Low HR Training

1

racing with what I'll call modified MAF (Read 379 times)

    Last weekend, I did an Ironman.

    I'm a 39 year old male who has trained by HR for the past 3+ years.

     

    (I didn't wear my HR monitor during the swim as it was a non-wetsuit race, and the strap typically ends out around my waist without a wetsuit.)

     

    During the bike portion, I raced by effort while constantly reviewing my HR.  My Garmin peaked during mile 3 of the bike at 155.  My average HR for the bike portion was 139.  During up hills, I chose not to "burn any matches" (preventing my HR from spiking) by riding slow up the hill.  I averaged 20.1mph for the first 56 miles, and 19.1mph for the last 56 miles.  (see my log for details: 5-19-2012 - bike)

     

    During the run portion, I ran the first 7 miles, walked for a couple hours because of back spasms, then ran the last 9+/- miles. 

    My first 5 miles, I had an AVGHR of 138, PEAKHR of 151 with a pace of 10:38 (pretty slow).

    Miles 5 - 15 don't work properly on my Garmin because of my extended walking...

    Miles 15 - 20, I had an AVGHR of 132 with a pace of 10:59

    Miles 20 - 25, I had an AVGHR of 136 with a pace of 10:28

    The last 1.2 miles, I had an AVGHR of 145 PEAKHR of 155 with a pace of 9:00.

     

    -----------------

     

    A couple of comments / questions / thoughts....

    I'd love to hear your responses.

     

    1. Riding the bike portion by HR was amazing!  I was relatively fast considering my training, and felt strong the entire ride.  My pace decreased more due to the 10mph headwind than fatigue.  The other factor relates to the need to prepare for the run.  The last 15 miles, I was choosing to get out of the aero position more to stretch my back, and prepare for the run.  Peaking my HR at 155 was a desire, but I thought I might have an "ego-boost" causing my HR to elevate at some point due to increased effort (burning a match or two).

     

    2. Running was surprising.  The race was hot (90+ degrees), and for whatever reason, I could NOT increase my pace and sustain it.  My previous brick workouts (in similar weather conditions), I was able to run <8:40/mile, but I was unable to run sub 10:00/miles and I was unable to increase my HR. 

     

    Why couldn't I increase my HR?

    Why couldn't I increase my speed?

    Was it a physiological, psychological, or other?

     

    --side note: I've read about the "box of matches" that every ironman athlete receives at the beginning of the race.  During the race, I don't think I burned any matches.  Zero!  I wanted to burn a couple of matches, but not all of them, but for whatever reason, I couldn't find the nerve, the proper timing, or the desire to burn a match.

     

    Overall, I'm impressed with how the day went, and I'm impressed with my HR training, but I feel like I still have a lot to learn.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    (for those that care to read my race report, see link)


    Cheers,

    Brian

    2014 Goals:

    #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

    #2: 365 Hours training

     

      Questions for you Brian:

       

      What is your MaxHR?

      What is your LT HR?

      What are your zones?

      Are you using Friel's zones?

       

      The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

       

      2014 Goals:

       

      Stay healthy

      Enjoy life

       

        Questions for you Brian:

         

        What is your MaxHR?

        What is your LT HR?

        What are your zones?

        Are you using Friel's zones?

         

        I'm not very specific with my HR's in terms of numbers, so I'm not sure I know how to answer these questions, but I'll try.  I also know very little about true "MAF", so understand that my strategies are not MAF.

         

        Max HR - I've seen 183, but I'm sure it's higher (upper 180s???).  I did a treadmill stress test a couple months ago, and got up to 177, but they quit the test when they got enough information and before I said 'stop!'.

         

        LT HR - I don't know how to answer that

         

        HR zones - I'm making these up as I answer here based on what I've come to realize through my training.  (In other words, they're my zones, and not defined by any training guru)

             RUNNING:

             - < 140 Zone 1 - very easy (run forever with 'my-mouth-shut-breathing-through-my-nose-only-speed')

             - 140 - 150 Zone 2 - this is the range where I feel like I can run forever

             - 150 - 160 Zone 3 - enduro-tempo training - shorter runs with some effort (not 'easy', not 'hard') 

             - 160 - 170 Zone 4 - speed workouts, a little too fast 

             - 170+ Zone 5 - shorter runs (5k, 10k, intervals, lobster boils,  ....)  Very seldom do I choose to see a number in the 170s.

