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7644 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Apr 30, 2008 1:24 PM by TeejWI
TeejWI Rookie 43 posts since
Apr 14, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 14, 2008 6:38 PM

Should I be concerned?

OK...I've done some searching and I saw a similar thread posted a few months back with a "don't worry too much" set of answers...but I feel I ought to follow up a bit because I think my own situation is just...weird.


OK...first of all, yes, I know I'm in pathetic shape and that is probably the answer to this...but...








38, male, no regular exercise for quite some time, overweight (190...I'm aiming for 165).




I decided to try easing into running again last week and found it a bit easier than I thought (especially compared to recent attempts - see my "atypical newbie" thread).  In short what I've run so far is:




4/6:  ~1.5mi




4/9: ~ 1.66mi




4/12: 5k




4/14: 5k




Here's the catch.  Before tonight's run, I picked up a heart monitor.  At 38, the standard (yes, I know this can vary substantially)  is MHR = 182, so the HM (Polar) wanted me to stay 115-155.




OK, so on my warmup walk I'm already into the 120s.




After warming up I start my current very slow jog (~ 13 minute pace or so) and it doesn't take long before it's cussing at me for busting 155.  I'm hitting high 150s and low 160s in an easy jog.  Not breathing hard - I could still be converstational without much difficulty.  Nevertheless, I figure I'll try backing down a bit.  Eventually (after about 2 reps) I got too frustrated at walking half and jogging half a I just kept jogging and stayed at 158-160.




Got to my last (450m) lap and was feeling pretty good so I kicked it up a notch and ran the last ~ 1.1 laps at a ~ 10 minute pace.  This got my breathing into overdrive - depe breaths, 2 paces in, 2 paces out and my heart hit 181 on that lap.  I backed off a bit at the end and crossed the line at 170.




Heart rate recoveyr was pretty good - I dropped 40 beats in the first minute.




Almost sounds to me like I'm aerobically OK, just don't have the "support plumbing" for running - when I have been exercising I've done more on exercise bikes than running.  The 9 miles I've run in the past 8 days represents more running than I've done in 17 years.




Also, from about 1/4mi into the run up until...oh...1/4 my calves get pretty uncomfortable/stiff....but eventually it passes and the last mile or so was pretty much coasting for me (hence the final lap boost).




Should I do anything different or just keep running 2-3 miles at a crack until my muscle plumbing builds up...or....?





  • EIgirl Community Moderator 395 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Apr 14, 2008 6:43 PM (in response to TeejWI)
    Re: Should I be concerned?


    Hey there and welcome.






    First - what are your goals?



    Second - I wouldn't worry about heart rate.  I would focus more on making sure you are enjoying the run.



    Third - You really just need to take it easy and not so seriously right now.  You have a ways to go before you have a solid base in place.



    Fourth - What are you basing your HR calculation on?  I am not an expert, but I do understand it is fairly subjective.



    Fifth - back to taking it easy.  For now, try to run at a consistent comfortable pace while base building.  Increasing mileage and speed too fast could lead to injury which will not be so good.






    Glad you are into running right now.  Do you best to make sure it's sustainable.









  • jcrule Amateur 228 posts since
    Jan 9, 2001
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Apr 14, 2008 10:04 PM (in response to TeejWI)
    Re: Should I be concerned?


    Okay, what most people here say to people who just take up running and start with such milage, is to slow down and not run so much.  I would take a look at the C25K program.  Most of us here have graduated from the program.  It just builds your body up slowly so you don't get injured on your quest to build milage.  From what you are showing for milage, it's probably too much for your bones since you said you hadn't been so active for a while. 


    Regaurding the HR.  Oh my, I could go on and on about that.  I think the only real way to know your MHR is to have one of those stress tests done...I think that's what they are called.  Where you are on a treadmill and they steadily increase speed and incline till you are physically not able to run any longer.  I had one of those done and (at age 28), my trainer would have me back off once I got to the 170's..Working out between 160 and 170 was perfect for me.  You can go higher, it's just considered non-aerobic.  I go non-aerobic if I want to get that extra workout in at the end. 


