I was up and out by 7am this morning for a run up on the Gleniffer Braes. The weather was fine and I felt good the whole way round.
Katrina, Jonny, Frances and I are running 25miles on the whw route tomorrow starting from Drymen so I wanted to push it a bit so my legs would be a little tired tomorrow. I’m not sure if they will be as I’m feeling really good at the moment.
Here are the stats compared to last Saturday’s run with Steven …
I was really happy with my run and encouraged with my running at the moment. It’s good to be able to run at that steady pace with my heart rate averaging 133.
I don’t tend to get many comments on my blog anymore but when I do they are good ones! Robert Osfield is a regular commenter (along with Debs C-M who by the way has posted an excellent report of her recent Lakeland 100 race …. well worth a read!).
Anyway if you didn’t see it Robert posted this comment on my post about running my recovery runs by heart rate …
I have also used my HR monitor as guide to pacing in training and racing, as well as looking at reading from my HR monitor to gauge fitness.
What I have found useful is to record the calories per mile reported by my HR monitor for different routes, rather than looking too specifically at the HR reading. Using calories per mile allows one to compare running at different paces for the same route. I’ve also done work to normalize for HR drift and hills so I can compare progress between completely different runs. It requires a little bit of spreadsheet processing to get the results.
One thing I’ve picked out from all the stats is that it’s not just HR at a given pace that is important to gauge fitness, but what happens with HR drift during long runs. This year my HR for given pace for short runs is no better than last year, but for runs of two hours and more I see much less HR drift - so for a constant HR run my pace would not slow so much.
For my Devil race this year I used my HR monitor as a guide, aiming to keep my HR below 160 all the time (15 below LT threshold). This meant walking steeper hills more gently than I would have otherwise, but also encouraged me to run gently climbs that I would have walked otherwise. Early in the race this meant I was overtaken lots during the hills, but re-took the places on the descents. By the end of the race I was overtaking on hills and descents and finished really strong. My % splits turned out to be very close to that of this years winner and also previous years winners - suggesting that they run at an even effort as well, but also I was able to pace like the best of elite’s with no more skill that occasionally checking my HR monitor.
I would certainly recommend trying out pacing hilly and longer runs using your HR monitor and consider using it when racing. The key is picking what HR range will work best for you for the distance you are racing. As I guide for the Devil I used my average HR during previous races.
I’ve had a look at overall calories burnt on runs so assume I just divide that miles run to work out calories per mile?
Dale Jamieson also commented and had some questions for Robert so thought I’d copy his comment in case Robert hasn’t seen it! …
Hi John, I’ve kept coming back to this article over the last few days as my motivation for running slowly returns (injured with labral tear). Can you let us know if the 130bpm is relative to your maxHR or your LT please and if so what % it is of either?
Robert, as always indepth and intersting. Can I ask please your thoughts on ultra running; are you suggesting that one should undertake such a challenge at just above 90% of LT and if so do you believe it would be worth running LSD’s at this intensity in training?
Kind regards in advance
I’m not sure what my maxHR is at the moment. The only time it’s been worked out properly is when I did a fitness test at Hampden in 2009. Then it was recored as 172. So 130 would be 75% Maybe that’s a bit high for a recovery run?
My heart rate at my Lactate Turnpoint was 157 so 130 would be 84% of my LT.
I know Robert is planning to write a blog post on what he has learnt on running ultras by heart rate so I’m looking forward to reading that.