After some three years of running, 1.5 out of which is under the supervision of a running coach, I got myself a Garmin Fenix, so now I start getting HR data (you know that i am a numbers’ guy).
And I am now baffled by this data, how to interpret it and how to use it in the future. Before getting to the problem(s) i’ll take a short detour to describe my fitness and training levels.
These are the stats for 2016 (where you see ‘walking’ it’s actually triathlon races 🙂 )
So, if we look just at running, we have 400km last year in training and some other 150 in races. My PBs are 1:59:57 for the half maraton and 51:23 for 10k. I am 36 and 84(ish) kgs (muscular type – think speed skating / bike legs)
Now back to the problem: I get the HR sensor with the fenix and use it for a winter-time trail half marathon. And although i was running ‘slowly’ (‘easy’, ‘breathing relaxed’) – or that’s how it felt / i thought about it 🙂 – the heart rate stays at 170bpm:
I then start reading much more on the subject, since I am training for the first half-ironman this year and everybody says “long slow runs, in zone 3”. And i go to practice that. And this happens (i am only under 150bpm when walking):
Even more frustrating: i do some laps at 5:30 pace and at 6:30 pace and i have the same HR (the coloured lines).
If we define the zones with the formula “220-age: i get this thresholds (zone 3 stops at 147):
And after doing a LTHR test a la Joel Friel, with the bike on the hometrainer I get 172 as threshold heart rate, and use it to compute these zones:
I think I have SOME chances of running slow and long under 163 bpms , but as shown in the long run chart, the heart rate is all over the place, regardless of the pace (it does not significantly drop if I just slow down, only if I walk!)
So here are the questions that torment me now and I am asking for your help with :
- is this actually ‘normal’ since I am not really a ‘trained’ athlete?
- why is the HR not dropping sensibly with the pace? And , as a corollary, how should I train then?
- should I be leaning more towards the Joel Friel formula for the heart rates (and use the 163bpm threshold for ‘Zone 3’ ( long runs )?
- If when doing a long run (or a bike ride) my heart goes over 163, should I stop (pedalling) and walk ?