Friday, January 06, 2006

HRM to Runner: No Slacking!

It figures I'd be different. Having seized upon the idea of using a Heart Rate Monitor to better fine tune my training, I looked forward to experiencing the common new HRM user's surprise that they must slow down to stay at the correct heart rate. Well instead, the bio-feedback only confirmed what I already knew - I was slacking. Just a shufflin' along, logging the miles, blog-boasting about capillary density and mitochondria build-up. Now the jig is up. Sure, improvements were on the way - in 2025. Doesn't that take all.

Now I've got to run like I'm training for something.

Today I did my first "real" HRM training run. After a 20 minute warmup I ran for 45 minute at low aerobic (70% -75% of maxHR). Then I ran a cooldown for 20 minutes. It took me awhile to get up into the zone. The beeper was beeping at me to speed up. After I got going into the zone the pace felt fine. It wasn't overly fast (7:46 by the end) so certainly doable. It just showcased that I hadn't run a decent pace since the Cape Cod Marathon - what with the recovery period and then the build up to 100 miles per week. Of course, partly to blame is the Maine weather. While it has been unseasonably mild here (20 - 30's) it is still hard to get motivated to run faster than a rather comfortable jog all snug in sub-zero gear. So it was fun trying to stay in the targeted heart rate zone and it felt good to know that I optimized today's workout. Tomorrow I'll try some LT work - a short stint at 90%.

Now that I think about it, this was the 2nd real HRM workout. I did a max heart rate test the other day to determine my maximum heart rate (182). I did this by running 2.25 miles as fast as I could one morning on the airport. It was 18 degrees out so I don't know if that had an effect but 182 fits the "formula" fairly closely (220-age).

So I feel good about getting back on track now that my self imposed recovery is over (it worked by the way) but I was troubled with the lack of balance I had between my desire to run high miles and train with the proper effect. So I fell back on the old standby - I did some more reading. This time I think I have a better grasp on what paces I should be running to get the optimal results and the long build up to the high miles that "make champions".

The new year has rolled over and now my week begins on Sunday.  I was forced to resort back to an old program from the Dead Runners Society that is really neat. It is an excel sheet with lots of calculations and graphs and whatnot. Well, somehow, in the setup screen my week got started on a Sunday instead of a Monday so now I start the week off with a long run. Which means this week looks like this:

Sunday: 17 miles with Mike

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Maximum Heart Rate Test. 2 mile warmup, .75 run-up, 2.25 test, 2 mile cooldown for a total of 7 miles.

Wednesday: Recovery jog of 3 miles - slowly staying under or at 60%.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Low Aerobic Run at 70% - 75% ~ 5.92 miles plus 2 mile warmup & 2 mile cooldown for total of 9.9 miles.

The mileage is still down but things are looking up. My setback was at first physical and then psychological as I lost some of the good momentum I had going.

17 weeks until the Holyoke Marathon.


Blogger robtherunner said...

Good luck with the HRM training. I also found myself without a log book when the new year rolled around.

1/06/2006 9:25 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

My favorite log book is a Far Side weekly calendar, with the weeks starting on Mondays. Good luck with the monitor, Andrew. If you're going with Lydiard's 70-100% of your maximum "steady state" for your conditioning, are you going to use a percentage of your maximum heart rate to determine it, or will you do another "aerobic threshold" test, or something different entirely? I had trouble determining what my maximum steady state was, so I pretty much went with my 10 mile race pace, which probably wasn't ideal.

1/06/2006 10:28 PM  
Blogger Joshua "Flash" Gordon said...

A few Max HR formula options:

Formula Max HR
220 - age 190
214 - 0.8 x age 190
206.3 - (0.711 x age) 185
217 - (0.85 x age) 192

The last tends to be the most accurate.

1/07/2006 12:21 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Joshua, thanks for the extra formulas. I have a suspicion that when I test again in June (or maybe a short race beforehand) that the warm weather will allow for a higher rate. A suspicion only. Your 3rd formula hit my test # pretty close (I'm 34). Mike, this is what I am starting with: 1/4 effort = low aerobic 70 - 75%, 1/2 effort = high aerobic 75 - 80%, 3/4 effort = steady state 90%. Recovery = 60 - 65% and long = 65 - 70%. Subject to change but the recovery level seems correct just now. All of these percentages are of HRMAX (% of (Max Rate less Rest Rate) added back to Rest Rate).

Rob, I hope you found a log. The Dead Runners Society's log is fun.

1/07/2006 9:14 AM  
Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Heh Andrew. Thanks for posting this stuff on HRM. I did my first workout with the Forerunner 301 today. I did a 5k workout and checked my heartrate here and there I was surprized at which areas it was high and extremely high. Going downhill where I tend to speed up but I guess its easier I ranged from 130-145 but on the flats it would remain around 140-150 for a similar pace. However as I neared the half way mark and had to head back uphill the rate climbed as high as 228 (I suspect not a good thing). The ave was 157 by the time the run was done. I ended up doing 5.01km in 46:49. Not a great speed but according to the monitor a good workout.

1/08/2006 6:10 PM  
Blogger buryblue said...

I too use the excel spreadsheet from Dead Runners. For a freebie its pretty good. Only one quibble occasional I find I enter a date in the log and it obviously registers the date correctly but appears as a serious of hash signs so you can't see the date!?

I found the only way I could start the week on a monday was to enter in the set up my first date as being mon 26th Dec finishing on sunday 1st of jan - problem with this is it then includes data for Sun jan 1st as being the 1st week total.

1/09/2006 2:58 PM  

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