Hi, I've been running off and on for about a year now. I've always been slow and I thought this might be because I wasn't training correctly for me. I bought a heart rate monitor and have been trying to follow the recreational runner program in the book Heart Rate Training by Benson and Connolly. I can't seem to progress beyond the intitial stage of Level 1: Jogging to Build Endurance because I can't seem to keep my heart rate under 75% without frequent walk breaks. I've been running 3-4 days a week for about 3 months now and I definately walk less now than at the begining of the summer, it just seems that it's taking too long and I'm concerned I'm doing something wrong. Has anyone else encountered this problem?
Have you done any testing to find your maximum heart rate (MHR)? You cannot reliably use a heart rate monitor without knowing (or having a close approximation of) your MHR. The formulas simply are not accurate for a large percentage of the population. So you may be trying to adhere to the wrong numbers. The following article lists several ways to approximate your MHR.
Besides that, if you've been running "off and on", your progress will not be fast. You're probably not doing anything wrong besides having high expectations, or perhaps not knowing what your expectations should be.
It's true, I may not have a completely accurate max heart rate estimate. I have used one method of trying to achieve and record my max heart rate but not being a fitness professional there is definately a chance I could have botched it. I'll take your advice and try again. I have been running consistently for three months now and maybe I'm just getting impatient with my progress. I'll recommit and stay the course. I just wish I knew if I should be doing something more.