Thursday, July 16, 2015

HIIT experience

It is almost two months since the date I left my ship for my course at Kepala Batas. So far everything went surprisingly well, it's kinda abnormal compared to what the previous batches went through. Newbies in the Air Force are called "Boogie", which means "unknown flying object". In order for the Instructors and Officers to know you better, we had to do what a newbie has to do (not gonna spell it in detail here). I put my seniority and rank aside and bulldozed the whole Boogie period, and now enjoying the life of being a student.

I feel really luck to have sponsors, equipment given to assist me in so many ways to get better. Every day I put on my 2ndskin team tee, I just tell myself that I am blessed to be part of an awesome team. This is the motivation and inspiration needed when the lazy attitude poisoning me. 2ndskin, Garmin, Skechers, KraftFit, LifelineID, Hammer Nutrition and the support from family and friends, I can never thank them enough. 

Not knowing where this motivation came from, I am getting addicted to running. I'm bored of the feeling of "not-able-to-deliver-stellar-performance" in short distance running. Anything below 15km, I can forget about scoring podium. Being a self-coach athlete, I have accomplished many achievements along the way, but I'm stuck with this lousy 10km performance. I hardly run in tracks so based on my 10km road running records, I hardly press it lower than 40mins. It has always been plus minus two minutes. Anything below 4.15mins/km is gonna kill my legs and squash my lungs.

Since the past one a half month, my focus is to break this barrier. I have rearranged my schedule to run under the extreme heat of Alor Setar, targeting an intense workout and closely monitor my heart rate. I did a lot of HIIT lately, bonk like hell a day after, walk up the stairs with super sore muscles. I bring a tennis ball to class, not to play with it but to ease the soreness on my back. The pressure applied to those trigger points feels like an awesome kind of pain. Haha. I have a gold ball too to roll under my feet to clear any trigger points around the plantar fascia. This is how I have been trying to stay away from injury while adjusting my schedule for this passion of mine just like other amateur athletes do. 

How do I know HIIT works for me? Based on my Garmin Connect data, my 20 x 200m HIIT is gradually improving. Here is my whole program : Run 2km warm up, 20 x 200m sprints with 30 secs rest in between, 2.5km warm down. This program is nothing new, but how you push yourself in the 200m sprints is really up to you. So my first time doing this was a nightmare, Lap 6 I had pain all over so I did 2 laps of slower pace before getting back to sprints again. My heart rate would go as high as 180bpm at the end of the session before I drop dead on the road. My VO2max at that time (1.5 months ago) was either 52 or 53ml/kg/min. 

Second session gets better when I survived every sprints below 3.50mins/km. Third session I struggled with bloated stomach and so on. I have this love-hate relationship with this High Intensity Interval Training, hate it but love the result of it. Early of July I ran the Chung Hwa Home Run in Penang, the two hills makes the elevation graph looks like boobs, I just wanted to dig as deep as possible and see how it goes. I ran around 3.45mins/km on the flat and slowed down a bit on the hills, completed the race in average pace 4.03mins/km, Men Open No6 for an under distance 6km run. Before I came to Alor Setar I could do 4.15mins/km only. Now I am doing 3.40mins/km for every lap. Unlike a consistent 3.40mins/km long run, 3.40mins/km sprints require a lot of accelerations! Not forgetting that it is under Kedah's heat.

 My new VO2max, 56ml/kg/min.

I was down with flu and mild fever a couple of days later. When the body is put under stress for scoring better performance; immune system, digestive system, reproduction system runs at a slower pace to focus all the available resources in powering the muscles. So when the immunity is low, I fell sick. That's the end result of jumping 4 stops of VO2max in such a short period of time. Rested for a week plus to recover and also sat for my exam.

"My girlfriend Becca has been supportive over our long distance relationship and never complain when I spend so much time in work and sports"

Where did I learn this from? I have a book given by a close friend about lactate threshold training which I kept for half a decade because at that time I could not comprehend a single thing. I knew two things, Max Heart Rate and Heart Rate at Rest. Now I understand things better and believe I can get faster. I had ordered an oximeter, I will use it to monitor my heart rate early in the morning. 

I feel great to get faster and hope to stay injury free

-the end-

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