Thursday, October 27, 2011

HR Training Updates

Been a while since I posted so here's a little summary in chronological order:

Saturday morning I was back at the Parker Rec Center to my swimming MHR test. Since my FR305 is not water proof (at least in any practical sense for swimming) and since ANT+ heart rate straps have a range of something like three inches in the water, this one had to be done without that.

Per the method described in Heart Rate Training, I began with a 500 meter warm up at a moderate pace. It was a nice opportunity to work solely on technique with no concern for speed. Once that was done, I began a series of 100 yard swims as fast as I could with 30 seconds rest in between. At the end of the third set, I took my heart rate which turned out to be 145 bpm.  Like my other tests, I was thoroughly exhausted at the end so I'm fairly confident I'm hitting the max.

Since then I've been doing the running and biking in Z1 and I have to admit it seemed easy. Too easy in fact. Today on my run, less than 10 minutes in, I just knew I was not getting a good reading. I was barely jogging and was jumping into Z2. Something I re-read in the book stuck with me. Monitors get artificially high readings from friction. Like the friction you get when your monitor is moving up and down on your chest. My guess (though not proven) is that the friction is creating a small static-electric charge that it is in turn interfering with the monitor's ability to read the electrical activity of the heart. So I stopped, tightened the strap up and voila, no more problem.

Once that was done, I made the run a little more interesting by employing the fartlek method of training. What? No not that! It's Swedish and roughly translates to "speed play." I cycled between 60% and 75% of my MHR. That works much better now that I have good readings. As you can see below, the data smoothed out once I tightened the strap:

The rest of the variability is the fartleking.

I'm looking forward to a long ride on Saturday, my first in a very long time.  More on that plus my plans for a late-fall/early-winter half marathon in a future post.

Thanks for reading.

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