Thursday, December 30, 2010

quick and dirty - a demoralization post before work

I've been re-reading my Triathlete's Training Bible and preparing for my second season of triathlon. I've been super-stoked to be honest. Slowly I have been coming around to the idea of transitioning toward using HR zones for training. I have always avoided this because I seem to have an abnormally high resting HR and an insanely high HR during exercise (even when my PRE is in a low or middle range). Tuesday I finally strapped up on a trainer ride and it wasn't as bad as I thought. Clearly much easier than my usual efforts to stay in a steady low zone 2, but good also to know what that should feel like.

Today was the day I was going to risk it on a run. The run is the problem. I knew it would be the problem. When I run my HR goes to 170-180 really easily and will stay there for a long time (an entire run)? People are telling me I need to run and walk until I can keep it sub 140. I don't even think I can stroll casually with my HR below 140. This puts me in a bind. But I 'm a scientist so I tested it out. Lo and behold, I can't even shuffle with my heartrate below 148 and at an 11:34 overall pace for a run/walk in which I hardly broke a sweat my average HR was 159. I am hydrated. I have no caffeine in my system. THIS SUCKS. I get into this mind game like "how is this possible? i can run an hour at an 8:15 pace (today, if I wanted to). I've run 2 HMs at an 8:35 pace and my half marathon off the bike at FirmMan in under 2:00. Why can't I even shuffle with a normal heart rate?" It makes me kind of panicky about my heart. It makes me question my abilities and my potential as an athlete. It makes me feel abandoned and screwed over by my body. And I don't know how to fix it.


  1. HR training is awesome - BUT - you need to figure out your HR zones, and everyone is a little different. I am not sure who the "people" were who were telling you to stay in 140 for a whole run, but telling someone to stay in a random HR doesn't really fit with HR training I don't think. 140 is zone 1 easy/recovery for me, obviously, that is easy for you. And your HR might be higher than mine, so my zone 2 (145-155) might still be part of your zone 1. Have you seen Total Heart Rate Training Joe Friel? Probably in the library.

  2. I agree with CC. You need your own zones.

    I have the opposite problem, really low HR, resting is always below 60. I have not calculated my zones yet, but a coach told me that a rule of thumb is to try to do easy running at 30+ beats below max HR.

  3. I am no help, but I hope to try heart rate training in 2011, so if you find any good resources, please let me know. I'm already having trouble getting my RHR. I can't remember to check it before getting up. Mental block, I guess.