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Newbie heart rate, is it too high? What to do?

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#1 JeffJones

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 02:08 PM

Hello  :),

 

I have recently (this week) decided to start running to lose weight and achieve a generally better state of fitness as I have been feeling like a slob for too long and I figure that at 25 years old it isn't too late for me to become healthier.

 

My question is regarding my heart rate. Follows my heart rate stats for the three runs I ran this week (complete stats visible by clicking on the link in my signature).

Run 1 (avg: 162 bpm, max: 187bpm)

Run 2  (avg: 170 bpm, max: 195bpm)

Run 3 (avg: 179 bpm, max: 189bpm)

 

I keep reading that I should aim to run in my "aerobic zone" in order to be able to sustain longer runs and put less stress on my body. The problem is that I don't feel physically capable of going any slower. Slowing down would amount to speed walking.

 

What can I or should I do if anything at all different?

 

PS: I am 6"4' and weigh 211lb


Edited by JeffJones, 12 February 2014 - 02:08 PM.

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#2 Craptacular8

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 02:46 PM

You're young, those heart rates sound pretty normal for someone beginning an aerobic activity.  You don't mention if your runs were "hard" for you, or if you ran the entire time.  It does look like you made rapid increases in your pace from workout one to workout 3.  If the runs don't seem particularly stressful to you, keep doing what you're doing.  In the interest of not having someone get started running then get hurt, or discouraged, couch to 5 K programs seem like a pretty safe way to get started running, without feeling like you're killing yourself, or unable to enjoy the process.  Good luck. 



#3 JeffJones

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 03:38 PM

All three runs felt hard, after the third one I almost emptied my stomach. The pace increase is a result of my first run containing several walking breaks, the second one fewer and the third one none. I am following the "recovery advice" that my running watch gives me so as to not hurt myself but my runs are being labelled as "over reaching" and I was worried my high heart rate had something to do with that.

 

I've been nosing around about the multitude of ways to determine one's max heart rate and most seem to point to a max heart rate of about 190 which would mean that although I am "running" as slowly as I possibly can, I still am in the "upper-anaerobic zone".

 

Is monitoring my heart rate in real time to take "walk breaks" during my walk as soon as I reach say 170bpm a viable solution? Wouldn't it amount to doing interval training (which I thought was a bad thing to do for a beginner as it put more stress on the body)?

 

Thanks for your reply :).


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#4 rdm08290307

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 07:34 PM

Jeff,  to be honest all that heart rate stuff has my head spinning.  I just go out and run only using small indicators that I am running where I want to.  For example, when I am doing a recovery run I try to keep a pace that I am able to hold a steady conversation throughout. 

 

I would suggest doing what you physically feel capable of doing and just letting your body tell you what is working. 

 

http://runningschlub.blogspot.com/



#5 JeffJones

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 08:39 AM

Thank you for taking the time to answer :), if neither of you feel that I am in danger of hurting myself with these heart rates I got what I wanted from this thread. I'll do as you suggested and will listen to my body.


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#6 rdm08290307

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:38 PM

Keep us updated on how the training is going.

 

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#7 SawyerStreet

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 02:49 AM

Let me preface this by saying that I have been running for about 2 months now. I was once a good runner but that was 8-10 years ago and at the time I never used anything technological outside of a stop watch. I recently purchased a Garmin Forerunner 310XT and am now sifting through a statistical fog. Sounds like we are in the same boat. I have the foot pod and the heart rate monitor. Personally having the ability to breakdown my run statistically makes it more enjoyable for me as I can truly see improvements on paper. Training via heart rate is extremely confusing, I must have read roughly 20 different articles that say varying things. What I've deduced from these articles is if you maintain a heart rate in Zone 2 session after session of long durations you will eventually run respectable times in Zone 2. Also, Zone 2 being what it is, you will be able to sustain that pace for a very long time.

 

I'm going to take a leap of faith and believe that this works (Why not, something to try). Tonight was my first attempt at training in zone 2. I kept my heart rate between 125-158 BPM at all times. My average heart rate was 140, right in the middle of zone 2. The frustrating thing is that after an hour I had only traveled 3.66 miles. I continuously had to run and walk, run and walk in order to keep my heart rate in Zone 2. The positive is that I feel like I could go back out there right now. I could wake up tomorrow morning and log another 3.5 miles no problem. I could do 10 miles in Zone 2 if I had to. That to me is encouraging as I know I'll be able to log the miles I need to get to that next level.

