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HR training - I think I get it now!

Been using my HR monitor this past couple of weeks after dusting it off and I think I'm in love with it! Yes I'm running slower, but I'm not getting those little niggles and pains I used to get...knee pain, calf pain, shin splints etc etc etc. I'm following the Don Fink plan (BeIronFit) and actually taking my time with it, rather than training before which used to be going out for a 10k run, trying to beat my time every run!

Just thought I'd share it. I know it's not the be all and end all of training and hopefully at some point I'll learn how to train by 'feel' rather than looking at my wrist, but at the moment it's a revelation.

Take it easy (zone 1 and 2)


  • Well done mate - I haven't cracked it yet!! I just always fall back on running to time rather than distance.... I seem to get bored running any more than 10km too. Bit of a worry that.
  • good work flava. how have you worked out your max HR to get your zones?
  • I mainly use mine to stop myself running too fast.
    Reckon it'll be pretty handy with the build up to Marathon distance this Spring. I try and keep it to 155 and no higher than 165 for long distance and training runs.
    I've used it a few times in competition too, in an effort to not go off to fast on the bike and run. What it helps me with most is not trying hard enough at the half way point! I found I was easing off both on the bike and run by 8-10 beats towards the end. The result? New PBs!
  • FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    The old tried and tested 220 minus your age. Not scientific of course, but it'll do for now
  • I'm with Dave on that one. KISS is by far the easiest, and it's free. Use my HR all the time, just to keep things nice and easy, and since I;ve been using it for my LSD training I;ve gone longer without any real detrimental effect to me the following day.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    I've got 5 HR zones for running and 5 different ones for cycling.

    I was out on a run yesterday at L2.... couldn't even get my HR close to staying in that zone...at one point it rocketed and I was only just out my flamming door

    I'm now investing in a garmin forerunner as I think my HR monitor isn't working correcty...where does the spending end....
  • shadowone1 - Is your HRM ok once you get into the session? Do you moisten the belt before you start? Sometimes the skin/belt connection can be a bit iffy at the start. They seem to sort themselves out when they get sweaty. Worth a look before buying more bling.

    Flavadave: Lots of different ways of calculating max HR and working zones. 220- age pretty much considered inaccurate these days. 205 - half age not sure on the evidence but it works out pretty much spot on for me. I work mine out by going for a hard (and I mean hard) interval session. Finish off going flat out for 200m. Highest recorded heart rate in the session is pretty much as high as it is going to get!

    You can't afford to be too far out. For me moving from 75% - 80% means HR up by 6 beats.
  • Shadowone I have that initial rise in HR, problem with running. I now warm up for 15 mins or so on the turbo. This seems to cure the problem for me. It also helps me as I can get into my run earlier.
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    220-age is pretty variable, by that reckoning i should be 187 but for running it is more like 209. where your max will change the zone boundaries so worth seeking out the max if you can.
  • jmurt71jmurt71 Posts: 46
    Yeah, I agree, you should definitely measure your own max, both running and on the bike. I train with a friend a similar age and fitness level to myself and whenever we compare heart rates when training, he's always 20bpm higher than me - the 220 - age estimate is only a few bpm off for me, but for him it's not even close.
  • FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    Taken on board.

    Will beast myself once the weather clears up a bit to get my max. Don't mind jogging in the snow but sprinting is just asking for me to fall on my ass!
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Shadow0ne1,your hr naturally goes ballistic for the first couple of mins when exercising as a previous reply said,After a couple of mins it should drop back into a natural cycle.For some reason your body decides to skip the aerobic zones and go straight into anaerobic,oxygen debt zone.A quick warm up will give you better readings.
    This could also be one of the causes of people hyperventilating at the start of open water swiming,a few strokes to warm the body gets the brain focused,and no panic attacks at the start of the melee.
  • S11, i have the same hr issue. first 10mins of a run are mad high, before it settles down. the dilemma i have is that the highest i've managed to get my hr during a run is during those first 10 minutes. does that class as my max hr? i've read coneheads "train like elites" piece and tend to agree, but still have a rapidly increasing obsession with identifying my accurate max hr. not obsessive enough to pay for testing however.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    I'm waiting on my Garmin 305 forerunner getting delivered as I think my Hr monitor from fleabay is wrong. I know the HR goes up but I was hardly even out the door... perhaps the thought of running on ice made it spike!!
  • jibby26jibby26 Posts: 261
    I also get that funny heart rate thing in the first kilometer of so of a run. Last week I clocked up 248 bpm before it dropped back down and settled, i've seen values in the 220+ range a number of times. I don't know how much of that a poor connection, and how much is really a high initial heartrate. Ordinarily I can't get my heart rate above 185 when running very hard after a proper warm up. There is no way I am taking 248 as my max HR though.
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    This is a really interesting thread.
    I have been going out each week like others and busting my ass to get around as quick as possible. I am now think as I got a forunner 405 for xmas that I should look at training in more zones than just zone 5.

    Thanks for getting this started Dave.
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    blinky, i was looking at winter base training and maffetone stuff for my running at the start of the winter (foot injury put some of it on the back burner), it's worth reading around long steady distance base training, z2/3 work etc.

    like you, a half-decent hrm and reading some of that stuff has made me stop charging around thinking that a pb was all that was worth going for in my training sessions.
  • I spent from October to December mostly trying to keep my HR down to 70% (144). For six weeks from mid Nov I included one session/week going to 80/85% (156-162).
    The hardest part in the first few runs was definitely keeping the HR down. If I lost focus HR went up but the pace was slow and didn't require the same sort of mental concentration of harder runs. After a couple of weeks it became much easier and I was able to work on the other part of the plan - getting the long run upto 2 hours.

    Since the turn of the year I have started on the FIRST half marathon schedule. 3 times a week @ fairly high HR. Effort is based more around holding the correct pace than HR, but I am making allowances for hills. The footpod with the Garmin FR60 has been a revelation for doing this as I can actually track my pace.

    Without the three months at the end of last year I don't think I would have a chance of sticking with the plan.
  • hussler.hussler. Posts: 390
    I had problems with seeing a HR of 230+ during flat some sessions.... then I gave my strap a right good clean with some shower gel whilst in the shower one day and since then its worked and has been reading fairly realistically.

    My max HR is 201, using the 220-age it should be 191.... big difference.

    Plus Running HR's differ from Bike HR's which differ from Swim HR's, Going flat out in the pool my HR only gets upto around 150-160bpm, flat out on the bike is around 188 and flat out running is around 196ish.... They all feel the same intensity on the old PE scale though.
  • I completed 2 Half Ironman Events last year on about 3 months of base (low HR) trianing, it took a while to get used to slowing down to the zones, and I still struggle sometimes with the running at really low HR's but it has done wonders for my overall fitness and endurance and I didn't suffer any injuries.

    also surprisingly it's amazing how I started to maintain speeds anda low HR thta I was used to getting going flat out..

    you will of course have bad session too... when no matter what you do you just can't seem to keep the HR in the correct zone..

  • aoneill69aoneill69 Posts: 206
    sorry folks need some help also....i am 'trying' to do Zone 1 / 2 runs as per the JB bible...with a max HR of 180 then i believe i shouldn't exceed 126bpm?...so that in itself is difficult as i am not the lightest fella around and like few others used to just going out an trying to beat the previous time.....

    Then a number of articles i have read seem to combine Z2 and Z3 and give me a trng zone of 107 to 143 and suggest to stay within these limits.....any guidance appreciated...
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