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Rapid HR response to speed work? (Read 589 times)


RunsWithDog

    Question: Just how fast can my HR/pace respond to speed work? Any ideas what is going on with my HR?

     

    History:

     

    I have a base of a good amount of long slow running (twice through HH marathon plans in past 7 months) and very few faster/shorter runs. I've been running 28 months, getting to 15-20 mpw about 2 years ago. Past 6 months, I've averaged probably 25 mpw. Past 4 mos, probably more like 33-35mpw (max 43). I almost never race/run short distances.

     

    My MHR is 200, RHR about 58.

     

    I had a HR monitor up until about 6 mos ago, then was without one for 6 months. Now I have one again. I'm rapidly driving myself insane with the HR monitor. I love the data, but I just don't understand it anymore!

     

    Up until 6 mos ago, my HR would always be in the 150s to 160s for any run, no matter how slow. (Often in the 170s on hills or in random fast finishes of long runs, even 180s if I was pushing it hard.)

     

    When I got the HR monitor a couple weeks ago, my HR was already lower than before (by at least a few beats at comparable paces), but was stil 150ish at a VERY slow 12:30 easy run just a couple weeks ago.http://www.runningahead.com/logs/d572900de9f04e13867a87a8e2f94583/workouts/d1e32e02ba4c46639538c7dcd34213da -- Note avg HR around 147 for last few miles.

     

    Then, today, on another easy run, which ended up being 11:45 (oops), my HR was freaking 140 for the final few miles. http://www.runningahead.com/logs/d572900de9f04e13867a87a8e2f94583/workouts/d363c7c7cb8e4e00bc10f70d0ef40df5

     

    Up until today, I have never (knowingly) run a single mile with a HR under 145. In fact, it has been VERY rare for me to even see my HR below 150. My goal for super easy runs was always to keep it in the 150s, which was often very hard to do, no matter how much I slowed.

     

    My magic zones from McMillan (which had always previously worked perfectly for me) give 143-156 as my "Easy" HR zone. Today's run is definitely the first time I've seen my HR below the prescribed zone -- that's never been something I've had to worry about. Huh?!?

     

    (*My HR is usually unstable to first mile or two, so I generally exclude those miles from these assessments.)

     

    Another HR 152 at about 11:10mm was in between those two runs. http://www.runningahead.com/logs/d572900de9f04e13867a87a8e2f94583/workouts/8628572489224f94afe149d62c57a33b

     

    I am new to speed work. I've done 6 hard speed workouts the past 3 weeks (5k pace intervals 1x/wk + HM pace runs 1x/wk) plus I've amped up the pace of my weekly long runs dramatically (from 12-12:30 to 11:30, and included a 3 mile very fast finish in one of them). So, the average pace of my runs has amped up a lot, plus the addition of the very fast (for me) running miles is very novel to me.

     

    Is it possible that my HR/pace is responding this rapidly to this bit of speed work these few weeks?

     

    What the hell is going on?

     

    Any ideas?

     

    What should I do with this data? (Do I hear a loud flush?)

    PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

    Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

    Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan

      Too many variable... Temperature is major. Assuming you're in the northern hemisphere, and you're experience cooler temperatures this month compared to previous months, that's an area to look at. Also, there's other stuff like physiological changes that can occur that j know nothing about other than seeing some of it happen over the years. Cheers,

      2014 Goals:

      #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

      #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

       

        You are comparing the data from two devices with a span of time between what they're measuring. For starters, I'd measure with a different device if you can and see if the data is consistent. It might not be valid to compare to what you got from the old device, but I'll bet it's internally consistent. Don't flush just yet Smile


        RunsWithDog

          I could try on my husband's HR strap. Smile I'll go do that. I wonder if I can wear both at the same time, with both watches going, too. Might make for a funny picture.

           

          The devices are actually identical models -- the premium soft strap HR monitor that comes with the Garmin 410. I killed two over about 16 months, then went without one for about 6 months, then got a third one (with new 410, as I'd also managed to kill the watch itself this time). Do people observe variances within identical models like that?

           

          I have seen my HR hit (reliably) upper 190s on the new HR strap, so I think my HRMax is close to or the same with the old monitors and the new ones.

          PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

          Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

          Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan

            I could try on my husband's HR strap. Smile I'll go do that. I wonder if I can wear both at the same time, with both watches going, too. Might make for a funny picture.

             

            The devices are actually identical models -- the premium soft strap HR monitor that comes with the Garmin 410. I killed two over about 16 months, then went without one for about 6 months, then got a third one (with new 410, as I'd also managed to kill the watch itself this time). Do people observe variances within identical models like that?

             

            I have seen my HR hit (reliably) upper 190s on the new HR strap, so I think my HRMax is close to or the same with the old monitors and the new ones.