 

Prior to this I was running the same as you were; For me, a 10 min/mile pace, avg heart rate around 180, the feeling that I wanted to quit after 15-20 mins followed by the feeling of I don't want to do this again tomorrow. The other downside is that the lactic acid that built up was causing me to be sore the following day.

 

On the flip side, back when I was in good shape (years ago), I started training by running as hard as I could. I had no method to this, no reasoning and no coaching. I started by running a timed mile each day as fast as I could. I'd run until I had to stop, walk a bit then run til I finished. I did this until I was running 1 mile in 6 minutes. I had no heart rate monitor and no technology of any kind outside of a timex. I never ran more than 1 mile and I never ran slow. One day I decided to run farther than 1 mile, I ran a 2 mile loop and felt so good I ran it again, I'll never forget it. I also ran it at a pace of about 7:30/mile. From then on I would run 3-5 miles non-stop at a strong pace. I dont recall as though my heart rate was low at any point during these runs. I simply feel that I could sustain my high heart rate for a much longer period of time because of my initial funky mile training and the fact that I always ran hard.

 

My point after all that is that I would trade the ability to sustain a high heart rate for 3-5 miles for the ability to run a 7:30/mile in zone 2, mile after mile. I'll be the test dumbie here unless you'd like to join me. If it doesnt work atleast I was sweating for an hour per day.

 

As I near closer to 30 I can tell you I have little desire to maintain a heart rate of 180 BPM, especially 5-6 times per week. I will mix in the occasional run in the higher zones. For now I'm looking to load it up in zone 2 and see what happens.



#8 Adub

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 04:38 AM

Let me preface this by saying that I have been running for about 2 months now. I was once a good runner but that was 8-10 years ago and at the time I never used anything technological outside of a stop watch. I recently purchased a Garmin Forerunner 310XT and am now sifting through a statistical fog. Sounds like we are in the same boat. I have the foot pod and the heart rate monitor. Personally having the ability to breakdown my run statistically makes it more enjoyable for me as I can truly see improvements on paper. Training via heart rate is extremely confusing, I must have read roughly 20 different articles that say varying things. What I've deduced from these articles is if you maintain a heart rate in Zone 2 session after session of long durations you will eventually run respectable times in Zone 2. Also, Zone 2 being what it is, you will be able to sustain that pace for a very long time.
 
I'm going to take a leap of faith and believe that this works (Why not, something to try). Tonight was my first attempt at training in zone 2. I kept my heart rate between 125-158 BPM at all times. My average heart rate was 140, right in the middle of zone 2. The frustrating thing is that after an hour I had only traveled 3.66 miles. I continuously had to run and walk, run and walk in order to keep my heart rate in Zone 2. The positive is that I feel like I could go back out there right now. I could wake up tomorrow morning and log another 3.5 miles no problem. I could do 10 miles in Zone 2 if I had to. That to me is encouraging as I know I'll be able to log the miles I need to get to that next level.
 
Prior to this I was running the same as you were; For me, a 10 min/mile pace, avg heart rate around 180, the feeling that I wanted to quit after 15-20 mins followed by the feeling of I don't want to do this again tomorrow. The other downside is that the lactic acid that built up was causing me to be sore the following day.
 
On the flip side, back when I was in good shape (years ago), I started training by running as hard as I could. I had no method to this, no reasoning and no coaching. I started by running a timed mile each day as fast as I could. I'd run until I had to stop, walk a bit then run til I finished. I did this until I was running 1 mile in 6 minutes. I had no heart rate monitor and no technology of any kind outside of a timex. I never ran more than 1 mile and I never ran slow. One day I decided to run farther than 1 mile, I ran a 2 mile loop and felt so good I ran it again, I'll never forget it. I also ran it at a pace of about 7:30/mile. From then on I would run 3-5 miles non-stop at a strong pace. I dont recall as though my heart rate was low at any point during these runs. I simply feel that I could sustain my high heart rate for a much longer period of time because of my initial funky mile training and the fact that I always ran hard.
 
My point after all that is that I would trade the ability to sustain a high heart rate for 3-5 miles for the ability to run a 7:30/mile in zone 2, mile after mile. I'll be the test dumbie here unless you'd like to join me. If it doesnt work atleast I was sweating for an hour per day.
 
As I near closer to 30 I can tell you I have little desire to maintain a heart rate of 180 BPM, especially 5-6 times per week. I will mix in the occasional run in the higher zones. For now I'm looking to load it up in zone 2 and see what happens.

