Thursday, September 20, 2012

Heart Rate, What is it Good For!

I was shopping yesterday and found a pretty cheap heart rate monitor. I had to buy it for a couple reasons. I've heard and read a lot about 'zone training'. I'm going to be in Alaska climbing next spring and I want to be in really good shape. I run pretty regularly and I have no idea how hard I work, outside of perceived effort. 

A friend and co-worker of mine, Katie Bono, recently set the womens speed ascent record of Mount Rainier.

Katie running on the Cowlitz Glacier

When I asked her about pacing, she said she knows the highest heart rate she can still clear lactic acid, so she ran at that pace for 4 HOURS AND 58 MINUTES. Big ups to her. That heart rate is roughly 170. After we talked about it a bit, I realized I have no idea what my heart rate is for any degree of effort. Is a heart rate of 170bpm hard? (The answer to this rhetorical question is yes)

So I bought it. And then I went running.

Turns out I work hard. My max heart rate - based on simple math, not a Stress Test, is 190. My average heart rate while running is 163 and the max I hit was 179. That means I'm running at 85% of my max. Pretty much all the time. I maintain a steady rhythm when I run, so I think my average is indeed average. My high was a whopping 94% of max heart rate. That was going up a short but very steep hill that makes me want to quit all forms of exercise, every time I run up it. All this info will change the way I approach running on a day to day basis. Which should change the way my body responds to exercise, right? All you fitness nerds chime in! This is a steep learning curve!

This is Pain

This is my running kit. HR monitor, Coffee.

A couple of factors will have affected my heart rate. I'm running at about 4500 feet. All my running in WA takes place at roughly sea level. The altitude will definitely raise HR. I went later in the day, but it was still pretty hot out. That will also change results a bit.

So I'm gonna talk with some smarty friends of mine and play with this thing a bit. I'll keep posting about it, despite it's absolute geekness. But better than that, I'll get some pics up of where I run here in Price. I've got some beautiful desert singletrack all to myself...

Til next time!


Chris Simmons said...

So how much was your HR kit? Where did you get it from? I've been debating getting one myself and I haven't - primarily because of cost.

P.S. Nice site, dude!

Levi said...

It cost me $50 at Target. It's very basic, no PC programs or anything. Just tracks my high and average HR over a run. It has calories and whatnot. It's enough to see what I'm doing a little better.