Low HR Training

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LHR training- I'm afraid to slow down! (Read 311 times)

    Hi gang, I've never posted on this subject before but thought Christmas day was as good as ever. I'm a 44yr old male, been running 12 years and have dropped my marathon time from 3:58 to 2:58 and half marathon time from 1:44 to 1:22 during the last few years. I have almost never run more than 3 days a week and my longest week ever was about 45 miles. I typically run between 25 and 30 a week. For me, an easy effort run is about a 7:30 or so mile, tempo is about 6:15 or so and race pace for 5ks is about 5:50. I never run slower than about 7:30 (usually warm up). I've had some on again off again injuries but never anything that made me think my running days were over. Most people would say that my training is all wrong, but my results seem to say differently, perhaps I'm wrong? I've always been competitive with myself, wishing to improve my times over the years as I'm sure that's true with most. I found that biking a couple of days a week has helped me improve my cardio without the pounding that running subjects you to. I've also added a lot of high repetition weights in the past couple of years and have found it has improved my strength for the longer races rather than high mileage weeks (I say that having not run high mileage weeks). Now, running as slow as most of you do during your training runs seems counterproductive towards improvement for someone like me who runs such low mileage, mostly because I never knew or thought that there was another way. I've always read from the LHR camp or the high mileage camp that speed work isn't even something that I should be doing until I get my mileage up to 60 miles a week yet I credit adding speed work/biking/lifting to my improved times over the past few years. Is the LHR philosophy saying that I should be slowing down, A LOT, and increasing my miles by double what I'm doing now to improve my marathon time? Can it improve where I am now performance wise by slowing down? How have I been able to get faster without a hr monitor and higher mileage? Have I been lucky? Am I a freak of nature? I guess my question is, can I, at age 44 get faster than where I am now by slowing down? It just doesn't seem to make sense, but I want to learn! I did see one of the poster's log here with race times as fast or faster than mine but weekly runs considerably slower. Makes me wonder if this LHR training is something I should consider!


    run-easy-race-hard

      Ok, so taking a quick look at your post reminds me of my typical pre-amble statement - if it ain't broke, don't fix it! So you've got a half best of 1:22 (which predicts a 2:52 full) and a full best of 2:58. Not too far off! It doesn't sound like you've got major injury issues and there are very few signs to indicate you need to change anything. Furthermore, you've mentioned a lot of paces, but no heart rates. I assume you're not using a monitor and you're running by feel. There are talented and lucky folks that can do really well without ever measuring a heart rate. So why bother? If I were seeing your results without a monitor I'm not sure I'd want to mess with anything. Now with that said, you can probably get away with safely cutting back the intensity of many of your runs and do just as well performance-wise and maybe even improve. But is it worth it? I don't know. You've definitely developed an acclimation (maybe even a liking) to the pain of running hard for a long time. There's something to be said for that. Lastly, a pace of 7:30 per mile in cool conditions for you may well be at an equivalent heart rate to that which gives a 9,10, 12, or 15 min mile for many of the rest of us. I hate to turn anyone away from this approach because I think it has something for everyone, but when you're married to the perfect wife at the pinnacle of happiness, why troll around to meet someone else?
        Wow, I was getting ready to get flamed! Thanks for the response. You're right, I never wear a hr monitor. Once or twice I have but I basically have always gone on perceived effort. I've been thinking about adding another day of running, mostly because I've been enjoying my running a bit more lately, but I was thinking that I should probably cut down the pace a bit. There is no question that when I have gone out and run a 9-minute mile (a couple of times with my wife), I feel like I could run 50 miles with no problem. I've been intrigued by some of the results I've seen by some other posters running at a pace so much slower than myself. I think that without question I would need to reduce my pace if I increased my mileage up to 70 or so miles a week otherwise I think I would get injured. Thanks again for the reply, I read you a lot on CR but was always close minded to the ideology of LHR training. At the very least, I would like to understand it further even if I don't choose to utilize it now. Thanks again.


        run-easy-race-hard

          Wow, I was getting ready to get flamed! Thanks for the response. You're right, I never wear a hr monitor. Once or twice I have but I basically have always gone on perceived effort. I've been thinking about adding another day of running, mostly because I've been enjoying my running a bit more lately, but I was thinking that I should probably cut down the pace a bit. There is no question that when I have gone out and run a 9-minute mile (a couple of times with my wife), I feel like I could run 50 miles with no problem. I've been intrigued by some of the results I've seen by some other posters running at a pace so much slower than myself. I think that without question I would need to reduce my pace if I increased my mileage up to 70 or so miles a week otherwise I think I would get injured. Thanks again for the reply, I read you a lot on CR but was always close minded to the ideology of LHR training. At the very least, I would like to understand it further even if I don't choose to utilize it now. Thanks again.
          The only time I ever come close to flaming anyone is when they tell me what I've already done can't be done! Well, feel free to pop back in with questions if you feel like dabbling. Probably the number one thing you can take away at the moment is that you can safely run with your wife at her pace, several times a week even (sorry if she reads this too), without losing anything - I can assure you of that. You may even reap some endurance benefits from it.