Heart rate training: 85 percent of max equals my half-marathon pace – on a cold day
Posted Aug 18 2011 12:54pm
I had one of those, “Let’s see where I’m at” type of runs today.
-Let’s see how fit I am.
-Let’s see how out of shape I am.
I like to wear a heart rate monitor on these runs, not so I can monitor my heart rate during the workout, but so I can see what my perceived effort during the run looks like on a computer screen after the run.
I secretly hope I have enough energy and willpower to keep my heart rate over 85 percent max during a workout like this, which is like a glorified tempo run.
What’s magic about 85 percent of your maximum heart rate?
For me, 85 percent is how hard my heart works during a half marathon.
90 percent or higher is my 5k to 10k pace.
On EVERY run that is not a 5K or 10k, I want NO part of 90 percent max heart rate (unless it’s for a few minutes during a ½ mile or 1k interval.
For a speed workout, you are really not stressing your body in the right way with a workout where your heart rate doesn’t get above 80 percent.
So 85 percent max heart rate is my “Must-do” number. And 90 percent means I’m working too hard.
As you can see from the chart, I warmed up for two miles before hitting my stride, so to speak. At 85 percent of heart rate maximum, I can still talk and it doesn’t feel like I’m drowning. Mile 5’s slow time (7:52) was due to the fact that I stopped for water, stopped my watch, and after re-starting, it took a little while before I was back to running hard again.
Felt pretty good that I was able to do sub 7:30 the last mile without tryining too hard, i.e., without my heart rate soaring past 90 percent max.
The verdict is that I’m still nowhere close to the shape I was in during January, when I could run a half marathon at 85 percent heart rate max at a pace of about 7:00 min/mile. 30 seconds faster than today.
But it’s still 80 degrees out when I run. And with a December marathon, I’ve got time to regain my fitness.