Awesome thread. I'm sure many are lurking it. Thanks for the time you've put in here, Hadd.
L and SR,
Yes, iron most likely is not your problem! Most runners would love to have hematocrit and hemoglobin values that high!
We need to start a new thread to JK, Malmo, Hodgie, and the elusive Dr Phys into this training discussion.
I'd be curious to see what they, as well as Baaken, have to say about the low HR running contrasted to the upper-end aerobic work that those above often recommend. I DO believe the upper-aerobic stuff works, always staying out of the actual tempo-level zone. I'm just curious how you mix in the low HR stuff with the sub-threshold runs.
Re-read some of van Aaken's book (really a series of RW pieces from way back) and you might remember that he held to the very low HR theory (sub 130) and helped Norpoth, Steffney, etc. to awesome results.
When I had a dream training junket for ten days in Nyahuru, Kenya with Osoro, Kiptanui, Kiprotich, they ran their third run of the day at over 8min/mile pace. Mind you, it was at 9000 ft, but it was ridiculously easy.
Oh yeah, Boaz was there (not paid !!), so I convinced him he might have a chance of winning the NCAAs. At Furman pre-Nats last year he graciously greeted and hung with my hs team, inspiring them with his enthusiasm.
OK, I'm going to reply to myself to bump this thread to page one.
Tried out the HRM this morning. Haven't figured out how to get the chrono to work, so I have no idea of my pace but I would guess 6:45 or slower. Most of the run my HR was in the 120-126 range with hills bringing it up to 130-132. Maybe my max-which has always seemed unusually low- is really low these days at age 44. I have a low-pressure race on Thurs, so, although I don't like racing w/ a HRM, I could test to see what my max is towards the finish.
Your post about your athlete with a similar low HR may fit me as well.
Wonder what Torres' HR was at yesterday's championship !!!
Thanks so much for all this thoughtful explanation, I feel I've hit the motherlode. My question is, I am wondering how you arrive at the magic 155bmp number.. It seems that most things I have read when working with heart rates rely on formulas that get very specific, taking into accout age and resting and max heart rates. Is there any simple arithmitic you use so I can get a better sense of whether this is the number I should be aiming for?
where is JK anyway?
Correct me if I am wrong, Hadd & ET, but I believe that Hadd is/was using the Karvonen Method of Heart Rate Reserve to give out Training HR #s for us to stay under during base building. For example I have at age 40 a 202 max & a 38 rest HR, so....
1) Subtract resting HR (38) from Max HR (202) to obtain HR Reserve = (164).
2) Take 70% of the HRR = (115).
3) Add back the resting HR to obtain the correct Training HR = 38 + 115 = 153.
So to do my aerobic training I am guessing that Hadd wanted around 153 or so, right?
Wow! Tons of good stuff on this thread... don't know about you, but I find myself starting to read Hadd posts very carefully... not because they are difficult, but because they are good... kind of like taking your time in devouring your favorite treat. Thanks, Hadd.
Hadd can correct me if I am wrong, but I thought I would attempt to answer the HR question to give the dude a rest (also he practically answers this question in his earlier posts). He may be using an experienced ad hoc vesion of the Karvenon method (although I don't envision him breaking out the calculator), but I think it is clear from his earlier posts that it is about effort combined with where one is in their aerobic development that determines what the easy run HR should be. So, 155 is no magical number. Actually, if you go back and read the posts, Hadd worked off of paces (ex. 5K + 1min, 5K + 40sec) for most of his earlier posts, until someone else brought up HR. Then, he simply showed that he can work off of these as well.
Some excerpts from earlier Hadd postings on this thread...
To New Runner...
"If you are used to seeing numbers like 190-195 on the HR monitor (even if you have to run flat out to see such numbers), then do most of your easy aerobic running at 150-155, maybe up to 160. After a number of weeks, you can add in one or two faster paced runs (but still comfy) of say 30 mins at 170 HR. Do not run higher than 170 ever on this build-up period.
If you have NEVER seen 190 on the HRM, then run at something like 145 for easy running. Remember, if this feels uncomfortable, or you are huffing and puffing, back off right away and let me know."
"In this example, training at an aerobic 7.30m/m at 155 HR will soon cause the runner to find the pace at 155 HR improves (he is running faster), and the HR required to run at 7.30m/m drops (maybe to 150... then 145...)
