Sunday, December 14, 2008

With Every Beat of my Heart

Heart rate training is a mystery to me. I know it works. I just don't understand it.

Today Dave and I set out to do a run together. My run was 75 minutes with the first 15 minutes in zone 1, holding steady in zone 2 for 45 minutes, and then the last 15 minutes in zone 1. Dave's run was 90 minutes with a mix of zone 1 and 2. I followed the heart rate zones to a T and finished up close to 8 miles. While running comfortably in zone 2, Dave was only in zone 1 and it was pretty low in zone 1.

So this is what dumbfounds me. I was running close to 10 minute miles and I am an 8 minute mile marathoner. Dave has yet to run a marathon under 4 hours. How does it work? Has Dave not lived up to his potential? Have I maxed out my potential? Are our heart zones completely out of whack?

Coach keeps reassuring me that everything is fine with the zones. She said men should can run in a lower zone because they have a slower heart beat to start with, but that I can go longer at a lower heart rate. And I can understand that. As we were running today my heart rate stayed the same while his kept rising a little.

I've been with Coach now for 5 months and I've learned this stuff works. And I've done some reading about it. But, it is still a complete enigma to me.


Andrea Hill said...

I know, this heart rate stuff is a complete mystery to me! I'd love to read some real research on it, but I think that it's probably different from person to person.

I think that you and I are the same in terms of heart rate: we both have high heart rates but are able to sustain them for a long time. I've yet to see anything that says "your marathon pace should have you at XX% of your Heart Rate", although I would LOVE to see it. I have the sense that what we are able to sustain is kinda unusual.

Meredith said...

This past marathon I didn't wear my HRM. I decided I didn't want to freak myself out by what it said.

If I could afford it I'd love to get my VO2Max tested to find out what my potential really is.

lindsay said...

i've been running with an hrm since september and i still don't know the ropes either. i've read some things online about target hr's for easy runs (65-75%), tempo runs (87-92%), and intervals (95-100%), so i generally try to stick to those. i'm calculating it from the max hr reading from a 2mile race i did in september. of course, in my most recent marathon (november) it maxed out at 226. i'm chalking that up to some sort of technical error, otherwise i'm going to need a pace maker! one day i'd like to have the vo2max testing like meredith as well.

the nice thing about the hrm business is that you get to make easy days extra easy to keep that hr low!