Thursday, February 2, 2012

Training Thursday: Heart Zones

When I first bought my Garmin I opted for the heart rate monitor strap. For a while I thought it was a waste of $$, sitting there collecting dust in a desk drawer. But when I started training with Alexandra, she pushed for me to start wearing it. Besides chaffing I absolutely love the strap.

Once I begun to seriously focus on my training and improving my speed, it became important to monitor my heart rate to see if I was pushing too hard or not hard enough.

Here are some great articles about training based on your heart rate:
- Find Your Perfect Heart Rate Training Zone
- Times are Changing
- On the Brink

Why use your heart rate? 
Exercising at a particular heart rate can have a beneficial impact on your body through improving strength, performance, and speed.

What heart rate should you train at?
It all depends on you and your current resting heart rate. The link below will provide you with a heart rate zone training calculator that will estimate your heart rate zones for easy running, anaerobic threshold (AT) and VO2 Max workouts, as well as your maximum heart rate.
Heart Rate Training Zone Calculator

What does anaerobic threshold and VO2 Max workout mean?
The chart below will give an in-depth description of the impact from each zone.

How can you tell what zone you are working out in?
There are a few ways to calculate your heart rate. First is by stopping and taking your heart rate throughout your run. Another is to let a GPS with a heart rate belt do the work, the watch will record the zone you are training in, as well as display your current heart rate.

I love seeing my heart rate when I am training. When I first started on this journey, heart rate zones and max heart rates were terms that I I didn't give much thought to. So I just ran because it felt great. Keeping this in mind, I still do a few runs a week with no heart rate strap. I feel that there needs to be a balance, and I want to make sure that I don't get caught up in all the numbers and percentages and end up forgetting to enjoy the beauty that is running.

Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Run Strong! 

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