Monthly Archives: March 2011

A Look at Heart Rate Training

After a scare on a run in January where it felt like my heart was in my throat the doctor encouraged me to start wearing a heart rate monitor and to keep my workouts under 60% of my Maximum Heart Rate.

Note: The doctors said my heart appeared to be very healthy and they assumed I had had a cold (weather) induced asthma attack.  The heart rate is more of a precautionary tool to monitor my pulse during workouts in case it happens again.  They prescribed an inhaler and wearing something to cover my mouth/nose to help warm up the air.

Remember the conversion?  220 minus your age equals maximum heart rate.  So my current max is 220 – 29 = 191.  60% of that is 114.  If you’ve followed my workouts you know that I’ve not been anywhere close to that.  That is super low. I used an online calculator to determine my training zones and came up with these zones:

  • Fat Burning: From 128 to 141 beats per minute
  • Aerobic: From 141 to 153 beats per minute
  • Steady State: From 153 to 166 beats per minute
  • Anaerobic: From 166 to 178 beats per minute
  • Maximal: From 178 to 191 beats per minute

There is some variation in terms and the number of training zones.  For example, Polar share three – light, moderate, and hard. So here is how the web calculator breaks it down:
Fat Burning (50 to 60%) In this range you are developing your basic endurance and aerobic capacity. This zone is great for burning fat compared to the effort you put in. Other zones will also burn up your fat but you will have to work harder to burn up the same amount.

Aerobic (60 to 70%) This zone is great for your cardiovascular system. This helps your muscles become stronger and more efficient and you develop your bodies ability to transport oxygen to (and carbon dioxide away from) your muscles. You should be spending the majority of your training time in this zone.

Steady State (70 to 80%) Think tempo run.  This is not an easy workout but not super hard or stressful.

Anaerobic (80 to 90%) Entering this zone is a sign that you have become serious about your sport. In this zone your body develops its ability to handle lactic acid. An anaerobic workout takes place when you are working so hard that your body cannot keep up with the production of fuel and oxygen and so you need to dip into your reserves. When you dip into your reserves you produce numerous waste products – principally lactic acid.

Maximal (over 90%) Develops maximum speed and should only be used for short bursts of activity.

I’ve started listening to a podcast produced by Jeff and Diane Kline of PRS Fit and they are huge proponents of heart rate training.  It seems like they would concur with my doctor and that I should spend a lot of time training at the Fat/Aerobic training zones.  They say it will feel really slow at first but over time my speed would come back and my splits would drop.   What do you think about that?

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Weekly Report

I still felt under the weather at the beginning of the week and was pretty bummed since it was spring break. By Tuesday I felt good enough to try the bike trainer and didn’t have any negative feedback from it. But then we got 4.5 more inches of snow, ugh.

I went out on Thursday and Friday and ran my Metrodome loop, unexciting but a safe 3.2 mile distance to make sure my body was handling it ok and not getting sick again! The sidewalks were messy, but fortunately the LRT trail and the sidewalks downtown were in excellent shape. I switched directions so it wasn’t the same exact workout both days!

Sunday I drove to Lake of the Isles and ran around it and Calhoun for an easy 5.8 mile run.  All of these runs were very sunny and right around the freezing mark.  The wind and remaining snow made it feel chilly but people were definitely out in shorts and or short sleeves.  Not I.  I wanted to make sure my body stayed plenty warm so I would get sick again.  I was tired by the end of the run so I was glad I didn’t try and do anything stupid in the middle like adding more distance.

Overall I’m happy that the week turned out better than it started!  Now the trick will be to keep improving!!

Your Training for 03/21/2011 – 03/27/2011

View Training Log Workout
Miles: 12.21 Comments: 0
Time: 01:51 Motivations: 0
Calories: 1948 Among Friends: 31
Workouts: 4 Overall Position: 14339


Vibram Five Fingers & Minimalist Demo Run


Image by mexican 2000 via Flickr

Saturday, March 26
Minimalist Footwear Class and Demo Run
Midwest Mountaineering

Share one runner’s journey and the joys of adapting feet and running form to minimalist footwear, specifically Vibram Five Finger “Toe Shoes.” Jim Baumiller is a passionate trail runner and early adopter of Five Fingers, eager to share experiences, lessons learned and the benefits of running barefoot or minimalist in unpadded footwear. Make trail running fun again, improve running form, eliminate chronic injuries and reconnect with Mother Earth, letting feet and soul run free. He covers “why go minimalist,” how to safely adapt feet and running form to running without padded shoes in any terrain, any season, any distance. The class will last approximately one hour and be followed by a run using your own or demo Five Fingers.

Scott Young, Footwear Coordinator, will be on hand to make sure the five Fingers are properly fitted. Bring your regular running shoes. Preregistration only required for the demo run – limited to 16 participants. 612-339-3433 612-339-3433 Expedition Room, Midwest Mountaineering

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Weekly Report

Hey Nick, you logged 0 workouts last week.

Your friends miss your training – update your miles on dailymile!


Sad, but true.  Sunday night I went to bed with a slight fever and an all body ache and woke up Monday morning feeling the same way.  I stayed home from work on Monday.  I felt a little better and went in on Tuesday, but by Wednesday I wasn’t feeling much better and ended up only working a half day.  I managed to work the rest of the week with slight improvements.  I’d hoped to run the MDRA Lake Johanna 4 miler on Saturday and spectate at the Human Race on Sunday,  but opted out of both since I was still feeling sub-par.  I have a lot of congestion and a nice milky thick snot that like to come out of my nose and congestion related headaches.  My lungs and throat feel pretty good.  Overall I still feel a little weak and not near 100%.  I was hoping for some amazing training during Spring Break but it appears that I’ll be nursing myself to health.  Ugh.