Two Years Down: Is It Time To PUSH?

I received a MotoActv as a gift last week, and after fighting with it to load onto my computer and various other systems, I got to use it for the first time yesterday. After doing 5 miles on the elliptical, I decided to get on the treadmill and run through the paces of getting the device calibrated.
Easy Peezy … just had to walk 2:00, then run 2:00, and then enter how far you got in that time frame and what speed you were at … it was very close to right on what the treadmill had, so was very happy about that.
Another part of the process was a “Fitness Test”. In the test you set the treadmill to a comfortable running speed and you run, without stopping, for 8:00. Now, boys and girls, I NEVER run for 8:00 straight so I was worried what kind of a score I would get, but I decided to give it a try. I set the treadmill on 5.5 (which is a little more than a 12:00 pace) and started running. I was surprised to find that running the full time was not that difficult, so when the little voice in the device started telling me “half way there”, and “only 1:00 more” I was feeling pretty good about myself.
And then I saw the Fitness Score.
A 48 … 
Now, being the helpful little device it is, it not only gives you the score, it also gives you a rating.
I have been training this way at least 6 days a week for just at two years, and my fitness level is still “very poor”.
I am not sure how the score is determined. I assumed from the readouts that it is based on pace and distance vs. your heart rate. What is interesting is my resting HR (seen above) is about 35 beats lower than it was 2 years ago, so if I am very poor now, what the HELL was I two years ago??
I think a key also in this is when it says to “run at a comfortable pace”. Comfortable to me is between 12:00 and 13:00. Remember that I am carrying 240 pounds, and with those of us on the heavy side, 240 pounds coming down on each knee over and over again, can be painful if you push too hard (as a couple of coaches last running season can attest to. So I have learned to run at my pace. I believe I have developed a “fear” of pushing too hard and injuring myself again. It’s the same fear that makes me go slowly in the water because of the breathing issues I have.
So here is the question, and I would appreciate some feedback, especially from those of you who are on the “fluffy” side; when is it ok to start pushing yourself to higher limits, and is pushing yourself at the risk of injury worth it? 
Some lessons and thoughts from the past two years:
  • I have accepted the fact that I will probably never see a podium finish. 
  • My weight is the exact same as it was a year ago (but still less than the 302 I started at). 
  • I eat right. 
  • I exercise 5-6 days a week. 
  • I can cycle now at the 17-18 mph range.
  • I have completed numerous Sprint Triathlon, and Olympic Triathlon, A Half Ironman, 4 Half Marathon’s, 1 Marathon, and the Gasparilla Ultra Challenge (5k, Half Marathon, and 15k in two days).

2 thoughts on “Two Years Down: Is It Time To PUSH?

  • July 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    I think you have hot it on the head, and I was just stating that same thing on FB. I think I have slid into a comfort zone. My bike volume is coming back up but you're right, it did drop, as did a lot of things. I kNOW my run has dropped. I have hit a lull and need to force myself out of it somehow.

    I do push on the bike, especially outside, as a few that ride with me can attest. Need to do more hills for sure, and need to push on the run even with the injury fear.

  • July 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I'm no expert, but I'm kind of fluffy too. I'm not fast, but I count myself as a “pusher”.

    I'd answer your question with a question…How much of your training time is UN-comfortable?

    I've never trained with you, but I follow you on DM and see your training there. I'll give you my honest view…

    I've had experience with people I know who plateau and wonder why. Usually my perspective is that they've gotten into a training comforts zone without realizing it and never push themselves out of it.

    I know when you're big it's hard to push on the run and not get injured, but you can push on the bike/trainer/spin pretty safely. How often do you run your HR up to LT on the bike? How long do you stay there? Do you recover and run it right back up? Your bike volume is way down since FL 70.3…why not increase the intensity and set a new “comfort zone”?

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