SheilaKappel - it really depends on your maximum heart rate (running). Mine is about 195 and my resting heart rate is 50. So 170 would be about 83%, which is moderately hard but not anaerobic. But I've talked to runners whose maximum is around 220. You can get your maximum tested at a "human performance" lab or there are ways to approximate in yourself (if you are already a runner). The other thing is that over time, as you do more running, your heart rate will be lower at the same pace.
Heart rate has never even crossed my mind since I started running, should it? As a rule should we all be incorporating monitoring our heart rates, is that a necesary part of running/training for in my case a 5k? I have not felt any kind of strain when running and I am in good physical health. Thanks as usual for your helpful information.
For the average runner, it's probably not worth the effort. Running by perceived exertion level seems to work just as well for most of us. It is possible to get useful information by monitoring your heart rate while running. Some runners swear by it but it seems to be more pertinent for the "high performance" runner. You need a good heart rate monitor, and you need to know your true maximum heart rate (the formulas are not very accurate) to calculate your heart rate "zones". I've done it from time to time but the results, to my mind, were mixed, and I had problems with the accuracy of the monitors. Below are a couple articles on basic use of a heart rate monitor.
There is also something called the "Maffetone Method", which makes extensive use of heart rate training, and is supposed to be particularly useful in aerobic base building. You can google "maffetone" or "maffetone method" if you're interested.
lenzlaw - Thanks for the reply. Glad to know that there is hope for me! I've had so many people tell me that they have a hard time getting their heart rate even up to 110-120 after 30 minutes of strenous exercise/running, that I wasn't sure if a high rate was common or I'm just far more out of shape than I thought!
MikeyA - I've enjoyed reading your posts and your accomplishments on running. That is so great what you've done! You've inspired me to try it again on a gradual program, and I think I'll work toward a 5K as well. I've done several 5K's (and one 10K) but I always walk them (15 min/mi). Hope your knee problem heals quickly!
Thanks again for all the great advice! Wanted to ask; does your heart rate get to your maximum really quickly? (ie; mine is literally within two minutes if I run or hiking uphill)
That's something I should have mentioned. Running tends to make for higher heart rates than most other aerobic activities (has to do with numbers and types of muscles being used, and how they're being used). For instance, running at a moderate pace in cool weather I might hit 150. Cycling in the same way I might only hit 125. I've never met anyone who can do "strenuous" running and stay around 120.
Also, uphill puts substantially more stress on the heart than level ground. So yes, uphill your heart rate will elevate more quickly. I would not assume that 170 or 180 is your maximum. It's just where you get under the circumstances. My heart rate elevates somewhat, right away, when I start running, but may take a mile or so to get to its "normal running range". But I've been running for almost 30 years.
BTW, quick recovery to normal heart rate after exercise is a good sign.
So, I rested my knee for 8 days between week 4 and 5 of my c25k training. I started w5 - d1 today because my knee was feeling better, I have been icing it regularly and have been taking Advil on and off for about a week to help with what my orthopedic feels is a soft tissue injury. So, I went to the track and did my 5 min warm up... but at a slower pace than usual to start off easy with my knee. During the warm-up my knee felt a little week (like it wanted to give out) but not horrible. Also, as I did my warm up, I still hadn't decided if I would repeat w4 or jump into w5. As I suspected, I decided to go for the w5 routine... and if I wasn't up to it as I approached the end of the first run interval, I would scale back and just repeat w4. So off I went, nice and easy!
Well, as I've said here before, I'm shocked at the ease I find completing these routines, with the exception of 1 or 2 days where I felt a little struggle (more with legs than lungs) it's been smooth sailing. Don't know why I didn't start running sooner in my life!
So, back to my knee... it doesn't feel great right now, I hope I can stay on course and run again on Monday. I would love to hear personal experiences from anyone out there who has shared a similar situation with a soft tissue injury and what the recovery time that they experienced. If my knee doesn't feel ready to go Monday, any suggestions on how long to rest would be welcomed.
