What heart rate is too low for training?

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #22582
    DesertAlpinist
    Participant

    When I train by myself I usually will average 145-160 bpm (my AeT is 164, max HR is 202). I occasionally hike with a friend who does not train for endurance sports. To keep a pace suitable for them, my heart rate during this activity is extremely low (average 110 over 2.5 hours) – is this so low that I shouldn’t count this as training, or am I still stressing my body enough to elicit a significant training response?

  • Participant
    pshyvers on #22592

    That counts alright, it’s low end Z1 or recovery pace. The response may not be “significant” but it counts as part of your total aerobic base.

    Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #22596

    psyhyvers is right. This counts in the base training volume.

    Scott

    Participant
    Jan on #22657

    @Scott: But what about page 56 of TftnA? “These sessions [in Recovery Zone, less than 55 % of max HR] are not meant to give you a training effect, so don’t think of them as training.”

    Participant
    cramblda on #22686

    @jan

    I’m sure Scott will jump in a flush your question out further. However, here are a couple of thoughts based on what I have heard on these forums in the past and my own experience.

    – The 110 HR average is right on the line of the 55% of Max HR you’re referring too. Thus, the answer will likely be very athlete specific (training goals, training history, etc.)

    – Average HR for a workout is only one piece of information. In a longer workout (1 – 6 hours) we can hit a range of heart rates, and average HR alone won’t tell the whole story.

    – Training Goals we’ll be a factor. How important is it for an athlete to hike with his/her friend once and awhile? What are athletes goals for training (Become a world champion, just improve by some metrict, etc.)?

    – Training history will be a big factor in this discussion as well.

    Here is an example: When I first started training, I could barely hold down a “running” pace with an Avg HR in the 135 range on flat terrain. After several years of training, I can hit much faster running paces at a HR of 120 on flat terrain. Four years ago if had done an Aerobic Base run at 120 HR I would have been walking really slowly and not getting much of a workout . Now, it’s actually a decent workout, so much so, that trying to run on flat terrain at a HR of 146 (AeT) would be a semi-hard workout for me. As such, I try to stay on the trail with hills most of the time. Some days when I “feel strong” I’ll run with an Avg HR in the 140 range. On days I feel fatigued, I run with an average HR in the 120 range. Compare that to my first year where I always ran around a 135 HR and that worked just fine.

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