Sunday, March 2, 2014

Week 2 Training (Mar 3-9) - aka: That *#$^% Heart Rate Monitor

Week 2 of 36. Thirty-five weeks until the race.

This week's scheduled training looks like:

Total hours scheduled: 7:00

Total hours logged: 7:15

Total running miles this week/total: 9.97/20.64

Total biking miles this week/total: 51.50/79.45

Total swimming yards this week/total: 5000/10000

Weight: X (no change)

Level of IM enthusiasm: 8/10 - still excited to do my workouts every day. I just try not to think about how many more months I'm going to be doing this. Because that leads to: alajfpvoaipuvasdfmdebsyaoe. (head against keyboard in despair).

Nutrition elements: Still none. Although I have been practicing with some of the yummy, real-food workout fueling found in  The Feed Zone Cookbook.

General notes: Had to switch my workouts around due to the schizophrenic tendencies of  Mother Nature this week (snow and ice half the week, sunny and 60s the other half), and changed one 45-minute run into a 60-minute bike ride on the trainer (all my rides are on the trainer right now, that will probably stay true except for long rides, even when the weather gets nicer. More on my bike phobias another time).

My Heart Rate (HR) monitor continues to be the bane of my existence. I received some encouragement from friends, one ultra-runner in particular, who warned me that using a HR monitor could be a "soul-crushing" experience. 

That's just about the truth.

The normal HR formula (220 - your age = Maximum Heart Rate) that we've all seen on the wall of every gym and YMCA, was what I was using last week. Based on that formula, my Maximum HR would be 179.

So that would make my "Zones":
Z4 (90-95% Max HR): 162-171
Z3 (86-89% Max HR): 155-160
Z2 (75-85% Max HR): 135-153
Z1 (65-74% Max HR): 117-134

Except that last week I found out that my HR gets up to 176 in what I thought was a medium-effort run. To stay in my Z2 (where most IM training takes place for at least the first 12 weeks), I had to walk 3/4 of the scheduled time.

Soul-crushing, indeed.

This week I decided to educate myself a little more on HR training. I read a Runner's World article "How to Use a HR Monitor" which helped answer a lot of my basic questions.  They suggested using the formula Maximum HR = 205 - (.5 x your age), which would put my Max HR at 185. Much better.

To get an even more specific Max HR, I did the test they suggested. In an all-out three minute sprint, after significant warm up, my HR got up to 189.  So now I'm working with that number.
Making my new Zones:
Z4 (90-95% Max HR): 170-179
Z3 (86-89% Max HR): 163-169
Z2 (75-85% Max HR): 141-161
Z1 (65-74% Max HR): 123-140

I'm still having to do a crazy walk run combo to keep myself in Z2, but I'm hoping as my overall fitness level increases, and my fear of the HR monitor decreases, this will all start to click and become more natural for me. Fingers crossed.  

Next week's schedule:  Week 3 Training Schedule

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