Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Analyze This

Once again, Zeke inspired some heart rate talk with his recent comment about max heart rate and his entry on the Hadd test. Reviewing my training log, I noticed something from a run on February 24th that I did. It was a 10-miler, one of the first I had done in a long time outdoors. I tacked a 5:30 mile on to the end, which was mechanically very difficult, but physiologically felt pretty good. Using SportTracks and my Garmin 301, I was able to break the final mile down into .25 mile increments, and get average HR and pace data for each quarter. Here it is...


The thing that I found interesting was that I wasn't able to crack into the 170s, which is generally considered marathon racing territory, with the effort. Also, considering my goal marathon pace is 5:43 and change, a heart rate in the low 160s at that pace looks very favorable. As opposed to all the negative thoughts I have been having about 'what have slow miles done for me lately?', this is making me feel really excited.

According to Hadd, and a number of other aerobic system proponents (including Lydiard), it is the maddening process of aerobic development that puts one in a position to do equally meaningful development work, such as threshhold pace runs. These are the runs that allow one to feel more comfortable at fast paces, and thereby run faster, longer.

One possibility the above data brings up, though, is that my max heart rate is not as high as I think it is, which would change the meaning of the data completely. We'll see. I'm going to try to max tonight on the treadmill.


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