Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Marathon paced runs and heart rate

The key training runs in the last three weeks have been the marathon paced session on Thursdays. These are the primary benchmark I use and the data emerging is encouraging.

17 February: 11.75 miles, with eight marathon pace miles averaging 06:40 and an average HR (heart rate) of 163 for the PMP (projected marathon pace)miles.

24 February: 11.8 miles, with eight marathon pace miles averaging 06:37 and an average HR of 161 for the PMP miles.

Friday 4 March, 12.56 miles, with nine marathon pace miles averaging 06:36 and an average HR (heart rate)of 162 for the PMP miles.

The plan for the next two weeks is to build the marathon pace runs to include ten miles at PMP, switch the Tuesday sessions from internal to tempo pace and complete a twenty mile long slow run in each of the next two weekends.

In each of these PMP sessions I effectively train by heart rate and anticipate that the average HR I can sustain for 26.2 is between 163 and 166. This is evidenced by my last three marathons, each of which recorded an average HR of 166. The HR is the objective feedback I now monitor in these sessions and which dictate the pace. I also ensure that any recovery runs' average HR does not exceed 140 and aim for closer to 130.
I also feel this approach can identify overtraining or sickness if you are recording slower times for an equal or higher HR than recent workout suggest should be the case. This method should* prevent any silly notions entering a runner's mind about pushing when it would be counterproductive.

* This is subject to the runner not allowing their constant need for self-validation from undermining their objectives - aka self-sabotage'.


Thomas said...

Those are nice figures. Are you aiming for a 2:50 marathon?

Westley said...

Thomas, no. An 02:50 is well beyond me currently. I reckon I currently have an outside chance of going under 02:55. Depending on any progress I make between now and race day the chance of going under 02:55 will increase but 02:50 is not a runner - pardon the pun. ;-)