A few random thoughts in no particular order:
Fat old man PRs:
Once again my two cents. Some interesting info from shipo. His point about NSAIDs is well taken. What he said has been borne out in studies and the same is true of icing. I haven't been able to find the link, but basically they're saying that reducing inflammation in the injured area is not necessarily a good thing. Icing can be done for the first 24 hours or so to reduce swelling, but after that we should be more willing to let nature take its course. Try googling "icing inhibits recovery" if you want to read more.
I wish your doctor had been more specific than "soft tissue injury". That covers a lot of ground. One thing you should check if you haven't is your gait. Let me quote from a Runners World article. "The most common injury-causing stride flaw is overstriding, or landing heel first with your foot well ahead of your body's center of gravity, instead of landing flat-footed with your foot directly underneath your head. A simple way to correct his flaw is to tilt your entire body very slightly forward from the ankles (not the waist) as you run, as though you're constantly falling forward or running downhill." Also make sure your knee is flexed. A straight knee tends to transmit a heavy load directly through the joint. I find that if I get tired and lazy during my runs, and start landing with a straight(er) knee, it will start to ache. Making sure to keep it flexed relieves the pain.
Mike - I want to ditto shipo and Len; I'm also in my mid 50's, I ice tender areas immediately after my run, and no NSAIDs. If necessary I will wrap an ankle for support when not running (I have ankle/achilles issues) for short periods, and sometimes apply warm compresses to encourage blood flow. These little things have been working for me.
best of luck!
Shippo, Len, and Bill,
That was a lot of great thought provoking information, I have to admit that the advil and icing seems to take the edge off, but now I am second guessing the benefits of continuing with them. The thought of taking any kind of extensive break at this point is not sitting well with me. I know a gentleman who lives in my town, he's around our age, and an avid runner. I am going to reach out to him, and ask him to evaluate my stride/gate and such. I am grateful to have found this new interest (running) and also this site. The amount of support and helpful information that comes off this board is truly remarkable, as I have read through many interesting threads.
Yes that is what we learned at a running clinic sponsored by New Balance. They had us march in place in order to get us use to landing flat flooted. After a few minutes, she had us lean just a bit forward while we marched. For those of us that were evaluated as being heel strikers, she suggested we march in place and lean forward before our runs so that our body will get use to it.
Graduated C25K 08/09/2009
Follow me on my journey: SEEFLUFFYRUN
Understand, it is quite possible to heel strike even while planting your feet under your body as described. And there is nothing wrong with that. The point is to avoid overstriding and the aggressive heel strike that comes with it.
Those of us spending our running lives on technical dirt trails need to slightly heel strike just to maintain a safe, almost defensive, stride when working through rocks, root snakes, heavily contoured rock ledges, and of course whenever running in long grass where you have no idea what new adventure awaits your next footfall. Even with my heel first attitude, I virtually never land with an extended leg/locked knee, and even on the rare occasion when I run on pavement (like this coming Saturday when I run a 10-mile road race), my heel first bias remains.
Fat old man PRs:
My first post here. Have you been fitted for the right shoe? If you are in the wrong shoe you will most likely continue to have problems even after addressing what's already been suggested. Many beginner runners don't know they're in the wrong shoe until they're in your exact situation. Quite a few in our running club have had "issues" resolved just by trying the shoe recommended after a fitting. For the price of new shoes, it might be worth getting a proper fit at your local running store to see if that helps.
After that, strength training, cross training and spending the time to build a real good base before trying sprints or big hills are highest on my list for injury prevention! Congrats on your progress so far and good luck!!
Thanks for your input. I have been running in shoes purchased from a running store, but I am now going to get fitted for orthotics as well (high arch). As for doing the extras like hills and sprints, I will stay away from those for a while. I have a friend who is an avid runner, and he has agreed to evaluate my running mechanics, which I am confident will help. As of this moment my knee feels pretty good, the problem is, the discomfort seems to come back on and off again. Hopefully I can get back on track soon. On a good note I just bought a bunch of running apparel and a foam roller.
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