Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Finally using my HRM (with good results)

Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

I knew it would be rainy this morning so I planned to do a treadmill run. I finally got around to setting up my heart rate monitor on Sunday and linked it to the Garmin, so I had that to play with. With the rain outside, it was very humid in my guest room. I put the fan in a fixed position and aimed it directly at the front of the treadmill. This reduces the heat, but the forced air causes dryness in my sinuses and throat.

It's been a long time since I've used an HRM. The treadmill has grips that allow you to capture your current heart rate, but read time takes a while and it's awkward to run that way at speed. The Garmin is much more convenient and it monitors in real time, providing important information as you run.

One important thing I learned was that my usual routine on the treadmill did not tax my heart as much as I'd thought. Since I despise this method of running it always feels hard, at any speed. What I thought was a good workout pace turned out to be on the threshold between the recovery and aerobic zones. To really get benefit I needed to push myself into the anaerobic zone (between 80-90% max HR).

I watched my heart rate as I increased the treadmill's speed and was surprised how hard it was to bump my HR higher on the aerobic zone. It may have been psychological, but I found it easier to sustain paces below 9:00 after seeing that my heart rate was still below 80% of max. I ended up running faster than I usually do on the treadmill without feeling much fatigue during or afterward. I'll be curious to see what kind of numbers I see when I take it to the streets tomorrow.

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