Thursday, December 01, 2005

Competing against 'me'!

I think the best competition is the one with yourself. Previous races, standard running routes, etc. I look at some of my pictures from a few years ago and think 'I know I could take him' !

It also makes training more interesting to do the same route while keeping heartrate within a particular range. On Monday I did The Point without any thought about pace or effort, except that I had an appointment and hurried so I wouldn't be late. Today I set my HR alarm and tried to stay in my easy range (70-80%) and did it about 2 minutes slower including walking at the top of the hills to stop the beeping. The net result was 80% within the range today while on Monday only 40% was in the range.

While it is not recommended to be a 'slave' to your HR since it can be affected by many variables besides pace (health, weather, hydration level, duration of run) it is a very useful device as a tachometer on easy days. It will also be instructive to look at results for the same run as fitness hopefully improves over the next few months. Unfortunately I can't control for the weather and I must pick and choose my test days.

The plan for tommorow is to do a 'tempo' run on the same course with a HR range of 80-90% after my usual 1/2 mile hill warmup and stretches. I can't wait to see what happens ;-)

4 comments:

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

I've never used a HR monitor but I'm hoping there will be a Garmin 301 under the tree from Santa. Otherwise I guess I will just have to buy it in the New Year when we get our Alberta Rebate cheques.

So would running in -16C make your heart rate faster or slower?

Mike said...

Nice work Mike, and good luck on the tempo run. I think heart rate is definitely a good indicator, especially for tempo runs. Speaking of tempo, did you see the nice article by Jack Daniels on longer tempo runs in the latest Running Times? It has a nice section on how to evaluate the proper effort.

Love2Run said...

Dawn,
I hope Santa is good to you! They are nice toys and you'll love the feedback they give you. At -16 you're wearing so many layers that you can't run fast anyway!! Actually, likely a slower hr for a given pace because heat tends to increase hr.

Mark, thanks and good luck in your 1/2 this weekend. We'll all be waiting breathlessly for the results. I'll re-read that article too.

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