Saturday, March 24, 2012

RPE stop messing with me

Thursday's experiment was to see how well the body felt and what type of RPE was going to dominate after a few days of forcing my brain to reset its RPE level. Running conditions at Thurs lunch time were puurrrfect. Cloudy, cool, very little wind. Heat was never going to be a factor. As it turned out, neither was RPE1 (the niggly, muscular one). It was all about RPE2, which felt pretty easy, working just a little. The running stats reflect it as well. 11.2K @ 5:27min/K pace, HRav = 135 bpm. I'll be happy when I can do that same loop with a 5:00 min/K pace for HRav 135. Friday seemed like a good day for a rest day (no more running streaks for a while),
The brain has the final say with perception of fatigue
Role on Saturday and it turned to custard again :-/. The body was not happy running and RPE1 dominated. I did a 4 x 6min hard, 1 min interval session with a 2K warm up and a 4K cool down. Each interval felt horrid and the 4K cool down felt horrid. HR data do not reflect the discomfort, hence RPE1 was dominant for this session. Rather disheartening after a couple of good runs and a well placed rest day. Next on the cards for the week will be a long run. That's going to be quite interesting after today's effort!

Latest Training:
Thursday - 11.2K easy run, 5:27min/K pace, HRav 135 bpm
Friday - Rest day
Saturday - 2K warm up, 4 x 6 min hard, 1 min easy interval session. Average pace for each interval: 1 - 4:40min/K, HRav = 147 bpm; 2 - 4:30 min/K HRav 151 bpm; 3 - 4:40 min/K HRav 151 bpm: 4 - 4:45 min/K, HRav 150 bpm. 4K unpleasant jog home. ~11.2K total


  1. I may be the biggest dummy there is at the technical side of running. But I just don't understand what you are trying to achieve here, messing with RPE ( whatever that is )& HR at nearing top end close to max, and what your goals are for this year. I, silly me, would think buidling a long slow base would be better and give these RPE a chance to settle down and not be the big factor they seem to be.
    No wonder you had an unpleasant jog home.
    Try just running easy tempo on these Saturday training sessions instead of hard/easy efforts.
    Take care, easy upping the run distances. It's forward not backward to improve.

  2. 2Fs, RPE is 'Rate of Perceived Exertion' although I think it should be 'PRE - Perceived Rate of Exertion'.

    J, I had a similar problem early last year. I think it'll take more than a few days to rewire the brain to get used to the faster paces on general runs (although your Thurs run shows you're in good nick - 735 heart-beats per km).

    Saturday's times look OK (for your current fitness level) for that type of session, even if your legs weren't enjoying it. I find it hard to do a 2k warm-down if I've caned it in an interval session! A rest day (for me) doesn't produce a magical result the following day. I find I run better if I've done an easy 4 or 5k jog including a few strides. If I take 3 rest days that works, but you can't do that every week!