The last few weeks of my runs my heart rate, according to my Whoop data, has been at 90 – 100 percent of my max heart rate for over 15 minutes of each run. Even with the run/ walk/ run pattern my heart rate would come down when I walked but immediately jumped to max heart rate as soon as I started again. I spoke with Johnna my Barbells for Boobs coach. We focused on breathing techniques and relaxing while on the run. I also talked with Matt about it. He has been doing a lot of reading on Marathon training. He suggested slowing my pace even more. I’m already at like a 9:30 pace so slowing down any further I felt like I would be walking. He reassured me around 13-minute mile pace is when your body wants to start walking so I had a little room to slow down.
Last week I tried something different. My whoop allows me to see a live heart rate. I started slowly running and watched it, keeping it under 160. I had to significantly slow down in order to keep my heart rate where I wanted it. Every time I sped up to a comfortable pace, it climbed to. I focused on my breathing and relaxed. I had to constantly watch my heart rate to find that sweet spot. I ended the run and my pace ended up being around an 11-minute pace. So, Matt, “You’re right honey!” My pace was too fast.
Over the week, I kept that same technique and it felt so slow. I had to keep a 11:30 pace to keep my heart rate under 160 on the longer run. I had to constantly think about how fast I was running, to slow down to breathe deeper. It was annoying. I wanted to run fast but I kept my pace.
I’ve done some reading on heart rate and its importance at different levels recently. The last few weeks I have been just trying not to be at my max. Which is important, but I’ve also learned that keeping your heart rate in different zones promotes different goals. I found this website, https://mymottiv.com/HRTRAINING, helpful in calculating what my zone numbers should be for distance running. A simple calculation for finding what your max heart rate is 220 minus your age. My estimated max is 186 or top of zone 5. For longer runs I should be in zone 2. By using the above website, I found to be in zone two, I need to keep my heart rate between 114 and 136. This zone promotes building your cardiovascular system and endurance. The majority of my runs are currently in zone 4 or 5, which are better for short bursts used for building speed and power.
Last night I got back to some CrossFit work outs. I turned my heart rate live screen on just to see where I was at – just working not trying to control my heart rate. The work out was 3 rounds of 20 sit ups and thrusters and then 3 rounds of 20 kettlebell swings and burpees. Twenty minutes later my heart rate never got above 150. I don’t get it. I felt like I worked much harder than on a run. You would think 60 burpees would get my heart rate faster than a light jog around the neighborhood. The picture below shows I started my jog around my max for my whole CrossFit workout. There is something there. Something I have learned over the years of burpees- maybe I have learned to breathe more efficiently. My whoop is a tool that is helping me figure out the best way to use my body.
This morning I tried for my zone two heart rate. I took Edi and went to a flat soccer field and walked around it while she played in the middle. To keep my heart rate under 136 beats per minute, I ended up at a 15-minute pace- a fast walk. If walking 15-minute miles will make me a better runner and help me reach my goal of running 32 miles then I need to overcome my ego and do it. I know I can run 8 miles without stopping. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I need to focus on my long term goal. I am still doing the recommended miles. My body is still working my muscles and heart and I am getting a good workout in. I have around 4 months worth of training under me. The coaches have decades of experience. I need to quiet my “I know best attitude” and train as my resources recommend.
I know I am getting better at running because three miles seem like a breeze. If I have to run slower or walk to keep at a lower heart rate, then that’s what I’ll do. I have to remind myself everyday is not a race. It’s a finish- to complete not compete. I need to be patient and continue to work hard. Consistency and learning my body will be the key to success.
Today I need to remember big improvements won’t happen overnight. I just need to be patient. Working on consistency is more important than speed. Today I will trust the process and get stronger every day.
Running in Alabama weather the past two weeks.