    So, in the end.  Look at your HRM, listen to what your body is telling you, and then you can get a better idea of what range you work out best at.  Because eventually you will have to work harder to get there!   




    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Upcoming Races:

       ~ Love'em or Leave'em Valentine's Day Dash 5K - 2/13/10 (32:50)

       ~ Some local St. Patty's Day 5K, gotta register for one - 3/13/10

       ~ Birch Bay Road Race 5K - 3/27/10

       ~ Need to register for a 10K before June

       ~ Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half!!!!!  6/26/2010

       ~ Danskin Triathlon (Sprint) - 8/15/10

  • EIgirl Community Moderator 395 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Apr 15, 2008 4:19 AM (in response to TeejWI)
    Re: Should I be concerned?

    Great!  Like the next poster said, use the C25K plan.  That will get you to a 5k.  From there, you can move into a Hal HIgdon plan (or another plan of your choosing) for a 10k or even a half, but you will still need to have your base which should be about 15 miles/week.   Personally, I wouldn't use a HRM at this point.  I would run what feels comfortable.

  • dwm082 Community Moderator 1,063 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Apr 15, 2008 5:54 AM (in response to EIgirl)
    Re: Should I be concerned?


    I agree with jcrule and juststarted. I know it's tempting to push the edge of the envelope and see just how far and how fast you can go quickly, but ease into things. Your cardiovascular fitness is probably pretty good from biking, so you likely won't have too much trouble with the breathing and such. The main concern at this point is giving your joints, tendons, and ligaments time to adjust to the new strain that they're experiencing.



    As one of those who did too much too soon (with the recurring knee injury to show for it), I can't overemphasize the importance of easing into things.



    I'm similar in age to you (36 and change, headed for 37 next month), so my max heart rate calculations aren't far off from yours. I did an interval run this morning with a max heart rate of 185. Going by the formula if I pushed any harder my heart should have exploded. I'm skeptical. As Val (juststarted) said, don't worry so much about the heart rate -- focus on the effort.






    2012 Race Schedule

    Providence Marathon (4:48:55)

    Buffalo Half-Marathon (2:03:16)

    Chicago Marathon (October 7)

  • JennerVT Rookie 73 posts since
    Apr 8, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Apr 15, 2008 10:09 AM (in response to TeejWI)
    Re: Should I be concerned?

    Wow, I'm impressed by how quickly you have gotten up to those distances!  I'm a newbie starting the C25K program and I'm pretty envious   Regarding HR, I've used a HR monitor for a few years now doing various exercises (bought it for Spinning class but wear it all the time at the gym to track calories burned).  I'm 26, so my max HR should be 194, but I've met and/or exceeded that number before.  I watch it and try not to go above that max, but I feel fine at 185 (which is usually where I'm at during the most intense run portions).  The HR monitors are defaulted to give you a range that I think is much lower than I would like to workout at.  You can manually set your limits on the monitor so it doesn't keep yelling at you for breaking it's rules   I don't remember if you said what kind of monitor you have, I have a polar and you go to settings, limit set to change those settings.  You can also turn off the annoying beep that alerts you.  Good luck with your speedy progress!

  • kcfrogg Rookie 24 posts since
    Sep 19, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Apr 15, 2008 10:29 AM (in response to EIgirl)
    Re: Should I be concerned?
    juststarted wrote:

    ........ Personally, I wouldn't use a HRM at this point. I would run what feels comfortable.I wear mine whenever I do anything. I don't worry too much about the zones I am in right now. The more I get out there my time in Zone 4 & Zone 5 is gradually tapering off. Plus, I love to plug my data recorder into my laptop and have that visual confirmation that I did something which I use as my journal / log.





    What the He....   What I wrote merged with the qoute. What is up with that?

