newbie question regarding HRM



T

The1senator

Guest
Out of the lurker background comes a HRM question.

First, some fitness background: I have been running for the past 5 years, 3-4 times per week when
the Michigan weather was good for running outside, 15-18 miles weekly, usual pace somewhere between
7:30 and 8:15....depending on my motivation! A few years back I decided all this work needed a goal
so I discovered tri's and du's. Have completed a few in the past two years and love them for keeping
my training interesting! Best sprint times: S:18:00 for .5 mile, B: 43:00 for 14 miles, R: 21:50 for
3.1 miles....satisfactory times for me, but no comments about the swim time, I am planning to work
on that this year!

For Christmas I received a Polar HRM and have been using it indoors (stationary bike, skating-like
slide pad and rowing machine) until the ice and snow went away. I read up about the concept of zone
training and was all set to hit the road.

Now my question: In my first runs over the past week, I have been near 85-90% of max HR while my
pace is 8 or 8:15/mile. After my runs, within 2-3 minutes the HR is down to 65-70% I am wondering
why the HR is so high for such an off pace. Am I just out of shape or was I redlining myself when I
was running my races? I don't think I took it that easy during the snow season. I kept up the
exercise frequency but the intensity may have dropped. Since I never had the monitor, I don't know
what my pre-season startup profile looks like nor do I know what over-training looks or feels like.
I feel very good after my workouts and really look forward to them.

Is this normal as one begins to use the HRM and understands what their true HR zones are as related
to physical exertion? If so, I guess over the past several years that I was really overstressing
myself (HR-wise) but it never felt like it because I was physically feeling quite good during and
after exercise.

Maybe I need to only consult the monitor and stick mostly with my routine of running as I feel
and recover as I need instead of trying to have a machine tell me how to do it. Thoughts and
comments welcome!

-Phil- *Hindsight is 20-20 and everybody has it. Forsight is a true talent which few attain*
 
J

Jason O'Rourke

Guest
the1senator <[email protected]> wrote:
>Is this normal as one begins to use the HRM and understands what their true HR zones are as related
>to physical exertion? If so, I guess over the past several years that I was really overstressing
>myself (HR-wise) but it never felt like it because I was physically feeling quite good during and
>after exercise.

Some here talk about the 65% rule, but I don't know how I could ever run at 130. 160 is an easy run
for me and that's at 85%. Since I know I can go 2 hours at 180, it can't be overstressing the body
that much. The perceived exertion scale might make more sense - run at the point where you can still
carry a conversation.

The other thing to note is your max HR may be higher than you think.

--
Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
 
T

Tribro3

Guest
Good points made by Jason. I've been struggling with HR%'s for years. Doing a lot of training in
Base phase (65-70%), and feeling like I'm just slightly faster than if I just walked. I think the
key is patience and double checking what your true zones might be. For me the Age calculation method
didn't work. It had me running at 130 for 70%. Which just didn't work. I think the "conversation"
method is a good gage (which has me more at 145-150), but do some actual workout tests.

I'm using the Freil Method now which gives me different Max rates for running and biking. Done by
doing some time trials at race pace and getting average HRs. Here is a list of other common methods
for finding your zone. I personally think the lactate threshold or MAx Heart Rate tests are better
to do than relying on the Age calculation.

http://www.d3multisport.com/articles/heartrate.html

Anyhow, it's very complicated to me. Still trying to figure out the best method. I just make sure I
have easy days and hard days of training each week which keeps me from burnout. Make sure you recoup
after hard days with easier days.

Here are some triathlon specific training articles I found around the web. Many articles listed
about heart rate training.

http://www.trifuel.com/articles/index.php?PID=4

hope i didn't confuse you more... :) -tribro
 
E

Eric Sellers

Guest
the1senator wrote:

> Now my question: In my first runs over the past week, I have been near 85-90% of max HR while my
> pace is 8 or 8:15/mile. After my runs, within

How did you calculate your max HR? Depending on the formula you use it may vary up to 15 bpm. You
also want to be careful putting to much stock into HR training as it is a secondary measure of
physical exertion, it can be affected by many extraneous variables, e.g., caffeine, pre workout
fatigue, sleep deprivation. However, if you are running < 1 hr at a time and doing pretty much the
same type workout each session you really don't need to worry about it too much. You can simply use
it as a measure of fitness.

