I want to spend time looking at the importance of heart rate training. Your heart rate is an insight as to what is happening in your body. A low resting heart rate indicates fitness, a higher than normal resting heart rate can indicate that there is something wrong with you physically. Training with your heart rate too low will prohibit you from getting faster, racing with too high a heart rate will almost guarantee that you hit the wall at some phase of your race.
I think that the greatest enemy in training is that we train within too narrow a band of heart rate. An easy run at times differs by no more than 10 beats from a hard run. The reality is that your easy runs should really be easy and your hard runs should really be hard.
Nod your head if you know people that only train easy and never seem to speed up. Nod your head if you know people who only train hard, heart rate maxed and perpetually injured.
So, with that in mind, let’s get your heart rates measured.
Max heart rate.
You can take you age and subtract that from 220. However, this will always be an estimate.
Please make sure that you are in good health before you try this one. If you have any doubts chat to your doctor before trying this out. Put your heart rate monitor on and go for a run that has a steep, long hill on it. Make sure that you are properly warmed up before hitting that base of the hill. Now run as fast as you can up the hill and, towards the top, go all out. Most watches will give you a report of your highest heart rate. If it hasn’t got that capacity, remember to note your max heart rate during your max effort. Place your hands on your knees, breathe deeply and try not to pass out. You now have your max heart rate. Gently make your way home.
Resting Heart Rate.
Now, as you wake up tomorrow, either put your chest strap on and record your resting heart rate, or locate a pulse point, (your wrist will be the easiest) and count your heart rate over a minute. You will now have your minimum heart rate.
Now for a bit of maths to get going with heart rate training.
(Max HR – Resting HR) x 0.7 + (Resting HR) – this will give you a lower figure.
(Max HR – Resting HR) x 0.85 + (Resting HR) – this will give you a higher figure.
Record these figures where you can find them easily. You will be surprised how easy it is to forget them.
Yin and Yang.
Yin and Yang in this context means that some runs should be easy, some hard.
Easy runs at lower pulse rates help your body get used to using fat as an energy source.
Hard runs at high pulse rates will get your body to burn through glycogen.
Run too slowly and you will train your body to run slowly.
Make all your runs hard and ignore yin and yang, and you will have to work your way through every running injury in the book.
Read part 2 on heart rate training – https://sbrsport.me/2016/01/30/heart-rate-training-2-be-like-ed/