>Running 101>Am I overtraining?
Hello all, apologies if this is the wrong thread but I'm new to the site and figured this was a good place to start. I'm new to running and trying to get in shape in anticipation of running after the twins my wife and I are expecting in October. My question is basically am I pushing myself too hard? I've run four times in the last week, 2.5-3 miles a pop, ~30 min each. I haven't really felt any ill effects but I've been using endomondo and a wahoo fitness heart rate monitor and my runs are showing that I'm in the 170-180 bpm range for 20-24 mins of my run. I don't feel as though I'm killing myself out there and if I was to slow down it would probably feel VERY slow. So, a) am I going to do any harm to myself at this pace, b) will this lessen my ability to build fitness overall or, c) are these even valid questions?
Appreciate any and all advice! Thanks.
Assuming your HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) is giving a correct reading ... It depends? Age 30 and below my max heart rate was 212
170/212 = 80%
180/212 = 85%
If your max heart rate is 180
170/180 = 94%
180/180 = 100%
Just be aware most new runners typically run all their runs at a way too high effort level.
Your biggest goal right now is to build aerobic endurance and unless you have a max heart rate of 240-250 you are running too fast. It would be better to run
1 day slower and longer
2 days slower and the distance you are doing
1 day faster like you are doing
if you are going to do 4 days a week.
But if you are only running 4 days a week for 2.5-3 miles you likely can get away with this faster running -
+1 to DoppleBock
Try talking (yea, to yourself, if needed). If you can't talk in medium to long sentences (say, 20+ words or so), you're going too hard. Whether you'd hurt yourself is one question. The other is are you running in any meaningful manner to improve conditioning. Like pace, HR numbers alone don't mean anything - they need to be in a context.
Thanks very much DoppleBock & AK, that's pretty well what I thought. I guess I was just kinda surprised when I looked at the HR results as I felt I was pushing myself but not that much. Am I right in assuming that the best way to improve my aerobic endurance is simply to run in that aerobic range for the majority of the time?
That talk test is a lot more meaningful than HR when starting out running. I routinely used to run at HR of over 175 the first year I started running, even at very slow paces, and had to walk if I wanted to keep it at the recommended levels. Now I have to work really hard to get that HR above 170 and happens only on a hot day or during a race (or trying to keep up with my running group).
Also it's better to lose the HR monitor at-least for a while and figure out what a particular effort feels like and not get all worried if the HR Monitor has some weird readings.
...Am I right in assuming that the best way to improve my aerobic endurance is simply to run in that aerobic range for the majority of the time?
Correct. You can vary the intensity somewhat (look up "fartlek") but still be able to talk. Just pulling some numbers out of air - most running where you can talk in longer sentences (say 20 words or so) but some brief upticks where you might only be able to say 5 words. Faster parts are probably less than 10% of your total volume, maybe closer to 1%. These are just *very* general guidelines.