Is it heart rate or average heart rate? | Uphill Athlete

Is it heart rate or average heart rate?

  • Creator
  • #28270

    Hi, I have a question concerning how to measure and restrict(?) my HR during run workouts. I am new to running and realize that I have ADS. According to your new book on running I should stay in zone 1 and lower zone 2 during my long workouts. My question for which I can’t find answered in your book or on the web site is about the heart rate. Let’s say for example that my HR for the top of zone 1 is 130 (I am a bit older than most), should I have at the end of my run /walk an average HR of 130. Or during the workout when I hit 130 should I then reduce the effort back to say 115 and build back up to 130. Meaning the average HR would be in the low 120s. I have an Ambit 3 with chest strap and I am able to monitor both HR and Avg HR at the same time. I’m just not sure which I should use during the workout. Can you help?
    Thank you!

  • Participant
    nullkru on #28283

    Hi ipdan10,

    If you have ADS and did the AeT test, prefered:, alternative:, or lab testing. Then all your runs should be bellow, or at your current AeT (which is top of Z2 in the UA zone system). Your HR can drop e.g. in the downhills and that’s no problem. As far as i can say you just don’t should exceed it for a long period of time.

    i asked similar questions maybe you find something useful here:

    AeT Testing Outdoors. Need a little Help

    AeT Testing Outdoors. Need a little Help

    have a great day — mirko

    Anonymous on #28291

    If you have ADS you should be doing most, if not all, of your aerobic base training at the top of Z2 not Z1. Find your Aerobic threshold. This sets the upper limit to Z2. Stay below this during all Z2 runs. Do not use average HR.


    ipdan10 on #28292

    Thanks for all the good information Scott and Nullkru. That clears up my confusion.

    pezrosi on #52177

    I am glad I found this thread, as it addresses a topic I am very concerned with.

    Scott, to be honest, I do not fully believe that it is 100% correct to say that you shall never get out of your desired HR zone, regardless of the duration of the workout.

    To me, it seems that the mechanisms of how a muscle is worked (which metabolic systems are used, how high is the intensity as a % of max. output, …) depend purely on the force acting on it. This, on the other hand, is represented by pace (or, for cyclists, by Watt output), much rather than by HR.
    So, when I am on a treadmill (so pace is always constant), and my heart rate is within a certain HR zone at the beginning (first 30 minutes or so), then I think you can be quite sure that you are working the tissue the way you actually want it, even though the heart rate might drift later on. I think this is supported by the fact that ANY advanced road runner that I know is pacing purely by speed, and not by HR.
    Following your advice, I would stop the workout when my heart rate drifted above a certain value (AeT, for example). And I think there is just no reason for that.

    I think the reason why HR is so popular especially on UA is that, on natural terrain, the track is so diverse that you just can not “pace” by a simple measure. Pure speed obviously can’t do the job, as it neglects vertical, and vice-versa. To that, terrain surface (rock/sand, how high are the steps, …) adds even more complexity. So the most reliable thing for controlling intensity, for working out outdoors, is surely HR, but one should always keep in mind its weaknesses.

    Myself, I train 90% of my volume on an incline trainer, where pace is 100% reproduceable and constant. In this case, I just do not see any reason to stop my workout if I drift out of my zone after 90 minutes or so.

    I am really interested what you all think about all of this.



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