Friday, October 17, 2014

The Best Heart Rate Zones For Running ?

From around 2010 through most of 2013 the slightest bend of the knee in the wrong direction could result in painful swelling for days or weeks.

After much hard work I have recently, quite hesitantly started running again. It's slow, more like gentler jogging. As with the cycling I am trying to follow some sort of plan. With cycling I could use power zones along with heart rate zones, with running it's going to be pace zones.

I established my pace zones by putting my time for a given distance into a pace calculator.

Here is one from Runners World but there's one on Strava settings if you use that and they both give the same result.


So here's mine. Yes the pace is very slow, if you've had my trouble over the past few years you will appreciate my softly softly approach. Something else I needed was heart rate zones.

Now there's the easy way to get HR zones and then there's the better way ! You could work out you're max HR by going for a run and getting steadily faster until you eyes pop out of your head, then set up your zones as percentages of this. It's better than using 220 minus your age but it's still not right.
It does not factor in your resting pulse like this.


Look at the formula box to see that resting pulse is a factor of the zones, it's added on. I used this method up until last year when I started training on the bike. I then discovered the Coggan method of using your Lactic Threshold Heart Rate. I established this on the bike by doing my 20 minute power test to find my Functional Threshold Power. This is fully explained HERE. 

So what I did this time was find the last run I did for an event, which is where I ran as hard as I could for 40 minutes, my average HR was 178. This gave me the following zones.


What did I hope to gain from this BETTER method ? Hope fully a correlation between running pace zone and HR zone. Now I know from my cycling power zones and HR zones that there is always some overlap, and that this would probably be worse with running especially when there was any sort of gradient involved. Here is my first try at running in Pace and HR zone 2.



I'm pretty happy with the results. 85% in pace zone 2 and 96% in HR zone 2 ! You may have noticed that I have six pace zones and only five HR zones ? Well I'm going to wait and see if I need to adjust things. I am doing mostly zone two running with one of either tempo, VO2max or Threshold per week so it may take a few weeks for me to decide what to do, if anything.

Watch this space and hope I don't get a knee injury.


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