So what is that sound?  That’s the sound of a man doing intervals on a treadmill that has clearly seen better days… much better days…  It wasn’t too bad once you got the belt to actually start moving and just walked, but once you started to run, it sounded like someone was suspending a piece of plywood over marble and hitting it with a sledgehammer.   Two other people came into the fitness room while I was doing my running, but the sound pretty quickly drove them away.  So as to avoid the Thock-It-To-Me-mill, I did my Friday and Saturday workouts in the pool… laps for the win.

So running… continues to be a challenge, but challenges are good.  I am falling behind in the couch to 5k program.  It’s methodology at this point is to not increase the total running time, but to group it into larger segments.   One assumes the point is to build up the aerobic capacity.  But I’m finding that after about two minutes of running, I’m gasping for air.  Let’s look at the heart charts I put up last time:

heart chart

As you can see, from the upper chart, I wibbled on the second 3-minute run (3 and 4th peaks), but rather than just give up, I transformed it into an interval workout with 90 second runs and two minute walks.  Overall, I ran more (a lot more) than the training plan indicated, but I’m still hitting an aerobic wall.  The reason is pretty obvious, of course.  When every I run, I’m spiking my heart rate between 85-90% of max rather than a more useful 75%.  Now, I realize that the C25K plan wasn’t developed with the morbidly obese in mind, but this is something that I need to overcome.

Normally, my body adapts pretty quickly.  You’ll notice on the bike which used to spike my heart beat nicely that a max effort these days barely gets me into my MET zone.  This is pretty typical, but the running resists.

I suspect that part of the problem is simply my trying to move several hundred pounds on my own internal horsepower, but an equally important part is that I am, apparently, a bit of a spaz.  Now, when I was younger, I knew how to run.  True, I was always more geared towards the dash as opposed to the mile, but never-the-less, I could run when running was required.

At the moment, I’m still struggling with my stride which seems to be geared towards shaking me apart.  I did make some headway this weekend, though.  I know that a longer stride feels more comfortable, and that this is true with the elliptical, where I use a 26″ to 28″ stride, as well.  As I ran I first started out with a long, heel-strike stride.  This felt very, very natural… and smooth… oh so very smooth, but oh ye gods, was it tearing my knee apart.  This is the same knee that was previously broken and which has been complaining about the squats, and it was going to have nothing to do with it… so… no heel strike.

Next, I kept the long stride, but moved back to the full foot strike I’ve been using.  The legs continued to like the long stride, my knee was okay with it, but the fap, fap, fap of driving my whole foot into the ground was a bit… jarring… still lacking in grace.

As the running continued, I shortened my stride a bit, and tried to adapt to a true forefoot strike.  It was towards the end that I really started to get the hang of it.  Forefoot hits, ankle drops, foot springs the leg back up.  It felt good, the hips were okay with it, but the muscles around the lower calf and ankle are going to need some work to fully adapt.  Hopefully, if I can make this stride work, I’ll start to see some improvements in the aerobics when I am able to just run and not run while trying to keep from falling down all legs-akimbo.  As per the Thursday run, I did 2 minute walk followed by two minute runs.

Thoughts?

Also, does anyone know of an iphone app that will simply let me set it to beep after a given duration whilst playing music with the ipod app (i.e – set it for two minutes, and every two minutes it will beep until I tell it to stop)?  Bonus points if I can set multiple intervals (beep after 1 minute, than after two, then 1, then 2, and so on).

Currently, I’m fasting as I have a follow-up med visit in the morning with all the associated blood work.  We’ll see how that goes.  Wish me luck.