So I’ve had this book, Heart Rate Training, on my shelf for a very long time. It’s super technical and the numbers will make your head spin, so maybe skim it if you’re interested? The main idea behind the book is that you need to train within a certain heart rate zone in order to make your heart pump more efficiently. After that, you start training for power, and to increase your lactic acid threshold. (So you can go harder for longer. Ow.)
Well anyway. I never really did much with the book because, heh, I didn’t own a heart rate monitor! Until I finally pulled the plug and got one last week. Really, I don’t know why I didn’t earlier. It wasn’t that expensive, and to start such a cool program–worth it.
Anyway, since this is my blog, I wanted to track my progress with the heart rate training and give you all updates to see if the program actually works. For me, we’ll know…you’ll see.
I had to start by finding my MHR. This was not fun. The book has you start by walking slowly, then gradually working your way up to an all-out sprint to try and push your heart rate up to its near-threshold. I got it up to about 189 before I finally gave up. I’m pretty sure 190ish is my MHR. It hurt to be that high, for sure, and I wasn’t about to continue it. And 190 would be accurate, anyway: according to the oldschool calculation of 220-age, my MHR is 191.
Post MHR awfulness, I got started with the actual training. Officially, last Thursday.
Now–I can run three miles. Just, not very quickly, nor very efficiently, heart-rate wise. So I was interested to see what the book’s introductory runs of 60-75% MHR would feel like to me.
Answer: Super. Duper. Slow.
The book’s Zone 1 running training has you warm up for 5 minutes, then jog until you hit the upper end of the range, then slow to a walk until you reach the lower end. And then repeat. For 20 minutes. For me, this means going at a slow lope for about…a minute? Max? And then slowing down to a very slow walk. No kidding–even walking gets my heart beating too fast!
Which, I guess is the reason I want to keep track of how this program works. I really didn’t even feel like I broke a sweat in those beginning runs. Not even on Long Run Saturday!
And here’s something else: my Fitbit was along with me and recorded me climbing 47 steps of stairs! Was it my Loping Jog form? Am I extra working my quads?
Don’t know. Only time will tell. I’m allowed to graduate out of this zone when I can jog during the lower parts of my range as well as the upper. We’ll see how long that takes. But I’ll keep you updated.