Heart Rate Training

Do you use a heart rate monitor? I’ve been using heart rate monitors since I got my first one in December 2008: a good Timex one. Then since then I’ve used one with my Garmin.

I learned the majority of my understanding about how to train with a heart rate monitor from here on Runnersworld. 

There are a few ways to workout out heart rate zones.
Some use the maximum heart rate calculation (there are different ways to work this out):

Take your age away from 220.
For me: 220 – 31 = 189.

Then you get your % zones from that number (Aerobic/ fat burning, Anaerobic etc).

I’ve usually found this method pretty accurate, but it doesn’t take into consideration your level of fitness, and some people suggest it isn’t as accurate as some other methods.

Over the years I’ve learned to know how I feel as I run and how my heart and heart rate is. So much so I don’t really need to use a heart rate monitor much as I run, but like to see how hard I’ve worked based on my heart rate (and I like the graphs my Garmin (and my heart rate) creates).

Then I came across this book:

Slow Burn by Stu Mittleman

Slow Burn: Burn Fat Faster by Exercising Slower

He talks about training within specific heart rate zones to get the best from your workout.

He talks about MAP, MEP and SAP …(mostly aerobic pace, mostly efficient pace, speedy anaerobic pace)… but the acronyms seemed to make it a little confusing for me.

Here’s the simple gist of it:

In this type of heart rate training, there are three zones to train in:

  • Aerobic
  • Effective
  • Anaerobic

I clearly recognise the indicators here from when I go into each zone when I run. And it’s made me really think more about what my heart rate is at when I’m running, so that I don’t under or over do it. (Or I choose, with the help of my heart rate monitor and the zones, when I’ll over or under do it, to be more precise).

I’ll do another blog post on the type of run workouts you can do for each zone, however in the meantime…

… I’ve made up a new Heart Rate Training page on my blog and created a Heart Rate Zones Calculator which will work out for you what your heart rate should be in specific zones.  🙂

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