Getting Curious About Heart Rate Training
Holy cow! I really thought I was going to blog every day this week. I was off to a good start but I seem to have missed a few days in between!
While I’ve been gone…
I’ve been thinking a little bit about heart rate training. I followed along with Jennifer at Running on Lentils during her latest half marathon training cycle and she has been absolutely killing it.
Jenn recently wrote:
“My easy run pace has dropped by about one minute. On February 14, my average pace for an 8-mile long run was 13:07. My average heart rate was 153 and max heart rate was 172. On April 19, my average pace for my 13.1-mile long run was 12:06. My average heart rate was 114 and max heart rate was 165. That shows I was running faster while putting in less effort than the February 14 run.”
Between June of last year and February of this year I was running over 100 miles per month and my fitness was at an all time high. In March I tapered back my mileage to recover from my racing season, and in April I ran less than 40 miles for the entire month due to a bursitis flare up in both of my hips.
Throughout May I’ll be working on building up my mileage again and at the end of June I’ll start training for Chicago.
Since my fitness has taken a dip recently, I think now is a great time to start monitoring my heart rate during training runs. Hopefully I’ll be able to watch as my fitness improves during the next couple of months – and throughout marathon training!
I’m not committing to “heart rate training” or always running within specific target zones. I don’t know enough about heart rate training to know if it’s necessary or even better than the training I do now. I’m talking with my coach about it and doing a lot of research online.
For instance Sage Canaday, 2X Olympic Trials marathon qualifier, ultramarathon champion, and highly sought after running coach, says unless you’re running somewhere with lots of elevation changes, training by pace is pretty much all you need. He explains the pros and cons of heart rate training (specifically the cons of the popular Moffetone system) in this video that I’ve found really helpful:
Sage’s main point is that when training you can’t just focus on the heart and lungs. You also have to properly train the skeletomuscular system and look at pace, effort and velocity to really improve your overall running economy.
That being said, I do think it will be interesting to monitor my heart rate numbers throughout the next few months to see the changes! My job has trained me to be extremely data-driven and I LIKE NUMBERS AND TRENDS :).
In the end, being that I’m more of a back-of-the-pack runner, none of this probably matters all too much. BUT being that I’m a back-of-the-pack runner who wants to move up, I’m always looking at new ways to improve my training.
Do you monitor your heart rate on runs?
Have you ever trained by heart rate instead of pace? Thoughts? Pros/Cons?
What’s on your weekend agenda? My mom is coming into town AND I’m going to catch up on blog reading!!!!! I feel so out of the loop!