The purpose of this challenge is first and foremost to acquire the habit of running. However I don't plan on neglecting performance completely.
As I mentioned, I started tackling running for the first time in my life about six months ago (May 2016).
At the time I weighed 212lbs (I'm 6'3" tall) and did my first controlled heart-rate test on May 25th.
The controlled heart rate test, which I named, the One-hour Test is something I came up with as a way of measuring progress. Later I discovered that similar tests have been used for decades to measure aerobic fitness...so I was glad to know my approach was sound.
The One-hour test is beautiful in its simplicity. Other than a heart rate monitor, it requires no special equipment or technology.
It goes like this.
Run as far as possible in one hour while keeping heart rate below a pre-determined number. The idea is, as the aerobic system develops you should be able to run faster at any given intensity (heart rate). By controlling time and effort, any progress will be detected by an increase in the distance that gets covered.
One-hour test results: May 25th, 2016
Heart rate limit: 150 beats per minute
Distance: 4.6km (2.86 miles)
Avg page: 13:03 min/km (21 min/mile)
That's slow. Very slow. Like...getting passed by an elderly woman out for her daily walk, slow (which actually happened).
But that's where I started. Fast forward to my most recent test:
One-hour test: Oct 18, 2016
Heart rate limit: 140 beats per minute
Distance covered: 7km (4.34 miles)
Avg pace: 8:34 min/km (13:46 min/mile)
Although still slow, that's something I can be proud of. I knocked almost 7 minutes off my mile pace at a heart rate 10 beats under what I had originally set.
Testing will be difficult due to winter coming. But hopefully I can find some days where the track isn't covered in snow for a quick check of what I'm capable of.