  • EIgirl Community Moderator 395 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Apr 15, 2008 10:33 AM (in response to kcfrogg)
    Re: Should I be concerned?


    T - Sorry if I misinterpreted "pathetic shape" to mean couch like.  C25K probably isn't right for you.  Give HHST a try.   It does not give you a pace or target HR though. 



    KC - That's great you find it useful.  I *_personally_ *wouldn't use one while trying to build a base.



  • Rookie 175 posts since
    Oct 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Apr 15, 2008 5:55 PM (in response to TeejWI)
    Re: Should I be concerned?


    Just throwing in my 2 cents.  Do you know what your resting HR is?  I found url= article /url to be helpful. 



    I'm a 49 yr old woman.   I had a stress test in November and my target number was 145 according to the cardiologist.  I don't know what formula he used.  Using the 220 - age (49) = 171.  Then 80% of that is 136.8. I will say that it took 9 minutes on the treadmill for me to reach 145.  They had that sucker nearly vertical and the speed was flying.  I don't think I could have run any faster.



    Now all this being said, my coach did a HR test with me on my bicycle and trainer.  He had some formula he used.  I find it much harder to get my HR up on the bicycle than when I run.  His calculations found my Anaerobic Threshold to be 148.  So all these numbers are coming out about the same.



    This is what the different HR zones mean -  These zones are adjusted for me on my bike.


    HR1 Active recovery/Easy


    Your active recovery/easy heart rate training zone is less than 115 beats/minute. This range is 78% of your ATHR. This could also be called "active rest". This is where you will be early in the season and in between hard workout days during the season. For many people (Who, me?) this is the hardest place to be. That feeling of: "I'm not working hard enough", seems to be very difficult for some people. This is the zone, however, where you can maintain your fitness while recovering from harder work. One of the biggest problems in training is the ability to go easy and allow the body to recover and benefit from the hard work already done.


    HR2 Aerobic Endurance/Medium


    Your Aerobic endurance heart rate training zone is 116 to 133 beats/minute. You will be training between 78-90% of your ATHR. This is also known as aerobic endurance, technically, everything below about 85%-905 is "aerobic" but depending upon how fit one is, the line between aerobic and anaerobic training can be lower or higher. This is a good zone to stay in for your long rides and runs where your focus is to spend time on one's legs installing the plumbing (circulatory system) and energy systems (Mitochondria) that will allow your muscles to work more efficiently. This is a relatively easy zone to be in, but requires steady, moderate effort.



    HR3 Lactic Acid






    Threshold /Tempo



    Your lactate tolerance/tempo heart rate zone is 134 to 147 beats/minute. This is from 90-100% of your ATHR. This could also be called "tempo" This is the zone where many people spend the majority of their time because they "feel like" they're working only at or just above78%. Depending on one's level of fitness, the frequency and duration spent in this zone will drop you into an overtraining abyss or gradually maximize your athletic potential. As you raise you AT, this zone should feel easier and easier. It is not an "easy"; level of intensity but one that you should be able to hold for long periods. In the early "base building" part of the season, this will be the upper limit of higher intensity training.


    HR 4 vo2 Peak/Hard


    Your peak heart rate zone is greater than 148 beats/minute. This is training above your ATHR, also known as hammer time. This is the zone where interval will be done during the race season. Like tempo, excessive time spent in the zone will quickly lead to diminishing returns. In this case, abuse doesn't take long to manifest itself as symptoms of overtraining. Used in the right amount, this is where major gains in anaerobic gains for shorter races (Olympic and shorter) can be made.






    So if we use the standard 220 minus age, we get 182 for you.  Then 70% is 127 and 80% is 145.6.  You're about 10 points above me.  You can probably use your numbers and figure out where your HR zones fit in.



    I don't know if I've helped you or not.  I think you need to slow down, even walk, until you can get your HR down into the 70-80% range.  You might want to read url= article.[/url]  It has an incredible amount of information.



    Good luck to you and congratulations for getting off the couch.



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