On the other hand, if you are including a long run, a recovery run, a speed day, and a tempo day
(which would be ideal) the HRM can be used to establish general ranges that you want to stay in for
the different types of workouts.

Eric
 
M

MJuric

Guest
On Fri, 28 Mar 2003 23:58:05 -0500, "the1senator" <[email protected]> wrote: <Snip>

I'll just reiterate a few things already said. One you need to do test to find YOUR true MHR
and LT. Any other method is a guestimate. Being of by 10 BPM can be a huge difference.
Another is as others said. Don't become a slave to the HRM. Use it as another tool.
Combining Percieved effort, pace and HR will give you a fairly accurate idea of how hard you
are working. I did a test in all three disiplines and found that my HR was fairly close to
the paces and efforts I already used based on my race results. If you find your workouts are
extremely easy trying to stay within HR zone parmeters it can be two things. Either you
haven't found your true HR zones or you are used to pushing way to hard. Either way doing a
test will give you an idea of what hard and easy
is.

~Matt

>
>-Phil- *Hindsight is 20-20 and everybody has it. Forsight is a true talent which few attain*
 
T

Tom Rodgers

Guest
Max heart rate is only a statistical indicator of training zones. It varies widely amongst
individuals, is very hard to measure (because it never really occurs in 99% of endurance racing) nor
do the percentages indicate the right zones for everyone.

A much better tool is to measure your LACTATE THESHOLD on the run, and then base training zones on a
percentage over or under this, or even by beats. A good table of these zones is found in TRIATHLETES
TRAINING BIBLE or at trainingbible.com.

You can find your LT heart rate by doing a simple test on a track or treadmill, and since you don't
wipe yourself out doing the test, you can repeat it every month or two to see how training is coming
along and modify the zones. The same can be done for the swim. You'll find the LT based zones almost
always fit well with the perceived exertion within 2-3 bpm.

In a way, it's sad that Polar has made the percentage of MAX HR an automatic function on their
watches. People just figure they should go with that and ignore zones. It would have been better if
they tied it to LT instead. But you can program the three Polar zones available to the correct range
based on LT and your type of training. The S710 allows this for a very wide variety of zones,
workouts, sports, etc.

Another problem is that so much of the "aerobic exercise' literature uses percentage of max HR.
Again, this is useful for beginners, those doing all aerobic work on lower zones, or for largely
circulated literature that must deal with thousands of readers that have never had LT tested. As
you reach and go beyond LT, the percentage system becomes less and less accurate or useful
(frankly, so does your heart-rate monitor in general as you pass VO2max). You can figure the
"right" percentage once you know your LT, and if you like to see two digits instead of three, use
that on your HR. Myself, I'd rather know exactly where I am than have the watch "speculate" as to
the proper training zone.

I'd also be interested to know your age and body composition. That usually tips off which end of
the bell-curve you'll fall on, above or below the predicted percentage. Also know that for the
first 3-9 months you use an HRM, it's largely "observational"--you just look at it and note how you
feel or how fast you are at a give HR. Once you "feel" the correlation between your body, speed,
and HR, then it's pretty obvious if the "theory" you are reading, be it based on max HR or LT, is
right for you.

So for now, just wear the monitor and keep records--easy to do if you can download it into a
computer. At the very least, make mental notes while running. After a while, it will become
"automatic" as a biofeedback mechanism. After several years of use, seasoned athletes can usually
predicted their HR accurately within a few beats even when the HRM malfunctions near power lines,
cold weather, battery-dead, etc. I did Ironman Hawaii in 2002 with an HRM that never really worked
right when I put on the strap after the swim (before I'd worn it in the water)--but I had trained so
much with it over four years I felt my way through to my best time ever, using turnaround split on
the bike and mile splits on the run to pace.