He can keep this up to improve the pace at 155 HR even more, and may eventually find that his "easy running" training becomes more like 140-145 HR (and it is STILL faster than 7.30m/m)."
"For us older dudes, the training HR's obviously have to be lower. I coach one 41 year old with a 2.27 marathon PR (he's in about 2.35 shape right now and improving). His easy run HR is 120-125, with a marathon HR of 160-165. Your's is probably similar. I also coach another couple of 2.40-2.45 runners with similar HR's (in the late 30s)."
Again, to New Runner...
"Remember, don't get too caught up in HR's. Don't be a slave to the monitor. It must feel dead easy, that it is very little effort to run. If you find it becoming tough, or "work", just slow down. If it's a chore, take a day off.
After a while, leave the HRm at home, by then you should know what "easy" feels like. Try and wean yourself off it eventually and just go on your body's feedback. Learn to listen and read the signals... they are all there."
Hope this helps. I guess I enjoy looking smart (shamelessly quoting other people).
Thanks JEH, I don't know if I could have said it better myself. I was aware I was threatening to come across (if read only on this thread) as a "HR dude".
As JEH was explaining, maybe all this recent talk of HR's has got you thinking I use them a lot for training. Quite the contrary, these were really just prompted by the posts of yourself and others. I DO use them to get control of people's early development and to keep them easy thereafter. I basically lactate test them wearing a HRM and work of off the lactate values and HR's that work for them. Over time I have noticed trends and some of the examples I give on here to try and help (like over-40s running easy at 120-125) are just from those experiences. I never ask someone's age and do the calculator thing. I can just as easily give an example of another 37-year old male I coach whose easy running is 135-145. So it is an individual thing, but there are trends (the second example here is more rare, this guy still has a HRmax of 200+, the first guy maybe low 180s which is more common).
But it was apparent to me when you and others (Lame Runner, New Runner) were posting that your training paces (and lactate) were all too high. It would not have made sense for me to tell you to make sure that your easy running lactate was 1.3-1.5mM. How would you check? So, I suggested the kind of HR ranges that should elicit that kind of lactate response in YOU (ie: allow you to almost completely rely on yr aerobic energy system).
This, if you like, is stage one. Get (way down if necessary) to a training pace where the athlete's lactate values are "quiet". And do lots of miles at this pace (and HR). Now a funny thing will usually happen. The athlete begins to run faster at this same HR. So much so that sometimes we have to drop the training HR even further. His/her lactate at this HR (and to some extent at the paces/HR's above it) will also fall.
Let's look at a runner called Marco. Teenage 800/1500m guy with a HRmax of 205+. Great anaerobic capacity. Poor aerobics. Hated easy running. Like a million young guys on this site. Marco has a 1.56/800m PR.
I lactate tested him on 10 Sept 02 after an August break of no running and lotsa swimming (plays waterpolo in summer):
These numbers suck. So we went to work. By 5 Nov, still in aerobic conditioning phase, he was scheduled to run 4 x 10 mins at 160-165 at the track. He was so comfortable, he put them together and ran 40 mins straight. His steady pace at 162 HRavg had improved to 6.35m/m and his lactate was 1.6mM.
So, first we determine what it takes to get the runners to run (well) under 2.0mM lactate (in your cases, low HR's). And do lots of miles. Their paces and lactate values improve and we test again to see what has happened to the lactate curve. I often encourage them to take part in a 5-10k road race here, so we see where we are (without expecting too much, just a good hard run). Then we usually change over and work twice per week at paces that refer to performance (like 5k + 40 secs, or M+20 or M+40 secs). HR is then mainly used to ensure the runner is going slow enough on the easy days. It can also be useful to ensure that the runner is not overworking on any session, but many like to leave it off when running faster. I don't mind.
What we next do is further improve the speed at which 2.0mM occurs. (This is maybe getting a bit technical for a message board). So a runner can go from 2.0mM lactate at 155 HR and 7.00m/m, over time to 2.0mM lactate at 170 HR at 6.00m/m. (Marathon lactate is approx 2-2.5mM with better runners usually being lower.) Take "lactate" as a measure of stress; the lower the number the better.
