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Here’s what my heart rate looks like when trying to run a sub 6-minute-mile

Posted Jan 23 2012 12:18pm

I inputed a recent 5 1/2 mile run into the SportsTracks software  which uses data from my Garmin and allows me to look at a run after a workout and extrapolate current mile pace, heart rate, etc., at any interval I chose.

For this run, I wanted to see what my heart rate and current mile pace were at .10-mile intervals. I only wanted detail about the last two miles of the run so that’s why this chart begins when I was at Mile 3.5 of the 5.5 mile run. That’s 21 snapshots in time.

From Mile 3.5 to Mile 5, I ran at my half-marathon goal pace (7:00/mile or better). And then the last 1/2 mile, I tried running faster than 5k pace.

My max heart rate is about 200 beats per minute.

So, for instance, From mile 4.9 to mile 5.0, my pace was 6:59 and my heart rate was 182 or about 90 percent of max. (Obviously, your instant pace at such small intervals can be wildly inaccurate for a number of reasons, such as GPS reception, or maybe you were surging down a hill. So, its better to look at your 1/2-mile and 1-mile intervals to get a better sense of how fast you are. But I wanted to show 1/10-mile intervals to show how fast my heart rate jumped as I pushed the accelerator on this run.)

Up until the 5th mile, I’m managing my breathing and my effort level pretty good. Clearly, things get out of control when I try to run at 6:00/mile pace or faster. When my heart rate hit 193, that’s like 97 percent of max. I wanted to throw up near the end.

Kids, do not try this at home.

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