Back to work.
I set my mind and my watch to “engage in physical activity directed toward the production or accomplishment of something”. I would work today on getting my heart rate up. (And work it was.)
I decided to walk 3 minutes with my heart rate at or above 135, then walk 3 minutes without paying attention to my heart rate. This would be counted as one interval and I would try to complete three.
I found it very hard to get my heart rate up even walking at a furious pace. A furious pace meant walking so fast and hard, I felt I looked comical or ridiculous. I could not sustain the silly walk and I could not get my heart rate up so…I jogged. I jogged about one half of a city block and finally my heart rate went to 137, dropping down to a walk, I noticed I had to really pump my arms and take super fast, baby steps to get my heart rate to stay up in the zone so I could get through the first interval.
For the second interval, I needed to jog again; but by the third interval, I finally had some flow in my movement as well as an idea of how fast I needed to pump my arms and move my legs in order to keep my heart rate up. Also, by the third set I was sweating (bonus), and my quads and calf muscles were screaming. Upon completion of the whole workout, I think I felt an endorphin or two, which is something I can’t say that I regularly feel after my 4 mile walks – I feel good, but it’s not quite the same as the “joggers high” feeling I used to get after a jog workout. This made me happy – I felt like I’d accomplished something, and… I had sweat production, I had worked.
When I got home and checked the watch, these were my results: I reset the limits to 160-135. My average heart rate was 135 bpm, which was at 70% (YAY). I had no time above the zone, 14:10 minutes in the zone, and 10:50 minutes below the zone. My workout should have lasted for 18 minutes, but since I had trouble getting into a pace to elevate my heart, my results are not all neat and tidy. I know I wanted at least 9 minutes in the zone and I got that, so mission accomplished.
I now need to decide what to do with this information; what are my exact goals for walking and how will I structure my workout plan? With a need to keep my heart in shape and the motivation to try and stave off cancer (since I feel am genetically predisposed), I will probably structure a mix of long endurance walks and short intense walks for my health and fitness as well as “unscripted, once in awhile, for no purpose other than soul enhancing” walks for my mental and social health.
Thank you Gretchen Reynolds for your book The First 20 Minutes I have to say it challenged me to think about how I was walking and also made me consider what I wanted from walking. Who knew walking could be work!