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Second run made the difference

Posted by Staff  March 15, 2013 07:00 AM

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100scroth.jpg Katie Schroth is one of six Boston Marathon entrants testing Polar personal training gear and blogging about it for Boston.com
I received my Polar RC3 GPS late last Monday afternoon. Mondays are crazy busy around here, so the package didn't get opened until after dinner. When I finally did open it, I turned to my 5-year-old and said, "Oooh, look how small my new watch is!"

And she gave me a look as if to say momma you are so weird, but actually said, "Momma that watch is not small, it's HUGE!" Complete with emphatic hand motions, you know, to prove her point. I guess it might seem large to a 5-year-old, but it's sleek and thin for a GPS watch (at least when compared to my old GPS). Hereís a picture of the RC3 GPS next to my old GPS watch.


I met a co-worker early the next morning to run. We were both short on time, and as a result I didn't have long to play with my new RC3 GPS. I couldn't quite figure out how to determine what was going on with the GPS acquisition. As it turns out, it's not really all that difficult, but somehow I had missed that section of the quick start guide. Doh! In my defense, I was a bit distracted Monday evening when I was going through the guide. I blame my left big toe.

I suppose some explanation is required. I had just finished an 80-mile running week on Sunday, and Monday I had run a tough 10-miler. The result was an angry toenail. The nail was angry enough that I was wondering if I should rip it off. You know how it is, rip it off now and it probably won't impact the Saturday long run, or leave it knowing that it will get worse.

You haven't had that internal struggle? Well, let's just agree that it's distracting, which must be why I missed the whole GPS acquisition process in the quick start guide. And no, Iím not going to tell you what I did, but I did go for that long run. My long run was a 20-miler, the second 20-miler of this training cycle, and I'll run 1-2 more before April 15th.

My second use of the RC3 GPS went much more smoothly. It also made me realize that using it was going to be fun; my skinny RC3 GPS is a sassy little thing! The first thing RC3 asked me was my weight and age! After my second run, RC3 told me, "Great! This long low intensity session improved your basic endurance and your body's ability to burn fat during exercise."

I took this to mean, "Next time run harder." Like I said, RC3 is a sassy little thing. In case youíre wondering, that was an 11-mile run at 8:02 pace, and yes, I guess it was low intensity. Also, RC3 informed me that I only burned 598 calories, which was a downer. That's only 54 calories per mile. Boo! I guess that whole guideline of 100 calories per 8:00 mile is a farce.

A few hours later, I went for another run. Not because RC3 told me I needed to burn more fat, but because sometimes we marathoners run twice a day during training. Doubles probably arenít necessary until you hit about 70 miles a week, and then you donít have to run twice a day every day.

I might run twice a day two days a week. The most difficult part of that second run was putting the sweaty heart rate strap back on. It was really cold (and maybe just a tiny bit gross.) Anyway, that was a 5-miler at 7:02 pace. This time RC3 told me, ďExcellent! You improved the endurance of your muscles and aerobic fitness.Ē

Yay! Just in case youíre interested, my average heart rate for that run was 143 beats per minute and the max was 153.

Being slightly more serious, I like how the Polar RC3 GPS notes your age, weight, and sex, then figures out your heart rate zones. I don't generally train by heart rate, so this makes it simple for me. It will be fun tracking my heart rate over the next several weeks. It notes how long you stayed in each heart rate zone too. Iím looking forward to looking at the data, creating graphs of it, and trying to determine what it all means!

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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