12

Heart Rate Question (Read 1150 times)

    So I succumbed to my inner (my wife would say outer, as well) geek and bought a Garmin 305. I went for an 8-ish mile run last night - really just recording some data to try out my new toy. I was planning on what I thought was a slowish run at 11:30 to 12:00 pace - I was surprised at how easy it is to maintain pace with the Garmin - almost too easy. So anyway, I load the data into the training center software to complete my geek extravaganza (for the day anyway). Here's the chart: The heart rate settings are the defaults that the Garmin set based on my age, etc. It said my max HR was 178. It seems weird to me that my heart rate is so high on what felt like such an easy run. FWIW - I felt fine the entire run and although this is my longest run to date, by a couple miles, I felt I still had gas for another mile or two. For you experts out there, do you think I'm running too fast for an easy run or maybe the HR zones are not configured properly? Or something else that I'm not seeing?

    When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

    Scout7


    CPT Curmudgeon

      A) I can almost guarantee the HR zones are not correct. Garmin uses a standard formula (I don't know which one exactly), and more often than not, it isn't correct. B) It MIGHT be too high. When running outside, on roads, you're going to see your HR go up and down, mostly due to terrain and environmental effects, as well as speeding up/slowing down. Your better bet is to look at the average HR for the run. To get your HR zones, the best field expedient method is to go to a track or fairly flat course, warm up, and start out at a steady rate. After 10 minutes, hit the "Lap" button, and run for an additional 20 minutes. You should finish at a similar pace as when you started (maintaining speed), but you should feel like you had nothing really left (i.e. you couldn't keep up any longer). The highest HR during that 20 minutes will be your Lactate Threshold HR, and you can base your training zones off of that.
        I'm definitely no expert runner, but I do know some math.... Your graph looks like your HR peaked around or just under 170 at around 6.6m, 7.3m, and 8.25m. Maybe the 178 is your theoretical max, not the max observed on that particular run. Looks you you ran most of it in Zone 4 between 140bpm and 160bpm with quite a bit of variation I might add. Your pacing looks very even though. Was the course hilly or flat? You may want to measure your actual max HR with your monitor by running up a 200-400 yard hill a couple of times and then get your resting heart rate in the morning to get a better feel on what your real training ranges are. Your max HR may be way off from the general formula. I used three formulas and got 170, 174, and 178. When I actually tested it, it was 181. Also quite interesting is the slight upward drift evident in Zone 4. I know this is expected so it's nice to actually see it. I know that temperature and hydration levels also affect HR in combination with length of run. Thanks for posting it....
          Without having your Max HR (not derived from a formula) you are really just guessing about whether your HR is high or low for a given pace. Having a good estimate of your true Max HR is absolutely crucial to making heads or tails out of your HR data. There are plenty of methods available for determining your Max HR without lab testing. As a devotee of Pete Pfitzinger, I'll quote his suggestion:
          You can accurately determine your max HR during a hard interval session. An appropriate workout is to warm up thoroughly and then run 3 high intensity repeats of 2 to 3 minutes up a moderate hill, and jog back down right away after each one. If you run the first hill at 90% effort, and then run the last 2 all out, your heart rate should reach its maximal level during the 2nd or 3rd repeat.
          How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.
            Bet is was exciting to get graphs and stuff though. I've resisted getting any stuff like this all my running life but seeing those graphs and maps and things gets me a bit excited.
              Thanks everyone for the great information. I did find a site which discussed heart rate zones - they seem to use resting heart rate as part of the equations - since the Garmin didn't know my RHR - there's no way these zones can be right. So I'll definitely follow everyone's advice here and test for my MHR as well as my RHR. I don't have the link handy but will post it later - it has a nifty calculator for computing HR zones. I got the same results as you, Wiley - 3 different numbers - none of which was the 178 that Garmin defaulted me to. The course I ran was sort of rolling hills, I'm not sure there are any flat parts on it, but none of the hills are very big either. It was very cool to check everything out post-run, but the neatest part for me is that it makes it so much simpler to stay on a desired pace. It's normally very difficult for me to maintain slower paces - I always seem to speed up too fast to finish the planned distance. In last night's run, I set out to do 5 miles and maintain 11:30 - I ended up being able to do 8+ miles and not be cooked afterwards. I went back and forth on the expense for a bit, until I weighed the cost of it against the many thousands of dollars I've burned up on cigarettes. A drop in the bucket for a much healthier purpose.

              When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

                I have the 301 but I thought that it came with the standard settings and after a number of runs, based on the data from those runs, it would redetermine/personalize your zones...or something like that? I don't have the manual in front of me so I could be waaaay off base...
                Jennifer mm#1231
                  Bonkin I'm tempted to drop the $$$ and join the Garmin crowd but I always manage to talk myself out of it at the last minute. I do have a simple HRM and I'm using it just to get a feel for what "75% HRR" feels like when running. Those graphs are way cool, though. Looks like you stopped to tie your shoes or get at drink at about 2.1m Smile
                    I have the 301 but I thought that it came with the standard settings and after a number of runs, based on the data from those runs, it would redetermine/personalize your zones...or something like that? I don't have the manual in front of me so I could be waaaay off base...
                    I'll read the manual again for that. Thanks, Life!

                    When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

                      Those graphs are way cool, though. Looks like you stopped to tie your shoes or get at drink at about 2.1m Smile
                      LOL - I did stop to tie a shoe early on - caught by technology! Too bad Rosie wasn't wearing one back in the day.

                      When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

                        Try using SportTracks instead of (or in addition to) Garmin's Training Center. SportTracks has even cooler graphing functions. Cool SportTracks
                        How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.
                          Try using SportTracks instead of (or in addition to) Garmin's Training Center. SportTracks has even cooler graphing functions. Cool SportTracks
                          Thanks, Berner - I'll check that out later.

                          When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

                            So I did some more reading last night and I think I have the zones set up better. None of the data is in zone 5 (which in theory is sprinting territory - which I wasn't at all) and a lot more of it is in zone 3 - which is where I would have expected it. I plan to do one of the MHR tests that several of you have suggested - but am waiting a few days until I'm more rested up. As an aside, though, I did a Resting HR test last night - the site I read suggested that I lay down on the floor for 20 minutes. I modified floor to mean couch Cool. I not only learned my RHR, but now I can use my couch for hill work! My couch work out begins at minute 2:00. I never realized my couch was so hilly! I'm going to have to add at least 5-10 more of these to my weekly workouts!

                            When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

                            Scout7


                            CPT Curmudgeon

                              http://www.trainingpeaks.com/gale/2TrainingIntensity.doc Ok, I came across this....Really good description of HR training, and how to conduct a field test. Max HR isn't really all that necessary. You're more concerned with your LT HR.
                                Max HR isn't really all that necessary. You're more concerned with your LT HR.
                                This may be true for some analysis, but devices like the Forerunner and programs like Garmin Training Center and SportTracks key their HR graphing and zones off of Max HR. So even if you're much more likely to train at levels closer to your LT HR, knowing your Max HR helps you keep consistent graphing with these tools.
                                How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.
                                12