I have a few different things I wanted to write about so you might get a few posts in a row over the next few days… It really depends if I can get all literary and shit and incorporate all the topics into this post without it coming off as a crazy man with attention problems.
This is going to be kind of boring technical. I apologize in advance. So awhile back I started reading up on heart rate training and it peaked my interest. I think the death of Caballo Blanco kind of worried me. How does a guy who should be in amazing shape suffer from heart disease. The theory is that long distance runners can put strain on their heart and cause scarring. I read up on some training techniques by Dr. Maffetone. The basic idea is to train at a specific heart rate so that you don’t enter an anaerobic state. I may have written about it before. The past year I have been trying to keep my heart rate low while training but it wasn’t until recently that I’ve had a reliable way to get the info I was hoping to see.
The other thing I did recently was to join a site called Training Peaks. It’s geared towards tri-athletes but runners can get a lot out of the site also. They have a lot of entries about heart rate and lactic acid thresholds etc etc.
I think what I understand out of all this is that you want to be able to run at a level that is just below your lactic acid threshold. In other words the muscles can flush out the lactic acid faster than you are producing it. As you train your body gets better at this. I do believe you can use your heart rate to know when this is happening.
So here is the little breakthrough I had recently. I went on two runs this past week. The first one I was running with my wife and we took a nice easy pace. I have been suffering from back spasms and really sore legs from crossfit. I hobbled along and when we reached Lise’s turnaround point I took off on my own. As I ran along at an easy pace I noticed my heart rate was not really climbing. I started to pick up the pace a little and pretty soon I was running 8 min and 9 min miles with a heart rate averaging around 135. As I got to hills I noticed it would start climbing. My legs were sore so I started to walk on most of the hills and I noticed my heart rate would recover really fast. Down to the 118 level after just walking for 30 – 60 seconds..up hill. I kept up this pattern the whole run and I was able to run longer stretches at the 8 min pace without having to slow down. My heart rate staying between 135-145.
I went on a second run and did the same thing and this time noticed I could continue to run up hill and not get over exerted if I slowed down soon enough. Legs stayed strong, pace increased over time. The hills are making it a little hard to get reliable data but next time I run down by the seacoast I am going to see if I can maintain a long run at a low heart rate. I also want to figure out at what level and for how long I remain at that heart rate that pushes me past the point of recovery. If I can figure that out and start testing it out on long runs, I may have found the key to running a fast race.
I’ll update again after I have had more chances to experiment.
Ok calling this entry done. I have a few more post topics I’ll be writing about soon so stay tuned!