Some people will tell you to start training with a heart rate monitor.
I may or may not be one of these people. I'm not 100% convinced yet.
|Tappan being all speedy|
at the end of a 10 mile race
Initially, I couldn't stand it because I didn't like the feeling of the heart rate monitor band around my rib cage, but now I don't even notice it.
I think there is a lot to be learned about following your heart rate when training and I am just beginning to scratch the surface of it.
Here's some info that I've found from snooping around the internet. I found most of my info from Runner's World, Sports Med Web, and the Competitor.
PROS of using a Heart Rate Monitor:
- Helps you to train smarter-- you have a better gauge of your true level of exertion
- Helps you train more effectively and find your best TRAINING paces
- Are you running your long runs too fast? You may be doing more harm than good if you are training in an anaerobic zone during your long runs...
- Helps you find your best RACING paces
- You can only maintain certain heart rate zones for certain amounts of time before you burn out and this can help keep you from "hitting the wall."
CONS of using a Heart Rate Monitor:
- I always feel like I'm going too slow when I'm staying in certain zones and this annoys me.
- It took me a run or two to get used to the feeling of wearing the heart rate monitor (and it's easy to forget to put it on if you aren't used to it!)
- It seems like it would be easy to get caught up with these numbers and become a little too obsessive and I could see this happening to me :(...which I'm afraid would take the joy out of running and completely turn it into a numbers game.
- If you use caffeine while you jog (many GUs contain caffeine), this will make the HR numbers wonky, so you can't rely on them in the same way. Same goes for altitude, hot weather, and some medications.
HOW TO TRAIN with a Heart Rate Monitor: TRAINING ZONES
FIRST, determine your Max Heart Rate (MHR), either with a formula or get tested on a treadmill/track:
Max Heart Rate = 207 - (your age X 0.5)
Note: There are TONS of different formulas that you can use to determine your max HR that all give approx the same values. I just randomly picked this one from Runner's World.
Then run your different workouts at the following percentages of your maximum heart rate:
- EASY and LONG RUNS: 65 to 75% of MHR
- TEMPO RUN: 87 to 92% of MRH
- INTERVAL REPEATS: 95 to 100% MHR
GO to THIS WEBSITE to plug in your age and resting heart rate in order to find out what the exact heart rate numbers correspond to.
|Running a long run this summer|
with my marathon training team.
Pre-heart rate monitor.
When you run races, here are the heart rate zones where you should keep your heart rate in order to race your best:
- 5K: 95 to 97%
- 10K: 92 to 94%
- HALF MARATHON: 85 to 88%
- MARATHON: 80 to 85%
By watching your heart rate, you can ensure that you are racing at an appropriate pace. If you're running a marathon at too high of a heart rate (such as 95%), you'll bonk, hit the wall and not be able to maintain that pace for that long of a distance.
|Racing off my pantalones|
during mile 18-ish of the Rehoboth Marathon
Here's an example of me and a 10K:
My 10K heart rate range is supposed to be 174 to 178, but I actually ran this virtual 10K with an average heart rate of 161. So does that mean that I should have pushed myself harder? And you'll notice that my heart rate jumped up at the end, for the final push, but that's to be expected.
What do you think of Heart Rate Training? Do you train with a HR monitor?
I DO wear my HR monitor when I run, but it's just for gathering data at this point. I don't actually modify my runs to stay in certain zones...I just like to gather data and perhaps at some point in the future I'll actually pay more attention to it. As I mentioned, it usually says I'm at the higher end of the recommended zones and it's hard for me to purposely slow down sometimes.