heart work harder.

My heart rate chart from this morning's run.

After the first couple of kilometres, including the dreaded one kilometre climb out of Copa, I was warmed up and settled into a steady maintainable pace, without testing my limits.  It was warm and humid, but I negotiated the remaining hills comfortably and managed 4:45 mins/km pace without pushing it for the last few kilometres along the flat Scenic Highway.  Although hot and sweaty by the time I finished, I didn't feel very fatigued and was satisfied with my time, given the effort applied.

On checking the heart monitor readout after the run, I found that my heart rate never exceeded 160bpm and averaged 143bpm for the run, which is very acceptable.  The question now is whether I should risk working a little harder to see how well it sustains a higher rate.  My guess is that it will be just fine, but there's no reason to rush anything.  For the moment, I'll keep my mileage around 80 km/wk and build confidence as time goes by, I lose a few kilograms, and my running fitness grows.