Low HR Training

1

Am I doing this right? (Read 364 times)

    Hello! I started running again (after about 7 years off since high school) about four months ago. Just over a month ago I came to the realization that my "easy" runs were not really that easy. I was going too fast. So after reading some about HR running I got a monitor and started running much slower. I calculated my max aerobic rate as 180 - 24 = 156 and I set my garmin to beep at me if it goes over that. So when it does, I slow down. This seems to be working--I'm getting faster at the same heart rates, if only a little bit. I was also having some shin pain, so I cut my mileage back and have been slowly ramping it back up. I'm right around 15 mpw right now and not having any/much bone/joint pain, so I'm going to keep gradually raising it. I'm hoping to be around 25-30 mpw by the new year. I haven't been strictly limiting my activities to low heart rates. I play ultimate frisbee every so often and that certainly involves sprinting, and I want to keep running a local 3k race each month. It seems like a good benchmark. I guess my question is this: how does what I'm doing sound? Is 156 way out of line? I find myself drifting up past it in longer runs without any noticeable change in how I'm feeling. Could I raise the "max" HR of these easy runs? Should I? Should I lower it? How would I test for the actual aerobic threshold, if that's what it's called? Anyways, I'm just writing out what I've been thinking about recently and looking for feedback. Thanks! sean
    sean


    run-easy-race-hard

      Sounds you're doing it right. You don't want to raise the HR at this point. As long as your other activities that may get your HR higher are a very small percentage of your overall volume, you should be fine. You don't really need to test anything, but if you want to fork over a bunch of cash you can have a vo2max test done. It certainly isn't necessary in most cases.
        Thanks, belatedly, for the response. I've kept it up for a while now and I have another question. Since I'm running nearly all of my mileage easy, is it okay to keep increasing my mileage as long as I feel okay? Is there some reason I should still take plateau or even setback weeks?
        sean


        run-easy-race-hard

          There are many opinions on that. Certainly, if you're in tune with how your body is doing, adding more mileage will certainly be beneficial. Generally speaking, your progress will be a function of your cumulative volume.
            Yeah, I gotcha. I should be more clear: I want to increase my mileage, I don't know how high, but at least past 40 miles per week. I really like the idea of getting faster by gaining a lot of endurance. My question specifically is if there is anything wrong with never letting up on the increases, and I guess your answer is that it's okay if I'm really in tune with what my body is telling me. I suppose if I'm not in tune with what my body is telling me then I will find out the hard way that I'm increasing too fast. So thanks. MTA: Smile
            sean
              Like he said, there are differing opinions on that. Some people say that as long as you are only upping your mileage by 10% a week, you are fine. Some say that above a certain threshold, be it 25, 30, or 40 miles, you are better off only doing 5% increases. Others think that after you reach certain points in your mileage you ought to plateau for a little while to get used to the distance before continuing to add mileage. Unfortunately, there isn't really a right answer, so just do what seems reasonable to you based on your fitness, how you feel, and your experience. Just don't ignore what your body is telling you. Specifically, when you start getting over 35-40 miles a week, the number of injuries runners sustain goes up quite a bit, if I recall correctly. So you may want to hang out at that threshold a little while before pushing through it, if you think you might be at risk. I'm trying LHR training this winter specifically to try to get through the 30 MPW barrier, which is where I have broken down previously. So far, I feel like because of the low intensity of most of the runs, I will have a much easier/more successful run at it this year. But I'm still going to slow down my increases to 5% or less when I get to 25 MPW, just because of my personal history. Good luck!
                Good advice, thanks. I'll take it slow and pay close attention to how I'm feeling. I'll be back with a report and probably more questions in a while.
                sean