Pace/Interval HR question . . . (Read 366 times)


    I am using a HR monitor again after 6 months w/o one, but I was running lots during those months, so my HR has dropped a good bit for comparable runs. So, I am playing around with pace trying to figure out what paces I should be aiming for in upcoming events. (I think I've been enjoying running easy just a bit too much, lol.)


    Next up is a HM on Jan 6, so that is my key question -- how fast can I try to do it w/o crashing and burning . . .


    My thought is that in my prior PR HM, I ran at 173 average HR, and this is comperable to my PR 10k of 177 HR, according to the magic formulas found here:




    So, anyway, I've thought that I *should* be able to run this upcoming HM at or near 173 HR. So, I figured I'd play around with pace runs to see what it takes to get my HR there (after a couple miles, obviously).  


    I tried a 3 mile run today at 9:46 (meant to do 10:00, which was my working planned HM pace, which is also my PR HM pace, but whatever, I was at 9:46)


    But, my HR is creepily low for what I was expecting. (I know the HR monitor is working, lol.) The third mile, at 9:50, was at 165 avg. (My HR was steadily declining over the 3 miles, even though my pace was not declining, so I think the third mile is the most relevant.)


    So, given my past HRs in races, does this mean that I should try for faster? I've logged a lot of slow miles the past 6 months, and I am afraid I've gotten rather used to running feeling easy, lol. Am I totally out of touch with how hard I should be working?


    On a similar vein, just how high SHOULD my 5k race pace HR get? According to the magic charts, I'm looking at 190-196 for 5k, so, for me, I guess that'd be 190. (I always go with the slow end of the ranges, since I am a slower runner, and have to run at those race paces for LONGER than a faster runner, lol. Based on past race/HR correlations, this is a good match for me.) I have never actually run a 5k full out, and I know I should, but it will be a while before I do that, so I am looking for a good guess for now.


    So, the question on 5k intervals (a la Hansons), how long does the interval need to be before you expect your HR to actually get into your 5k race pace zone? So far, I've tried 400s & 600s (so up to a bit over 3 min), and it looks to me that my HR is settling at mayvle 178ish after a minute or so. This is waaaayyy below 190. Does this mean I am running these too slow? Or, is that 190-196 HR expected more at the end of a 5k, not just a couple minutes into it?


    Thanks for trying to help me figure this stuff out!



    PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

    Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

    Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan


      I know this isn't the answer you are looking for whatsoever, but just run. I have never seen so many numbers and calculations to describe running hahaha. 

      an amazing likeness

        Sorry, that's was no help...deleted.

        I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day. (for now)

          I think you would be better served by using your last race (Philly Marathon, which I also ran, and had a great time running Cool!) as your basis for the upcoming half.  If you feel like you had a good marathon race @ 11:30 pace, then shoot for a half based improving off that result if you feel you are or will be stronger & faster, maybe 10:45 to 10:50ish.

          What was I chasing again?


            Well, golly, I ran a 10:00 mm HM (2:11) when I was a lot less fit than I am now . . . and I ran a 12 mile LR, aiming for pretty damn slow for the first 9 miles, fast finish last 3, under 11:00 (10:59) a few days ago, so 10:45-10:50 seems way undershooting.

            PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

            Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

            Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan



              As you age and as your fitness improves, your heart will not have to work as hard as it did to supply the oxygen that your body is demanding during exercise. I would not be suprised if your Max HR is now lower then the 200 that you are estimating. http://www.cyclingscience.org/trainingonHR.htm


              What you need to do is put your HR monitor on and race a 5k to the best of your abilities without looking at your watch. During the last 400-600m, run as hard as you can across the finish line. After the race check out your highest reading during that effort and add a couple beats to that for a MAX HR.


              I also use a HR monitor for most of my workouts and typically train using the Maffetone Method. When I'm training for a specific event, I tend to run the paces that the paln I'm using calls out and forget the HR levels all together. I do track my resting HR so I can see if I'm overstressing my body and need some extra recovery.


              I also agree you should just use your last race and compare those results to a race prediction calculator and set a goal pace from there depending how well or poorly you felt you did at the last race.


              The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff


              2014 Goals:


              Stay healthy

              Enjoy life



                I measured my HR of 194 during my last quarter mile (at about 5k pace) fast finish to my fast finish 12 mile run Sunday. It was not an all out sprint, just a fun fast finish, and it was at the end of a LR, including 3 sub-10 miles at the end, so I am sure my HR would have gone higher had I been trying to test it. So, I am confident my 200 Max is pretty close accurate. I routinely have hit upper 170s to 180s routinely if I push hard on a long hill or during a fartlek-y type thing. I have seen it hit 202-204 during kill-myself-finishes a year ago. I've just felt that 200 was a nice round number, much higher than generally seen, and so I use 200 b/c I think it is pretty darn close, and it sure makes an easy number to do calculations with, lol. I realize my Max HR is unusually high. It is what it is, though.


                (Totally off topic, but, oddly enough, my dh also has an oddly high MaxHR, also right at 200-205. He's 46; I'm 42. Neither of us are oddly fit or otherwise weird physically, although we are both tough as nails mentally, lol. I think there may be some mystic personality correlation with high MaxHR as he and I have fundamentally similar personalities, too . . . I'd love to see some research on correlations between MaxHR and personality characteristics!)


                I've only been running 26 months, and the PRs I was referring to were 12-18 months ago, and were the last times I had proper races wearing a HR monitor.


                Anyhow, thanks for your trying to help me. I guess I will just see what happens Jan 6 and over the next 3 weeks of runs. I am going to try out a 9:30 pace run next week to see how it feels and what my HR does. If it feels good, and my HR is still lower than 170 at the end of a few miles, I'll likely try for that for the HM. The proof will be in the pudding on race day, lol.


                I think I am faster than I used to be. I certainly feel it in my training runs. When I got that 2:11, my hard-but-conversational pace was probably 11:30. Now I can run at 10:00 and carry conversations, feeling pretty much the same as I used to at 11:30s. I know I am faster. However, I absolutely gave that HM all I had, too, so I think I probably gave it my 100% maximum effort, which is never guaranteed on a particular run/race.


                Anyhow, thanks much! I guess there are no magic answers on this stuff. I'm happy to have HR data again, and after a few more months of data and the HM race's data, I should have a lot better feel for my current correlations between HR/pace/feel/etc.

                PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

                Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

                Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan


                   I guess there are no magic answers on this stuff. 




                  HR data can be good, just don't get too focused on it.  My first half marathon was about 1:57 at an average HR about 172.  My second HM was about 1:54 at an average HR about 162.  I put the same effort into the second HM as the first, and was just as wiped out at the finish.  


                  Use HR as information, run your races by effort.