I’m a few weeks into heart rate monitor-based running, and things are going well. Actually, I think it should be re-named “patience training,” because it has required substantial patience on my part. I soooo want to go faster! But I’m trusting the heart rate feedback and sticking with it, which has led to some very slow 5k training times. Once I build up to 10k at my aerobic heart rate (155 bpm), I’ll start incorporating intervals and tempo runs to improve my heart’s tolerance for higher rates (race paces). My first scheduled race is a 5k at Thanksgiving, so I’m confident I should be in decent shape by then.
What has helped me greatly in my heart rate efforts is the Garmin Forerunner 610. This pricey device has the benefit of giving me both audible and vibration alerts whenever I jump out of the correct zone. I have it set at a high of 162 and a low of 153; this has led to an average of my 155 bpm target over the course of a run. This is the best zone to perform “easy” training in (for me; everyone is different and it is based upon your max and resting heart rate), and also burn fat most efficiently. With my old MotoActv, I’d have to check the watch constantly to see if I’d left my zone. Not a problem anymore. I’m still learning about the 610’s capabilities, but I’m loving it so far.
|Easy to set heart rate zones in the 610 touchscreen|
I’m also 25 miles into my new Adidas Boost shoes. I switched to the Boost from the Kinvara because I need more support because, well, I’ve gained a lot of weight! My lower legs were really feeling it, and I though the Boost would help. Initially, it didn’t see that they would; I experienced a lot of calf and shin pain. However, after a couple of weeks my legs are feeling quite good. I think it is a combination of the heart rate training and the shows. The training really forces you to slow down. You are building so slowly that you experience little in the way of muscular pain; it seems to keep the development of your muscles in sync with the development of your heart. The shoes, on the other hand, are quite “cushiony” (great word), but you can still get a feel for the road under you. Significantly different than the Kinvara, but over time I’ve become used to the feel. And they're quite bright! They’re keepers, although I’m interested to see what kind of mileage I can get from them. I’d tear through Kinvaras quite rapidly. After 250 miles, they looked like toast.
|Bright yellow Boost!|
Perhaps the greatest thing about heart rate training is that I’m not over working myself. It seems easier to stay on track because I don’t doubt that I won’t complete each run every day. The monitor lets me know when I need to slow or walk, so overburdening my muscles isn’t an issue. We’ll see how it goes over the long haul; so far so good.
One of my most significant accomplishments during the last few weeks is that I incorporated a run into my vacation. It was fun running somewhere different: Las Vegas, Nevada! I couldn't run on the Strip...it is just too busy, but it was cool running off the Strip and seeing all the huge hotels and sights. And it wasn't that hot...the humidity was low. It is tough to stay on schedule when you're on vacation!
|The High Roller; a new huge Ferris Wheel near Harrah's in Las Vegas. Taken on my run in early September '13.|
Accomplishments since August 1, 2013:
Back to double-digit running weeks (11 from Sept. 8 – 15)
Lost 12 lbs.
Here’s to your progress!