80/20 Training when HR is All Over the Map

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  • #17086
    benonemusic
    Participant

    Hi everyone!
    I’m a 53 y.o. male training for my fifth marathon, the Erie Marathon, this September. My last marathon was in 2011 but I’ve run many half marathons since then. I have been running 5x a week, about 26 miles total for a long time. I’ve just started an 18-week level 2 marathon plan (5-9 hours/week). I did my first run under my training plan this morning and ran more than a minute slower than usual (10:21 vs 9:00) and yet my average HR was way higher than it should have been (156) and not much different than when I run much faster. I’m looking back at months of Garmin data. My average HR has been 121-159 BPM. I’ve run 10 miles at sub-9 minute paces at 131 HR, and 6 miles at 159 BPM at 9:35/mi pace. Weather conditions and terrain haven’t been much different; it seems to be a roll of the dice. I have been using my Garmin 645 for heart rate; I’ve ordered an external HR strap and it can’t arrive soon enough. Insights/tips much appreciated. Thank you! Ben

    #17089
    BrianNSC
    Participant

    Wrist based HRMs (like the one in your Garmin 645) are not very good – I call them “random number generators.” See what your Chest Strap shows when it comes in, I bet it is much more stable/realistic.

    #17091
    Charles
    Participant

    You might want to look at your hydration practices. You may be under hydrated or have an electrolyte imbalance. https://medicine.yale.edu/news-article/marathon-running-and-kidney-damage-what-runners-should-know/

    I’ve implemented the practice of editing my structured workouts so I end warmup periods with a lap press so I can make sure that my heart rate has stabilized before I enter the workout proper. Elevated heart rate at the start of a workout “could” be an indicator the salt/fluid regulation by the kidney and lungs are not in balance. It may sort itself out in a couple of minutes, but as you point out it will impact performance if it persists…

    #17092
    benonemusic
    Participant

    Thanks for the great advice and tips! I look forward to seeing the data from my chest strap and will make extra sure that I am properly hydrated. My HR tends to just go up if anything after starting a run, so I’m not sure it’s a matter of it stabilizing in my case, though I like the lap press idea. I appreciate the link to the Yale article; I think my electrolyte levels are probably ok as I do stay reasonably hydrated during the day and eat lots of the kinds of foods (spinach, bananas, potatoes) that help in this department. I actually once had elevated levels of creatinine after very vigorous (non-running) aerobic activity, but I’ve avoided it by proper warmup and not overexerting myself.

    #17095
    BrianNSC
    Participant

    One cautionary note on chest strap HRMs, they are prone to erratic readings in low-humidity/dry conditions especially when worn under a “tech” or synthetic material top which compounds the problem with static electricity charge. This usually presents with abnormally high (like 220+ bpm) readings at the start of an activity, at least until you work up a sweat and it gets a better connection. The way to avoid/prevent this is to wet the HRM sensors pre-activity or to use electrode gel.

    #17097
    benonemusic
    Participant

    Thanks. I plan to wet the electrodes when I get them.

    #17110
    Leyla Porteous
    Keymaster

    I would use pace or power as your training metric. HR and HR monitors can be unreliable. Feel free to reach out for a plan change if needed.

    #17112
    benonemusic
    Participant

    Thank you! I got my Garmin HR monitor today and my readings seemed to be more stable; but I did notice that my HR elevates and decreases much more quickly than I realized when I wasn’t paying attention to it. I went from resting (60) to 90 quickly during warmup and to 150 within a few minutes later. Then when I noticed this I was able to get it down to 120 in a few minutes. I’m in my first week of this 18 week plan so I’ll definitely keep a plan change in mind if needed!

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by benonemusic.
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