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2015-09-09 3:49 PM


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Subject: Heart rate training question
Hi all,
I have been trying to wear a HR monitor while training. First some information:

I am 57 years old and in good shape. I have been cycling and running for 3 years. I have done numerous 10K's, and a couple Duathlons and Sprint Triathlons.

I have determined that my MHR is 166. When I want to use the HR zones, it seems like an awful lot of my training should be in the 130-135 range. (80%) If I go any lower, (70-80% of MHR) now I am in the mid 120's, which literally feels like I am doing nothing. I don't try to "kill" myself during training, but I need to at least feel like I am making gains. When I do a 10K, it is pretty much all out, and so much more intense than training. I do spend time on intervals and hill repeats, but I have been told not to dedicate more than 15% of a week's time to this type of intensity over 90%.

Ok, sorry. The question: Has anyone else experienced this? I can't even work up a good sweat until I hit 140 and HR zone training has made me feel like a lot of my training is "junk" miles. Just hoping to get some perspective on this.

Thanks!!


2015-09-09 3:56 PM
in reply to: Burchib

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Subject: RE: Heart rate training question
Originally posted by Burchib
When I do a 10K, it is pretty much all out


What does your HR profile look like on a 10k ? What is your average HR and how fast do you do a 10k ?
2015-09-09 3:57 PM
in reply to: Burchib

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Subject: RE: Heart rate training question
How did you set your zones? If it was done by a formula like 220-age, it is just as likely to be wrong than right. You will want to do a LTHR test for both bike and run and this will help set up specific training zones.
2015-09-09 4:03 PM
in reply to: Burchib

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Subject: RE: Heart rate training question

Welcome!

This is a common question and them when going to HR training.  It's also very easy to go down the wrong path.

First, determining or "calculating" MHR is difficult and inaccurate.  So any formula based on that is probably going to have you going too slow.  The predominant method used on this site (and probably triathlon and endurance sports in general) would be the LT method.  There is a testing protocol you can follow to determine.  I'm sure someone will provide a link.  The number you get from the test is easier (not to say the test is easy, it's HARD) to determine than max HR which is elusive or impossible to determine.  The LT method also give you YOUR number, and is not based on a general use formula.

That being said, you may still be surprised how "easy" workouts may feel at certain zone/intensity levels.  That's ok.  It lets you workout more and more often (with a careful progress, of course).

For example...  If I used the 220-age for max HR?  I'm at 174 - Training at 60-70%?  My HR is 105-120 or something.  TOO SLOW.  In fact, my LT is closer to 180, NOT max HR.  (based on some real world testing, my Max HR is closer to 201 - ballpark - I have seen over 200 on my HRM during some of my "see stars and puke" type of max effort)  That's almost 20 bpm difference from real life and some formula.

The LT method would have me running closer to 153-163.  It's still an effort - sweating, breathing hard-ish (but not labored), but one I can keep for hours.

2015-09-09 4:06 PM
in reply to: marcag

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Subject: RE: Heart rate training question

Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by Burchib When I do a 10K, it is pretty much all out
What does your HR profile look like on a 10k ? What is your average HR and how fast do you do a 10k ?

This is a good place to start looking.  It's not as good as an LT test, but I hear an average HR for an all out 10k is pretty close to LTHR as well.  In particular, the last 30 minutes of the race.

LT would be more close to 85%-90% of your true MHR if you were to do the math (which again, MHR is not of much use in knowing).

2015-09-10 7:19 AM
in reply to: Burchib

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Subject: RE: Heart rate training question

Everyone is different.  Best to do some sort of testing and use the zones for that method.  BT has all the HR zone calculators for the different methods but the most often recommended is the Field LT test that can be done for running and biking, each has a different calc for the zones.

Read this BT article and go from there, the Q&A link will take you to the huge thread on it;  http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=633



2015-09-10 8:29 AM
in reply to: Burchib

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Subject: RE: Heart rate training question
Others have addressed some of the technical aspects of HR training. After years of doing this I have adopted more of a RPE (rate of perceived exertion) / HR approach to training. I keep an eye on my HR but I'm not a slave to the numbered zones, in fact I don't even have set HR zones. I know that in Z2 I should be grooving at a pace where I can carry on a conversation and on the bike my HR is generally in the 130s. If I'm doing a Z4 interval I should be pumping HARD at a pace I can't sustain very long and on the run my HR will be in the 160s or even 170s. There are technical definitions out there for the RPE zones that help.

Of course, if I weren't lazy and cheap I would get a true lab threshold test done.
2015-09-10 11:35 AM
in reply to: marcag


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Subject: RE: Heart rate training question
Thanks for all the great responses!
I can do a 10K in 54 minutes, which is by no means lighting it up, lol, but not bad for me at my age. My HR at this sustained pace, or also when I do intervals at let's say 7:45 pace over 3/4 mile is between 157-161. I have run an entire 10K at an average of 158, which I take to be 95% of MHR
2015-09-10 11:45 AM
in reply to: rsmoylan


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Subject: RE: Heart rate training question
Hi Scott,
I did originally use the 220-age, but have recalculated it recently incorporating RHR, which seems more logical. My RHR is 59 (taken over a period of 3 days when I wake up)
Can you offer an opinion on this?
Here is what I have been doing now.

