Every competitive runner and coach knows how important long runs are to reaching peak performance from training. However equally important is rest and recovery. One of the mistakes runners make is to overtrain and in particular run too hard on long runs. Many runners feel like they are running too slow on their long runs. We all know it is easy to overdo it.
We have recognized that their are different training zones from aerobic to anaerobic. Heart rate monitors can help runners keep them in the right training zones. Certainly formally determining your Maximum heart rate and lactate training is ideal, but not practical for most athletes.
Below is an easy methodology that works for the overwhelming majority of athletes to guide them on their training.
Using heart rate as a guide
But how slow is slow? If you want to be scientific about it, you can work out your heart rate training zones and try to keep your pulse at around 70% of your max. If you want to go down this route then use the following calculations:
1. Calculate your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR):
Women: 209 – (0.9 x age) = MHR
Men: 214 – (0.8 x age) = MHR
2. Calculate your Working Heart Rate (WHR) by subtracting your resting pulse (RHR)- measure as soon as you wake up in the morning (while still in bed) from your MRH.
MHR – RHR = WHR
3. Calculate 70% of WHR (0.7 x WHR) and add to your RHR. That should give you your 70% zone HR. This is where the bulk of your running, including your long run, should be. For the vast majority of people it will be around 130-140bpm.
Hopefully, this information will help you run faster and stay healthier.