Monday, 28 December 2015

Heart Rate Training

Happy after-the-holidays bloat and weight gain!  I'm still eating chocolate and indulging in cheese know...just trying to get them out of the house!  If you follow me on instagram, you know that I received a Polar FT4 for Christmas. A few people I know have started heart rate training and really swear by it so I wanted to add it to me repertoire.
After doing some research, I determined my maximum heart rate is 180 (220-your age).  Given the inputs into my watch, my ideal zone is anywhere from 117 to 153. Heart rate-based training involves targeting different heart rate zones in different workouts. The most popular zone system is the following.
Zone 1Active Recovery<80% lactate threshold heart rate (LT HR) under 146
Zone 2Aerobic Threshold81-89% LT HR (146-172)
Zone 3Tempo90-95% LT HR (160-172)
Zone 4Sublactate Threshold96-99% LT HR (172-180)
On Christmas Eve, I went for a run and was able to keep my heart rate at 161 (so zone 3) which worked out to a 6.10/km pace....obviously over my ideal zone.  The problem???  I feel like to reach my ideal zone, I'd almost have to walk.  I tried again on Christmas and Boxing Day to stay within my luck!  So today....I took to the treadmill...with no hills, no wind, or obstacles...what a perfect way to work on heart rate training.  I set the dreadmill at 3.8 and went at it.   It worked!!  I was able to say in my zone the entire time with my average rate at 140 (so Zone 1) and the maximum at 151.  Completing 5km, I looked at my pace...holy was an 8.32/km.  Please tell me that is wrong...something has to be reading incorrectly...I've never run that slow for a 5k.

The thought of heart rate training is that you do 80% of your training in zone 1-2, 10% in zone 3, and 10% in zone 4.  I can tell you right now that in the past I've always been in zone 3 or 4.  With the 80-10-10 process, it is thought that you will be able to run more because you aren't taxing your body with the high intensity of zone 3 and 4...and with the increased mileage, comes increase endurance and better running.  There are so many philosophies in training for author will say one thing while another preaches something different.  I honestly think it's all what works for you and your body.  For now...I'm going to play with heart rate training on some days, speed work on know...switch it up!
 Is there anyone else out there that is using heart rate training?  Did you find it hard to get started??


  1. I want to try heart rate training but I know it means I'll be slowing WAY down and I just don't think I can bring myself to do that! :)