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HR vs. Pace (Read 1122 times)

    (I really wish you could do a search on the community home page to see if this thread has been discussed before..) Anyway, I have my new treadmill up and running with a TV and DVD player and all is well. The thing I've noticed, now that I have a HR monitor is that my pace (a measly 4.0 on the treadmill) takes my HR up to 178-185. 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). So today I did a HR run and the treadmill basically had me fast-walking the entire time. Any time I started running my HR sky-rocketed. So my questions are as follows: 1) Should I care more about my HR than my pace? 2) How do I improve my performance so I can start running and keep my HR down. Do intervals do this? Thanks, kimmer
    My goal in life is to be as happy as I possibly can. - Me
      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.
        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).
        That doesn't seem right. How did you get a max HR of 187? Was that from a calculation you found based on your age? It could be that 187 isn't really your max HR? Keep in mind that calculation-based max HR only work for a subset of people. Even if you max HR were higher, a HR of 178-185 is still very high. Can you try taking your pulse manually to veryify it's not a problem with your HR monitor. You can count your heartbeats for 6 seconds and multiply by 10 to get a rough idea.
        Derek
          Hey, Kimmer! First off, 220-age is great for the general public but is ... singularly unhelpfull for people seriously trying to do heart-rate-monitored training. There are tests out there you can do (involving running really fast up big hills lots of times, for example) that can help you determine what your actual max HR is. The formula doesn't work for everyone. I hit 203 during a 5K race last year, so that means I'm only... 17 years old! Whoo hoo! (Unfortunately it doesn't work that way...) However,160's not a bad starting point if you're unwilling to go through actual tests. Just remember it's a starting point until you figure out more specifically where you should be. Your questions: 1) Should I care more about my HR than my pace? It depends on what you're training for. For long term training and fitness, where your goal is to increase your cardiovascular health and run well over longer distances, the simple answer is YES. If you're going to be a sprinter, well, still yes, but there are other things you'll want to focus on too. If, on the other hand, you're just running for fun and don't really care about things like fitness level, well, then go have fun and leave the thing at home! Training by HR is frustratingly, agonizingly slow and tortuous at times. 2) How do I improve my performance so I can start running and keep my HR down. Do intervals do this? Intervals, sure. But what'll help you more is spening more time at the 160 range of exercise, whatever form that actually takes. If that means walking on the TM and gradually bumping up the incline, well, then, that's what you gotta do for a while until your cardiovascular fitness improves. It is possible to run really-really slowly. Unfortunately, I know this from experience. Sad It's possible to run at 3.9, 3.8, 3.7, and 3.6 on the TM. Unfortunately, I know this from experience too. Sad The good news is that with time it gets better. The bad news is that "with time" can be months! Consistancy and stubbornness will get you through this if you want to get through it. Or... You could just return that HRM and run at whatever pace you wanted to and say "to heck with HRM training!" That's always an option too! One you should consider before putting yourself through the agony of ultra-slow running. Wink It just depends on what you're trying to do. Here's a thought for you... 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.

          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.
            Yeah, I haven't been consistent lately due to an oral surgery and then a cold. I'm just starting to get back into it and maybe that's why my HR is a little wacky. I'll definitely check out your advice though and see what works for me. Thanks! kimmer
            My goal in life is to be as happy as I possibly can. - Me
              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.
              I was using the 220-age (33) = 187... If I do your math calculating correctly I get 171. (RHR is 80 with an 85% intensity) Is that right? Kimmer
              My goal in life is to be as happy as I possibly can. - Me
              Scout7


              CPT Curmudgeon

                Couple things here: A) 220-age is not a good method to use. If you don't want to pay a doctor to give you a test, then your best bet is to read this article: http://www.d3multisport.com/articles/heartrate.htm It covers a number of methods for determining HR. I recommend going with the Friel method. There's also this one: http://www.d3multisport.com/articles/determinezones.html It covers swimming and cycling zones, too, but you can skip those. B) Personally, I have never used a HRM. But I know a lot of people who do, and I think that unless you're involved in some sort of group, a HRM is a great tool for a beginner. I would say that for right now, you should be focused on increasing mileage, slowly and intelligently. As you continue to run, you'll become faster and more efficient. I've heard tale after tale of non-runners who have used HRMs with great success. That being said, it will take a few months to really see the difference. Right now, though, you need to build base mileage. DO NOT DO INTERVALS!!!! Speed work will give you a short gain, but has a much greater chance of hurting you in the long run. Your time is much better spent building aerobic base and efficiency rather than trying to become faster immediately. Remember this much: Your speed and endurance 2-3 years from now can be linked to your running now.
                  Your rates are as follows: Simple calculation (220-age) = Max (187) 70%=131 75%=140 80%=144 Kevornen formula you need to measure your resting heart rate (RHR) first thing in the morning over 3 days and take the average. then use these formulas: (Max - RHR) x .7 + RHR = 70% (Max - RHR) x .7 5+ RHR = 75% (Max - RHR) x .8 + RHR = 80%
                  Will be weightlifting and running to get into the best shape I can before turning 40. Here are my progress pictures: http://tinyurl.com/584qwt
                  rkeddie


                    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?
                    Scout7


                    CPT Curmudgeon

                      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?
                      To an extent, it can depend on the type of work out you're doing. If you're supposed to be doing a LT workout, and you're too high or too low, then you're either stressing yourself too much (and not getting the benefit by not being able to complete the workout properly), or you're not stressing yourself enough (which defeats the point of it). If you're talking about base mileage, most information I've seen does give a range (High Z1 - Low Z2), mostly because your HR is going to go out of range at some points. Hills, changes in terrain, stop lights....They're all going to have a short-term effect. But the overall goal of the workout is to stay within that aerobic zone, and that's where you should be for most of it. Also, if you're relatively new to running, the first part of my statement shouldn't affect you, since you shouldn't be doing anything even remotely like LT. It should all pretty much be aerobic base miles.
                        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.

                        Runners run.

                        Scout7


                        CPT Curmudgeon

                          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.
                          I agree with you. I was specifically referring to LT runs, which shouldn't be in your base phase, regardless of level of fitness. By LT runs, I'm talking intervals and other speed work. Part of the primary reason for the initial slow running for a beginner is to allow the body to acclimate to the new activity. This is more of a joint / bone / muscle issue than an aerobic one. But that also goes along with ramping up mileage intelligently, too. And I'm getting beyond the realm of the OP aren't I?
                          Scout7


                          CPT Curmudgeon

                            OK, for anyone who is bored, or just enjoys reading, I found this: http://www.counterpartcoaching.com/hadd.pdf It's basically a transcript of a message board post that talks all about how to do HR training to improve your aerobic ability. It can get wordy, and the writing style is more prose-like, but if you take the time to wade through it, there's some pretty solid advice.