So what exactly is heart training? We’ve all heard about it. But what does it actually mean? I want to know too! Follow my adventures as I discover more about how to train, differently…harder…or smarter? It has been almost 7 weeks since I have started training using my Suunto Ambit 2R heart monitor and watch, which are available at The Balanced Athlete. Let me give you a bit of my background. I was a competitive runner in high school and college. Now, I am just training on my own. I was initially hesitant to try training based purely on effort rather than pace. For me, I was always told, run this pace, this split and it didn’t matter if I was hungry, tired or sick. My average pace on my first heart rate run was 90 seconds slower than what I had been running, which greatly irritated me. I could drop a sub 7 minute mile right now and not even be winded! But according to my watch, I had hit a 3.0 Training Effect, which is what Eric advised me to hit. I noticed that near the end of my runs I was at 2.6 or 2.7, and I realized my effort was too easy, so I decided to sprint the last half mile or so to land a 3.0. Eric explained that you need to think of your heart like an engine in a car. You can hit 60 mph by going over 5,000 rpm but you can also hit 60 by never going over 2 or 3,000 RPM. The point was, while I was hitting the correct number, I was putting on too much strain to achieve it. So despite running slow, there was more to it than that! Instead Eric suggested, try to go an even effort on every run you do, so that you hit a 3.0 right near the end. It has certainly been a crazy start!
Happy training!