Ask Jo Heart-rate train­ing

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue - BY JO PAVEY

Wear­ing a heart-rate mon­i­tor means you can get de­tailed feed­back on how hard you’re work­ing. This en­ables you to train smarter, al­low­ing you to get the de­sired train­ing ef­fect out of each work­out.

The first thing to work out is your max­i­mum heart rate (MHR). A rough guide is 220 mi­nus your age. Or there are field tests that can be done to get an ap­prox­i­mate read­ing – such as do­ing a two-mile time trial on a track or level ground with a heart-rate mon­i­tor at the fastest pace that you can sus­tain, try­ing to run each mile or lap at roughly the same pace. Look to see the MHR that was hit. You can then work out your heart-rate zones, al­low­ing you to train at dif­fer­ent in­ten­si­ties based on per­cent­ages of your MHR (see Get in the zone, right). This is some­times re­ferred to as ‘zone train­ing’.

This pre­vents you from run­ning too hard on your easy/re­cov­ery runs, re­duc­ing the risk of fa­tigue and over­train­ing; it also helps you to re­cover. By re­cov­er­ing prop­erly dur­ing your easy runs your legs will also be fresher for your next hard ses­sion or race. Equally, you will be able to ac­cu­rately track your ef­fort in in­ter­val ses­sions, when you want to be work­ing at a higher in­ten­sity. Heart-rate (HR) train­ing is par­tic­u­larly use­ful for tempo runs, when get­ting the ex­er­tion level right is im­por­tant for reap­ing the ben­e­fits from the work­out.

Train­ing to heart rate also helps you mod­er­ate the in­flu­ence of ex­ter­nal fac­tors such as heat and hu­mid­ity, which re­quire your heart to work harder.

Re­mem­ber that although HR train­ing is use­ful, be­ing able to in­stinc­tively ‘feel’ pace and ef­fort is also a valu­able skill.

HAVE A HEART Train­ing with a heartrate mon­i­tor gives you heaps of in­for­ma­tion that will help im­prove your run­ning


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