But to get to where you can run with 2mM at 170 HR, you must first get control of your lactate at much lower speeds/HR values and push it up. Hence all the advice to you and the others to get some serious mileage in at low HR values. But this is only the beginning.
You will notice (somewhere among all these posts, where I explain how a runner with an LT at 60%vVO2max, is going to seriously suffer if he begins doing vVO2max workouts. I always work to get the LT as high as poss (80%+ vVO2max) BEFORE beginning to introduce any such sessions. See the example of Marco above).
So, a well-trained distance runner will do a good percentage of the week at paces from M+20 secs up to M-30 secs (or 10k pace) and wear a HRM just to confirm that easy is easy.
Final note: why aim for low lactate values? A number of reasons, but perhaps of most importance to marathon runners is that accessing the anaerobic energy system (even a little) is extremely wasteful of glucose. And we do not have enough to waste some. If we break glucose down for energy using the anaerobic system we get 2 ATP (packets of energy we can use to run) and some lactate. If we use the aerobic system (and thereby generate low lactate) then we get 36 ATP for the same amount of glucose. More bang for your buck. More miles per gallon. You can run further with the same energy and so delay (or skip entirely) hitting the wall at 20 miles. This is because we use our glucose stores well and at the same time get maximum energy possible from fat.
Hope this is helpful. Without having ever met any of them, I would expect JK, Bakken et al to advise pretty much the same, although precisely how they achieve the same result may differ slightly.
PS: as I hope all can see, 155HR is no magic number.
I don't expect to see you running at 9.23m/m at 155 HR for very long. I would expect the running pace at that HR to ramp up pretty quick (weeks). In time I would expect that your easy running HR will even have to drop to 140-145 and be wayyyy faster than 9.23m/m (up to something like 10k pace + 90-120 secs mile). Your HRmax should also drop, but this is ok. So that in time M-HR (marathon HR) will be around a steady 170-175, and 10k HR something like 183-186. Needless to say, you will be running very fast at both those HR's.
How will this happen? Your heart will respond to training and "grow", pumping more blood with each beat. So if we were to measure a minute's worth of blood volume at 170 HR today, and again in 3 months, the amount of blood pumped in a minute would be much higher in the latter case. More blood = more hemoglobin = more oxygen = more speed. And that's not even allowing for the changes that will have taken place in your running muscles. They will require less oxygen than they do today and be able to provide a lot more energy/speed without lactate than at present.
I don't have a magic formula, but if you can tell me more about you (age, PRs and approx easy running pace, I will try and offer guidelines). Even Karvonen (as explained by Lame Runner) is not 100% fool-proof. I have a runner whose lactate was sky-high at 150 HR (aged early 30s). So I got him down to 120-130 (and he was DEAD slow) for 3 months. Just lactate-tested him last week and he was only 3.4mM at 150. Not great, but better.
So now his easy run pace has moved up to 130-140 and he is running much faster (and more comfortably/enjoyably) than he used to at 150 HR. Do you see how it works?
I think I speak for everyone when I say... THANKS!
"We need to start a new thread to JK, Malmo, Hodgie, and the elusive Dr Phys into this training discussion.
I'd be curious to see what they, as well as Baaken, have to say about the low HR running contrasted to the upper-end aerobic work that those above often recommend. I DO believe the upper-aerobic stuff works, always staying out of the actual tempo-level zone. I'm just curious how you mix in the low HR stuff with the sub-threshold runs. "
I would say what I have always maintained which is generally in agreement with Hadd. Most aspiring distance running athletes do not do adequate aerobic development which will form the basis for all future achievements.
Build your mileage using doubles at least six day a week. For most the optimal mileage will be 100 or more miles/week.
This can easily be done 5/10 each day & 15 miler on Sun. The high end aerobic running will come to you as you get fitter. You should let that happen, don't force it. When the body feels ready let it go push the pace a bit. You can learn the right pace without the use of the HRM.
Strides and easy 200m reps a few times a week can be done once the body is adapted to the mileage.
I personally motivated myself throughout this not so glamorous daily routine, by reading biographies of some of the greatest distance runners & their trials and tribulations.
