This was only day 2 of my dive into experimenting with heart rate training and I will be honest, it is harder on me mentally than it is physically. I guess it is an ego thing and even being an old fart, I still have one.
Okay Harold get over it.
Suck it up and get the MAF book to learn more about what heart-rate training is all about. Yes, I have read snippets, articles, and looked at YouTube videos, but I need to get a little more in depth. I know how to compute my heart rate and that stuff, but still haven’t gotten it through my noggin how this actually is going to make me a better runner. Running slower on my rest days is good, but going slower for an extended period of time is counter-intuitive to the way that I think about running.
I figured that my max heart-rate per the MAF method would be 135 bpm and since I couldn’t do the test on the track as recommended. So yesterday I did 4.0 miles and tried to maintain that heart-rate. I started out at 6.5 mph and ended up running at 5.9 mph to stay under the 138 bpm that I needed to average 135 bpm.
Which gave me a decent baseline to figure out about what speed I needed to start to see if I could maintain under 135 bpm for the entire 4.0 miles.
That is where I started 6.0 mph and kept it there for 3.8 miles without any problems. At around 3.5 miles my heart-rate started to creep up over the 135 bpm and then would bounce back down again. It stopped bouncing around at the 3.8 mile point and I decreased the speed down to 5.9 mph, but that didn’t decrease the heart-rate and I was starting to get to 140 bpm. So I slowed down to 5.7 mph and the heart-rate came back down to 135 bpm.
My average heart-rate was 130 bpm, with a 144 maximum h/r.
I finished the 4.0 miles, but I really, really wasn’t done running and I decided to run a couple more miles, only I wasn’t going to “bother” with running by heart-rate, well other than to see what it was.
So I bumped the speed up to 7.6, around sub 8:00 pace and took off. Yeah, the heart-rate took off as well. I felt good and yes, the last mile was pretty tough, but I finished and then did a .25 cool-down walk. My average heart-rate for this run was 158 bpm – kind of at the top end of things for someone my age – if you listen to the experts. Which I guess I gotta start doing a better job of.
Overall, it was a good workout, but I am finding the MAF or heart-rate training method just a bit frustrating. It is not easy to run at that slow of a speed, it just doesn’t feel efficient for me. I will this heart-rate training thing more of a chance, but I ain’t getting the warm and fuzzies doing this kind of running – no matter how many other runners swear by it.
Maybe I just have to keep doing it for a while.
However, like some other things that are good for you, the learning curve is taking the joy out of something that I love to do.
Patience grasshopper. 😉