            I wouldn't worry about a few bpm variation, but I think the drop you saw *could* be real and a result of your harder training. Over the years, I've been through a few Polar HRM's and Garmin GPS/HRM (a couple wrist-mounted, one handheld - actually carried in waist belt or pack). I've not noticed a significant difference on them that wasn't explainable by a loose strap or other poor connectivity or something freaky. My 86-87% HRmax is almost exactly the same on any of the devices, across the years. (it's a sweet spot for me, and HRmax hasn't changed across the years when I'm conditioned)

             

            When I first started, the slowest I could run (or thought I could run) was about 77-80% HRmax. After doing some harder hill work, the HR at which I could run dropped a bit. I think it was the next year when I had a similar drop. Now, I can run at 70% HRmax, and lower, if I'm feeling lazy. Whether the change came from improved strength / power / economy or slightly larger volume (heart or blood) thus needing fewer bpm, I won't guess. I only run by feel, so don't know how the paces compared, which may be a bit irrelevant since I run on different trails, hills, and snow much of the time where terrain has a lot to do with the pace for the same effort.

             

             

            MTA: The high HR near the beginning may just be your warmup, and you eventually settle into a groove. The one I looked at didn't look high enough for a bad connection. It could have been, but I'm guessing you're going out too fast / hard.

            "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

              @StephanieZ - I don't imagine people do see that kind of difference between identical models, but I'm a troubleshooter by upbringing and that's just something I'd do to eliminate the possibility

                @StephanieZ - I don't imagine people do see that kind of difference between identical models, but I'm a troubleshooter by upbringing and that's just something I'd do to eliminate the possibility

                It's a good point you made - reproducibility of numbers by gadgets.  One aspect of my vegetation research was reproducibility (by humans) of plant cover estimates, so I'm fairly tolerant of a few bpm here and there in biological systems. Wink   Nevertheless with things that are intended to measure bpm, I'd expect them to be fairly close. Irregular heart beats could result in some weirdnesses as one might be missed and two could be counted as one.

                 

                When I had a stress test a few years ago, I generally was looking out the window (beautiful view of mountains) but occasionally looked at the bpm. It was reading exactly what I'd expect.

                 

                To be sure, there are variations that occur, but they're usually (probably not all the time) associated with bad connections of some sort or something weird in one's body that day and other idiosyncrasies. At least that's my experience.

                "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
                cookiemonster


                Connoisseur of Cookies

                  I think my first question is what are your goals for monitoring your HR?

                   

                  Then I think I'd just suggest tossing the HRM in a drawer and leaving them there.

                   

                  The accuracy of the devices are certainly in question.  The time between using the devices adds to the question.  The physiological factors affecting you while running are also in question.  It just sounds like there are several possibilities at play to affect the results you're seeing.

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                  "C" is for cookie.  That's good enough for me.


                  RunsWithDog

                    I think my first question is what are your goals for monitoring your HR?

                    <end quote, editing difficulties, sorry>

                     

                    Well, I'd say I have at least two goals;

                     

                    1) to avoid overdoing it on easy runs on hills. The HR monitor can remind me to slow my butt down on hill runs on my easy days, as I have really long hills, but I like to run those routes on easy days, as there is no way I could hit pace goals for prescribed paces on mile-long 8-10% grade hills, etc., but, my using the HR monitor, I can assure myself that running 13mm isn't actually a completel cop-out since my HR might still be hitting 80-85% MHR.

                     

                    2) to measure my relative effort today vs days/races past. From 16-18 mos experience with it in the past, during that time, I found I could closely measure my effort with HR. I knew that 172ish (86%MHR) was my HM race effort, sustainable for a bit over 2 hrs. I knew that 178ish (89% MHR) was my 10k race effort, sustainable for nearly an hour. In the past, I was able to use this knowledge to guesstimate race fitness for a race a few months later than my last race. I could test out a new, faster, pace in training to see if it was a reasonable guesstimate.

                     

                    I.e., if 172ish were still my sustainable-for-2-hrs effort (and that past HMs have had me at 170ish my mile 5), then I could go test out a pace for 5 miles and see what HR it gets me to (at the end of the 5 miles), and if that HR were at or below 170 and relatively stable there, then I could guess that, hey, I've gotten faster, I can/should try out this faster pace in that upcoming HM.

                     

                    This is what I am trying to do with the data now, but I am just freaking out a bit that my HR data, if I interpret it as above, indicates that I could/should try to attain a HM pace much faster than I guessed I was ready for. I realize that frequent racing would give better results. I am just trying to get a guesstimate based on the data I do have.

                     

                    After Jan 6, I will have a current HM race data point, so hopefully that will validate and/or invalidate my older HR data/correlations. Right now, I am really mainly looking at the lower HR as possibly an indicator that I can/should try for a faster HM pace in the Jan 6 race.