         

             BIKING:

             - <135 Zone 1 - very easy

             - 135 - 145 Zone 2 - this is the range where I feel like I can ride forever

             - 145 - 155 Zone 3 - slight tempo pace on flats with above average speed, or hills

             - 155 - 165 Zone 4 - too aggressive to sustain for multiple miles

             - 165+ Zone 5 - burning a match speed, steep hill challenges

         

        Last year, I setup zones using Friel's tables (and I don't remember what those ranges were).  I believe my desired race run range was in the mid to upper 150s  (my 1/2 Ironman log from 4/10/11 shows decent data regarding my HR information from that race).  This year, I spent the majority of my run training in Zone 2, but played with the lower range of Zone 3 for running on a few workouts.  For biking, I was in the 135 through 155 range for the majority of my rides with a couple hills along my routes that caused me to jump above 160.

        2014 Goals:

        #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

        #2: 365 Hours training

         

          Well done on finishing with a smile and a decent time. All and all it sounds like a very good first ironman i hope my first in june is as quick !! Not sure why your run wasn't as good as you would have liked but a few possibilities... Looking at your bike time, my first thought is maybe you pushed the pace a shade too much. Having said that you didnt hit high hrs which is good, but maybe the avg was a shade too high ? What was the average hr? Pre race nutrition. I probably would avoid bacon and syrup the morning of an Im, and stick to easy to digest carbs with a small amount of protein. Having said that perhaps the salt helped on a hot day. Did you have issues with back spasms before ? Did you do a lot of long rides in aero position? Also it was very hot, I'm sure the heat affected most run times? Any plans for another?!

            See my answers below in bold

             

            Best wishes on your Ironman in June.  Australia? 

             

            Well done on finishing with a smile and a decent time. All and all it sounds like a very good first ironman i hope my first in june is as quick !! Not sure why your run wasn't as good as you would have liked but a few possibilities...

             

            Looking at your bike time, my first thought is maybe you pushed the pace a shade too much. Having said that you didnt hit high hrs which is good, but maybe the avg was a shade too high ? What was the average hr?

                 ANSWER: AVGHR for the bike ride was 139.  Was I pushing it?  Yes, Was I pushing too much?  I don't think so.  My training rides were similar to the race ride, and I felt decent the entire ride.  My log is open to view, and you can see that my speeds decreased during the last 20+ miles as I was beginning to stretch out more and get better prepared for the run.

             

            Pre race nutrition. I probably would avoid bacon and syrup the morning of an Im, and stick to easy to digest carbs with a small amount of protein. Having said that perhaps the salt helped on a hot day.

                 ANSWER: Because it was going to be a hot day, I wanted to make sure that I had enough salt intake.  I typically have waffles and syrup before my Saturday morning rides, and after talking to an Ironman buddy, he gave me the thumbs up, just reminding me to add a lot of salt to the eggs.  I did have my breakfast 3+ hours before the race start to ensure proper digestion.

             

            Did you have issues with back spasms before ? Did you do a lot of long rides in aero position?

                 ANSWER: Years earlier, when I was heavier and before I became obsessed with training, I had back spasm issues, but that was over 5 years ago.  Since then, I've never felt any back pain.  So, I was surprised by the feeling, but I remembered the feeling, and I was trying to avoid the crooked back part that typically followed that feeling.  (I became a little conservative in my race approach when I got that feeling).  Yes, I ride 97+% of the time in the aero position, with stop signs and stop lights my only break from the aero position.  I think I did 3 rides of 90+ miles in a day, with my longest ride being a solo 103 mile ride.

             

            Also it was very hot, I'm sure the heat affected most run times?

                 ANSWER:  Yes, the heat was a major factor within the race, but I thought that would cause my 10:00 pace to lead to a higher than normal heart rate rather than a "normal" heart rate for that pace.  There were 2 factors.  (1) why I couldn't (wasn't willing to) speed up to a 9:00 pace at a higher HR and (2) why my heart rate was low and stable and wasn't able (willing) to burn any matches. 

             

                 NOTE:  On April 10, 2011, I did a 1/2 Ironman, and my average HR for the bike was 155, and my average HR for the run was in the high 150s or possibly low 160s.  I was expecting my run HR to be at or above my bike HR.

             

             

            Any plans for another?!

                 ANSWER:  Yes!  Absolutely!  Ironman puts on a great event!

            2014 Goals:

            #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

            #2: 365 Hours training

             

              Hi, I agree 139 sounds reasonable. I plan on something similar maybe a couple of beats less. Hard to be that exact. I also did a half im with the same hr you had in bike and run . I am surprised by your low run hr in the full. Sounds like you did the right things based on your training. So yeah, the low hr is a bit of a mystery.