Running With a Heart Rate Monitor

I don’t usually write a post in relation to specific runs. However, I watched this video yesterday (highlight of one day of Meb Keflezighi’s Olympic Marathon training)…

Copyright Meb.

Besides being absolutely amazed and inspired from all of the hard work and dedication he puts into his training, I picked up on one major part of the video: after Meb’s extremely fast tempo, he shows his Garmin to the camera, and notes that his heart rate maxed at 92.

My Garmin came with a heart rate monitor and it has been in my drawer since I got the watch 2 1/2 years ago. After I watched this video, I was curious how many times my heart rate could multiply Meb’s during a run, so I decided to use it for my speedwork tonight. I synced it to my watch and put it around me (aka had to tuck the entire band into my sports bra because I am pretty sure it was made for a 200 pound man).

Here is what I know about heart rates:

  • Max heart rate is 220 minus my age (26). So that is 194. I actually think that piece of information is not very accurate as it does not take into account fitness level, but it is a start.
  • “Easy” intensity should be 65%-70% of max heart rate
  • “Hard” intensity should be 80%-90% of max heart rate

It is important to have a target view of the effort being exerted. Often our own judgement of the energy we are applying may be incorrect. For example, a runner could be running with improper form and exerting too much energy and vice versa with not exerting enough energy during a training session. It is important to take notice of your body and develop a sense of pace and effort.

Now that I let you know how I SHOULD have ran…I will show you how I ACTUALLY ran tonight.

Actual Results Per Garmin:
1200m- 5:17 (6:52)
1000m- 4:13 (6:49)
800m- 3:25 (6:47)
600m- 2:35 (6:45)
400m- 1:39 (6:21)

I hit my paces right where they needed to be. My heart rate was a different story.

My max heart rate is 194 (maybe). For over half of my workout, I was WAY over my max heart rate. I will absolutely be using my heart rate monitor from now on during runs. I hope that as I progress throughout training, I will adapt to the intensity of the speed and my heart rate will adjust.

Does anyone have any advice on this subject? ANY ADVICE/COMMENTS WILL HELP!!!!

Do you know any other ways (besides continued exercise) to keep your heart rate down?

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15 thoughts on “Running With a Heart Rate Monitor

  1. Kara

    I’m so glad you wrote about this. I’ve been wanting to try running with a heart rate monitor, but the one thing stopping me has always been that dang band you have to wear! My Garmin has one too…was it super annoying? Do you have to wrap it all the way around?

    Anyway-that’s so interesting to look at the stats from specific runs. It’s been hot out so I’m guessing that was a factor! It will be exciting to see how the numbers change as you go through marathon training!

    Reply
    1. Kara

      Oh PS-also stopping me has been the math involved. I have no idea where I should start with the percentages! Yes, I’m that bad at math. Yikes!

      Reply
      1. Running Bun Post author

        Me too! I am going to figure it out beforehand and write it on my hand!

        LIke a huge number with the words – max! And heart attack! Under it 🙂

        Reply
    2. Running Bun Post author

      Yes it was hot and I completely forgot about that, which plays a huge deal into your heart rate when exercising!!

      The strap was not annoying at all once it was tucked in there, it just didn’t fit. I am going to look online to see if they have smaller straps!

      Reply
  2. Tami

    So, I am a total running newbie. Can you explain more specifically why having your heart rate too high is not good? It seems you would just be burning more fat, no? See. Told ya I was a newbie. All runners reading this are likely rolling their eyes right now. I really am curious as to the answer though.

    Reply
    1. Running Bun Post author

      I am not a medical professional in any way..but I do believe when you exercise with a very high heart rate you are put at risk for a couple of things such as over-training, fatigue, and decreased performance.

      Reply
      1. Tami

        Thanks! Makes sense. Now I feel silly for asking. I am slowly learning to love running. I just began at the beginning of the summer. I dreaded going out for a run then. Now, I almost crave it some days, not all days mind you. 🙂 And learning as I go.

        Reply
        1. Running Bun Post author

          It is different for everyone! I have days where I can run forever and I have day where I can’t run one mile without feeling awful! But the most important thing is to get out there and be active! Good for you 🙂

          Reply
  3. Stacy Lazar

    Yes. Thank you for posting that video, that was awesome. I’m also clearly not working hard enough, though I think my diet is perfectly on par with Olympic medalist (save for peanut m&ms). So I’ve got that going at least.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: And the award goes to… « Melissa Runs

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