Low HR Training

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Tweaks and alterations in my running program. Where Do I Go From Here? (Read 298 times)

    Surely others have experienced what I am going through right now. I am trying to figure out where to go from here so I have been experimenting and tweaking everything around a bit. Some of my changes are as follows. 1. I have been trying to gradually increase my mileage. Consequently, I ran five days this week for a total of 33 miles. That's the most mileage I have ever done in a week. RESULTS: This has not been a problem for me other than the fact that because I am not very fast, more and more miles means more and more time on the roads and trails. I am probably now at the limit as far as the amount of time I have available to invest each week (if not over my limit) unless I can get to the point where my paces are better. 2. I am now trying to do 1/3 of my weekly mileage goal each Sunday and then I spread the rest of the miles across four (sometimes five) runs during the week and I generally alternate between harder and easier (translated longer and shorter distance) days. Also, since Sunday is my longest day, I always take Monday off. Furthermore, I am making every other week a bit easier than the previous week as well. RESULTS: So far injury free and the easier days seem to help ward off any stiffness associated with the harder days. Considering my age and level of conditioning, I feel that this is working out really well. 3. Up until this week (Week 14 of MAF) I have tried to stay religiously at or below 127 although there have been plenty of blips up above 127 here and there. But, since I have been running regularly four to five times a week for over a year now, I decided to "test the waters" by bumping MAF up to 132 for the last couple of runs this week. I must note, however, that in order to MAF, it is always run a bit until I exceed MAF and then I'll have to walk some to bring the HR back down to around MAF -10 and then start running again. I am still not able to run an extended distance and remain at or below 127. RESULTS: I had hoped that it would allow me to run more and walk less and consequently get my work done a little quicker. Truthfully, I see little difference if any in my times. But, at 132, I don't feel as though I am working much harder or having to breath much harder which is a bit surprising. 4. During my seven mile run this past Thursday, I decided to just let go on my last mile and I ran, completely disregarding MAF or anything else. I just wanted to run and stretch my legs and see what I could do. I won't say that I sprinted but I felt like I was doing pretty well for an "old guy". RESULTS: My last mile ended up being a 9:40 pace which was disappointing. While I certainly did not feel like I was about to collapse, that last mile was a lot more taxing that I had expected. 5. I have been adding some hills occasionally in order to help strengthen my legs. RESULTS: This hasn't been much of a problems except for one outing where I had total uphill time of approximately 12 minutes during a short three mile run. That left me feeling pretty sore for a couple of days so I had to take an extra rest day. By the way, on that particular day, I went well over MAF because of the hills. So, I feel that I have some decisions to make. I am having a lot of fun at this but I feel a need to optimize my time as well as my development. Should I continue at 132 or should I go back to 127? Should I be doing one demanding run per week (higher HR and/or hills) or should I stay strictly MAF during all runs for a while longer and, if so, for how long? Is there anything else I should change? Am I being impatient considering that 14 weeks is but a drop in the ocean? Am I trying to do too much for my level of development? Thanks in advance for any and all comments and suggestions. Best Regards to all.

    I intend to live forever . . . or die trying.

      As far as results you have seen so far, are you seeing less cardiac drift now versus when you started? Even if you are not seeing great pace increases and still have to walk--if the cardiac drift is improving then you are learning to burn fat. If you are not seeing pace decreases at MAF or a reduced cardiac drift, you may need to change something up (which may be staying lower than 127 for a bit). I know the first time I tried to run as fast as I could last September after MAF-ing all summer, I ran a block around my neighborhood at a 7:37 pace. I too was disappointed as my 5k PR pace was 7:12. Don't worry, the speed will come but will not be there the first time. I sharpened for a 10k last fall and my faster running improved much over that initial 7:37 pace, and my heart rates were mich lower at those paces than before MAF-ing. The other thing (I need to work on this, too), is starting your runs at a much lower HR so that you don't end up going over 127 and have to walk. I know this is easier said that done. For me, it is a lot easier to control my HR on a treadmill so you might want to spend more time on the treadmill to do more running and less walking in the base phase. As far as where to go from here--I say try to keep your mileage where you are or higher if yon can (as your pace decreses if you are out of free time). Mileage, consistancy and no injuries are the key. It took me 8-9 months to really start seeing the bigger improvements.
        Tege, Just perused your log. Nice progress. Getting into the 12-13:00's, and you started at 15-17:00's in much cooler weather. You've also built up your volume base nicely, and slowly, allowing your body to adapt. I recommend staying the course with the MAF, and keep building volume slowly. Don't make the mistake of hopping into anaerobic work too soon, why risk an injury at this point? You are in the midst of some awesome progress. AND STAYING HEALTHY! See how fast you can get at MAF. I believe your paces will be 10-11:00's before you know it. Your long runs are getting up there, which will speed up your progress. Allow your body more time to turn itself into an aerobic machine. You won't be sorry. I suggest doing some aerobic intervals and more frequent MAF tests. Congratulations on all your progress. --Jimmy

