80/20 Training when HR is All Over the Map | 80/20 Endurance

80/20 Training when HR is All Over the Map

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  • #17087
    benonemusic
    Participant

    Hi everyone!
    I’m a 53 y.o. male training for my fifth marathon, the Erie Marathon, this September. My last marathon was in 2011 but I’ve run many half marathons since then. I have been running 5x a week, about 26 miles total for a long time. I’ve just started an 18-week level 2 marathon plan (5-9 hours/week). I did my first run under my training plan this morning and ran more than a minute slower than usual (10:21 vs 9:00) and yet my average HR was way higher than it should have been (156) and not much different than when I run much faster. This 10:20 pace seemed to be the slowest I could run without walking. I’m looking back at months of Garmin data. My average HR has been 121-159 BPM. I’ve run 10 miles at sub-9 minute paces at 131 HR, and 6 miles at 159 BPM at 9:35/mi pace. Weather conditions and terrain haven’t been much different; it seems to be a roll of the dice. I have been using my Garmin 645 for heart rate; I’ve ordered an external HR strap and it can’t arrive soon enough. Insights/tips much appreciated. Thank you! Ben

    #17088
    benonemusic
    Participant

    So sorry for the duplicate post. Not sure how this happened, and when I click on “Edit Topic” I get a message that says, “Sorry you are not allowed to edit this item.” A moderator is very welcome to delete this duplicate post! Thanks.

    #17128
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Ben, sorry for the delay in responding.

    I recommend that you start a new data collection period once you get the chest strap. And, go a full month of only monitoring Pace, not HR. After that month, then do your HR analysis. I think what you will find is that your training was just fine without monitoring HR at all.

    You’ve already nailed the environmental factors that influence HR, but it’s also internal factors like sleep, stress, time of day, when you last ate… the list of things that influences HR is large. Additionally, those wrist-based monitors are infamous.

    David

    #17134
    benonemusic
    Participant

    David, thanks for your insights and tips. I’ll watch my data. I’ve been using an external strap for four days now; it’s the Garmin HRM-Dual monitor and it works fine other than being somewhat finicky about pairing to my Forerunner 645 even when I’ve wet it and put my watch up close. Anyway, it has provided one useful bit of self-discovery after nearly 30 years of running: I really seem to need about 10-15 minutes of warmup before my HR goes into the aerobic zone. Also I find my HR seems to increase and decrease a lot even after minor changes in exertion; a run up a moderate hill at constant pace could take me from 128 to 140 bpm in less than two minutes or from 132 to 110 if I stop just for a couple of minutes. I wonder if everyone is like that. Your advice to ignore HR is tempting, but I might run way too fast if I do that. Last month I had been running 10 miles at about 8:30/mile during my Saturday runs, but that falls to nearly 10 mins/mile if I run at Zone 2 aerobic at this stage of my conditioning. — Ben

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 4 weeks ago by benonemusic.
    #17146
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Ben, in general, a HR that responds quickly to changes to lowering intensity is a sign of good fitness (a staple of fitness testing used to be how long it took to go from high intensity to resting HR, the faster the better). Your long warmup is not a concern, that’s normal and the “windup” time of HR is not considered a measure of fitness the way the recovery is.

    I understand your point about not wanting to let go of HR, and maybe I’m wrong in your case. But, do you know what else responds even more quickly to changes in intensity than HR? Pace! Going from Zone 2 to Zone 3 Pace takes 1 second, and 60 seconds for HR.

    If your position is that HR is a critical element of your training, then monitor HR. I don’t doubt that for some athletes it is. But, plenty of athletes have let it go completely with success.

    Think of it just as a HR “fast” maybe just a week instead of a month.

    David

    #17147
    benonemusic
    Participant

    David, thanks for your advice. It is liberating! Indeed my HR goes from high intensity to resting very quickly. sI’ll train by pace for a month. I’m reading the resources to learn what I need to know and using the 80/20 Endurance calculator to determine my approximate pace in the different zones. Thank you! Ben

    #17236
    alancraig
    Participant

    Just my two cents on the issue. Moving away from heart rate training was really uncomfortable at first, but incredibly liberating once I got used to it. Initially, I would just check my heart rate data afterwards, and then adjust my effort on the next run. After just a few of these, I found that I was dead on and that the runs were more enjoyable. Actually, I was doing my RPE easy runs slower than I would have done them if running by heart rate. So my heart rate was mostly in zone 1 and low zone 2.

    I use a Stryd Footpod and find it incredibly helpful. But with the easy runs, it’s still all done by RPE. For what it’s worth…

    #17238
    benonemusic
    Participant

    Great tips and insights. Thanks so much for sharing.

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