Friday, April 11, 2014

Heart Rate Reserve

I'm really starting to get back in running shape. I'm gaining confidence. I'm getting faster. I'm running within my limits. How? Heart rate training using heart rate reserve percentages for specific workouts...including my easy runs.

Heart Rate Reserve (HRR) = Maximum HR-Resting HR
% HRR = %(Max HR-Resting HR) + Resting HR

Basically, it's the percent of reserve heart beats that you have to work with above resting HR. Slightly different than just % of maximum HR. You then have specific zones for your target goals (recovery, tempo, vO2 max, etc). For me, my max is 190, my resting is 50. So my various HRR zones are (based on Roy Benson effort-based training):

Max Recovery= 60-65% = 134-141
Jogging Fat Burning = 65-70% = 141-148
Long Endurance = 60-75% = 134-155
Stamina = 75-80% = 155-162
Tempo AT = 80-85% = 162-169
VO2 Max = 90-95% = 176-183

I recover when I'm supposed to and I work hard (but not too hard) when I need to to reach my goals. Most runners do too many middle effort runs, but never go easy enough on easy days, or hard enough on hard days. Everything ends up "not easy, not hard"--and you don't develop into a fit and efficient runner. Runners need to mix paces (efforts) with a rationale.

In addition to training efforts, you can target racing efforts:

5K = 93-97%
10K = 85-89%
Half Marathon = 80-84%
Marathon = 75-79%

Pretty convenient to have set target effort-based goals for racing and training! If it's hotter, your HR will be higher, your effort will remain the same, but you'll need to slow down to keep in the same HR zone. If it's cooler, you run faster for same HR. More stress in your life means a higher heart rate and thus slower paces. Give it a try and you may just develop into a fitter, and injury-free, runner. And your races may be under control and efficient.


bflying said...

Thanks Chris! I ordered the Mio Link heart monitor that goes on the wrist. I'm hoping it'll help keep easy days in control and I'm looking forward to learning more with it.
-Ben S.

Chris said...

Excellent. Let me know how you like the Mio Link.