Just saying that I am still alive and running while I am logged in.
Shannon - on what basis was 140 selected? I assume it was based on what your RQ was at various heart rates, is that correct? It sounds like, but I certainly don't have all the information. How much in the way of downhill segments are you getting in? I do think it's beneficial to try to slow down the run rather than switch to a walk because it teaches you how to control your heart rate during hilly runs. Others disagree with and it's probalby just a matter of personal opinion. In either case, I have little doubt that, even starting at a very low heart rate, you train yourself to efficiently use fat as a primary energy source. Indeed it will likely take some time. Downhill segments where you pick up the pace will help you maintain your running economy.
I've been running for a while now, and did the LHR training last winter for a few months. It worked pretty well for me. Then, race season started and I went back to normal training. I am now pregnant (about 6 months) and was running 20-25mpw throughout the pregnancy, just until 2 weeks ago. I began to have contractions after my runs and it just got too uncomfortable for me. My doctor instructed me to Stop running, to prevent further contractions and potential problems. So, I have been doing the elliptical trainer about 4 days per week and walking 1 or 2. I have also begun lifting weights to try to maintain some strength. I didn't do much cross-training before. Honestly, I'd much rather be running. But, I know that I must do what is best for myself and child. Anyway, my question to you is this: If I do the LHR training w/o running....all crosstraining, how might this affect my running once I start again (hopefully in about 3 months)? I am just wondering if I'd be better off doing the LHR training now, since I cannot run anyway. Do you think that it will have any affect on my heart rate when I start running again, or will I have to start completely over with the LHR training? I guess I'm just trying to figure out how to make the most of my "break" from running.
Thanks for any input!
jme76 - I think what you'll find is that in most cross-training exercises, the elliptical being a great example, it will actually be difficult to bring your heart rate up to the MAF level. It may even cause more stress than you really want. So I think that in such exercises you'll probably be driven more by perceived exertion rather than heart rate (assuming you're not going for bike rides outside on very steep hills). With that said, I think during a pregnancy, especially later, it's probably a good idea to stay low HR anyway, just to minimize the impact. However, don't expect that training to bring you right up to speed on your running when you get started up again. Your time off from running will certainly require some time for you to bring yourself back to your original running shape (although, the elliptical is probably the closest low impact thing you can do).
Thanks for your response, Jesse -
To answer your question, I selected 140 as my Maff HR for a few different reasons:
I am 24 years old, so 180 -age for me would equal a Maff HR of 156. I technically would not need to add or subtract anything based on the guidelines. However, I felt this number was a bit high given that my RQ at rest is 0.82 and my body does not easily convert fat for fuel. A final reason was due to the recommendation of a running coach I worked with briefly. After my RMR and VO2 max testing, i met with a coach a few times to get some "professional" insight on how to problem of a poor aerobic base. He strongly recommended that I do my easy and endurance runs at a HR between 130 and 140 --- never creeping above 144.
So, the decision wasn't very technical or scientific, I just felt 140 was a good, safe number.
Hhmm, as I'm writing this, I started looking over some of the paperwork from the testing. One of the pages specifically breaks down my HR based on "Aerobic Base" and "Anaerobic Threshold". It gives 128 as my HR for Aerobic Base, and 140 for my HR as Anaerobic Threshold. With this, I'm starting to question if 140 is even too high to be using as my Maff?!?!
I don't know if this matters, but my VO2 max is 52.4 ml/kg/min. I'm told this is considered above average, and probably why I was able to sustain exercising in an anaerobic state for so long (for example - doing a one hour run at an average HR of 175 bpm...well above my aerobic base).
As for downhill running - I do get to do a bit of it, but not much. I don't live in a very hilly area. And even when I do run downhill, I still can't go very fast without my HR flying up. If I'm "trotting" along at a 15 min/mile pace on a flat surface, I may only be able to drop that by a minute os so on a downhill.
Any further thoughts and opinions would be very, very appreciated.
