You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's Complicated- Heart Rate Training

In our last Complicated episode, I told you about my transition from big, fluffy shoes to minimalist shoes and how I plan to progress to bare feet altogether.

Today we'll talk about Heart Rate Training.

But first I have to say that it's kinda cool to have a twin sister. We must have been separated at birth...and probably have at least one different parent because Amanda is taller and definitely slimmer than I am, and I think she's younger than I am, too... ok so maybe we're not twins, but there's a sympatico thing happening for sure!

We both have ITBS and injured ourselves on the same day. We were both at the Injury Prevention Forum in Shepherdstown, had our gait analyzed by the same people (different days though) and are both transitioning to barefoot/minimalist running. It will be more than a little spooky if she suddenly develops an urge to raise baby chickens in her backyard!

Aaaand Amanda just did a post on heart rate training earlier this week, but I was too lazy to get mine written before now. I promise I won't make you look at my midsection to show you my HR monitor strap. You can go look at Amanda's though because it's much nicer looking.

I had never heard of Phil Maffetone until a few weeks ago when I was surfing at Sock Doc and TR Treads (heart rate stuff starts on pg 2 of link). That led me to Mark Allen's website where I did some more reading. It's an interesting concept, this heart rate training stuff.

The (very) basic idea is this... subtract your age from 180, add or subtract ~ 5 points for different factors like illness, injury, being already very fit, etc and then train at that heart rate to build your aerobic base so that during those long runs your body burns your longer lasting fat stores instead of burning through the readily available yet much shorter lasting sugar stores.

After 4 months of whining not running much, I am essentially at square one in terms of fitness. It's sad and frustrating - but - it is what it is. So I can continue to whine or I can embrace this opportunity to start at the beginning and train for the long term.

And that is what I'm doing. Wearing my HR monitor for my runs fast walks and on my bike, and when I reach 134 bpm (180-41-5) I slow down until I'm back at 134. So easy even an caveman exhausted homeschool mom can do it.

Here is a post written by Sock Doc that explains how he incorporates Heart Rate Training into his training regime. Interesting stuff.

And he wrote an excellent post on how an anaerobic lifestyle can hamper your progress as an athlete and even lead to injury or illness.

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