        Log & Profile            Crusted Salt #210

          As far as results you have seen so far, are you seeing less cardiac drift now versus when you started? Even if you are not seeing great pace increases and still have to walk--if the cardiac drift is improving then you are learning to burn fat. If you are not seeing pace decreases at MAF or a reduced cardiac drift, you may need to change something up (which may be staying lower than 127 for a bit). I know the first time I tried to run as fast as I could last September after MAF-ing all summer, I ran a block around my neighborhood at a 7:37 pace. I too was disappointed as my 5k PR pace was 7:12. Don't worry, the speed will come but will not be there the first time. I sharpened for a 10k last fall and my faster running improved much over that initial 7:37 pace, and my heart rates were mich lower at those paces than before MAF-ing. The other thing (I need to work on this, too), is starting your runs at a much lower HR so that you don't end up going over 127 and have to walk. I know this is easier said that done. For me, it is a lot easier to control my HR on a treadmill so you might want to spend more time on the treadmill to do more running and less walking in the base phase. As far as where to go from here--I say try to keep your mileage where you are or higher if yon can (as your pace decreses if you are out of free time). Mileage, consistancy and no injuries are the key. It took me 8-9 months to really start seeing the bigger improvements.
          Thanks Ace8. Absolutely, cardiac drift has lessened. And, it does take longer to reach 127. If it goes over 127, I'll slow to a walk until it goes down to 116 at which point I pick it back up again. While it would be overwhelming to try to document everything that happens every couple of hundred yards, it does seem that when I start walking, it gets back down to 116 much more quickly than it would have 14 weeks ago. My methodology is to start walking briskly for say 1/2 mile give or take a bit. I have even tried walking briskly for well over a mile and if I am lucky, I might be able to get my HR up to about 100 or so. So, when I start running, I am always still pretty well below MAF - usually around 92-100.

          I intend to live forever . . . or die trying.

            Tege, Just perused your log. Nice progress. Getting into the 12-13:00's, and you started at 15-17:00's in much cooler weather. You've also built up your volume base nicely, and slowly, allowing your body to adapt. I recommend staying the course with the MAF, and keep building volume slowly. Don't make the mistake of hopping into anaerobic work too soon, why risk an injury at this point? You are in the midst of some awesome progress. AND STAYING HEALTHY! See how fast you can get at MAF. I believe your paces will be 10-11:00's before you know it. Your long runs are getting up there, which will speed up your progress. Allow your body more time to turn itself into an aerobic machine. You won't be sorry. I suggest doing some aerobic intervals and more frequent MAF tests. Congratulations on all your progress. --Jimmy
            Thanks Jimmy. I always look forward to hearing back from you. I will follow your advice. If I could someday get to MAF pace of 10:00, I will die a happy man! (Hopefully, I will save the dying for much later.) I feel like all of my runs are aerobic intervals once I get up to 127. You know - run a couple hundred yards - walk about 50 - repeat. But it does seem as though ever so gradually, I am running a little more and walking a little less. I have tried many times to move at a pace where I would level off at 127. But, for some reason, I just have not been able to do so. So far, I have never been able to go the first mile without going over 127 at some point. Is it possible that eventually I will be able to sustain 127 for an extended distance?

            I intend to live forever . . . or die trying.

              Yes, you will be able to. Remember, you are building a solid foundation, and that takes time when you are first starting out. Just the fact that you still have to walk, shows me you are doing the right thing. You've only been at it since 2/27. By next 2/27, you'll be a monster compared to yourself today. Just do an imaginary game now. You finish your run in 13:00 per mile, imagine waiting around for the you who started in February. You'll be waiting around awhile. Might I remind you that you just recently covered 11 MILES in ONE RUN!!!! 99% of Americans would react to you telling them that with a "what are you crazy? I could never do that" sort of answer. Keep going!!! Awesome stuff happening! AWESOME. --Jimmy p.s. awesome

              Log & Profile            Crusted Salt #210