Showing posts with label heartrate/breathing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label heartrate/breathing. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Almost got my distance back to the pre-box level

I ran 4.5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway today and enjoyed the run. During my half-mile warm up, I ran a pace about 11:30. Then I ran about 10:15 until I reached my turn-around point. On the way back I slowed to a 11:30-11:45 pace.

My wakeup HR was 56, so when I started running I knew I was tired, but I felt fine as I ran and had a reasonable energy level considering my high wakeup HR. This is a recovery week, so I'm not trying to set speed goals. I just want to run a comfortable pace as dictated by my body.

The temperature was in the mid 40s (F) during my run, and there was a light sprinkle coming down. I wore my normal summer clothes: a poly T-shirt and my shorts. I was a bit cool during the warmup but was fine for the rest of the run.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ran another test on my Polar heart-rate monitor

Last Saturday evening I read the users booklet for my Polar heart-rate monitor and discovered that it saves the highest and lowest heart-rate during a workout session. So, this morning I ran a test to compare the reading on the monitor with the maximum value saved. I've been suspicious that the value displayed is an average of some kind, and if so, that value might be less than the maximum heart rate that I achieved during the workout. After running 3/4 mile warm-up at a heart rate of about 90, I ran a half mile split at a pretty fast pace. When I finished the half mile, the monitor gave a value of 112 (my 80% of max is 119). I then checked the maximum value that was saved, and it was also 112. Thus, if any averaging is done, it is probably a moving average over the last few readings, which are taken at a rate of some fraction of a second. The monitor display is uppdated every second or so, and since only a few readings are probably used in the averaging, the averaged result would likely be the same as the displayed value. I thus concluded that the HR monitor can be trusted to give a good value of my HR while running. I did this, because some runners have had problems getting good values from their HR monitors.

I then ran a test on the "10-second measurement" that I described on Saturday. I ran a rest pace and used the HR monitor to see how much my heart slowed down in the first 10 seconds after I stopped (my heart slowed 2 beats). I then ran the rest pace until my HR stabilized, and then I stopped and manually counted the beats for 10 seconds. I added 2 to that value to compensate for my heart slowing down. I compared that value with my HR rate as measured by the monitor divided by 6, and the two values were the same.

I finished my workout with a 2-mile run at a comfortable pace yielding a heart rate of 90. The temperature during my workout was in the mid 50s (F). A really great spring day!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Great intervals today

I went to the track at the local high school and ran intervals. My hams and legs felt fine! I think I ran about the same pace as last week.

I ran two splits at 1/2 lap (1/8 mile) each. Then I ran a split at 1/4 mile, and I ended my planned splits with two more at 1/8 mile each. My recovery between splits was 1 1/2 laps or 3/8 mile. I felt fine during the intervals. To reduce the stress on my knees from running a small loop, I reversed my direction after the 3rd split.

I wore my wife's HR monitor. At the end of a 1/8 mile, my HR was only up to 101 68% of max). At the end of the 1/4 mile it was up to 106 (71%). It looks like I'd have to run a much longer lap to get close to 80%. Next week I'll wear my GPA so I'll know the pace I'm using.

The first question that came to me when I saw my HR at the end of the first split was whether the monitor was giving accurate values or not. When I'm sitting quietly, the monitor is within 1 beat of my HR taken manually. Because of this, I assume the monitor was giving good readings. I know I have very good oxygen capacity, and that probably is why my HR didn't go very high at the end of the splits. I was running pretty fast, but I wasn't breathing heavily.

Next week will be my last session for intervals. I want to run hills for three weeks, followed by a 13 mile long run the next week, and then a two-week taper to the race on April 21. The course for the Salt Lake City half-marathon has a 2/3 mile steep descent off the east bench (27th East to 23rd East), as well as a few small hills, and I want to train for them.

10-second Heart Rate

One of the traditional ways of measuring heart rate while you're running when you don't have a heart-rate monitor is to stop and measure your pulse for 10 seconds and then multiply that value by 6. This method, however, is not very accurate, because there will be a small error in the 10-second value -- as soon as you stop, your heart-rate begins to decrease, and that small error is multiplied by 6. For example, a one-beat error in your measurement would mean that your resulting heart-rate could be anywhere in the range from 6 beats too low up to 6 beats too high.

Usually, when we're running, we aren't interested in a precise value, just in an approximate number. For example, you might want your heart-rate during a comfortable or resting run to be 70% of maximum. Rather than use the inaccurate method described above, let's use a more accurate procedure by reversing the procedure given above.

