Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Heart Rate Training Part I

As a lot of you probably know (from my numerous whiny posts on the subject), I've been rehabbing an ankle injury that started in December of last year.  I ran on the stupid thing until April 16th, then finally went to see a physical therapist in May.  I wish I would've gone to see the PT sooner - I lost a LOT of time running this year.

But, all of this time off has forced me to contemplate the way that I train, and all of my introspection and research has led me to a cool discovery.

Heart rate training. 

 I knew NOTHING about heart rate training - I always found it super boring to read about - I definitely skipped over those articles in my Runner's World.  But, now that I know something about it, it is incredibly interesting and I think it'll be part of the way I train from now on.  So, over the next few days I'm going to dole out a bit of info on it, and hopefully someone else out there will get some good knowledge out of it.  But, I totally won't be offended if you treat these posts like I treated the RW articles....

Disclaimer:  I've not an expert, and there is a lot of information out there about heart rate training.  I'm just going to talk about the very basics, along with a few tidbits I find interesting... so this is NOT a comprehensive guide to heart rate training.

So here is Part I of my four part series of posts on heart rate training...  (you don't want to miss part four... I'm going to use myself as a guinea pig for the enjoyment of my dear readers)..

Why Use Heart Rate Training?

Using a heart rate monitors eliminates the guessing game of using perceived effort to pace a workout.  And that, my friends, is awesome. 

It seems like most runners I meet can be classified as "overtrainers" or "undertrainers", and using a monitor is just as valuable for each group. 

For the people that tend to not push themselves enough during a workout, the heart rate monitor allows them to see that they're not actually working very hard, and can push them to run at a faster, harder pace.

And for the people that have a harder time slowing down (especially when overtrained or injured) the monitor can let them know they're working too hard on easy days.

 I think I fall into both of these groups.  Sometimes I need a reminder to slow down on my easy days, and sometimes I need a little something to give me that extra push.. especially on a long tempo run.  Cannot wait to strap on the monitor when I can finally run fast!

Tune in tomorrow for Part II....

Do you do heart rate training?

Anything specific you'd like me to find out pertaining to HRT?

Is this the most boring blog post EVER? 


  1. NO! not boring at all. in fact I am incredibly excited about your series! I know NOTHING about heart rate training but have a monitor that I do not even use. I would love to learn more and hear your own story of how it you have used it and how it has helped you because I would love to try it in the future! Thanks for the info!

  2. Not a boring post at all! This is really interesting, and I'm looking forward to hearing more about it!!

  3. I have a heart rate monitor that pairs with my Garmin (a 405CX), and I've worn it once or twice. I usually do it just to get an accurate calorie count. What I've discovered? In my first mile, my HR is 180ish. Then it falls to 160, where it remains for the remainder of my run, then returns to baseline within 5 minutes of stopping.

    I have no idea what this means.

    Help me, O sage running educator :)


Hearing from you makes me happy! :)

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