Threshold/ heart rate training advice

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by oldcolt, Aug 4, 2009.

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  1. I'm a regular runner and am improving my PB's virtually every time I go out even after a couple of years running. My only mild concern is that I regulalry run at betweem 87 and 95% max HR for up to 50 minutes at a time which, whilst tiring, is not affecting my health as far as I can see and is certainly improving my times/ VO2 max! (I run at this pace twice a week and do an interval session once a week). Having researched HR training zones on Polar and a couple of other sites, I can only find reccomendations that you should hit this kind of level for shorter periods than I am currently training at.

    My question is: would I benefit from doing slower runs for these two days or, should I just be grateful that I am able to run at this exertion level for this amount of time? If anyone can provide links to reputable advice/ training sites, that would be great. Thanks
  2. I would just say, if it works for you, keep at it.

    If there was something wrong with it, I would say it would have come to light within 2 years of training.
  3. What Ian said!
    I can hit 135% on my Polar (based on 220- age) so the % exercise limits may need to be adjusted somewhat to suit the way your body works.
  4. I was advised that the 220-age figures and such-like are only guides for the average person. If you are very fit and exercising regularly, you can significantly increase your training limits.

    I was told some years ago to run clockwise around the Blandford circuit and increase my pace to maximum as I ran down the hill and to hold that pace as I climbed the hill to the gym. Whatever my HRM was showing at the top was my "Do Not Exceed" limit. I hit 215bpm IIRC.

    My Polar HRM still rates my fitness as better than that of a 25 yr old male and I am considerably older than that! It's a guide; no more.

  5. Sound advice on the HRM adjustments and ditto on the scores for a sub 25 year old :D . I've already used a couple of other formulaes for working out HRM and adjusted my Polar accordingly. I max out at 110% or so, which I believe means I now have it set about right. Still wonder whether I could achieve more results by going more slowly occasionally (goes TOTALLY against the grain) but seems to have some grounding on some fitness sites. Anyone any experience of this?
  6. I've always used the Karvonen calculation myself, as it takes into account heart beat which to a degree shows you how aerobically fit you are.
  7. I have read about training the slow twitch muscles by working out at low HR's and then as you adapt, you can train harder and harder at low heart rates. My paste function on this computer doesn't seem to be working, but you can search for hadd training and it brings up similar websites discussing it.
  8. Thanks. Just reading/ googling up on both of your posts now. Apparently, using the Karvonen method, I have a reserve heart rate of circa 132... Now I just need to find out whether that is good or not! :D
  9. Have fun having the patience to implement the hadd method.

    I lasted about 2 weeks before I felt the need to start doing some sprints. Although my milage probably wasn't as high as is required.
  10. If you are really interested in knowing more about your performance get your VO2 max calculated in a lab. Polar workouts can be frustrating at first, but what they are doing is basically training your heart to beat slower under exertion. I stuck with the 10km workout diary, and to start with I was going nuts at the speeds needed to keep the HR in the correct zone. It did however vastly improve my resting HR (42 at the moment) and enabled me to have a faster comfortable 'jog' speed.

    Sounds to me like you are doing alright anyway, so you may not benefit from a change; except perhaps to try swimming which will get you used to controlling your breathing.
  11. I haven't seen the polar workout so don't really know what it intales on the whole. Does it include any faster paced runs/sprints/intervals or is it all lower HR based (as in the vast majority of the volume say 130-140, 140-150 in phases with a small amount of faster work to keep leg turn over high).

    My follow question will be how have you faired at higher heart rates? Do you find yourself disproportionately worn out when you start hitting higher HRs?
  12. Having now done some background reading on the subjects suggested, I am not convinced that the HADD method has much more to offer other than running more distance at a slower pace plus 3 runs per week at a higher pace will increase aerobic capacity (which isn't exactly rocket science). However, I will have a go at upping my mileage per week and see what happens.

    As for current results; I seem to hit 87 to 93% Max HR pretty early in the run but can run at that for well over an hour. Which means either
    a) I still have my heart rate max set wrong on my Polar* or,
    b) I am lucky enough to be able to train at, close to, maximal heart rates for extended periods.

    *Having just re-checked my Max HR using 3 different 'leading' methods, this does not appear to be the case

    Although the Polar offers various routines, I tend to just use it as a monitor and aim to stay within 85 to 95% for my entire run. My theory being, that the fitter you get, the faster you get at the same heart rate. Hmmmm... I think I may have just answered my own post and developed a new theory of fitness in the process... The OldColt techniqe! Run as far as you can as often as you can at the same heart rate range with 24 hr gap between each session you heard it on Arrse first! :D
  14. Ian, the polar workout I chose was to set me up for an imagined 10km race 12 weeks (IIRC) from starting the workout. I classed myself as already fit, and the workout changed to suit my fitness levels.
    The regime was an ever increasing series of steady state runs, intervals, hills etc , covering longer distances in shorter expected times. Each exercise consisted of steady state warm up runs, at very low %HR max. What I found most challenging to start with was to jog for any length of time during these warm ups without the monitor beeping to tell me to slow down. After 3 weeks however I could easily control my HR during warmups and the distances covered whilst maintaining %55-70 max HR were greatly improved.
    As to your question re: higher HR and exhaustion, I found that I could cover greater distances, faster without my HR going through the roof. I could sprint as well as before but I found an almost immediate sense of recovery between sprints during Fartleks. In the past I would get to the top of the hill and on the level slowly start to recover, but following this regime I would be able to kick on immediately after sprints/hill climbs.

    Could I have one this without the Polar regime? Probably yes, but I think the slow/steady state runs monitoring my HR gave me more control over my HR than just exercise alone.Hope that answers your question.
  15. That intensity would cook most people. You might have a high power output at lactate threshold - which is a good thing.