Low HR Training for an Inexperienced Runner -- Lets see what happens! (Read 646 times)

Grand Poobah



    Thanks for the response.


    A  couple of points in reply -- first, i agree completely that volume is my issue.  In fact, I never got my average above 20 MPW consistently, and most said that was necessary to see benefits from low HR training.  I intended to, and still intend to later this summer, so we'll see.


    What i do think is interesting is that I gained a lot of "speed" and seeming aerobic fitness at my current MPW when i switched my strategy.  You can see from my logs, which are accurate (maybe add another 10 miles per month for inside treadmill running), that my fitness improved substantially over the last couple of months, while my volume didn't.   I credit that mostly to the fact that i started doing tempo runs.


    Also, my max HR is about 194...i was running low HR at MAF calculated rates of about 137...yes this is around 70% of MAX HR, but is that not at the MAF level?  I used the formula to calculate it.


    Anyway, i am not a low HR training doubter by any means.  But i am probably a good example of why it doesn't make as much sense at under 20 MPW training volumes.


    I will check out the wizard, thanks for the tip.  I am going to spend the rest of the tsummer training for a "marathon", but will only run another half at the end of the summer.  I'd rather go for a half under 2:00 this year and maybe do a full next year, rather than run a slow ass marathon in a struggle this year Smile


    Thanks for the feedback folks.


      Also, my max HR is about 194...i was running low HR at MAF calculated rates of about 137...yes this is around 70% of MAX HR, but is that not at the MAF level?  I used the formula to calculate it.


      Did you use a formula for both MAF AND your HRmax? MAF is usually based on age, but HRmax is based on tests (yes, I know there are multiple formulas for HRmax, but they're poor predictors for individuals).


      Regular HR training goes off of HRmax or LT HR or something you test for - function of your genetics, fitness, and any number of other things. The usual MAF goes off age (180-age plus some fudge factors), although some may use some respiratory quotients. (look in the low HR training group here since I've never followed the details).


      If you can find it, take a look at Better Training for Distance Runners by Martin and Coe - the HR% zones. (they're probably online somewhere also, but I've forgotten where)  I've forgotten the details and my copy is buried somewhere, but somewhere in the 70-80% HRmax area might be where the mitochondria get the most benefit and 80-90% might be stroke volume, etc. 70% HRmax is where most athletic training zones start. There are some healthy-heart type plans that might go down to 60% HRmax. Note that those percentages are not precise, but rather fuzzy zones.


      I think I probably tried the low HR stuff when I was about 57, give or take a year or two. I was probably old enough to be outside the range where they had much data but not old enough to add in the senior citizen bonus points. 180-57= 123. I might have picked up a few bonus points to be around 126, iirc. So that number was the MAX that I was supposed to run in base. (I'm almost 66 now, so that gives me about 114 plus the bonus points, which I think comes out near 126 still. I"m not taking the time to look up the fudge factor numbers.)


      My HRmax was (and is) about 180bpm, so 70% HRmax is 126, or the BOTTOM (or close to it) of where I can expect to get cardio benefits for athletic stuff. (FWIW, I averaged 156bpm in a 1:15 race about 2 wks ago. That's 2 bpm above a HR calculated from the 220-age formula to be my max. And I lived to tell about it. Wink )


      So do I train by low HR, maybe losing cardio conditioning and definitely losing strength and power (not good for senior citizens), but maybe changing the effort level at where I switch from mostly fats to more carbs -  or do I go by traditional HR training. I'm putting my money on traditional HR training. Since I run on hilly trails which are sometimes snowy, pace is pretty useless as any estimate of effort.


      MTA: I also recommend the Running Wizard plans.

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