Happy 2015, what I’m doing with my HR monitor & congrats to M!!

Happy New Year!!

The last day of 2014 was cold, but it had moments of beauty.

And Abby always loves the chance to be off-leash (and completely disobey me)!

When I was younger (read: was immune to hangovers), New Years Eve was a night to party it up with friends and drink excessively.  As I’ve got older (read: lost immunity to hangovers), I have learned to enjoy ringing in the new year in a much more tame way…truth be told, if my friends let me, I’d be in bed by 10pm! To ring in 2015, I was at a neighbour’s house…and was in bed by 12:30! LOL!

I was up just before 8am, walked Abby…and decided that it was just too cold today to run outside. It wasn’t really THAT cold, but it was gusty with a windchill of -15C/5F and I just didn’t feel like dealing with it today! Soooo…

4 miles on the treadmill at my easy pace that is now included in my training plan – and it felt awesome!!! It was almost a sense of pressure taken off me to know it was ok to run at that easy pace. That it was actually part of my training. I followed it up with a good strength training session.

My plan for 2015 has 2 strength training days per week and I’m trying to create a routine that I can repeat twice a week, rather than 2 routines that I do once a week. This morning’s is my first attempt at doing this, but there will be a few changes in the coming weeks. The only thing new this morning was the single leg squats with the TRX which replaces the step downs that had really morphed into single leg squats…but the TRX allows me to ensure that my pelvis stays level. The key is to use the TRX only for stability and still let your leg and core do the work.

Because of all my talk about training my heart rate, I’ve had a lot of discussions with friends about why I’m not following the method described in 1:59 and how exactly I’m going to use my HR in my training. One of the biggest issues I had with the method described by Dr. Maffetone was that he has an equation that’s to fit everyone based on their age…but doesn’t take into account their current health, fitness, weight, etc. It just isn’t good enough science for me. BUT, I agree with him that I need to spend more time in an easier zone. More active recovery.

A friend of mine, Earl, just bought a HR monitor and he wanted to know how to create heart rate training zones that were specific to him…not the generalized ones that HR monitors normally come with that, like I said, don’t take into account a host of important factors about YOU. And I thought I would share what I said to him in case there are others out there who are toiling with the idea of using HR for training but aren’t exactly sure how. Below is what I sent Earl:

Ok, so here is a way to measure your HRmax and then to use it to calculate your zones. The calculation of your zones should be re-done every month because, theoretically, your fitness will increase and your resting heart rate will change (max HR doesn’t change too much)…and so will your zones as a result.
Calculating your Max Heart Rate
After a decent warm-up (15 minutes minimum), run at an even pace, as fast as you can for 3 minutes. Then jog easy for two minutes, then run again as fast as you can for 3 minutes – your maximum heart rate is what is the highest rate reached during this second 3 minute interval.
Calculating your Heart Rate Zones
First, determine your true resting heart rate – this is best done first thing in the morning, but you can try lying down for 20 minutes, quietly, and then measuring your lowest heart rate.
To calculate a particular zone value, X%, do the following:
  • Subtract your HRresting from your HRmax which gives you your HRreserve
  • Calculate the X% on the HRreserve to give you  “Z”
  • Add “Z” and your HRresting together to give you a final value for that X%
So, for example, if your HR resting was 50 and your HRmax was 186 and you were trying to calculate the 70% value:
  • HRmax – HRresting –> 186-50 = 136
  • X% of HRreserve (=Z) –> 136 x 0.7 = 95.2 (Z)
  • Z + HRresting –>95.2 + 50 = 145.2
So, to be at 70%, your heart rate should be 142. And you would do this for each % you wanted to know to create your zones/ranges.
Here are typical zones:
  • Zone1: 60-70%; very comfortable effort; use this for warm-up & cool-down, easy runs
  • Zone2: 70-80%; comfortable enough to hold a conversation; most training is done here
  • Zone3: 80-93%; “comfortably hard” effort; you may be able to say short, broken sentences
  • Zone4: 94-100%; hard effort, the pace is sustainable, but conversation is a few words ata  time. For most people, this is around 5k pace.

I just thought I would share because I’ve talked about using my HR, but not exactly how. I plan to follow the paces I’ve set out for myself in my plan, but will watch to see that my HR matches fairly well. For example, my Zone1 is a HR of 135-149 and this is how my easy run days should be done – this morning’s run was an easy run and my average HR was 143…dead on!! WOOHOO!!

On a silly note…Tim Hortons here has this Jalapeno & Asiago Mozarella bagel that I am completely obsessed with. A) I love bagels and b) I love hot/spicy things. Ergo, perfect combo for me! Aaaaaand, I JUST FOUND THESE BAGELS AT COSTCO!!!!!!

Warning, I might turn into one of these. Oh, and I love them toasted and with plain cream cheese. TDF. To die for.

I would also like to give a HUGE shout-out to my good friend, M (@runninglonely), who completed his (crazy-ass) 24-hour run this morning…and knocked off an incredible 85 miles!! I am so proud of him but, most of all, I hope he is proud of himself and knows just how many people were rooting for him over the last 24 hours!!

Happy Thursday – hope you have a great start to 2015!!

8 thoughts on “Happy 2015, what I’m doing with my HR monitor & congrats to M!!

  1. jenkirk72

    Im glad you make the remark about retesting monthly. I’ve often contemplated that very thing! Looking forward to just figuring out what my heart does during workouts then I’ll go from there.
    WAY TO GO, M!!!! So proud!!

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  2. irtfyblog

    wow…you really get more into the heart rate numbers. I normally stick with the easy…count the beats for 15 seconds, multiply by 4…there ya go!

    This is very informational. Thank you!!

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  3. Just a Running Chick

    Come on, girl! Only 5 degrees F wind chill? I ran in colder when I lived in Minnesota!! 😉 Actually I did consider possibly not running today, but the wind chill was only in the 20 degree F range, and I couldn’t justify NOT running. I *did* consider not walking the dog, but fair’s fair – if I go out, she gets to go out! Unless it rains, and she steadfastly refuses!

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  4. Pingback: Day 1 of the next 15 weeks! | 50statecanuck

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