1. Calculate your maximum heart-rate as 220 - your age. I'm 71, so my max is 149.

2. Multiply your maximum by the %max as a decimal value between 0 and 1. For 70% I would multiply by 0.7 and get 104.

3. Divide that heart-rate value by 6. I would divide 104 by 6 and get 17.

That value is my 10-second HR for 70% of my maximum. Now, I can stop running and measure my 10-second heart-rate. If I'm close to that value I would know I was running close to my 70% goal. This method eliminates the X6 factor and gives an approximation or "ball park" value, which generally is good enough for recreational runners. If you are more serious in your running, you might consider getting a heart-rate monitor.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Intervals: the world goes round and round

Today my running went round and round, around a track that is. I drove to a high school and ran intervals on the track. I ran 5 or 6 quarter-mile intervals followed by a quarter-mile jog/walk recovery. My intervals were around 9:30 minutes/mile and my recovery jogs were around 11:15 minutes/mile.

I had planned on doing one more interval after the one I was doing, when my right ham cramped. I immediately stopped and walked a short distance to a bleacher and stretched the ham. That helped but the ham was still tight, and it felt hard to my touch. I rubbed it for a minute and stretched it some more, but it was still hard. I walked the rest of the way around the track, stretched the ham some more, and then drove home. The ham wasn't sore and had no pain -- just a muscle cramp. I've been home for an hour, and the ham is still slightly hard but not nearly as much as it was when it first cramped.

I wanted to wear my wife's heart-rate monitor during the intervals, but I forgot to take it. I'll use it next week. I don't want my HR to go past 119 (80% of my maximum which is approximately 149). I'd like my recovery HR to be about 89 (60%).

Later: My ham feels fine now. After the hardness went away, my buttock was sore. I did a few buttock stretches and it immediately felt fine.

Not going to record my wakeup HR anymore

I've been recording in this blog my wakeup HR for the past three years. I've decided that is enough data to be useful to anyone interested, and I'm not going to take time to record the value anymore. I will still use it as part of my decision each morning about how intense I should train during the day; I just won't put the value in this blog. So, as a final recording of my wakeup HR, it was 50 this morning.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Used a Polar Heart Rate Monitor

My wife and I recently attended a lecture by a man who claims that we can improve our brains by following certain natural methods (exercise, nutrition, etc.). He said that if we exercise and get our heart rate up to 80% - 85% of our maximum rate, we will have an increased level of Human Growth Hormones, and the higher level of HGH will improve the functioning of our brains. He said it isn't necessary to sustain that rate; just get the HR up to that level and then walk to let the HR come down, and then repeat the sequence for 10-15 minutes per day. He said to use a HR monitor to monitor the HR. He didn't say this, but I would suggest that non-runners start out at 40-50% of max and then slowly (maybe 5% per week) increase the rate up to 80%. Of course they should get an ok from their doctor before trying to increase the amount of HGH in their system.

My wife thought she would like to try his suggestion, so we bought a Polar HR monitor. She is a good walker and shouldn't have a problem with 50% of max.

I tried the monitor on my run today. It was interesting to see my various heart rates throughout the morning and then during my run.

The speaker we listened to used the traditional formula 220 - age as the maximum. That value isn't quite accurate, but it is close enough for most of us, and it is an easy formula to use. For my age (71) here is a table of HR rate values and percentage of maximum.

60 40%
75 50%
89 60%
104 70%
106 71%
107 72%
109 73%
110 74%
112 75%
119 80%
134 90%
149 100%

During the first mile, my HR slowly climbed up to 70%, and it remained at 70% for the next mile and a quarter when I reached my turn around. On the way back, my HR was at 71% until the last half mile where it was at 73%. I ran a little bit faster on the way back.

I was running at my comfortable speed, and the HR numbers show that I was running at a restful, LSD pace. I've been running via "feel" for 34 years, and it was nice to know that my "feel" agrees with recommendations for a restful run. I won't be using the HR monitor as a normal thing, but starting in January, I will use it to check on my "feel" during my speed work during the spring. I want to continue running via "feel" but would like the assurance that my "feel" is about right.

By way of information, my wakeup HR was 49 this morning, 32% of max. While using my computer, my HR is about 39% of max. While walking around it is about 47% of max.

By way of observation, I was surprised how quickly my HR came down after I stopped running and began walking for a cool-down. Within 100 feet of walking, my HR dropped about 10 points. I walked about 1/4 mile and did stretches for a couple of minutes. When I finished all of that, my HR was down to my "walking" value.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

My wakeup HR is returning to normal

My wakeup HR was 51 this morning, and I feel pretty good! I'm glad to see the HR coming down, because that means my body is overcoming the sleep debt from last Monday night. So, next week will hopefully be a regular training week.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My heart is almost 22 years "younger"

My resting heart rate was 45 this morning. I was hoping it would be 44, but it didn't quite make it. This is just the second time in 22 years that my resting HR has been below 46. When I ran marathons in the early '80s, my resting HR was 44, and then one day it dropped to 40 and stayed there until I stopped marathon training.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My wakeup HR was 47 this morning

I slept well last night!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

45, Wow!

