>General Running>"aerobic" workouts
I'm currently in the aerobic base-building phase of my training (or in the "introductory" period, as prescribed by the Brad Hudson training program), with the goal of running 50-60 mpw consistently before I attempt
a large amount of more speed-oriented work. Because this phase for me is predominantly "aerobic" (apologies if I misuse the term), I am
taking extra pains to make sure that I stay within the recommended HR range so that I can maintain a relatively high mileage.
...Which is where I fall into trouble. The standard "age" formula calculates my maximum heart rate to be 203; today, on a run which I intended
to be "aerobic", my average HR was 168 (82% using age formula) and the max was about 180 on several large hills (88% using age formula).
I realize that this formula is hardly an accurate indicator of maximum heart rate. Should I complete the "maximal effort" HR test? Is it not worth it at this point? Or is a run that I label as "aerobic" which is just on the border of anaerobic running no cause for worry?
It's not worth it (I don't think.) During the general phase, you just want to keep things in the ballpark, so a ballpark number will work for you.
It also works to simply run easy. What does Hudson say about how to approach it?
Another ballpark indicator is whether or not you could have a conversation about an interesting topic while you are running. If you can't, it's not easy. That indicator probably works as well as heart rate.
The Logic of Long Distance
If you use a heart rate monitor and MHR as your relative point, then test yourself on a track, hill, or at the end of a race. If you do a track or a hill, make sure you run for 30-45minutes before hand. Be warm. THen just run as hard as you can for as long you can over several intervals, or hills. See how high yoiu can get your HR. That'll be a good working max.
Here are some of the ones that several books and coaches recommend for general aerobic:
--180-age (The Maffetone Method)
--70% HRR (heart rate reserve) John L. Parker's "Heart Rate Training FOr The Compleat Idiot"
--Van Aaken.....130 bpm tops
--check out Hadd's HR
The general rule is to have a ceiling and stay at it or under it, even you have to walk some.
I've used The Maffetone Method for 7 years.
In Hudson' s section on pace, he says "easy" runs are easy by comparison to whatever other weekly workouts you are currently
doing. As per the "adaptive" running approach, I think what he means is that they just need to be easy enough to ensure that you are able to complete the next moderate-effort or hard workout without lingering fatigue from the last. So I suppose it's entirely possible the pace/distance of my easy workouts could vary depending on how I feel.
There's also a section about what he calls progression runs, in which speed is increased near the end of an easier run. I've been trying that
near the halfway mark but I think it might be a better bet to do so a little later for starting out, maybe 75% through. Mostly, I go by effort - if I'm struggling on very steep a hill, I shorten stride and take lighter, quicker steps...if I feel light and energetic later in the run, I'll pick pace up by
I did the running-talking test once not too long ago (actually, it was kind of forced on me - I was running with a partner way faster than I was and he wanted to talk for pretty much the entire length of a nearly 7-mile run!) In any event, I had to answer in sentence fragments
quite a bit, and I used the word "yeah" a lot...but I was still able to get the words out. "Brisk" is how I would describe it.
That's not how I'm running my 8-mile "aerobic" runs, though....my pace is about 15 seconds slower than it was on that run. So, in short, I couldtalk on these current runs, but probably not on the hills.
I'll probably try at least once to get my heart rate maxed out before I settle for an arbitrary figure. (The highest race HR I currently recorded was 194, at the finish.)
Thanks for the help!
I'm kind of in the same place right now. I'm trying out a plan by Joe Friel. He uses your Lactate Threshold to set the heart rate zones. (i.e. much of the aerobic base is spent in the 80%-90% of your LT). I think the idea is that LT is easier to find than your Max heart rate.
I tried both methods (I did a series of all out intervals to find my max) and my heart rate zones using both methods came out about the same-give or take a few beats per minute-but finding my LT was definitely easier.
Zone 2 training is definitely painfully slow, but I'm noticing my heart rate starting to drop, and I'm starting to shed some of the pounds I put on over the winter. And best of all, I haven't gotten injured yet!
Good luck with the training.