>Running 101>HR vs. Pace
Now, according to many books, etc, I'm only supposed to be excercising at 85% of my max HR which is around 160. (The max being 187).
Roads were made for journeys...
Looking at your log, it seems like you would most benefit from increased consistancy in training. Even more than from running at a specific heart rate. Why don't you join the Metric Millenium group (Join at http://www.runningahead.com/groups/1000K) and concentrate on that instead? There will be plenty of time for HR training later.
Did you follow the max heart rate = 220 - age formula? I've read a lot of articles stating that that's not quite accurate for a lot of people, recommending you use the Karvonen Formula (((MHR– RHR) x % intensity) + RHR = Training Zone) or run a lactate threshold test instead.
I'm curious about this myself because I'm getting a HRM soon.
Something I was thinking about as I was running with a beeping HR monitor this am ---
Each method gives an aerobic zone that is a couple of beats different. For training purposes, is being at 151 rather than 147 a big deal? I know that some of the MAF guys say that as soon as your hr goes over the top of your zone, you are ruined, but is it really that big of a deal?
I've never trained with a HRM but I think the real MAF zealots need to chill out a little bit. In my observation the people get the best results with MAF type training tend to be people who are new to running in the first place or people who, for whatever reason, have never previously been able to run their easy days easy enough. Running slowly (using low heart rate to regulate effort) allows them to run more mileage over a longer period of time than they have ever previously been able to handle. But it's the running a lot that makes them improve, not the low HR per se. And while I agree with Scout that new runners should definitely build a base before adding real tempo's and workouts, changing pace once in a while for short periods is good. I don't think most people need to exclusively jog around at geriatric paces for 6 months before doing anything up-tempo.