                    PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

                    Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

                    Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan

                      Every time I see a panicked heart rate question, I'm reminded of why I don't use a heart rate monitor.

                      Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                      Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                      Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

                      cookiemonster


                      Connoisseur of Cookies

                        So am I understanding you correctly that you're basing your running on a quantitative measurement instead of just how you feel as you go?

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                        "C" is for cookie.  That's good enough for me.

                          Stephaniez said: "This is what I am trying to do with the data now, but I am just freaking out a bit that my HR data, if I interpret it as above, indicates that I could/should try to attain a HM pace much faster than I guessed I was ready for. I realize that frequent racing would give better results. I am just trying to get a guesstimate based on the data I do have."  (not sure why the quote didn't work)

                           

                          One of the first things I remember reading about HR training is to go by duration and intensity (HR) OR by distance and pace. Don't mix the two or you'll get yourself frustrated. I think you've just shown that. Wink  That's esp. true on hills.

                           

                          If you want to stay easy at any time - on hills or wherever - just be sure you can talk to yourself in complete sentences. Whistle or sing if you want, but that's tougher, esp. when you run out of the first bit of air. But it's that simple.

                           

                          You sound like you've been using the HRM long enough - or at least in the past you did - that you should be able to tell your bpm by feel, or close to that. I'm saying that assuming you're on a normal surface (not windblown snow) and don't have a pit bull charging you. It's fine to use it to log data and look at it afterward. Just don't stress when your pace doesn't match it.

                           

                          If you're going to obsess about pace, then I'd suggest forgetting about the HRM. I'm saying that as someone who has used a hrm for over 10 yrs, but I don't worry about pace. Because I runny hilly trail races, I don't believe in there being such a thing as MP or HMP or 10k pace - at least in my races. Some marathons may have a variation of 50% in pace as you go up and down hills. And some days it's just about getting out there and logging some miles without getting frostbite.

                          "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

                            So am I understanding you correctly that you're basing your running on a quantitative measurement instead of just how you feel as you go?

                             

                            Absolutely.  Your body couldn't possibly give you the feedback you need to adjust your effort accordingly.  Indeed, I have it on good information that human beings were unable to run before the invention of Garmins and heart rate monitors.

                            Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                            Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                            Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

                            cookiemonster


                            Connoisseur of Cookies

                              Sorry.  I should've quoted StephanieZ as that was to whom I was directing the question.

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                              "C" is for cookie.  That's good enough for me.


                              RunsWithDog

                                Well, I thank you all for your feedback! I can see that my question is not a simple one.

                                 

                                I am still a new runner. I've only been running 26 months, and I am an older new runner (42), so I surely don't have the feel for my pace/comfort that a more experienced runner would. I would love that. I aspire to it. I am sure it will come at some point. For now, though, I do think I benefit to some degree from an external control such as HR monitor or Garmin-measured pace.

                                 

                                I am just now trying to push my pace via intervals and such. And, no, I am afraid that I often get confused about how hard I should push myself, and I don't know what I am capable of as I haven't tested my limits at shorter distances in quite a while. The last time I had a proper race under marathon was 13 months, and 1400+ miles, ago. A while back, when I was first moving into marathon training, I was told by people wiser and more experienced than I that I should run slow and easy for most of my miles. I did that. And I did a lot of it. Then I got a HR monitor again, and my data had changed a lot for paces/HR during those months without a HRM. So, I am re-assessing the appropriateness of just how slow I have been running my slow (and faster) runs.

                                 

                                FWIW, I can chat/talk/sing at a huge variation of paces, so I've found that a difficult way to measure the appropriateness of intensity. I've had plenty of 10:15ish mm runs while I was carrying on extensive conversations the entire run. However, I believe that 10:15 is probably much too fast for my "easy" runs since I know that is well faster than my marathon pace. In fact, I have carried on conversations during hour long runs when my HR was 170+ the entire run -- so that is about my HM heartrate. The only time I can't talk is 10k+ pace. I guess I am just really chatty -- as my running partners could vouch for. Blush

                                 

                                Anyway, my fitness is changing, and I guess noone here can answer my initial question about whether it is feasible that just a few weeks of interval and tempo work might have substantially changed my comfort/HR at faster paces. That's OK; thanks for trying! I appreciate all your attempts to help.

                                 

                                I guess I'll just be winging it and will see how it goes over time. In any event, I have a snowy, pretty 12 miler calling me in the morning on my very favorite 12 mile route, so I better get to sleep. Maybe I'll make it 15 so I can do my even-more-favorite 15 mile route. Smile

                                 

                                Thanks again!!

                                 

                                Happy running!!!!!!!!!

                                PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

                                Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

                                Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan

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