"the1senator" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Out of the lurker background comes a HRM question.
>
> First, some fitness background: I have been running for the past 5 years, 3-4 times per week when
> the Michigan weather was good for running outside, 15-18 miles weekly, usual pace somewhere
> between 7:30 and
8:15....depending
> on my motivation! A few years back I decided all this work needed a goal
so
> I discovered tri's and du's. Have completed a few in the past two years
and
> love them for keeping my training interesting! Best sprint times: S:18:00 for .5 mile, B: 43:00
> for 14 miles, R: 21:50 for 3.1 miles....satisfactory times for me, but no comments about the swim
> time, I am planning to work
on
> that this year!
>
> For Christmas I received a Polar HRM and have been using it indoors (stationary bike, skating-like
> slide pad and rowing machine) until the ice and snow went away. I read up about the concept of
> zone training and was
all
> set to hit the road.
>
> Now my question: In my first runs over the past week, I have been near 85-90% of max HR while my
> pace is 8 or 8:15/mile. After my runs, within
2-3
> minutes the HR is down to 65-70% I am wondering why the HR is so high for such an off pace. Am I
> just out of shape or was I redlining myself when I was running my races? I don't think I took it
> that easy during the snow season. I kept up the exercise frequency but the intensity may have
dropped.
> Since I never had the monitor, I don't know what my pre-season startup profile looks like nor do I
> know what over-training looks or feels like. I feel very good after my workouts and really look
> forward to them.
>
> Is this normal as one begins to use the HRM and understands what their
true
> HR zones are as related to physical exertion? If so, I guess over the
past
> several years that I was really overstressing myself (HR-wise) but it
never
> felt like it because I was physically feeling quite good during and after exercise.
>
> Maybe I need to only consult the monitor and stick mostly with my routine
of
> running as I feel and recover as I need instead of trying to have a
machine
> tell me how to do it. Thoughts and comments welcome!
>
> -Phil- *Hindsight is 20-20 and everybody has it. Forsight is a true talent which few attain*
 
P

P & L

Guest
Thank you for the helpful input. Being new to the HRM world, I was only using the age method which
may be way off. I have read some about the LT or MAX HR tests and now I will look into doing them to
determine where I am heart-rate wise. I mainly wanted to use a monitor to determine if I was going
too hard, too often. I guess I need to determine what my true max HR is so I can more accurately
determine my HR zones.

Thanks for the info and web sites.....I'll check those out and keep monitoring! -Phil-

"tribro3" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Good points made by Jason. I've been struggling with HR%'s for years. Doing a lot of training in
> Base phase (65-70%), and feeling like I'm just slightly faster than if I just walked. I think
> the key is patience and double checking what your true zones might be. For me the Age
> calculation method didn't work. It had me running at 130 for 70%. Which just didn't work. I
> think the "conversation" method is a good gage (which has me more at 145-150), but do some
> actual workout tests.
>
> I'm using the Freil Method now which gives me different Max rates for running and biking. Done by
> doing some time trials at race pace and getting average HRs. Here is a list of other common
> methods for finding your zone. I personally think the lactate threshold or MAx Heart Rate tests
> are better to do than relying on the Age calculation.
>
> http://www.d3multisport.com/articles/heartrate.html
>
> Anyhow, it's very complicated to me. Still trying to figure out the best method. I just make sure
> I have easy days and hard days of training each week which keeps me from burnout. Make sure you
> recoup after hard days with easier days.
>
> Here are some triathlon specific training articles I found around the web. Many articles listed
> about heart rate training.
>
> http://www.trifuel.com/articles/index.php?PID=4
>
> hope i didn't confuse you more... :) -tribro
 
T

The1senator

Guest
Since I never had a monitor, my only training/exercise rule over the past 5 years has been "go as
hard as I feel like" and this has served me well....no injuries, no burnout and times that I am
happy with. But that old "I could probably do better!" thought creeps in so I got the monitor to
make sure I wasn't consistently over-doing it with my rule. In prior years, I have done 1 hour
runs at a 7:30 pace with no "hangover" from that exertion. I guess I will continue the monitor and
look into finding a more true measure of my MAX HR instead of relying on the age method used on my
Polar monitor.

