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sharonbikes wrote:In my experience with bike riding training, I have found heart rate training to be very effective. When I first started using a heart rate monitor I thought how can this work, I can do so much more. But, what I quickly learned is that paying attention to my zones made a HUGE difference in my progress and training. Of course, I am a charts and graphs kind of gal -- I enjoy watching the numbers and having that visual confirmation that I am working out at the right pace is rewarding for me. I learned a lot about my perceptions of what my actual workout pace differed from reality. My first bike ride with my heart rate monitor I took just a leisurely "let's try this out" ride and was amazed at how I self-regulated to keep my heart rate at the same rate.
I suggest you talk with your coach about your concerns and see what can be resolved. Give it a try, and see how it goes. It may turn out it is not for you, but give it a chance and you may learn some interesting things about yourself!
What a marvelous and supportive gift to receive!
I started running a little over one year ago and participating in numerous 5k races. I have run in about 12 races overall, including a 10k and a few 5 mile races.
I signed up for a half-marathon which will be in May of next year.
My aunt and uncle, as a Christmas present, purchased me an online coach and training plan to prepare me for the event. The online coach has assigned me heart rate zones. These zones are calculated by my average heart rate from my most recent 5k race. So, on certain days, I am supposed to run in heart rate zone of 108-126. On other days, between 131-141.
Does this seem too artificial and constraining to you? It does to me.
I would rather go for a system where I simply "run slow" one day and "run moderate" the next, without getting into the numbers of heart rate zones.
Do you think that a coach, who has never seen me in person, can, using a software program, determine specific heart rate zones, which will provide optimal training? I think not. But my aunt and uncle are encouraging me to go ahead and follow my coach's advice. My aunt and uncle do olympic tri-athalons on a regular basis. They have enjoyed success with this coaching team that they hired for me.
Problem is that my coach has shuffled my target heart rate zones twice in less than a month, after I told him that my heart rate zones forced me to run too slow, as slow as a snail. Now, the information I have provided him, from my recent races, has not changed. But my coach has given me, up until now, 3 different sets of heart rate zones. So, I'm questioning the validity of these zones.
Also, compliance with these heart rate zones sort of takes the fun out of running. I would be willing to sacrifice some fun in the short term if it would mean, long term, better results. Sort of like in nutrition.
So, tell me your opinion. Are these heart rate zones to be put in the category of protein supplements and bee pollen? Is it more gimmick than science? What do you think?
Lani Muelrath wrote:Spiral,
Though I am familiar with utilizing heart rate as part of an aerobic fitness training program, I haven't heard of a distance program quite like this. The question that comes immediately to mind for me is what else does your coach know about your health, fitness, any contraindications, or other needs?
The way to increase your aerobic capacity, that is your ability to work at higher intensities while still exercising aerobically, is to push the heart rate training zones. Yet without knowing more about the training program you are referring to per se, I'm not sure what the bigger picture is.
I believe that the "selling point" behind this sort of training is that by doing lots of running at these low heart rates, I will eventually be able to run significantly faster at these low heart rates.
Lani Muelrath wrote:Running long slow distance at low heart rates trains you to do long slow distance at low heart rates. You would become more conditioned so that if you kept up the same pace, you would probably see a heart rate drop at those same paces - that's the result of training. You are saying then that if you start running faster, you'd be able to have a lower heart rate than prior to training? Thus transferring the conditioning at the slower pace to a faster pace?
My first impression of the very-low-heart rate days was that they provided you with active rest, but that isn't how you ended up describing it.
Lani Muelrath wrote:Has this company supplied you with research for their program? It seems it would be very motivational to you if they provided a better understanding of the process. Perhaps they did.
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