Low HR Training

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Figuring out pace through workout, not formula? (Read 448 times)

    Hello all. I've committed to using low heart rate training through the winter here, and have a question about determining my aerobic threshold. I am able to run a 5k in 20-21 minutes. This is like a 6:30 pace. Using the formula of 180 - age (28), I get a max HR of 152. Based on that, I set my HRM limit to 145, so that I stay under 152 even when I trigger the limit. Using this, I'm only able to run at like a 13 minute pace. I gave it a couple weeks to see if I just needed to adjust or what, but it seems like 12-13 minute pace is where I need to be, particularly if there is any elevation change. This pace seems too slow. It doesn't seem like I should have to go at 'half' speed just to be easy. After a couple weeks, I tried running at a 'perceived' easy pace, which was more like 10min/mile. This caused my HR to jump to like 180 for the duration of the run, but this wasn't a hard run, I felt like I could have kept going a long way (I ran 6mi at this pace). This is 3.5 min/mi slower than race pace. So, my questions: Is this big of a discrepancy normal? 6 min pace diff between race and MAF pace? Is it possible my HR just runs high? Can someone recommend a specific workout I could run to determine what my max HR ought to be? Or should I just suck it up and run at the formula pace? The first couple weeks were just a trial to see if I thought I could do it, and I think I can, but I'd like to make sure I'm going at an appropriate pace before committing for the next 12-16 weeks or so. Comments welcome! Thanks in advance.
    db7


      Same frustrating thing that happened to me. I was running everything at 9 min or less and started HR training and was running 12+. It just takes time. There are many old threads on here that talk about this. Hang in there for the winter and you will see results. The one other thing I would say is this. If you are running 6 min miles, I think you could give yourself 5-10 beats/min more than what you have your max set at. JMO DB

      Tougher than most, dumber than the rest. "You can not count the miles until you feel them" TVZ


      run-easy-race-hard

        Slow pace at a low heart rate is an indicator of poor aerobic conditioning (even though you may be pretty fast). That's the whole reason for doing it - it takes time, patience, and swallowing your pride. Did you read the FAQ? (http://formationflier.live.spaces.com)


        Slow-smooth-fast

          I do a 5k at the same pace as you, and I have just started the aerobic conditioning. I find it very hard too to go a lot slower than what I am used to. according to the formula my max is 157. 180-my age of 28, + 5. I set my rate monitor at 155 so that I don't go over. I have been doing it for about 3 day. Here are my findings up to now. Cant wait for improvement as I hate running slow, but I know it will pay off. I don't know what I would do if I had to start any slower than what I am right now. I will keep you posted. Date Miles 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 28-Nov 08:42 08:57 09:17 10:01 29-Nov 08:38 09:09 09:20 09:34 09:05 10:27 04:46 (0.5) 30-Nov 08:27 08:58 08:55 09:40

          "I've been following Eddy's improvement over the last two years on this site, and it's been pretty dang solid. Sure the weekly mileage has been up and down, but over the long haul he's getting out the door and has turned himself into quite a runner. He's only now just figuring out his potential. Consistency in running is measured in years, not weeks. And over the last couple of years, Eddy's made great strides" Jeff 14 Jan 2009

            Hi all, thanks for the responses. Formationflier, I completely agree my aerobic is not what it should be, which is why I'm definitely going to do this training. It just seemed like most people who were switching to this type of training who ran similar race times were running 10-11 minute mile paces, which is alot faster than the 13-14 minute miles I'm running. I was just checking to see if there was a non-standard formula calculation that might help account for this huge disparity. From your FAQ however, it looks like the answer is no, without complex tests being done, since most simple tests just find your maximum HR, which doesn't affect your MAF. By the way, your FAQ link should be http://formationflier.spaces.live.com (you mixed up your middle two subdomains). It sounds like I'm probably being more strict than I need to be with the formula, since I am: 1) not adding +5 bpm for current health 2) subtracting 5 bpm so that I never go over. I may grant myself 5 of those 10 beats difference, and then just stick to it for the winter. Good luck Eddy, we'll compare notes in the spring and see how we each fared.


            Slow-smooth-fast

              sounds good. good luck.

              "I've been following Eddy's improvement over the last two years on this site, and it's been pretty dang solid. Sure the weekly mileage has been up and down, but over the long haul he's getting out the door and has turned himself into quite a runner. He's only now just figuring out his potential. Consistency in running is measured in years, not weeks. And over the last couple of years, Eddy's made great strides" Jeff 14 Jan 2009


              run-easy-race-hard

                Hi all, thanks for the responses. Formationflier, I completely agree my aerobic is not what it should be, which is why I'm definitely going to do this training. It just seemed like most people who were switching to this type of training who ran similar race times were running 10-11 minute mile paces, which is alot faster than the 13-14 minute miles I'm running. I was just checking to see if there was a non-standard formula calculation that might help account for this huge disparity. From your FAQ however, it looks like the answer is no, without complex tests being done, since most simple tests just find your maximum HR, which doesn't affect your MAF. By the way, your FAQ link should be http://formationflier.spaces.live.com (you mixed up your middle two subdomains). It sounds like I'm probably being more strict than I need to be with the formula, since I am: 1) not adding +5 bpm for current health 2) subtracting 5 bpm so that I never go over. I may grant myself 5 of those 10 beats difference, and then just stick to it for the winter. Good luck Eddy, we'll compare notes in the spring and see how we each fared.
                Oops - I'm really getting sloppy. Just for reference, although I was capable of a 21:20 5k at the time, my first pace at MAF was 17 min/mile! Yes, I could have walked faster. Fortunately, it didn't last long at that pace, but it was still very slow for a while. Several months even. Eventually, I hit 7:15/mile at MAF pace (less than a year). What a change.


