>General Running>How hard to push
Not dead. Yet.
I'm sure this topic has come up many times before. In fact I was reading the "How to race a 5k" thread last night in preparation for my race today. I know about the pain and can embrace it somewhat during a race. It hurt like hell today, so at least I got that part right.
Once I got home and looked at my race data, I saw that my heart rate only maxed out at 176 during the final tenth when I was giving it everything; it averaged 171 for the whole race. I have never measured my true max heart rate, but when I was fat a year ago it would get up into the low 180's pretty regularly. It was close to the age based rule so I just went with that at 185 . So with a max heart rate of at least 185, my heart rate for this race only got me to 95% of max.
So I'm wondering since I really didn't get that close to my max HR if I had more to give. Maybe I need to just get more used to the pain so I can handle it better when it comes race time. During this race, it took everything I had not to stop and walk. I kept it going but gave in a bit and let my pace slow up. I guess my point is that it felt like max heart rate; I didn't have anything else to give. It obviously wasn't 100% though, so should I have pushed it a little harder? Can you even use max heart rate to determine max effort?
I also noticed that I have a hard time getting near max during training. I have been doing pretty hard intervals and tempos over the last month, and it's usually getting into the low 170's but only averaging 150's for the workout. Should I be getting to 95%+ during hard intervals and tempos?
I guess the other possibility is that my max heart rate has lowered since I have gotten fit. Not sure if that is possible, but I do know that my resting heart rate has dropped dramatically since last year. Does that have any influence on max hr?
Thanks for your advice!
How can we know our limits if we don't test them?
I find that the first mile or so skews the average hr to the low side. Therefore, for my own amusement, I ignore that first mile and calculate average hr for the remaining miles to get a truer gauge of my effort. I call it Average Working Heart Rate.
For instance- you did a 4 mile tempo run on 4/11. Your average hr was 154. If your device was set to see your mile splits, I'd bet that your average for the last three miles would be closer to 160-162.
Faster Than Your Couch!
Run for fun.
For what it's worth, in one of my five ks I averaged 182 with a 188 max, but in the last 5k of one of my 10ks I averaged 187 with a 192 max.
What does that mean? Nothing at all. Just some numbers. I couldn't have gone any harder in either one. Chalk up another reason as to why hr is pretty much useless.
Oh, and my max is about 200, so I don't even get close to that in long races.
According to Daniel's, a 5k is run at 94% of max hr. Your average of 171 would mean a calculated max of 182. Your numbers seem to be right on.
I thought of that, but then I thought that HR could be valuable in this case. I mean max hr is a set number and nothing you can do will get you above that. If you are not at that number, then you are not working maximally. Seems pretty cut and dry. I could not have pushed it much higher in my race, but I could perhaps be trained to push it higher in the future.
I'd like to do more training that puts me in that situation so I can become more familiar and comfortable with it. Is it ok to run time trials at max effort every other week or so in place of a tempo or interval workout?
Master of Inconsistency
I read your comments about your race and looks like you blew up after going out too fast. The heart rate in the first mile is just building up and then you slowed and weren't able to recover enough to push the heart rate near max. Though there are so many different variables with heart rate it's impossible to know for sure. Sometimes like JLC said " It's just numbers" I'm a data junkie too ,but don't fixate on it or I'll go nuts !
Ain't Wastin' Time No More !
^^^ This. Your third mile was the slowest despite a flat/downhill finish (from your garmin data), indicating a too fat start and subsequent slowdown despite your presumably maximal effort.
I think you guys are right about not worrying too much about hitting a specific number. What I'm going to take away from this experience is that I need to spend more time in that "pain zone" so perhaps I can handle myself better in the situation and run through it better. I looked it up online and it sounds like V02 max workouts are what I'm looking for. I will try to build some into my training over the next few months. I have a 10k race next weekend, so that will be another opportunity to run through it.
^^^ This. Your third mile was the slowest despite a flat/downhill finish (from your garmin data), indicating a too fast a start and subsequent slowdown despite your presumably maximal effort.
Yes and of course pacing. BUT...if I had been able to hold it through the hurt, it would have been a great race. It's only a blow up because I couldn't.