If you are lacking a hands on coach through this period I would not worry. When it comes time to decide about a racing plan for a desired peak season time, you should view the options and begin a series of hill workouts, low key prep races at various distances, specific track workouts etc.
For this I would suggest a coach or at least someone to exchange ideas with. Many of the best athletes I have known had very minimal coaching. They relied on their own bodies and minds for feedback.
Specific paces or HRM readings should not be necessary in the base period. I believe you can feel your way just as well if you are paying attention to your body.
So why don\'t I just run @ 140-145 right now for my super aerobic slow training, why wait? I completed a 10K a few years ago fairly fit, but a shadow of my former self in 191bpm ave., too high for someone with a max of 202?
You could, but as I think you can see with your 9.23m/m at 146-160 HR, it would be very slow running. As Lydiard tells us, "you cannot go too slow for aerobic development, but you CAN go too fast."
Some (young) runners balk at beginning more slow than they have to, so I try and give them a pace right up just before the lactate curve turns and rises. If you like, their optimal steady pace. They run at this pace for a while (and I monitor them closely to ensure it IS the right pace for them: they can talk all day with comfy breathing, have no qualms about how long till they stop; would run 2hrs plus, if required...) This is still often wayy slower than they were used to doing on their slow runs but it is right for them. Training at this intensity, their pace vs HR should improve, and we can reduce the HR and get more improvement while doing less (say 25% of the work) at the previous HR (which is now a faster pace).
As Hodgie-san explains above, it IS possible to do this by "feel". He, and many others, did not have the "advantage" (not sure he would call them that) of HRM's and lactate testing. Neither did Lydiard. But I don't know how to teach "feel" over the internet. I have found that my concept of "easy" and that of young runners, does not match. Often, to show them, I run with them at what I believe is easy for them, and they think is walking. So I often get a HRM on them to teach them what easy means. I expect that in time they will not need the HRM, or use it less. It's a little bit like the little outrider wheels they put on a kid's first bicycle... a bit of assistance until you get the hang of it. But an HRM is a good confirmation of effort, and it keeps them honest. When you become fit, it is easy to believe you have become invincible. An HRM, worn on easy days, is a good reality check.
The bottom line? You can run any pace you like, under 160-165 (absolute max for YOU, Lame Runner ? I'm saying that so everyone does not assume those numbers apply to them). Just go long. Build up to where you can run 3 x 90 mins, or 1 x 2 hrs and 2 x 90 mins every week with no trouble, with maybe 45-60 mins on the days in between.
Lydiard wrote that "if you ever have to slow down on a run to "catch your breath", you have been running too fast." It is still true today.
I believe we are suggesting the same ideas. I also believe that it is BETTER to learn by feel. The athlete needs to learn to build, slowly or what may seem slowly to the impatient. Any run that is too fast can be viewed as a withdrawal from that bank of mileage you have been building.
I don't believe anyone can say what pace should be run except to give very wide and there fore meaningless parameters.
After a few months of good base building a new post collegiate runner with some decent background may handle 6 min. pace on afternoon 10 milers with no problem.
For another athlete 7 min. pace may be right, who can say?
The athlete should know. They learn by doing and experience helps. The HRM could be viewed as a crutch and certainly is not a necessity.
The entire process (of base building) is so simple that everyone needs to complicate it.
Build, do doubles and be very consistent, keep your eye on the prize, challenge yourself a bit on runs when the urge strikes. Not complicated at all.
You will know when you are ready for sharpening. You will be chomping at the bit to get on the track and begin serious racing.
"Any run that is too fast can be viewed as a withdrawal from that bank of mileage you have been building."
I don't think I understand this. Why would it be detrimental rather than just not optimal to push a little harder on some runs?
Hoddgie-san also wrote: "challenge yourself a bit on runs when the urge strikes"
So it's okay to run a little bit harder when you feel like it, not just too hard?
With the greatest possible respect, I am going to contradict you on a couple of points here.
Let?s view this whole training thing like making a cake. We could give identical ingredients to a number of housewives and tell them each to make a fruitcake. A certain percentage will produce something pretty damn good, as good as store-bought. Others will make something that is, shall we say, less good. Some would be downright solid and get slam-dunked straight in the garbage. Now, I think, if as well as giving them all the same ingredients, we had also given them a fruitcake recipe, we?d have had a better chance of getting edible cakes from all of them (or at least a higher percentage).