I attempted this method several times but have not had the patience to do it much more than a month. The gains are much slower but I will agree that I could run forever at 146 bpm and I never felt sore afterwards... It did suck spending about 1hr 45min running 8 miles when it takes just over an hr to run that normally.
GOAL: 21:00 5k

#9 rdm08290307

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 01:58 PM

I attempted this method several times but have not had the patience to do it much more than a month. The gains are much slower but I will agree that I could run forever at 146 bpm and I never felt sore afterwards... It did suck spending about 1hr 45min running 8 miles when it takes just over an hr to run that normally.

I have to agree with Adub, I dont have the patience to break everything down like that.  I want to set a simple goal for my run and go out there and do it.  Sometimes that doesnt work, but you sleep it off and get back out there again.  With as much as I think about my stride, my foot strike, my kick....the last thing I need is more stuff to think about lol

 

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#10 Craptacular8

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 01:24 PM

The zone 2 stuff is very similar to what I've been training with for 4 months.  It has worked well for me.  For the first couple months, I seldom had to walk, but I had to run, er jog, VERY slowly to keep my heart rate so low (I was doing the Phil Maffetone method, which is even lower than what it sounds like zone 2).  I was supposed to keep my heart rate between 125 and 135.  From those super slow easy runs, it's taken a few months, but now I can run in the 130's and have taken over 3 minutes a mile off my easy pace.  Granted I slowed down when I applied this method, but I'm currently running an easy pace that is over a minute and half faster than my previous "good" easy pace, lol.  I had little aerobic base when I started running a year ago, began with a couch 2 5K program, and then just kept plugging away for a few month before trying this training method, so perhaps because I didn't have a good base, I was able to see the results I've achieved so far,but it still took me this long to do so!



#11 rdm08290307

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 03:45 PM

The zone 2 stuff is very similar to what I've been training with for 4 months.  It has worked well for me.  For the first couple months, I seldom had to walk, but I had to run, er jog, VERY slowly to keep my heart rate so low (I was doing the Phil Maffetone method, which is even lower than what it sounds like zone 2).  I was supposed to keep my heart rate between 125 and 135.  From those super slow easy runs, it's taken a few months, but now I can run in the 130's and have taken over 3 minutes a mile off my easy pace.  Granted I slowed down when I applied this method, but I'm currently running an easy pace that is over a minute and half faster than my previous "good" easy pace, lol.  I had little aerobic base when I started running a year ago, began with a couch 2 5K program, and then just kept plugging away for a few month before trying this training method, so perhaps because I didn't have a good base, I was able to see the results I've achieved so far,but it still took me this long to do so!

So is the thought process that your body is working more efficeintly so you are able to run with less effort but achieve better splits?

 

http://runningschlub.blogspot.com/



#12 Craptacular8

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 07:12 PM

So is the thought process that your body is working more efficeintly so you are able to run with less effort but achieve better splits?

 

http://runningschlub.blogspot.com/

yes, basically that is what you're doing according to Maffetone.  I don't know if there are scientific studies to back it up, meaning I don't know if I had for example trained at 150 instead of 135 if I wouldn't have developed the same base, and seen the same or better splits, but supposedly training at the lower heart rates build aerobic base, versus developing anarobic base at the higher (not sure how much higher) heart rates.  Again, I have no idea if there is real science that supports that statement.  I figured it was worth a shot, and wasn't something that should cause me to hurt myself.  It does seem to keep one from serious injury lol.



#13 rdm08290307

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 07:53 PM

yes, basically that is what you're doing according to Maffetone.  I don't know if there are scientific studies to back it up, meaning I don't know if I had for example trained at 150 instead of 135 if I wouldn't have developed the same base, and seen the same or better splits, but supposedly training at the lower heart rates build aerobic base, versus developing anarobic base at the higher (not sure how much higher) heart rates.  Again, I have no idea if there is real science that supports that statement.  I figured it was worth a shot, and wasn't something that should cause me to hurt myself.  It does seem to keep one from serious injury lol.

Interesting, I know I've looked into form changes to make myself run more efficient which has really helped but I never really thought about breathing helping me run better splits.  I may need to start looking into this.