When I checked my wakeup HR this morning, it was 45! When I ran marathons in the early 80s, my wakeup HR was 44. Then, one day it dropped to 40 and stayed there until I quit running marathons. During the past several years, my lowest wakeup HR was 46, so this 45 is a new PB for recent years.

I told a colleague at work one day that my wakeup HR was 44. He said that was so slow that I could go out for a hamburger between beats. I'm curious to see how much lower my wakeup HR will go as my body becomes stronger. Maybe I'll be able to go out for two hamburgers :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The stock market may be up, but my wakeup HR is down

Today is a rest day, but I measured my wakeup HR to see what it is doing. It was down to 46. I had a great sleep last night and felt energetic this morning.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My wakeup HR is coming down

Today and tomorrow are rest days, but I checked my wakeup HR this morning to see how my body is recovering from the sleep deprivation. It was down to 49 this morning. I've slept well the last two days, and that is a good sign.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My wakeup HR dropped a bit

My wakeup HR this morning was 51. That decrease, from 53 yesterday, shows my body is recovering from my cold. My nose has mostly dried up and I feel pretty good. I'm taking another rest day today. Younger runners could run through this cold, but at my age I need more rest. Hopefully I'll be able to run tomorrow.

Training Graphs

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My wakeup HR is down!

Even though I had a good 10-mile run yesterday, my wakeup HR is down a point to 50. Yeah! I am getting stronger! I've been sleeping well and taking a half-hour nap each day.

Training Graphs

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A good sign today...

My wakeup HR was down to 54 this morning. My body is overcoming the stress of my skin cancer surgery two weeks ago. This is the day I've been waiting for :)

Training Graphs

Saturday, June 17, 2006

My wakeup HR is still high

Yesterday my wakeup HR was 49, and it was 47 this morning. I do have more energy today than I've had this week, but my energy level still isn't "up to par".

It looks like the redness around my skin-cancer-removal-sore is spreading a bit, but it isn't tender to the touch around that area. I'll watch it tomorrow, and if it doesn't show signs of decreasing, I see a doctor on Monday to get an antibiotic shot.

Training Graphs

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Rest week this week

I felt fine on Monday but didn't run due to my schedule. I had to go to work early to be finished in time to go to a surprise birthday party for my sister-in-law.

On Tuesday, however, my wakeup HR was 59, a 20% jump and I had little energy. Those conditions have continued through today. I thus aborted my Wednesday run. I'm not sure, but my high HR and weakness may have been due to a slight infection in my left foot. About two weeks ago, I had a skin cancer removed from that foot. The surgery, actually a scraping, left an open sore about the size of a quarter. I noticed on Wednesday that the sore was starting to show signs of being infected (redness around the wound). I put extra Bactoban on it, cleaned the sore with hydrogen peroxide, and kept a dry bandaid on it. It looked a bit better this morning, and my foot wasn't as sore as it had been. My wakeup HR had dropped to 47 this morning. I'm off work on sick leave from Tuesday through Friday this week.

Training Graphs

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Yep, I'm getting stronger.

I ran my 10-mile run on the Distribution canal this morning. My wakeup HR was 51 (49 yesterday), and I didn't have a lot of energy. I was wimpy on the five miles out, but during the five miles back, I had more energy and made it without as many walking breaks as I took on the way out. The shade temperature when I got back was 89. I think the heat we're having is part of my feeling tired during the runs.

My pace is about a minute faster than it was a month ago (high 11 minutes to low 12 minutes, with an occasional spurt into 10+ minutes. This is about the pace I ran last fall when I was working up to 10 miles. I run my "comfortable" pace and don't push speed. My comfortable pace getting faster is another sign that my body is getting stronger since I leveled off my long runs at 15 miles a month ago.

I had a good sleep last night, but my wakeup HR went up a couple of points from yesterday. This is the delay that I've noticed in the past. I lose some sleep and there is a delay before my wakeup HR changes. I get better sleep and there is a delay before my wakeup HR goes down. Usually the delay is 2-3 days.

Training Graphs

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Hey, my wakeup HR is down to 49

I had a nice nap yesterday after my long run, and last night I had close to eight hours sleep. As a result, my wakeup HR this morning was 49! Last week I got close to but not quite seven hours sleep each night. My body really needs that sleep!

Training Graphs