Thanks for you input. It is much appreciated. -Phil-

"Jason O'Rourke" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> the1senator <[email protected]> wrote:
> >Is this normal as one begins to use the HRM and understands what their
true
> >HR zones are as related to physical exertion? If so, I guess over the
past
> >several years that I was really overstressing myself (HR-wise) but it
never
> >felt like it because I was physically feeling quite good during and after exercise.
>
> Some here talk about the 65% rule, but I don't know how I could ever run at 130. 160 is an easy
> run for me and that's at 85%. Since I know I can go 2 hours at 180, it can't be overstressing the
> body that much. The perceived exertion scale might make more sense - run at the point where you
> can still carry a conversation.
>
> The other thing to note is your max HR may be higher than you think.
>
> --
> Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
 
T

The1senator

Guest
In reading the comments to my initial post, I think the thing I need to do is testing to determine
my Max HR and/or LT. This will give me an accurate picture of what my body is capable of and then I
can set my zones from there. I guess the simple age-based formula is, as you noted, a broad
guideline to help the masses get the idea of heart fitness and what that means. Now it looks like I
need to take a step beyond this so I can understand what fitness means in terms of my HR.

Thanks for the helpful comments and web sites. I'm off to learn.... -Phil-

Other comments embedded below.....

"Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
>
>
>
> In a way, it's sad that Polar has made the percentage of MAX HR an
automatic
> function on their watches. People just figure they should go with that and ignore zones. It would
> have been better if they tied it to LT instead. But you can program the three Polar zones
> available to the correct range based on LT and your type of training. The S710 allows this for a
> very wide variety of zones, workouts, sports, etc.
>
I'll see how my low-end Polar (A-3) works for me. I guess I'll have to learn everything I can this
year so I can ask for a monitor upgrade next holiday/birthday and then won't have to work so hard to
track myself!

>
>
>
>
> I'd also be interested to know your age and body composition. That usually tips off which end
> of the bell-curve you'll fall on, above or below the predicted percentage. Also know that for
> the first 3-9 months you use an HRM, it's largely "observational"--you just look at it and
> note how you
feel
> or how fast you are at a give HR. Once you "feel" the correlation between your body, speed, and
> HR, then it's pretty obvious if the "theory" you are reading, be it based on max HR or LT, is
> right for you.
>
I will be 40 later this year and have been running for the past 5-6 years. A long time ago I ran
track and cross country in high school, no records here but 4 years of sweat and running with
friends! I guess I would say I have a runners build (as opposed to a shot-putter or lineman!), about
6ft and 165 lbs (I only do metric when racing!). Would this lean me toward being above the predicted
HR % when using the HRMax based on age (meaning I would tend to handle a higher HR and still be in a
certain zone, for example HR=75% but I feel like I'm in the 60-70% zone)?

>
> So for now, just wear the monitor and keep records--easy to do if you can download it into a
> computer. At the very least, make mental notes while running. After a while, it will become
> "automatic" as a biofeedback mechanism. After several years of use, seasoned athletes can usually
> predicted their HR accurately within a few beats even when the HRM malfunctions near power lines,
> cold weather, battery-dead, etc. I did Ironman Hawaii in 2002 with an HRM that never really worked
> right when I
put
> on the strap after the swim (before I'd worn it in the water)--but I had trained so much with it
> over four years I felt my way through to my best time ever, using turnaround split on the bike and
> mile splits on the run
to
> pace.
>
Congrats on your IM. Quite an achievement. I don't think I have an Ironman in my near future, but I
do understand your comment about knowing where your HR is based on how you feel and how hard you can
go. Before getting the monitor, my method of training and how hard I pushed was all based on how I
felt and it seemed to work for me (no injuries and satisfactory times). Now I'll add the monitor in
the mix and see if I can improve my training effectiveness and get better times with no ill effects.
 
D

Dr. Steven Walk

Guest
Heart rate is irrelevant. Wattage is relavant. Noone wins a race by heart rate - you win by going
the fastest.