                Wasatch Speedgoat

                  In the old days (70's) there were no HR monitors and the training motto was to keep it at a conversation pace. Generally if you can talk with you running buddy (or yourself) you are running easy enough for aerobic building. What I do tell most people is to at least give the method of 180-age (+5 if you have been running regularly for several years) a try for several months. The winter is the best time to do this because you should be recovering from the racing season anyway. After doing this you can then find a rough approximation of your max HR by using the method in the sticky thread at the top of the page. What you should find is that your MAF should be at around 60% MHR, which is great for aerobic building and recovery. Now I will tell you a little story and it is related to max HR. My wife and I started on a Maffetone program at about the same time in 2003. I was a little frustrated with it, but settled in and stuck with it and have re-learned how to train because of that experience. My wife, on the other hand, was extremely frustrated, finding that she had to mostly walk to stay below her MAF upper number. She was so stressed out and frustrated that I told her to forget about it for awhile and just go out and run. In the meanwhile, I had found the system of finding your Max HR from a well renowned coach and former Olympic cyclist. So, we both took the test and found that my max was 186 and hers was 206! Aha! How could she possibly be getting the same benefit from absolutely the same number as I? I found that I was running at about 60%, whereas she was running below 50%. So we adjusted her number to a percentage of her max to 60% and she was smiling again. This is proof that formulas do not work for everyone and should only be used as a guide. Stick with the lower HR for a few months and you will feel great...rested, but still working aerobically. Then take the test and see where you stand. I very rarely wear a monitor these days because i can really tell by feel how i am running (I've been running for 33 years). Occasionally I will strap it on as a check, but I am always right where I need to be. BTW: I just ran a 20:53 XC 5K (6:45) and my training pace is closer to 10 mpm these days. I just ran an 18 mile run comfortably on Saturday and averaged 9:36. When I was running closer to 17 minute 5k's, I was training closer to 8mpm. That was 25 years ago...but the ratio of training pace to racing pace was about the same, 2.5 mpm. Good luck! Steve
                  Life is short, play hard!


                  run-easy-race-hard

                    In the old days (70's) there were no HR monitors and the training motto was to keep it at a conversation pace. Generally if you can talk with you running buddy (or yourself) you are running easy enough for aerobic building.
                    One should be careful using talk tests. I can hold a clean, crisp conversation through an entire marathon at a heart rate of 170 (well above my MAF) and my full-out marathon pace. I've probably done it 5 or 6 times. If I ran all of my training runs at or near my marathon pace, I likely would not be running today. I'm a disbeliever in the talk test. With that said, if one is completely against using heart rate monitors but is endeared towards the philosophy of MAF training (and has aerobic problems to correct), one approach is to find the pace in each run that can be sustained for the maximum training distance without having pace drop off towards the end and without feeling spent at the end. A run at a 20 mile distance is a great test for this, but many people have no interest in running that far. This pace will be different in different conditions and should improve over time. You will need to get in tune with your sense of effort and track your pace per mile to have any success with it.


                    Slow-smooth-fast

                      Same frustrating thing that happened to me. I was running everything at 9 min or less and started HR training and was running 12+. It just takes time. There are many old threads on here that talk about this. Hang in there for the winter and you will see results. The one other thing I would say is this. If you are running 6 min miles, I think you could give yourself 5-10 beats/min more than what you have your max set at. JMO DB
                      I would agree with this. Add 5 beats per/min. I am 28 too, and I set my max as 157. 180-28+5. I set my alarm at 155 though, and try not to go over that. I am frustrated with it too, as I can also do a 5k in the same time as you. Fortunately my pace is a little quicker at MAF< but it is still frustrating for me. stick with it, i am. it will be great if we all stick to it, and then compare results and findings. being a lover of data and numbers, i will have graphs etc for your perusal. stick with it, i am there with you. but="" it="" is="" still="" frustrating="" for="" me.="" stick="" with="" it,="" i="" am.="" it="" will="" be="" great="" if="" we="" all="" stick="" to="" it,="" and="" then="" compare="" results="" and="" findings.="" being="" a="" lover="" of="" data="" and="" numbers,="" i="" will="" have="" graphs="" etc="" for="" your="" perusal.="" stick="" with="" it,="" i="" am="" there="" with="" you.=""></ but it is still frustrating for me. stick with it, i am. it will be great if we all stick to it, and then compare results and findings. being a lover of data and numbers, i will have graphs etc for your perusal. stick with it, i am there with you. >

                      "I've been following Eddy's improvement over the last two years on this site, and it's been pretty dang solid. Sure the weekly mileage has been up and down, but over the long haul he's getting out the door and has turned himself into quite a runner. He's only now just figuring out his potential. Consistency in running is measured in years, not weeks. And over the last couple of years, Eddy's made great strides" Jeff 14 Jan 2009