Wednesday, September 15, 2010

heartrates and fitness

So after all this beating myself up about pace, I realized something on last night's 5 miler:  I have to be running an 8 minute-ish mile for my heart rate to even go above 180 (into zone 4 for me) lately.  It used to be difficult to keep my heart rate under 185 on a long run at about an 11-minute pace, and now it stays steadily between 165 and 175 (about zone 3 for me) at that same pace.

I think this means I'm getting more fit, right?

I just can't maintain that 8 minute pace for very long because my muscles start burning like crazy... it's like my cardio is more fit than my muscles can keep up with.  Kinda wished I'd noticed this sooner so I could've made sure I was challenging myself enough on mid-week workouts, instead of lingering in low-heartrate comfort zone.  At some point I started focusing more on mileage and not on heart rate, with the exception of long runs where I'd still try to maintain a steady heartrate in zone 3.  At least last week I started running harder, and I'm continuing that this week too.  I want to be doing mid-week training in zones 4-5 if I can handle it.

If this means I magically somehow got more fit and didn't notice, that's pretty awesome.  Not quite sure what to do with this observation.

1 comment:

  1. Being more fit is awesome! I think focusing on mileage and time on your feet is inevitable with marathon training. But you can bring these lessons to bear on next time, if there is one.. ;)