"the1senator" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> In reading the comments to my initial post, I think the thing I need to do is testing to determine
> my Max HR and/or LT. This will give me an accurate picture of what my body is capable of and then
> I can set my zones from there. I guess the simple age-based formula is, as you noted, a broad
> guideline to help the masses get the idea of heart fitness and what that means. Now it looks like
> I need to take a step beyond this so I can understand what fitness means in terms of my HR.
>
> Thanks for the helpful comments and web sites. I'm off to learn.... -Phil-
>
> Other comments embedded below.....
>
> "Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In a way, it's sad that Polar has made the percentage of MAX HR an
> automatic
> > function on their watches. People just figure they should go with that and ignore zones. It
> > would have been better if they tied it to LT instead. But you can program the three Polar zones
> > available to the correct range based on LT and your type of training. The S710 allows this for a
> > very wide variety of zones, workouts, sports, etc.
> >
> I'll see how my low-end Polar (A-3) works for me. I guess I'll have to learn everything I can this
> year so I can ask for a monitor upgrade next holiday/birthday and then won't have to work so hard
> to track myself!
>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > I'd also be interested to know your age and body composition. That usually tips off which end
> > of the bell-curve you'll fall on, above or below the predicted percentage. Also know that for
> > the first 3-9 months you use an HRM, it's largely "observational"--you just look at it and note
> > how you
> feel
> > or how fast you are at a give HR. Once you "feel" the correlation between your body, speed, and
> > HR, then it's pretty obvious if the "theory" you are reading, be it based on max HR or LT, is
> > right for you.
> >
> I will be 40 later this year and have been running for the past 5-6 years. A long time ago I ran
> track and cross country in high school, no records here but 4 years of sweat and running with
> friends! I guess I would say I have a runners build (as opposed to a shot-putter or lineman!),
> about 6ft and 165 lbs (I only do metric when racing!). Would this lean me toward being above the
> predicted HR % when using the HRMax based on age (meaning I would tend to handle a higher HR and
> still be in a certain zone, for example HR=75% but I feel like I'm in the 60-70% zone)?
>
> >
> > So for now, just wear the monitor and keep records--easy to do if you can download it into a
> > computer. At the very least, make mental notes while running. After a while, it will become
> > "automatic" as a biofeedback mechanism. After several years of use, seasoned athletes can
> > usually predicted their HR accurately within a few beats even when the HRM malfunctions near
> > power lines, cold weather, battery-dead, etc. I did Ironman Hawaii in 2002 with an HRM that
> > never really worked right when I
> put
> > on the strap after the swim (before I'd worn it in the water)--but I had trained so much with it
> > over four years I felt my way through to my best time ever, using turnaround split on the bike
> > and mile splits on the run
> to
> > pace.
> >
> Congrats on your IM. Quite an achievement. I don't think I have an Ironman in my near future, but
> I do understand your comment about knowing where your HR is based on how you feel and how hard you
> can go. Before getting the monitor, my method of training and how hard I pushed was all based on
> how I felt and it seemed to work for me (no injuries and satisfactory times). Now I'll add the
> monitor in the mix and see if I can improve my training effectiveness and get better times with no
> ill effects.
 
R

Rebecca Bishop

Guest
True to a certain extent, but I believe that beginning athletes need to get to know their heart rate
numbers and then relate what they 'feel like' at each level of intensity.

A part from this, yes, HRMs have become an expensive waste of time for me. I've been through 5 heart
rate monitors over the years...oh and battery replacement at 30 quid a go...just a con.

After a few decades of 'the numbers' you really get used to what is what intensity without a heart
rate monitor bleeping furiously away. You start to know what your body is saying to you and I
believe this is a more potent instrument in gauging levels of intensity than a heart rate monitor.
Afterall, the numbers for me hardly ever responded consistently from workout to workout, so nothing
in 'number form' was accurate for training!....but I could tell you by subjective feel how
knackered I was or was not, or what intensity my body was working at etc..and since then I have
honed this skill:)

Indeed, wattage is very useful, but you can also go over a hilly measured circuit and look at your
simple bike watch to see how you climbing speed improves over the weeks = increase in power
output...saves 1000s of pounds:). Keep it simple, please.

