Legs, Heart, Lungs – The Way I Approach My Runs

Legs, Heart, Lungs – The Way I Approach My Runs

So far during 2022 I have tried to split my running across three days. I have a method which I usually try to focus on during my run to help me monitor and improve the running experience. I have a theory that there are potentially three points of failure when running. Your legs, as they may not be strong enough to carry your body. Your heart, as it may not be able to transport blood around your circulatory system, either supplying energy, or removing waste from your body, or your lungs cannot pull enough oxygen in, or expel enough carbon dioxide out to keep you running smoothly.


While I run I monitor all, and try to identify the area that is weakest. When I first started running it was my legs. They were just not strong enough to carry my body. As time went on and my leg strength improved I found that the endurance flipped regularly between my heart not feeling like it could pump enough blood around my body, and my lungs feeling like they could not get enough oxygen into my body.


My approach to this has been to split my runs across three days, two in the gym, and one on the road. As I have a habit of managing my knees (yes I am getting on a bit and they hurt occasionally). I have different objectives for different days.


Day 1 (Monday) – Is just a normal 5k run day. Objective is to cover the distance in as little time as possible. When I started my times were closer to 28 minutes. My current pace keeps me under 24 minutes so I am please to see a big improvement over the year. Is there a thought to get to 23 minutes? Maybe, bit it is not a priority as my time would have to improve by at least 40 seconds.


Day 2 (Wednesday) – Is Road Run Day. I have started doing a run I used to do more than 30 years ago. The surprising part is that I am not too far off the times I used to run then. The distance is between 7.5km and 15km depending on the weather and circumstances. 7.5km used to take 43 minutes, but I have improved that to 39 over time. I have had to put my 13.5km run on hold as the weather has not been too good to me recently. The last time I managed was under 1hr 15minutes though. 


Day 3 (Saturday) – I describe as Run Jog Run day. And yes it hurts. I take to the treadmill and do 500M around 11.5km, and 500M around 14.5km. The objective is to cover 5km, but to date I am managing 3km and no more. 


Each day is different, and helps me to focus on and monitor different areas of my running. At this point, leg strength is not the problem on any day. It flips between heart and lungs, and the time I take to recover.


Objectives for the end of the year: Get as close to 23 minutes on Day 1, Below 39 minutes for 7.5km on day to, and Complete 5km on day 3. Wish me luck.



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