 

http://runningschlub.blogspot.com/



#14 TomEaton

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:07 PM

I'm similar in size to Jeff, about 6'5" and 207 lbs, but older (will turn 45 in two weeks), and have a similar question.  I ran with a heart monitor for the first time over the weekend and did six intervals (5 minutes race pace, 1 minute jog) after a 10 minute warm up.  My heart rate was up in the 130s by the end of the warm up, and spiked to the 170s during the fast segments, higher than I expected as this should be pretty close to my theoretical maximum, and while I was going fast (for me) it wasn't all-out.  When I dropped to a jog my heart rate only dropped back into the 150s, and when I was completely done with the workout it took a long time, maybe 15 minutes after the cool-down, for it to drop below 100.  It's possible I just went too fast, but even though it was a hard workout, I wasn't completely exhausted at the end; I could have kept going if I had had to.  I felt fine after the workout, but the next two days I felt a little weird in the chest, almost like an indigestion feeling.  I've never had any problems with my heart that I'm aware of, and it didn't bother me during the run.  I hope it's just my body acclimating to the workout, but it seems like my heart rate should drop faster, especially after the cool down.  Do I need to be concerned?



#15 Craptacular8

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 07:49 PM

I'm similar in size to Jeff, about 6'5" and 207 lbs, but older (will turn 45 in two weeks), and have a similar question.  I ran with a heart monitor for the first time over the weekend and did six intervals (5 minutes race pace, 1 minute jog) after a 10 minute warm up.  My heart rate was up in the 130s by the end of the warm up, and spiked to the 170s during the fast segments, higher than I expected as this should be pretty close to my theoretical maximum, and while I was going fast (for me) it wasn't all-out.  When I dropped to a jog my heart rate only dropped back into the 150s, and when I was completely done with the workout it took a long time, maybe 15 minutes after the cool-down, for it to drop below 100.  It's possible I just went too fast, but even though it was a hard workout, I wasn't completely exhausted at the end; I could have kept going if I had had to.  I felt fine after the workout, but the next two days I felt a little weird in the chest, almost like an indigestion feeling.  I've never had any problems with my heart that I'm aware of, and it didn't bother me during the run.  I hope it's just my body acclimating to the workout, but it seems like my heart rate should drop faster, especially after the cool down.  Do I need to be concerned?

I sure don't want to make any medical advice, but the feeling you were having in your chest after that workout does seem like something I would have checked out.  I don't think being in the 170's sounds outrageous, though it is quite a bit higher than I have managed....probably because my sprints aren't as intense, or for as long a duration.   Wondering if you need a little longer recovery jog in between intervals?  For me, if I were still in the 150's, I wouldn't be entirely "recovered" and ready to do another interval until I was probably in the low to mid 140's.  You could be way different, but we're about the same age. The HR data is fun info to have.  It took me a little while to kind of figure out what was normal, and while I don't look at the data while I run anymore, I do use it if a run feels "hard" relative to what I was trying to do.  I went out a week or so ago, and thought I was really knocking out a great first mile, but the pace according to garmin was less than stellar.  So, I picked up the effort for the next 2 miles, but the results were only marginally better, and I felt like I was working "hard."  When I reviewed the HR info afterwards, my body definitely thought it was a harder than usual workout despite the lackluster pace...I had intended to run 4, but since it wasn't going like I felt it should, I cut it off at 3.  My run the following day at an easy pace felt easy, the HR (avg 133) matched my perceived effort, and the pace was substantailly faster.  Sometimes, when you see higher HRs, even when we don't feel like we were working harder, our bodies are obviously telling us otherwise.



#16 TomEaton

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 02:52 PM

I think in retrospect I did too hard of a workout that my body's not quite ready for yet.  I had never done intervals before and I think I should do longer recoveries or shorter fast segments, or both.


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#17 mvnon

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:27 PM

Hello  :),

 

I have recently (this week) decided to start running to lose weight and achieve a generally better state of fitness as I have been feeling like a slob for too long and I figure that at 25 years old it isn't too late for me to become healthier.

 

My question is regarding my heart rate. Follows my heart rate stats for the three runs I ran this week (complete stats visible by clicking on the link in my signature).

Run 1 (avg: 162 bpm, max: 187bpm)

Run 2  (avg: 170 bpm, max: 195bpm)

Run 3 (avg: 179 bpm, max: 189bpm)

 

I keep reading that I should aim to run in my "aerobic zone" in order to be able to sustain longer runs and put less stress on my body. The problem is that I don't feel physically capable of going any slower. Slowing down would amount to speed walking.

 

What can I or should I do if anything at all different?

 

PS: I am 6"4' and weigh 211lb

 

I suggest keeping your heart rate at 155 bpm and below (based on this). This will keep you mostly aerobic. It might mean you'll have to alternate walking and running for awhile, but eventually you'll be running everything. The idea is to get faster at the same heart rate. The heart rate monitor takes the guess work out of how fast you should be running. As your aerobic system develop, you'll get faster and faster. All you have to think about is 155.  Good luck! :lol:







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