Mar 15, 2007

No Running...

...well a little on the treadmill but I don't really count that. My wife is in Bangkok this week so it is just me and the kids. Normally I could still run when they are in school but Cole's school is out for parent/teacher conferences. So a short half-hearted effort on the treadmill.

But, since I have no workout to discuss, I'll go into my heart rate training a little bit. Basically I graph my average HR and speed for each run. Then, comparing that days information to prior data, I can see if I was running efficiently or not. Most reasons for inefficient running are not yet recovered, illness or heat and humidity. More efficient runs are usually at a faster pace or if my fitness is improving.

As an example I'll give data for a normal workout I was doing when training for the Tokyo marathon. In total I would run for 14-16 miles with 8-11 at marathon pace. Usually this was about 7:10 to 7:15 per mile. Data for 9 of those runs from last December and January is below:

The raw data isn't very fun to look at but if you look at the averages for the first three, middle three and last three, you'll see the trend (I left the Jan 3rd data out of the middle 3 average because that run was completed the day after flying to Tokyo from the U.S. I think that is the reason for the outlier of such a high average HR):

So you can see that as the miles increased and the pace decreased, my average HR actually came down. I believe this was a direct result of these very runs and the aerobic boost that they gave me. It was at this point that I PB'd in the 5k, 10k, half and full marathons within the next 3 weeks.

So how does this help me run faster? I can use this data to see how my current training is going compared to previous months. If my running is more efficient then it is going well, if it is not so efficient then maybe something needs to be changed. Also I know if I am recovered enough to do hard training or if I need more rest following a race.

I'm sure there is more that I can do with my HR monitor and the data I keep but this is where I am at this point. I'm always happy to read about this stuff though so leave a good link if you have one. This is the one that got me started.


Bill G said...

YO! For some reason, the graphs you put in the post don't show up on my screen - there's just a little red x. Do you think the problem is on my end?

AZ said...

Hmm, interesting question. I guess I might have to wait for future commenters (I have so many) to know where the problem is. I'll check it out on my end though.