166MHR-59RHR=107 X % desired of MHR plus RHR
Example: 166-59=107 X 85% MHR workout plus RHR would equal a HR of 150 at 85%
If my desired work out called for 80% of max, it would be 145

Perhaps this is more accurate? It does raise the rates quite a bit, and is designed to take into account current fitness level as measured by RHR.
You probably are very familiar with this already. Thanks for any advice!
2015-09-10 12:05 PM
in reply to: Burchib

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Subject: RE: Heart rate training question
Originally posted by Burchib

Hi Scott,
I did originally use the 220-age, but have recalculated it recently incorporating RHR, which seems more logical. My RHR is 59 (taken over a period of 3 days when I wake up)
Can you offer an opinion on this?
Here is what I have been doing now.

166MHR-59RHR=107 X % desired of MHR plus RHR
Example: 166-59=107 X 85% MHR workout plus RHR would equal a HR of 150 at 85%
If my desired work out called for 80% of max, it would be 145

Perhaps this is more accurate? It does raise the rates quite a bit, and is designed to take into account current fitness level as measured by RHR.
You probably are very familiar with this already. Thanks for any advice!


If I were you, I'd use the McMillan calculator and plug your 10k time in there and get some training paces. It would have you doing your easy runs at 9:30-10:30/mile.

You can probably also use a 158ish as your LTHR and use something like Friel to calculate zones. I suspect 140 is the top of your Z2...very rough and suitable for a lot of your runs.

If you ran 10min/mile, what do you guess your HR would be ?
2015-09-10 12:26 PM
in reply to: Burchib

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Subject: RE: Heart rate training question
Originally posted by Burchib

Hi Scott,
I did originally use the 220-age, but have recalculated it recently incorporating RHR, which seems more logical. My RHR is 59 (taken over a period of 3 days when I wake up)
Can you offer an opinion on this?
Here is what I have been doing now.

166MHR-59RHR=107 X % desired of MHR plus RHR
Example: 166-59=107 X 85% MHR workout plus RHR would equal a HR of 150 at 85%
If my desired work out called for 80% of max, it would be 145

Perhaps this is more accurate? It does raise the rates quite a bit, and is designed to take into account current fitness level as measured by RHR.
You probably are very familiar with this already. Thanks for any advice!


I am not sure where this formula comes from, but just like any formula it will have limitations. The best indicator of fitness is performance. I second the suggestion to use the McMillan running calculator. That is a great site for many reasons. You can also google Joe Friel. There is a ton of information there about how to correctly and accurately set up YOUR specific zones. Someone else posted a link to the field tests. To get the most out of your training you will want to set up these zones properly. (Assuming you want to use HR as your primary metric) Otherwise the old adage is "Run lots; mostly easy, sometimes hard. Good luck.


2015-09-10 12:37 PM
in reply to: Burchib

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Subject: RE: Heart rate training question

Originally posted by Burchib Hi Scott, I did originally use the 220-age, but have recalculated it recently incorporating RHR, which seems more logical. My RHR is 59 (taken over a period of 3 days when I wake up) Can you offer an opinion on this? Here is what I have been doing now. 166MHR-59RHR=107 X % desired of MHR plus RHR Example: 166-59=107 X 85% MHR workout plus RHR would equal a HR of 150 at 85% If my desired work out called for 80% of max, it would be 145 Perhaps this is more accurate? It does raise the rates quite a bit, and is designed to take into account current fitness level as measured by RHR. You probably are very familiar with this already. Thanks for any advice!
If you want accuracy for your physiology do the field LT test linked above, short of getting lab testing, its been found to be very reliable.  Any way, taking your 10k 158 HR average for an approx. LT test result (could be slightly higher or lower) these would be your LT derived training zones:

Z1: 104 - 134 (Recovery)

Z2: 135 - 143 (Extensive endurance, majority of the work)

Z3: 144 - 151 (Intensive endurance/muscular endurance, drifting into at end of long runs)

Z4: 152 - 157 (Sub-threshold, tempo pace)

Z5a: 158 - 161 (Threshold, such as end of 10k)

Z5b: 162 - 166 (Super-threshold, such end of 5k)

2015-09-10 2:22 PM
in reply to: Donto

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Subject: RE: Heart rate training question

Originally posted by Donto

Originally posted by Burchib Hi Scott, I did originally use the 220-age, but have recalculated it recently incorporating RHR, which seems more logical. My RHR is 59 (taken over a period of 3 days when I wake up) Can you offer an opinion on this? Here is what I have been doing now. 166MHR-59RHR=107 X % desired of MHR plus RHR Example: 166-59=107 X 85% MHR workout plus RHR would equal a HR of 150 at 85% If my desired work out called for 80% of max, it would be 145 Perhaps this is more accurate? It does raise the rates quite a bit, and is designed to take into account current fitness level as measured by RHR. You probably are very familiar with this already. Thanks for any advice!
If you want accuracy for your physiology do the field LT test linked above, short of getting lab testing, its been found to be very reliable.  Any way, taking your 10k 158 HR average for an approx. LT test result (could be slightly higher or lower) these would be your LT derived training zones:

Z1: 104 - 134 (Recovery)

Z2: 135 - 143 (Extensive endurance, majority of the work)

Z3: 144 - 151 (Intensive endurance/muscular endurance, drifting into at end of long runs)

Z4: 152 - 157 (Sub-threshold, tempo pace)

Z5a: 158 - 161 (Threshold, such as end of 10k)

Z5b: 162 - 166 (Super-threshold, such end of 5k)

Thanks for the zone breakdown.  I'm beginning to dabble with HR and when adjusted for my MHR this is most helpful.

2015-09-10 3:39 PM
in reply to: popsracer

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Subject: RE: Heart rate training question
Originally posted by popsracer
I'm beginning to dabble with HR and when adjusted for my MHR this is most helpful.




this is another good guide
http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/joe-friel-s-quick-guide-...

mcmillan also gives HR guides with his paces
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