I have fallen back in love with running! I didn’t say much about it but since the beginning of the year I had been considering giving running up. I wasn’t enjoying it and more importantly I wasn’t seeing any improvement.
However, that all changed after taking a new approach to running. Within a week of hiring a new coach, she turned my running upside down. I got an email from her after running the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon stating that we needed to discuss my running because my heart rate was WAY TO HIGH. I thought, yes I know that, but there is nothing we can do about that.
Wow, was I wrong about that! After running with her for a few short miles she already had a plan devised, I would be moving to Heart Rate Training. The reason I was not improving was because my heart rate was way to high and there was no where for it to go. That was also the reason I hated running because I felt miserable after a long run because again my heart rate was way too high.
Little did I know, there was something I could do about it! She immediately took the steps to find my hear rate training zones. Truth be told, there are lot of way you can do this and if you don’t have the time or money for professional testing there are great calculators out there that can help you find yours. After finding my heart rate zones, my goal was not to let me heart rate get over 168 when I was running. So much easier said than done!
The first few time I went running, I could barely get over a speed walk and my hear rate was well over 168 beat per minute immediately. So, I had to start slowly, REALLY SLOWLY! I was running around a 16 minute pace, I walk faster than that! I have never been a fast runner but even for me that was really slow. However, it worked! Within weeks I was seeing improvements, I could go a little faster and not have my HR spike up immediately.
Now, I should be running my training runs at about 14:24 pace to keep my heart rate around that 168 beats per minute mark. With the weather change, it has been hard to keep my pace at 14:24 so I have been going a little faster but I can see that I have made huge improvements.
This is embarrassing to admit but prior to starting heart rate training the farthest I had ever run without walking was 4.5 miles! Yes, you read that right! I was so out of breath that I couldn’t keep going. Well of course I was out of breath, my heart rate was at 202 beat per minute, who wouldn’t be out of breath. And let me tell you, I wasn’t going fast either to be out of breath, I was typically around an 11 minute pace. However, now I can run eight miles without walking. In fact, I know I could run farther but I haven’t had the chance since the furthest distance in my 10 miler training is eight miles. I guess I will be putting it to the test when I run the TC10 in two weeks!
I can tell you that this is the first time I have gone into a race over three miles and felt confident that I would be able to run the whole thing! I so cannot wait for TC10, I am going to own that race all thanks to my heart rate training!
Have you ever used heart rate training? I would love to hear others stories!