General Discussion Triathlon Talk » School me on HR zone runs Rss Feed  
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2013-10-04 10:06 AM

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Subject: School me on HR zone runs
How can "running" this slow make me faster?

My training plan called for a 15 min Z1, 15 min Z2, 10 min Z3, 5 min Z1 run today. I set up the workout on my Garmin and headed out the door. By the time I crossed the street, I was in Z3. For the first 15 minutes all my Garmin did was beep at me that my HR was too high. I was really trying to slow it down but at 14 min/mile, any slower and I would be walking. How does this help?

I'm currently using the 220-age to calculate HR zones. Is there a better way to determine HR zones?

Thanks for any feedback.


2013-10-04 10:16 AM
in reply to: cwpeters

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Subject: RE: School me on HR zone runs
Others can and will respond more aptly about the specific tests to determine HR zones. But to answer your question, testing (lactate threshold) is more accurate than age-200 to determine HR zones.

The reason why I am posting is to testify that running slowly will make you faster. This past year was the first year I ran with HR zones. It takes a while, but your pace will increrase. By simply running slowly (at first) and then adding in tempo runs and track work, I crushed my previous best in a 10K by 5 or so minn (45:xx) and ran a PR half marathon during a HIM. So, yes it does work. Maddening at first, but you will get used to it if you actually stick with it.
2013-10-04 10:46 AM
in reply to: cwpeters

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Subject: RE: School me on HR zone runs

This is the go-to thread on HR training and determining HR zones:

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=25733&page=1#

 

Full disclosure:  I did HR training for several years, but have now have pretty much switched over to training by RPE, using the McMillan charts to figure my training paces off my race times.

Like many, I had fallen into the trap of doing my slow runs too fast and my fast runs too slow.

Whether training by HR or RPE, the slow runs will seem glacial at first, but over time you will seem your pace improve for a given HR.  For me, consistency over several months of training was the key to seeing improvement.

Mark

 

 

2013-10-04 11:54 AM
in reply to: cwpeters

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Subject: RE: School me on HR zone runs

You found the issue with non-testing based HR zones.  Do the field LT tests as mentioned above and your good to go.  You should find correlation with HR zones and McMillan's training paces based on a recent race result. You'll dial in your RPE over time.

2013-10-04 12:55 PM
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Subject: RE: School me on HR zone runs

Agree with others that 220-Age is no good for HR Zones - you need to test!

Also, here's my HR data from my last easy run... see how much fluctuation there is in the beginning? Setting your watch to beep if you're out of Z1 in the beginning is never a good idea...

ETA: HR is in red.



Edited by ratherbeswimming 2013-10-04 12:57 PM




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2013-10-04 12:57 PM
in reply to: Donto

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Subject: RE: School me on HR zone runs
Lots of consistent, slow runs all last winter and I knocked about 1:30 off my pace (taking me from real slow to slow). So I'm sold on the approach. But here's the question I've always had: is there something inherent about running slow that makes the difference, or is it just that taking it easy tends to keep injuries at bay, allowing for lots of miles?


2013-10-04 1:33 PM
in reply to: Fourteenkittens

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Subject: RE: School me on HR zone runs
Originally posted by Fourteenkittens

Lots of consistent, slow runs all last winter and I knocked about 1:30 off my pace (taking me from real slow to slow). So I'm sold on the approach. But here's the question I've always had: is there something inherent about running slow that makes the difference, or is it just that taking it easy tends to keep injuries at bay, allowing for lots of miles?


I'm in the same boat. I did 2 tri's this year. In between them I was using the Maffetone method HR running. All slow running. I was able to stay healthy ( I have a bad back) and I was able to log more miles then I was before. It wasn't a ton, but still....... not missing days is huge. Result was that in my second race which was a much longer swim 800 yds compared to 200 yards and a super hilly bike course which was 2 miles longer than my first race and I still beat my previous race 5k time by over a full minute. I was super happy. Its a very small sample size as maybe I just had a better day, but staying healthy was huge for me. I don't run without my HR monitor now
2013-10-04 2:53 PM
in reply to: ratherbeswimming

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Subject: RE: School me on HR zone runs
Originally posted by ratherbeswimming

Agree with others that 220-Age is no good for HR Zones - you need to test!

Also, here's my HR data from my last easy run... see how much fluctuation there is in the beginning? Setting your watch to beep if you're out of Z1 in the beginning is never a good idea...

ETA: HR is in red.

Ah, the dreaded Garmin HR spike.  I used to not even turn the damn thing on until I got 10-15 minutes into my workout.  Now I slather some electrode gel on the monitor and the problem is pretty much gone.

I agree with a previous poster in that it takes a little while to get that Z2 HR pace up to where you think it should be, but once you do it will produce great results.

2013-10-04 6:05 PM
in reply to: Fourteenkittens

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Subject: RE: School me on HR zone runs
Originally posted by Fourteenkittens

Lots of consistent, slow runs all last winter and I knocked about 1:30 off my pace (taking me from real slow to slow). So I'm sold on the approach. But here's the question I've always had: is there something inherent about running slow that makes the difference, or is it just that taking it easy tends to keep injuries at bay, allowing for lots of miles?


It's both- keeping the pace mostly easy allows you to run more, and therefore allows you to improve.

But also-- if you are running at the right aerobic pace, you are gradually increasing the number of mitochondria in your muscle cells. More mitochondria leads to more efficient running which eventually leads to faster running.

Heart rate training isn't about running slow. It's about running at the RIGHT paces to train your various systems. That aerobic pace I mention above (usually called "zone 2" by most HR calculators) is the "slow" pace that most people talk about because it's often slower than what you would run "naturally" if you just go out for a run. Not for everyone, though-- some people naturally fall into that pace so to them it doesn't feel slow. And there's such a thing as too slow that won't give you the benefit.

I agree with the other posts in response to the OP-- using a 220-age calculator is NOT the way to do it and is fairly arbitrary. If you don't have lactate testing, use the talk test-- you should be able to talk in short sentences (but not as if were sitting having coffee-- that's too slow).
2013-10-04 11:15 PM
in reply to: cwpeters

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Subject: RE: School me on HR zone runs
Thanks for all the replies. I knew there had to be a better way of determining HR zones. Looks like I know what tomorrow's workout will be.

Mark, thanks for the link to that thread, lots of good reading. Hopefully we'll cross paths again at LBK. We met a few years ago at Englewood.
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