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Training run HR?

RedCanny2010-05-02 03:17:13 +0000 #1
I finally got an HRM recently, and thus far I can make it read and record my heart rate. It has told me that my average HR on my usual 2 or 3 mile runs is around 160 (I keep a pace of around an 8-minute mile). I'm pretty comfortable at this pace.

What I'm curious/confused about: is 160 too fast of a heart rate to sustain, for what I consider to be a general endurance-training run? I read a few fitness websites and I've gleaned that 160, for a woman my size, is considered a "performance training" level - one step above "endurance training". I.e., it's more of a rate that I should get if I were doing sprints or intervals. It's not a rate I should maintain for 2-3 miles.

So, on yesterday's run, I ran at a pace that kept my HR at around 150, and for me that meant not only running slower, but running more vertically - i.e., it bothered my knee (I had ACL surgery 10 yrs ago). I really didn't like the slower pace.

I suppose I may find a more accurate prediction of what my endurance training HR should be a) when I finish reading the Polar manual and/or b) if I consult with a fitness trainer, but perhaps you ladies can give me some perspective. What's your average HR for a general endurance run (no intervals/sprints)?


RedCanny2010-05-02 03:27:05 +0000 #2
Ok, the lack of responses has driven me into further research -and into reading further into the HRM manual. 160 bpm is way too fast for an endurance, or "long" run. Now my HRM beeps whenever I go over 145 or under 125! Which, I must say, was a little annoying on my hilly morning cycling commute today.

I think I "fell" into that pace because of the plan I used to get back into running: several months ago I started with 1-minute run/walk intervals, then eventually worked up to running 30 minutes straight. Not surprisingly, the first time I ran a full mile, the pace I was used to was pretty speedy. Which of course felt good- the speed was an ego boost AND it really doesn't bother my knee like slower jogging can.

Now that I'm running 2-4 miles, 3 days a week, and I've got one 5k under my belt, it makes a lot more sense to ease up on any days I'm not doing sprints/intervals or a race.

As for the knee bothering me at a slower pace, I suppose it's better to build tolerance in the knee than to abuse my heart, and it sounds like I'll get better returns on any future races, if I follow this plan. I ran slower just yesterday, and my knee didn't bother me much.
teigyr2010-05-02 03:24:34 +0000 #3
I was kind of wondering the same thing so thanks for answering yourself!!! I'm up around 160 also and I feel ok there. It's frustrating because honestly, I don't know if I can GET any slower sometimes and to shut the darned thing up, I'll walk for a bit. I actually turned the beep off but still.

I'm torn about the whole thing. I wanted a HRM so I got it but I'm not so sure I like abiding by its regime.

You are good with it now? I haven't cycled with it yet, I'm about to go try. Yesterday I ran about 3 miles though and finally decided that I'd try to keep it around 150 but it was frustrating to go below that.
Wahine2010-05-02 04:00:58 +0000 #4
Training HRs are very individual. 160 BPM would be just sub anaerobic threshold for me and I would use this heart rate for higher intensity intervals.

On the other hand, I can run very comfortably and work on endurance at any HR below 148.

Some people have higher avg HRs and will train at much higher levels.

HR zones for different types of training depend on many factors: age, genetics, training history, body weight...

I would strongly encourage you to search this site and others on the web to get a better understanding of HR. I know there have been previous discussions on this topic in this forum.

Also, I use a book by Joe Friel, "The Triathletes Training Bible", to guide my workout plans. He does a very good job of explaining the role of HR in training and how to do self testing to estimate you HR zones.

Hope that helps.
RedCanny2010-05-02 05:09:41 +0000 #5
teigyr: As for the beeping, well, I haven't run with the HRM yet, in this new mode that beeps, so we'll see. But I think I may be ok with running at the slower pace, on longer runs. But if that thing beeps when I get up to 145... Oy. It's hard enough to stay as low as 150!

Since my 5k a few weeks ago I haven't decided what my new goal is, but I think it's going to be another 5k in 3 weeks, then one in September-the focus for both being to improve from my time of 26:05. I'm putting together a training plan that'll have me doing a variety of run lengths each week; for the shorter ones (certainly for any sprints/intervals) I'll plan to run a faster pace.

Wahine: thanks for the suggestions/advice! I still have a few calibrations to make on that HRM (i.e. my "ownzone" and taking its fitness test), so that may help me sort out my own training HR zones.
Wahine2010-05-02 05:38:58 +0000 #6
Redcanny - I forgot to mention not to worry about the HR zone on the hill, try to keep it low if you can but if you're going above your goal HR for less than 2 minutes and only doing that once in a while, that's fine, as long as your avg HR stays in your goal range.
Grog2010-05-02 05:12:43 +0000 #7
Heart rate is a very personal thing, and there's nothing to replace a lactate threshold test done in proper lab conditions, in my opinion. (Exercising with various sensors on.)

Based on experience, though, I assume my max to be in the high 190s. When I do intervals, I push to 185 for short periods or time, and I can also keep that when going up a hill. That's about the HR I race at as well. For my long runs I try to stick around 160-165 but talking with running buddies brings it up by a good five beats. Cycling at low intensity I would be between 120 and 150 depending on the terrain, assuming no monster hills or sprints.

I used to be really scared of my heart rate. I thought the Polar would set off an alarm at 200 the first time I wore it!! (no, that's not interference.) I spoke with a cardiologist-friend and he told me not to worry about it.

I turn off the beeper on the heart rate monitor though. I don't like to hear other people's beats either, but that's not a big deal. If it's useful to you do keep it on.

With training I've found that I can run much faster than before with the same heart rate. Your mileage may vary!!
teigyr2010-05-02 04:19:24 +0000 #8
I wore it cycling today and it was very interesting. There were a lot of times when I was pushing when I didn't realize it (had a nasty headwind) and the "bad" hill that I thought would get me up past 180, didn't. My high was 175

Then again, I'm still building up to it so granny gears are in order. My average heart rate on a 44 mile ride with wind and some hills was 145.

Redcanny, is it a Polar F11?

Thank you to Wahine and everyone else. It's all new and complicated but I'm learning little by little

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