So, you seem to want to leave people to their own devices, while I think more people would prefer (at least in the beginning) to have a recipe. I am aware that no recipe/schedule/guideline fits all types, and in time I would expect most runners to tweak things to best suit themselves. But note the phrase, ?in time?. Why, even you talk of ?a new post collegiate runner? who presumably has had a number of years of solid one-on-one coaching behind him in which to learn what works and what to avoid.
As another example, I understand from your website (I appreciate the work you have put in and the schedules of past elite runners, all good stuff) that you are now a librarian in a law firm. I don?t believe the firm allowed you to come up with your own system of cataloguing the books (although you might very well be capable of doing so). I would expect there is a carefully thought out and tightly regimented cataloguing system in place and every librarian in the place follow those guidelines to a ?T?.
A couple of other minor points:
I would also dispute that the advice I have given in this lengthy thread has been ?very wide? and replete with ?meaningless parameters?. On the contrary, some appear to have found value in the advice and are already seeing how to apply it to their own running.
I would be definitely be capable of telling which runner needs to train at 6.00m/m and which runner needs to train at 7.00m/m. I would think you would too. And both of us might realise it before the athletes themselves (depending on the runners? experience).
So, the necessity of training we don?t disagree on. Just the teaching of it.
Talking of complicating simple processes: here?s a few.
It took me two years (some 20 years ago now) to get my golf handicap down to 18, and if someone threw a baseball at me, I couldn?t hit a home run if I swung at it every day for two lifetimes. Young children learn foreign languages just by goofing around and playing with foreign kids. Their parents struggle for years with grammar and vocabulary and pronunciation, so much so they embarrass the kids who wind up translating on their behalf.
Things are only simple once you can do them.
If I could, I would like to ask one question: If you were to go back to your teenage self, knowing what you know now, would you train today exactly the same as you did then?
Thanks to Bobby for joining this thread (the longest in Letsrun history?).
I DO feel strong now but nowhere near fast. 27:30 today at steady effort, no dying in 25 degree weather. Odd though that my resting HR is much higher than normal, yet my legs and mind feel relaxed. Didn't wear the HRM today b/c I'm not really used to it and hate wearing that stuff in a race.
What would you guys suggest in terms of "pep" or turnover work if I only have two weeks until club Nats xc 10k in Sacramento? Are you going out there, Bobby? Been at 100 for 5 weeks now and plan to stay for 12 weeks total before Motorola. Should I try your (Hadd) 2x(8x400) a couple of times? 5k pace right? Or slower?
Happy thanksgiving, and once again, many of us are THANKFUL for such generous advice !
First off, as the original poster of this thread I\'d like to thank Hadd sooo much for all of the helpful insight he has given me and others out there. Second, I would like to agree with Hadd on the fact that the term \'easy\' can mean almost ANYTHING to different people. Last year, as a 16:00 5k runner I was running 85% of my runs sub 6:30 a mile. Needless to say I burnt myself out and wound up injured. The point is, I was CONVINCED that ANYTHING slower than 6:40 was WAAAAAY easy and that anything higher than 6:00 a mile was easy. I had no heartrate monitor, I just went by my distored view of effort. Now I see the imense falacies of my past and am correcting my training habbits. I\'ve now done 3 weeks of milage at 65, 81, and 89. I\'m planning on continuing the 80-90 miles per week through December and maybe a couple weeks in January. Thi is the highest I\'ve ever been. Pretty much all of my runs have been at 140-155 bpm, and I\'ve gone as long as 2:05:00. (currently 150 bpm is about 7:40 a mile) Also, mostly I\'m doing one run a day so the norm length is about 1:36:00-1:50:00 minutes a day on soft surfaces. Today I did a Thanksgiving road race 5 miler with my hr monitor and was 28:28 (5:41 a mile--again I\'ve done no hard running in a month) as my hr stayed about 200 for the race, but my legs really felt pretty good (not burning and weak). My quick question to Hadd is this: If my h.r. was about 200 through most of the race, does this mean my hr max is about the same? Also, how does my training sound thus far? Again, thank you SOO Much for all your advice. It has revolutionized my training and for the first time in a year and a half I actually feel fresh when I run.