Improving my fitness age

Illustration of runners in a race.

The treadmill has settled in and is now a part of our family. M drew a family portrait this week. You can see ‘Treddie’ on the left, next is M, then me and then Stu. Below us is Deebot, our robot vacuum cleaner!

A child's drawing of three people, a treadmill and a robot vacuum cleaner. The inanimate objects have eyes and smiles.

I received my annual total from Strava this week. In 2022, I was active on more days than in 2021. I think that going out and walking every day in January last year must have helped. My elevation and distance were significantly down. In 2021, I worked compressed hours and had Fridays off. I mostly cycled on Fridays, so I think that’s what’s made the difference.

Screenshot of Tamsyn's 2022 Strava totals. 182 days active - 22 more than last year. Top sport - running. Elevation: 12 427m - 8196, less than 2021. Distance 831 km - 1469km less than 2021.

Monday night LRR training session

After my long session on the treadmill on Sunday night, I psyched myself up for Monday night’s training session with LRR. I saw on the schedule that it was going to be a social run from the Common, up the Avenue and back down to the Common via Glen Eyre. I love social runs, but they’re always hard when you’re one of the slowest people.

We ended up running 7.9km, which was a fair distance for me to cover in an hour. I still think of an hour’s running equating to a comfortable 10km, but I can’t do that pace these days! When I looked at my Garmin in the car, I saw that it was telling me I needed 48 hours of recovery!

Garmin screen saying, "Recovery 48 hours. Easy effort recommended".

I was quite surprised to see how high the training effect of this run was. I was also quite pleased to see that my cadence is picking up. It used to always be over 180 spm!

Garmin Connect screen showing training effects - 4.5 aerobic; 2.3 anaerobic.

When I last took a screenshot of my fitness age on 21/11/23, it was 29 and my VO2 max was 37. That was after an LRR training session. It’s really nice to see that my fitness age is improving after being unwell for so long.

VO2 max. 38 Good. Your VO2 Max is in the top 35% for your age and gender. Your fitness age is 27.
Garmin Connect – 09/01/23

LRR Endurance session

Tuesday and Wednesday were very rainy so I didn’t get out during my lunch breaks. I had hoped to make good use of my lunch breaks this year and to try to ensure that I got some fresh air and exercise every day. However, I had purposefully not framed this as a New year’s Resolution as it’s just ‘best efforts’ and if I don’t manage it, I don’t want to feel like I’ve failed. I did manage to go on the treadmill to get steps in.

On Thursday evening, I went to my first endurance session run by LRR. It was planned by Coach Ben, but he couldn’t make it so Duncan was leading the session. Everyone was asked to get into groups with other people of the same ability as them. I don’t know many people in the club these days, but I recognised Lynne who often leads Group A/B and Group C. Lynne is a bit quicker than me, but not by too much.

For the session, we were meant to run 30 minutes at an easy pace, 10 minutes at marathon pace, 10 minutes at half marathon pace and 10 minutes at 10k pace. At the moment, I’m not sure what my pace is for any of those distances right now – I just know what I’m aspiring to!

Lynne and I started chatting about work and didn’t notice the time ticking by. We were doing 3km loops on the Common and managed 3 in an hour, so 9km in exactly 60 minutes. We didn’t up the pace, but I was pleased to manage a 9km run.

VO2 max. 38 Good. Your VO2 Max is in the top 30% for your age and gender. Your fitness age is 23.

When I checked my watch it was nice to see that my training was still being described as ‘Productive’. My fitness age had also decreased to 23!

Southampton parkrun

Saturday morning was very rainy. M was due to run with Stu and I thought she might complain, but she was pleased to be wearing her new 25 t-shirt and didn’t ask to have her buggy.

I started off running with my jacket on but quickly realised that I would overheat with it on. I also had a headband on. RD Kate took my jacket at the end f the first lap, and I pulled my headband down around my neck.

By the time I had handed over my jacket, I realised that I could see Andrew ahead. I kept chasing him, but he kept up a steady pace, so it took me until the very top of the hill. We then chatted all the way down the hill and across the Flats. When we were just under 100m from the finish, Andrew started sprinting. I tried to keep up, but couldn’t manage it and finished 100m behind him.

Selfie taken by Andrew of Andrew and Tamsyn. Andrew is wearing a new red parkrun 50 t-shirt and Tamsyn is wearing a green parkrun 250 t-shirt. They both look bedraggled but happy.
© Andrew Landells, 2023.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had finished under 31:30. I had thought my time would be closer to 32:30. Maybe 2023 will be the year when I finally finish in under 30 minutes.

Hawks pacers Sunday Runday

This morning, I joined the Hawks pacing team for Sunday Runday. It’s a group of people training for the ABP Southampton Marathon events. Quite a lot of people turned up (40-50). I knew that I would be in the 10-11 minute group. Nic was the run leader and Rob joined the group for most of the run.

Approximately 44 people with their arms raised cheering. They are all wearing running clothes. Many of them have on ABP Southampton running race t-shirts on.

I ran nearly 4km before meeting up. By the time we got back to the Common, I had run 13.9km in total. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my training is still ‘Productive’. My fitness age is significantly improving. In the space of a week, it has dropped by 7 years. I don’t look or feel like a 20-year-old, but I’m happy my Garmin thinks I’m that young!

VO2 max. 38 Good. Your VO2 Max is in the top 30% for your age and gender. Your fitness age is 20.

Do you know what your fitness age is?

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.