"Dr. Steven Walker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Heart rate is irrelevant. Wattage is relavant. Noone wins a race by heart rate - you win by going
> the fastest.
>
> "the1senator" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> > In reading the comments to my initial post, I think the thing I need to do is testing to
> > determine my Max HR and/or LT. This will give me an accurate picture of what my body is capable
> > of and then I can set my zones from there. I guess the simple age-based formula is, as you
noted,
> > a broad guideline to help the masses get the idea of heart fitness and
what
> > that means. Now it looks like I need to take a step beyond this so I can understand what fitness
> > means in terms of my HR.
> >
> > Thanks for the helpful comments and web sites. I'm off to learn.... -Phil-
> >
> > Other comments embedded below.....
> >
> > "Tom Rodgers" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> > news:[email protected]...
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > In a way, it's sad that Polar has made the percentage of MAX HR an
> > automatic
> > > function on their watches. People just figure they should go with that
and
> > > ignore zones. It would have been better if they tied it to LT instead.
But
> > > you can program the three Polar zones available to the correct range
based
> > > on LT and your type of training. The S710 allows this for a very wide variety of zones,
> > > workouts, sports, etc.
> > >
> > I'll see how my low-end Polar (A-3) works for me. I guess I'll have to learn everything I can
> > this year so I can ask for a monitor upgrade next holiday/birthday and then won't have to work
> > so hard to track myself!
> >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > I'd also be interested to know your age and body composition. That
usually
> > > tips off which end of the bell-curve you'll fall on, above or below
the
> > > predicted percentage. Also know that for the first 3-9 months you use
an
> > > HRM, it's largely "observational"--you just look at it and note how
you
> > feel
> > > or how fast you are at a give HR. Once you "feel" the correlation
between
> > > your body, speed, and HR, then it's pretty obvious if the "theory" you
are
> > > reading, be it based on max HR or LT, is right for you.
> > >
> > I will be 40 later this year and have been running for the past 5-6
years.
> > A long time ago I ran track and cross country in high school, no records
here
> > but 4 years of sweat and running with friends! I guess I would say I
have a
> > runners build (as opposed to a shot-putter or lineman!), about 6ft and
165
> > lbs (I only do metric when racing!). Would this lean me toward being above
the
> > predicted HR % when using the HRMax based on age (meaning I would tend to handle a higher HR and
> > still be in a certain zone, for example HR=75%
but
> > I feel like I'm in the 60-70% zone)?
> >
> > >
> > > So for now, just wear the monitor and keep records--easy to do if you
can
> > > download it into a computer. At the very least, make mental notes
while
> > > running. After a while, it will become "automatic" as a biofeedback mechanism. After several
> > > years of use, seasoned athletes can usually predicted their HR accurately within a few beats
> > > even when the HRM malfunctions near power lines, cold weather, battery-dead, etc. I did
> > > Ironman Hawaii in 2002 with an HRM that never really worked right when
I
> > put
> > > on the strap after the swim (before I'd worn it in the water)--but I
had
> > > trained so much with it over four years I felt my way through to my
best
> > > time ever, using turnaround split on the bike and mile splits on the
run
> > to
> > > pace.
> > >
> > Congrats on your IM. Quite an achievement. I don't think I have an
Ironman
> > in my near future, but I do understand your comment about knowing where your HR is based on how
> > you feel and how hard you can go. Before
getting
> > the monitor, my method of training and how hard I pushed was all based
on
> > how I felt and it seemed to work for me (no injuries and satisfactory
times).
> > Now I'll add the monitor in the mix and see if I can improve my training effectiveness and get
> > better times with no ill effects.
 
D

Dr. Steven Walk

Guest
Are you the girl of my dreams?

"Rebecca Bishop" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> True to a certain extent, but I believe that beginning athletes need to get to know their heart
> rate numbers and then relate what they 'feel like' at each level of intensity.