Low HR Training


New to Low HR questions (Read 315 times)


    Background: Former running getting started again male 26, about 3 years ago I knew my HR max was over 210. Highest I've seen recently is just shy of 200, assuming around 205. 


    I have been working on getting a bit of running in lately, with most of it being fairly low HR stuff, not intentionally but because I tend to run with people a good deal slower than me. Generally the highest I'll get my HR on an easy run is 150ish. Depends greatly on the weather but never higher than 160. For the first 45 mins or so of a run I'll average around 8 min pace at a HR of 130, the last 20-40 mins I will go a bit harder and get to around 150, averaging anywhere from 7:00 to 6:20, depending on weather/hills/etc. 


    Did a semi MAF test today after 15 mins warm-up. Went 152 HR avg for a mile and went 6:43 mixed sun/shade fairly flat temp 92. 


    What else am I missing? How do I translate what seems to be pretty good aerobic fitness into racing fitness for 1/2 Mar and below? Am I even very fit for low HR training should I just keep building for a while longer? Generally what are the benefits of low HR training?


    Sorry for writing a novel just looking for somewhere to start. I haven't been intentionally running a low HR programme it's just kinda worked out that way. 

      Welcome Jeg,


      You aren't missing anything. Your MAF is 149-159 (depends if you take any adjustments). You have some good aerobic speed relative to someone like me, but am not sure how good it is relative to your potential. They idea is to develop your aerobic potential, while staying healthy. You will do that by putting a fair amount of volume running aerobically. You'll have to experiment to see what the right volume for you is. If you do regular MAF tests, the results will be a good guide as to whether or not your training is optimum (or too much). When it comes to races, just get out there and start doing them and see what you can do. See how your race times relate to your current aerobic speed (speed at MAF). For example, you might find that when your MAF test speed is 7:00, your half marathons average about 1:22:00, but when you get your tests to 6:00, you can run 1:15:00.

      Then you know that if you want to run 1:15:00, you need to get your MAF tests back to 6:00. If you want to improve, then you need to get them faster. The faster your aerobic speed, the greater your endurance.


      Remember that races are speedwork to the nth degree. They would be considered anaerobic in MAF terms. Again, if you do regular MAF tests throughout all phases of training, whether it be aerobic, anaerobic, or racing, they will guide you as to whether or not it is time to cut back, go back to just aerobic training, add anaerobic training, or to rest for awhile.




        Thanks for the reply. I have begun to notice that my pace at MAF (+or- a bit) has been slowing slightly. Is that a key to start racing/anaerobic training? The volume has been pretty consistent, so I would assume that the slowing MAF would not mean lowering volume correct? 


        Lastly if I do 6-8 weeks of racing/anaerobic training and then go back to aerobic training when my MAF starts slowing again. Will my speed at MAF improve, beyond what it was before I started racing/anaerobic training?

          If your MAF tests are  on a plateau, or slightly slowing, it could mean a few things:


          --you need to reduce training load (sometimes, some people will regress when they train in heat, and need to cut down)

          --you need  to balance out with some anaerobic work

          --life stress has increased, and you need to cut back on running

          --just a natural plateau.

          --other (low on carbs, iron, vitamin D, electrolytes, etc.)


          You could try adding a tempo run in every week, or start racing, and see what direction your MAF tests go in. If they don't improve, or regress more, then it wasn't anaerobic work that you needed.


          You could always continue with your base work. If it was a natural plateau, you should start to improve again sooner or later.


          I can't say whether or not or when your aerobic speed will improve or regress, or by how much. That tale will unfold. If you follow your MAF tests and cut back or return to aerobic base work when they tank, and get them going back in the right direction, and continue to build volume of aerobic work, they should have an upward curve overall, despite small setbacks.