Can't keep HR down | Uphill Athlete
• Creator
Topic
• #40248
neal.t.clark
Participant

Hi all, I haven’t done much aerobic training the past several years but have recently started in hopes of making my days in the mountains more enjoyable. I’m trying to do some running but find that no matter how slow I go, my heart rate jumps up past my aerobic threshold in no time.

Are there any tricks I should know about to keeping my HR in check while running? Or could it be that running just isn’t something I can do yet while I’m building my aerobic base?

• Participant
OwenFW on #40249

How did you determine your AeT? When you did that test, you not only discovered your AeT heart rate, you also discovered your AeT pace for the incline you were running on. By definition, you should be able to run at or just under that pace and stay under AeT. Otherwise you haven’t really found your AeT. If you’re using an AeT estimate based on something other than an AeT test, like a formula that extrapolates from your anaerobic threshold or max HR, then you have no data about how fast you should be able to run and stay under AeT. A lot of people have to walk fast instead of run when they’re starting out. Two years ago I had to jog slowly and sometimes walk to stay under AeT, especially on any kind of incline. Now I have to run at a pretty good clip to stay above my recovery zone.

Participant
neal.t.clark on #40251

I didn’t do a test yet. I’m just getting started and don’t have access to a treadmill right now (like a lot of us, I assume). I used the MAF formula to get an idea. I’m 36, so 180-36=144. I took an extra 5 off since I haven’t been training. That puts me at 139. My heart rate was up in the mid 140s pretty quickly, and I don’t think I could have slowed anymore without walking.

I’ve also had an idea in my mind that it’s supposed to feel easy. This is the first time I’ve ever tried to go easy instead of running hard and killing myself. Since my runs haven’t felt easy and I was breathing really hard, I assumed I had moved up into a zone where I didn’t want to be.

Participant
Zuko on #40264

You can do the test on a flat track or course since you don’t have the treadmill. The 180-age method is not very reliable.

When I first started training I had to jog for 2-3 minutes then walk for a minute to keep my HR below AET. it could be the same for you.

Participant
Nick Woodman on #42192

Then walk. It’s slow and uncomfortable (and I’m self conscious running so slowly through the middle of town,) but it pays off. I started my running having extreme difficulties slowing it down enough to keep my heart rate where I wanted it, and it took a lot of work to get comfortable slow. Then I got set back some more when I started working on my form and my cadence, but over time I’m now consistently running 1 hour plus Z2 runs with less then 2 minutes total over AeT, and its turned into fun easy running for me. I know that as my pace improves and my body continues to wire right, I’ll continue to improve on pace (right now, I’m running just below AeT with a 13:00/mile) but I’m enjoying the process now that I’m over the initial hump.

Moderator
MarkPostle on #42204

Neal–As advised above I would check your AeT assumptions by doing a HR drift test. Choose a dead flat course, indeed a local running track makes a good option. Once you’ve done that and have a better handle on your AeT go out and see what that effort feels like. It very well could be that you cant really use a running gait and keep your HR below AeT, youre not alone in that. For sure the absolute number one comment we get from athletes we’re coaching is “It feels like I’m going so slow!” This will improve with some volume and dedication. Your days in the mountains will then be more enjoyable as your “all day” pace will be faster and easy to maintain.

Heart Rate Drift: A Functional Measure of Aerobic Fitness

Hope this helps

Participant
neal.t.clark on #42210

Thanks, guys. I do have a high school just down the street from me and am planning to do a HR drift test soon on their track. If it turns out I have to mostly walk during training, that’s fine, I can adjust my expectations.

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