HEART RATE TRAINING
Typical for me, I tend to panic about things when it seems like they aren't going the way they should. Not outwardly, but I dwell on something until either I get it right or figure it out. Its in my nature. By nature I am a "fact finder" on the Kolbe scale. That's how I am most useful at accomplishing something.
In this case, it was figuring out this heart rate training. I have read all the info there is out there; I have practiced it in the past but gave up early on; and it wasn't until just recently I actually decided to give it a try again and figure out my numbers, based on the newest formula out there. But there was a couple of things I hadn't factored in, and after discussing this with a trainer at my gym, doing some experiments, and Chia's own meritorious comment the other day, I have come to a better understanding of how this will work for me.
First, the trainer indicated that your heart rate will be lower when swimming--something I knew and noticed--because of buoyance--something I didn't know. Second, she also indicated that your heart rate sitting on a bike will be lower than running because? Because you're vertical and the heart has to pump the blood farther when vertical. With that in mind, I should not be concerned if my heart rate is higher when running. She also indicated that how I felt was a better way to judge, which basically is what I have been doing anyway, which is another reason I wasn't totally alarmed at my high numbers, just a little frustrated.
At the gym, they have started an 8 week weight loss challenge for spinning, which includes learning your heart rate numbers and finding out your anaerobic threshold and learning to work within those numbers. I have not joined this group--not that I couldn't lose a pound or 2--but the days they meet do not work with the rest of my schedule. Instead, I got lucky and listened as some of the women who are working within that group talked about what they did in the class and decided to adapt that to my own training.
And Chia's comment the other day to push myself and then rest and repeat that to train yourself to run at the median heart rate is something I had been testing out anyway, but giving it more thought and putting it to a test I discovered that while running a steady pace my heart rate continued to climb into what my numbers indicate is the 90% zone for me, even while running incredibly slow, but when pushing the pace for short periods of time my heart rate did not climb abnormally higher but instead sort of hovered just a little higher. With rest, it went back down and I felt good enough to do another interval, going until my number again went into and stayed in the 90% zone. Oddly enough, I actually felt better even in that zone when running the intervals than trying to run a steady pace.
Today then I really tested myself, doing Yasso 800s on the treadmill (mainly just a boredom buster but also one of my favorite workouts on a treadmill). After warming up for 10 minutes, I ran 4 x 800 (1/2 mile) at a pace about 1 min. per mile faster than my steady pace and never did I go higher than 85%. To rest, I walked until I got my heart rate back into the 70% zone, usually about 2 minutes. Of course, the pace was still nothing you would consider fast, but the object was to get my heart rate into a zone and try to hold it there. I am guessing with more practice that my pace will increase, but even if it doesn't, I'm happy going with feeling good the whole run and finishing whatever event I start.