Sunday, January 17, 2016

My Heart Goes on. . .

My husband went all-out for Christmas and bought me a Garmin Forerunner 610 with a heart monitor!

Isn't it adorable?
For about a year now, my brain has been toying with the idea of training with a heart rate monitor. I know that one of my biggest problems is that I run too fast when I'm not really doing speedwork.  The heart rate monitor might be a good way for me to properly run so that I can tack on more miles for marathon training.

The directions tell me to wet down the little electrode thingies (sorry for the technical jargon) before I  strap the device to my chest, and that was a little bit intimidating, but I did it.  So far I have used the monitor while walking and running outside and on the treadmill, doing Tae Bo PT24/7, and kettle bell  workouts.  Everything seems ok except for the outdoor runs.  The data from my first run, in which I just ran normally--no speedwork or purpose than to run four miles, told me that I was running way too hard; I was in Zone 5 most of the time. The training level was not sustainable, according to Garmin.  Ok, I get it.  It was telling me to slow down; I can do that.

My first long run with the monitor had me going at a 12 minute mile.  From my research (which I probably screwed up), I learned that my long run should be mostly in Zone 3, an aerobic level.  Let me say that it was very difficult to run a 12 minute mile; I felt like I was barely moving. Regardless, the monitor kept beeping me and telling me I was going TOO FAST.  There was no way I was going to slow down, so I dealt with it.

Today I ran ten miles with Sheila, Shelby, and Jen.  I told them I wanted to keep it between an 11 and 12 minute mile, and that is what we did.  I turned off the alarms and just ran.  Eager to see the heart rate data and evaluation of my training levels, I synced the device and checked Garmin to find. . . nothing.  It had erased all the data from my run.  GRRRRR.

I'm on the fence about this one, Peeps.

This is EXACTLY how I look when I am on the fence.  Bet you didn't know that I was a rooster, huh?
I know that I have to run more slowly on my long, slow distance runs.  I can do that.  The problem is that if the monitor is telling me that my 12-minute run is too fast, how am I going to improve?  What will it say when I do speed work?  Maybe I should not wear it for tempo runs?  Also, I know that I am basically out of touch with my body, but if the monitor is telling me that my current runs are tempo runs, and I feel that they are easy, are they really tempo runs?

I've tried asking people for information about this, and I've read every journal/magazine/blog post I could find, but I'm very puzzled.

What do you think, Peeps?  Anyone out there train with a heart rate monitor?

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