Thursday, July 2, 2009

i've lost my marathon mojo! + heart rate training

So I know I promised some healthy nutrition posts this week...and they will come. Just maybe not today :)

Tuesday night was our TNT practice. I ran there again (1.9 miles or so) at around a 10 minute pace.

{I've lost my marathon mojo and I need to get it back! I've been struggling to maintain a quick pace during any of my runs this week.}

After some chit chat we started in on our heart rate training workout.

First we did two warm up laps around the track to loosen up the muscles. Then our plan was to run four more laps (one at a time) at different paces and measure our heart rate after each lap to determine what percentage of our max heart rate we were running at.

The ultimate goal being to find the pace with which we run at about 70-80% max heart rate, so we will know what pace we should be training at to avoid over-training or "going out too hard" and getting injured.

Well I am not the most coordinated person, so at the time I was really confused with what was going on and I don't think I once calculated everything accurately! But basically if you don't have a heart rate monitor (should have worn mine, ughgghhh) this is how you figure it out:
  • Run one lap at an easy "I'm comfortable with this" pace.
  • Time your lap and remember it. Or use a stop watch and stop it.
  • Immediately at the finish line stop and count your heart beats in a 10 second period.
  • Go write down the beats per 10 seconds, as well as the time it took you to run the lap.
  • Multiply the heart beat number by six, to get your heart rate per minute during your run.
  • Consult a heart rate chart (such as this one below) to see what percentage your HR for that lap falls under.
  • If you're easy lap HR was above 75 to 80%, you were probably going out too hard. (This below chart is not the one we used, but it's pretty similar.)

Then we continued this process for 3 or 4 more laps, each time increasing our speed. The point of this whole exercise was to figure out where our "easy" pace was (70% of max heart rate) versus our "all out and I want to puke" pace was (85 to 90%). That way we know what pace we should be training at to avoid injury and getting tired too quickly.

I know I'm going to dig out my HR strap today and use it on my speed workout tonight to see where I'm training at.

Then I basically ran/walked the 1.9 miles home...I was a tired girl!

Wednesday night I really was not in the mood to run after work but I knew I needed to, and I'm glad I went. I ended up covering 4.5 miles with an average pace of 10:25. It was hot. It was muggy. And have I mentioned I've lost my marathon mojo?!

Just so I can start to be accountable again, here are the sad splits (yes, I took a walk break during mile 4):

Elevation Gain
Elevation Loss
Avg Speed
Max Speed
Summary 46:534.5068377710:2507:07504
110:12 1.00 189 295 10:12 07:41 113
210:04 1.00 194 189 10:04 07:07 112
310:22 1.00 197 180 10:22 08:26 115
411:31 1.00 82 79 11:31 08:49 109
504:42 0.50 21 35 09:23 08:08 55

When I got home I did 2 regular 1 minute planks and 2 side 1 minute side planks, one each side. I was going to do more but the boyfriend and the grocery store were calling...

Tonight I'm planning on hitting the streets for a 40 minute speed workout with Kara Goucher. I know I shouldn't be doing short speed intervals since I'm marathon training and all, but I bought her workout on iTunes with a gift certificate I had (thanks Meredith!) so I'm gonna test it out. I might also do that killer conditioning workout if I have time.



  1. You may be flirting with a bit of over training, slowing down despite your best efforts is a classic sign

  2. I don't think you lost your mojo, I think the Charleston Summer STOLE it! I'm just surrendering to the walk breaks now, I don't think I'd complete a single run over 3 mile without them. Have a great weekend!

  3. I agree with Amanda... I think the heat may be a huge factor.

  4. I'm addicted to running with a heart rate monitor, although I had to make my own charts because my actual max heart rate is about 30bpm higher than what it's apparently supposed to be. But running with the monitor is the only way that I am able to make sure I run easy enough on my easy run days.

  5. How is the training with Kara? I thought about grabbing it for my IPOD.

  6. I need to get a HRM! And I agree with the above commenters: heat + humidity do not make for a happy or fast run.

  7. Holy crap, find your mojo STAT! Jk, I agree with everyone else. It's stinking HOT. Hot = slow legs despite a blistering effort. Ummm... barely a month to WWR! Is it bad that I'm already mentally packing for it? Hah.

  8. I totally know how you're feeling - good luck getting out of the funk!

  9. Wow, I'm an engineer and all of the numbers and whatnot for heart rate training just fried my brain. I hear good things about HR training though, so I hope it helps!

    Your mojo will be back, and luckily there's plenty of time until the race. Better to get it out of the way early!

  10. Everyone goes through those phases! You'll get your mojo back I promise.

    Your splits still look good to me but I'm a slow poke.