2021 in Running
The gist of it
|avg distance [km]||6.61||9.08||10.53||11.05|
|share of running among sports activities||80.25%||79.26%||58.57%||53.68%|
|max duration between 2 runs [days]||36||26||18||38|
|#weeks without running||16||5||4||7|
After picking up going to the gym in late 2019 and starting to cycle every now and then in 2020, I made the tail end of activities a little longer by hiking, playing tennis, bouldering and swimming just a couple of times - hence the lower share of running.
The stark increase in the maximal duration between two runs seems to be the consequence of an injury-ridden spring.
A bit more than the gist of it
The top-left plot, comprising all runs of 2021 and their respective distances, also indicates the injury with a gaping hole roughly between April and June. Also, it shows both of my attempts to run above-marathon distance.
The top-right plot still shows some mass of runs between 10am and 4pm, yet I seem to have shifted more runs into morning and evening than before.
I figure one could try to read the impact of pollen into the bottom-left plot - since even in 2020 my running tanked enormously in May. At the same time, my dim memory tells me that I had some light but non-negligible injury in the summer of 2020 as well. Independently of the cause(s), I seem to have fared better in regaining momentum in the second half of 2021 than in 2020.
Overall, it seems like my running might have become a bit more consistent at the monthly aggregation level. This is also indicated by the bottom-right histogram of monthly distances across years.
Talking about consistency: Have I been able to accumulate much volume along the span of two weeks?
While previously an avid refuser of any running gear of non-trivial sophistication, I let my injury and the physiotherapist convince me to purchase a watch monitoring my heart rate. The purpose not merely being observation but rather intervention, I was instructed to start running in ‘zone 1’ or ‘zone 2’.
Quickly did I figure out that this is far from what I’d been used to. My standard feel-good running pace had usually been below 5’/km. It turned out that this would usually bring me either to the devilish zone 3 or the to-be-savoured-in-small-quantities zone 4. :S:S:S
As a consequence, I had to reduce my running pace by roughly 50%. This was pretty challenging and took me a long time to get accustomed to.
Given this, I’m pleasantly surprised that my yearly running volume didn’t drop too much - neither due to no longer being able to afford the time to run similar distances at a substantially slower pace nor due to it breaking my morale.
Anyhow - some people claim that running in aforementioned zone 2 will diminish heart rates for a given pace in any zone and thereby implicitly ‘make you faster’. Hopeful that my sacrifice in speed would also be of some benefit other than preventing injury - what’s the worth of that after all - I wondered:
Has my heart rate gotten lower for a fixed pace?
The above question is extremely hard to answer truthfully since the data is neither constant nor independently random across all other dimensions - sleep, weather, distance, elevation, prior exhaustion and motivation to only name a few. I figured, it could still be that averaging across months, a useful trend could prevail.
I have resorted to using the Strava API to tackle a proxy for that question. Strava, a second source of running data of mine, connects to my watch and stores both heart rate and pace data.
“Something, something negatives results”, right?