Before going any further I advise before any physical exercise is carried out, a complete and thorough warm up activity must be done, and likewise, before any activity is ended, a complete cool down followed by stretches must be completed!!
Some runners train to run at a certain pace using a runner’s watch like a Garmin, and aim to do the same pace for every mile for example 9 minutes per mile (9m/m).
This would be feasible on a route that is more or less flat.
Imagine trying to do this for 10 miles on a route where every other mile is up hill and every other mile is downhill.
If you were to run downhill for a mile at 9m/m it would probably only take 50-60% of the effort that it would take to run uphill for a mile at 9m/m. Effort wise, you would be jogging on the downhill and sprinting on the uphill. What good would this do if you were to go and race a flat 10 mile race?
How else could you monitor your efforts to ensure you achieved good results?
By training using a heart rate monitor!!!
What is heart rate though?
Heart rate is measured in beats per minute (BPM) and is a measure of how many beats of your heart your body takes to be supplied with enough oxygen rich blood. The heart is a muscle just like your biceps or abdominals, and so with more and more exercise and training, it becomes bigger and more powerful.
A very strong powerful and well trained heart could only take 30 BPM to provide the whole body with what it needs. This is because one beat of this massive well developed muscle can pump a massive amount of blood.
A weaker under developed heart supplying blood to a less healthy body could take 60 BPM to do the same job.
Because of this, our heart rate can be an indication of overall physical condition!
What can effect our heart rate?
Being dehydrated can lead to an increase in our heart rate by up to 7.5%
Medication can increase our heart rate.
Stress and anxiety can increase our heart rate.
Heat and humidity can increase our heart rate by 10 BPM.
Being at a high altitude can increase our heart rate by up to a massive 20%.(Don’t work out your MHR up mount Snowdon!).
Congenital heart defects and other heart conditions can increase our heart rate.
Now we know what our heart rate is, and how it could be used, we need to know how to find it/calculate it, and then how to use the figures in our training. I will discuss this in tomorrow’s post!
Happy running Stoke F.I.T.