Thursday, July 09, 2009

800s, 1200s, Tempo Runs, Heart Rate Training..Oh My

So this is a little embarrassing. I purchased a Garmin 50 last May. The 50 because the battery lasts a year, versus 8 hours that the other Garmin with GPS last. I mainly wanted it as a pacing tool to use at FANS last year, which I did. Worked great. What good is an 8 hour battery going to do me. Really.

I haven't really used it since. I sprayed mosquito spray on the face and it is now all scratchy, but still readable. I never took the heart rate monitor out of the box or the ANT stick until today..over a year later. Yeah.

This morning Topaz and I ran our usual 5 fun miles on the trail, taking it easy, knowing I was going to try my first tempo run this afternoon. I took out my Garmin box and read the instructions for the heart rate monitor and the foot pod as it has been forever since I used the foot pod. Of course the watch shows a low battery signal. No matter, I was taking it for a spin as soon as I dropped off Tyler at work.

I looked up a quickie heart rate calculation at Runners World. By plugging in my last 5K race pace, last month at the Princeton 5K at 26 minutes I came up with a tempo run at 8:33 minute mile pace. Don't laugh. I'm not real fast. For the max heart rate I did the 220-44 and came up with 176. Ta da. Now this should be my max heart rate. Well, after my tempo run today there is no freaking way that 176 is max for me.

I'll have to try the method of running 3x800, 1 200 recovery and another 400 full boar to figure out max heart rate I guess. (I should have brought this along with me when I ran at the track on Tuesday. Yes! Another track workout; this time all 800s :) I read this somewhere, is this a good enough way to figure max heart rate? At least it is more individualized than the standard 220-age. I mean come on. We are all different. Don't tell me all 44 year olds are going to have the same max heart rate.

I ran the certified Big Lake 8K course this afternoon. Apparently I don't know how to toggle between pace from the foot pod and heart rate or the 50 isn't capable of this feat. I was stuck at heart rate and recalled that 156 heart rate would be 'tempo' if 176 was max .

OK, so maybe the 405 with the 8 hour battery would be a good item to purchase for speed workouts. I'm seeing the light.

The first 3 minutes HR was 150 to 171, then stayed 171 to 173 for the next 36 minutes. I saw 176 as I ran up a hill and I wasn't dieing or gasping so I really don't think it was max. 39 minutes for 8K, not full out, just a quick pace that I was able to sustain..but couldn't sustain for an hour and half I'd imagine. 39 minutes was plenty. Now I have a starting point.

How do most of you figure your heart rate? Do you train with a HRM? I'm never too old to learn.

Heading up north to the beautiful Superior Hiking Trail for three days of long slow running with friends. BETA IV!


JojaJogger said...

There is a book by John Parker called "Heart Monitor Training For the Compleat Idiot". His method of figuring your max heart rate is to find a hill and sprint up it, then jog back down. Repeat 5 or 6 times, by the 4th to 6th time you should be reaching your max heart rate.

Londell said...

Now the 310XT is the same price at the 405... a little bigger but a 20 hour battery life.

johnmaas said...

I've trained with a HRM for about 4 years now. Learned a lot.
Your description of 171-173 for 36 minutes tell me you are at or slightly faster than "tempo" pace which is usually 90% of max HR.
If I were to guess, I would say your max HR is 188-190.
It just plain sucks to push yourself to max HR, but the methods you described will do it if you really push hard. Be prepared to embrace the pukey feeling, though.

SteveQ said...

There's many many ways to calculate what your max "should" be and all are only approximate. The way I found my true max was to pick out the longest steepest hill I could find (Buck Hill at the time) and charge up it as hard as possible. When forced to walk, I'd pause a second and charge on again. A couple of tries and I hit maximum. (And it was fun!)

Steve said...

For as much of a techo-geek I am, I don't train using a HRM. Perhaps someday I'll get one.