Great information, Shannon. Those are some interesting numbers. (They were from a treadmill test, right?) RQ of .82 at rest is pretty darn high! Can you tell what your RQ was at 128 and 140? I would say this - to reap low HR training benefits, I think you'd certainly want to be below .85. Normally, I would say you want to be at least as low as 0.80, but clearly that's not an option! Can you mix in any cycling or other cross-training? These might help you practice some faster turnover type exercises without driving your HR up as much.
Unfortunately, I do not have further RQ data. The resting RQ was taken from my RMR test. I do not believe there was additional information taken during my VO2 max test (at least none that I can find in my documents). And yes, the VO2 test was done on a treadmill.
I do have the ability to cross train - both on my bike trainer at home and on the Elliptical machine at the gym. Both allow me to move a bit faster and get quicker leg turnover, but it's still not much. And i had been doing those with the 140 HR in mind.
If I really need to be below a 128 HR in order to improve my aerobic base, than that is what I'll do. But I know that it'll mean a lot of "power walking", and easy rides on my trainer. I'm willing to be patient but I want to ensure I'm doing it right.
In your opinion/experience, is it worth training below 128 HR if it means having to walk? Will I still get the same long term benefits, and eventually build up to running at that same HR range? Or do I just work with what I've got and learn to adapt to running at a higher HR and a poor aerobic base? Neither sound too apealing, but like I said, I'm willing to do whatever needs to be done.
It's a difficult question that I wish I could answer with confidence. If you had to walk most of the time, I would probably say you should try running a bit higher for a while and see if you can work towards a lower heart rate. You're in a high carbohydrate utilization period right now that will be hard to get out of. It makes me wonder if nutritional changes can help, but I'm really not a good one to ask. I just wonder if you reduced carbohydrate consumption a bit if it will make you nutritionally more reliant on fat. It would be good to see if in a few months you could have a full vo2max test where you receive the entire RQ profile throughout the whole range of the test to see what's going on. However, I don't think you need to do that right away. I would suggest that you want to try to spend as much time at 128 or below as possible and perhaps have a small amount of volume at 140 or so. Also, incorporating a good volume of spinning or elliptical at 128 or below should start to transform things (as long as you aren't at a very high RQ even at 128). I have no doubt that some trial and error and patience will be required. If you have access to a treadmill with negative incline at the gym, that would be a good piece to incorporate as well because you should be able to get a bit of extra pace at the lower HRs.
Thanks for the information. Actually, it does seem like I have to work pretty hard to get my heart rate up to about 149 (I'm 31...so this should be my target, right?). When I'm doing the ET, I try to mimick the motion of running as much as I can. I try to keep my legs moving fairly quickly and I hold my arms as if I were running (I don't hold onto the handles. So, I'm just thinking of this as a good opportunity for me to focus on building aerobic strength and improving muscle tone. I think I'll probably start swimming too, as I've always wanted to do a triathalon, but swimming is my weakest spot. Anyway, thanks again for the information!
Yes, 149 should be your max and don't worry about staying well under that. Swimming is a great thing to mix in. Good luck!
Thank you very much for your advice and opinions. I understand that you are not a "professional" in the matter, but I really do value your opinion and appreicate you taking the time to respond.
I am going to try and do as much training at a HR below 128 as possible. If I have to walk, so be it. I'm going to incorporate more cross training to hopefully help build some leg turnover without increasing my HR out of the aerobic range. I guess it's all trial oand error from here....
I have not posted a lot on here but I do read your thread frequently and I have sent many runners here to check out this thread. I am truly glad that you are hanging around. Thanks so much for the contribution that you have made to my training and for all the effort, you put into this thread.
Indeed, most of the discussion has moved over to the RA site. However, I'll still poke my nose in over here as new questions appear. In fact, there were many requests in the past to set up a dedicated forum for heart rate training, even low HR training, so the transition to active was a good excuse to move into a dedicated forum over there for those who really want to get into it. This is still a good spot for those who want to dabble. Quite frankly, it does get tiresome here to have to log in so many times, even to have to log in every day I want to post something.