Numbers showing progress and consistency

I used to get a really big kick when I was out running, and my Garmin would beep off with the same split / time for each mile… steady running… didn’t matter what the pace was or where the hills were… sometimes when I ran on my own I’d play a little game to see if I could hit the same MINUTE MILE PACE throughout a run. Or even better, when I’d run each mile faster…. getting a negative split.

And I did get very steady miles… 8:25s… for 3 miles… and I’d get good negative splits too.

See some more about Pacing and Negative Splits here.

But in the last year or so, I’ve come to realise that PACE isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Sure if you run X minute miles steady for Y miles, you’ll finish in Z minutes or hours… but so many things can affect the pace you go: up hills, down hills, traffic, pedestrians, the weather / wind. There are so many things which are out of your control which mean you might not hit your PACE target.

Pace and speed is such an individual thing… I mean – who cares how fast (or slow) you run anyway? I’d much rather run to how I FEEL.

And that’s why I like running to HEART RATE instead.
> I run with my heart rate up to 150 for an easy run.
> Between 150 – 160 for a moderate to hard run.
> And above 160 for a eyebaws oot / hard as F run.

See more here about how to workout your Heart rate zones as I have.

Now look what happened today…. 5.4 miles… on a route I’ve done countless times….
from sea level, up to it’s peak half way, then back down to sea level.
The elevation on the way out and back home always affected my PACE (always slower uphill, faster downhill).

Today… I ran an easy run – not even thinking about my pace, but conscious of my HEART RATE…
….and look what happened…
my heart rate was 142 on average for THREE miles. 🙂
With hills and with wind and steps and traffic and everything!

I may be sad… but I love (these) numbers! And I love my Garmin 610 with HRM and Garmin Connect!

Today’s run was also the fastest run I’ve done on this route at the lowest average heart rate.

For example – two similar runs, same route, similar pace, 3 years apart:
03/09/13 – Avg HR: 146 / 76%, Pace: 8:23
15/10/10 – Avg HR: 159 / 84%. Pace: 8:20

I appear to be FITTER than I ever have been – able to run faster at lower heart rates. 😉
Perhaps the next marathon I do (this weekend or next) might be a PB? (No pressure there then Lorn).

PS: sorry if numbers don’t do it for you, they do for me. Love it!
Night night!

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