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So I just picked up a book on heart rate (HR) training and will be starting one of the recommended training programs from the book soon. That said, I have been training for the Boston Marathon and have NOT been using HR training.
Everyone knows the advice of NOT starting the marathon too fast. Typically, the advice is to make sure that your pace is not too fast out of the gate.
Does anyone know if it would be acceptable to substitute the recommended marathon race HR of 80-85% (based on my initial internet research) for pace? Assuming that the max HR formula is fairly accurate for me, shouldn't this give me an accurate measure of level of effort?
Or should I just stick with pace?
I am not an expert in training and so far have only run a few half marathons, so use my advice with caution.
I used to train for my HMs using the heart rate monitor as reference, one day it broke down and I still haven't got around to replacing it, so since then I have been running using pace time as a reference.
I would say HR takes into account more factors (nerves, heat...) but most of them are quite constant during training. I prefer looking at the pace per mile so I have an idea on how my finishing time is looking. I use my perception of effort as a safeguard (low pace difficult to keep up with means slow down, for example).
5k: 20:12 (December 31st 2012)
10k : 44:30 (November 6th 2011, March 18th 2012)
Half Marathon: 1:35:27 (February 3rd 2013)
Recently running half marathons. Six completed so far. Now looking for number 7. Once I get to 10 I will start thinking about full marathons.
The answer would depend on your goal. If your goal is to finish in a certain time..then you need to run by pace. Running by HR you may or may not reach your goal pace. If your goal is to finish well and strong, then yes. You would simply substitute the marathon pace HR.
When training by HR, you will reach the same effort level no matter what the conditions. If it is 55f, you will run much faster at an 85% HR than if it is 90f. Your effort level, however should be approximately the same.
Word of caution, do not rely on the standard max HR formulas (220-age). They are notoriously inaccurate. Google "max HR test" and you should get some results on how to find your max HR. The most reliable way is to get a treadmill test done at a doctors office, but the ones you do yourself are better than the standard formula.
Running the straight and narrow,
"Run because you love it. If you don't, learn to love it. Running will bring things into your life that you could never imagine." - Scott Jurek, Star of "Born To Run"
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thanks for the answer. This upcoming Boston will be my 11th marathon, so I'm no rookie.
That said, I'm always trying to find ways to refine.
Running wise, I definitely feel like my running has reached a plateau. Hopefully the HR training will help.
Re: using the HR monitor during the marathon (or any other race). Thedevotedrunner and ydiez make a great point in that the HR monitor will be a much better indicator of effort (taking into account external factors like heat/humidity) than pace. I love the feeling of running a great race but feel that a great race is a good time considering my training, the conditions, and how I feel during and after the race.
I'll wear my HR monitor during Boston but will not use it as a guide since I havne't been training on it and as ydiez mentioned, the max HR rate could be off ---meaning that my HR ranges wouldn't be accurate.