Posts Tagged ‘resting heart rate’

Long Runs and Heart Rate Training

March 16, 2010

I did a little research this week and thought I would share what I found about using your heart rate as a training tool.

I got in a long run of 6.65 miles on Sunday. I did it at a slow pace of 10:50 per mile average. I was shooting for 11 minute miles thinking that would allow me to keep my heart rate lower than usual around 140 bpm to start out. I know I was on exactly 11:00 miles at 3.1 miles, so I actually ran a negative split of about 17 seconds per mile pace the rest of the way and it included a slight uphill section about a half mile long. I was worried a little about having sore legs Monday and even today, but then I read a post a coach wrote about sore legs and it made me feel better:

I just got so used to running all out last year as I did most of my running at lunch in a group that was faster. It is hard for me to run at this lower heart rate because I feel so good I have the urge to speed up. I must have glanced down at least 10 times during the run where I saw my hear rate in the 150’s and forced myself to slow down. Since I didn’t have anything to drink my heart rate naturally drifted up. That is the one thing about heart rate training that has always bothered me a bit since I didn’t know why. Recently though I read an article that explained why. It was in a magazine that I cannot recall. I found a few articles online that also explain the various things that affect your heart rate as you work out. So when you use heart rate as a tool for training you need to know these things so you know why it might be acting differently.

  • Cardiac drift: Heart rate goes up because sweat mainly comes from the fluid in your blood so the decreased volume of blood means your heart has to beat faster. (fifth item in the article: )
  • Heart rate goes up as your body temperature increases, which happens during exercise. 
  •  Heart rate goes up as ambient temperature and humidity increase so you will have a higher rate on a hotter or more humid day even if you do the same workout. This and the last item are obviously tied together and are described on the link as above.
  • Another item that is something to watch once you use heart rate monitoring for a while is that when you get sick your heart rate increases. So if you get in the habit of checking your resting heart rate in the morning before getting up and notice it’s higher than normal it might be a sign your body is working on something. Maybe you sleepwalked at 3 am to get a PB&J or maybe you are getting sick, maybe you woke up dehydrated, or maybe you are training so hard that you did not recover overnight. You cannot measure this a few times and get a clue. You will need to keep a watch out over time.
  • Another thing to note about heart rate is that your resting heart rate will decrease as you get more fit. Mine went from around 60 to about 45 so far. Also the recovery of heart rate to normal levels after working out happens faster as you become fitter for the same length and intensity of exercise.

For more info on training in heart rate zones try this link:  

I have decided that I trained to intense all the time while running last year, so I will be doing a lot more less intense stuff. I am starting a little later than I should be as this is what is considered base training, but I will just not run the races too intense and get a worse time than last year but then enjoy the rest of the year without the same injury.


Resting Heart Rate

September 8, 2008

I sat at work the other day with my new heart rate monitor strapped on. I was not doing a whole lot, (shhh don’t tell the boss). Well, sitting at a computer doesn’t exactly burn calories and I was working on busywork nothing to stress out the brain, so I tried to sit still and get my heart rate down by not doing anything to make it go up. I saw it go as low as 52-53. This is great! It was about 60 before I started the blog and training for my triathlon. Also, this was with coffee during the middle of the day. I know it would be lower if I checked it as I woke up which is when I measured the 60.

I have not fixed the image at the top of the blog yet, but my warm-up heart rate, (treadmill 5 min; 3.0 mph; 2% incline) has dropped down to 95 bpm. This is about the same, 10 bpm improvement, I know my max has not gone down, so the amount of work I can put out has increased. I am hoping to measure the resting HR properly and see it in the high 40’s and then as I work out more and get fit have it drop into the 30s. Yeah, ok, this is another of those long term goals.

I did not do the run I thought I would on Friday, we had to go to the gym, so I ran there with my heart rate getting as high as 185-188 range. It was really cool, I wore the chest transmitter and the machine just picked it up, I didn’t have to grab the handlebars and then the workout summary at the end was very accurate. I wasn’t expecting this. They would sell a lot more heart rate monitors if they just put a little label on there that said you could do it that way. I did one workout where my average was 165, and another the next day where it was 150. The 150 was easy but I had overdone it the day before with a swim after the 165 bpm workout. So I was just letting my body take it easy.


I found out that my pool is 25 Yards. So the 500 meter swim is 547 yards, or 22 laps not 20. So in all my workouts leading up to the triathlon I was shorting myself about a minute on the time. So when I thought I was going to get 13 minutes I was really saying I think I will get 14 minutes. So my time of 13:26 was actually a success and I did better than my goals for all three legs, not just the two. A technicality that doesn’t really matter in the long run, I know, but it sure makes me feel better about my progress.


There was a rerun of the biggest loser where it was only two shows and it was engaged couples. My Tivo grabbed them both so my wife and I watched. I have not been a huge fan of the show but it is only because I never wanted to take the extra time to add another show to my couch time. Well, this show really gave us some motivation. Of course, what could be more appealing than seeing someone lose 27 pounds in 12 days where it only seemed to take 40 minutes.

We got so inspired we are going to make ourselves a meal plan and buy another piece of exercise equipment, probably an elliptical. This way we have an easier time eating healthy, and we can workout each evening while we watch a 1 hour TV show together. My wife has not been happy as the weight has not been dropping for her, using the South Beach Diet, me either really, so we are going to go gung ho on the workouts like in the show, by watching our hour of TV we usually watch together 3-4 times a week in the saddle so to speak.

We are going to plan out our meals so we do not exceed what we are supposed to eat as well. It should be easier if we do all the math and counting up front and then just have a list of what to eat for the day, which of course will not include all the stuff I tend to get into at night. I had a little setback this weekend so I am ready to do this for a while anyway. In the show one of the couples won a challenge and got meals prepared by a chef and delivered every morning for a month. They just had to heat them up and enjoy. Well, we are going to be our own chef’s and plan and prepare the meals up front. This will make shopping easier as there is a goal for what we need, and it will make eating easier as there is no need to stop when you are full because the portion is exactly what you are supposed to eat. It will take a bit of time up front especially to get the counts on the meal and try and use up all the food. The trick will be to make sure we cook the dinners and prepare the next days lunch and snacks all at once so we don’t hit a time crunch and just toss the plan out the window.