Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Heart rate training

As I mentioned yesterday, I weighed in at Weight Watchers, even though I was sure I was going to be over my WW goal weight. I was really nervous about going, and admitting a gain is never fun. But I hoped that going in, talking to the leader, and getting on the scale would make me feel some sort of relief.

There weren't any meetings yesterday, but they had open hours from 1-4 to just go weigh-in. There is only one person in there during that time, but I got there right at 1:00 so that I could hopefully talk to her alone. Unfortunately, she seemed to be having a really bad day, and I left there feeling kind of down.

I talked to my sister in the afternoon, and she suggested I switch WW locations, which I think is a good idea. The next closest center is about 30 minutes away. They have a meeting at 9:30 on Wednesday mornings, which would work well for me, so I'm going to give that one a try. It's a long drive for a 30 minute meeting, but I would really like to find a meeting and leader that I feel comfortable going to when I'm having a tough time.

Anyway, I am happy that I went to weigh in yesterday, and it feels good to be recommitted to tracking and getting back to goal. I had a great day tracking today and yesterday, and it's nice to feel in control :)

Yesterday, I was browsing around online to find something new and different to try as far as my running schedule goes (I'm getting bored with Hal's plan again!), and I came across "Ryan Hall's Half-Marathon Training Plan". Rather than focusing on pace and distance, the plan mainly focuses on heart rate and time... which I find refreshing! It's still five days a week, and not much different than what I've been doing, but with a different focus.

Some of the training runs are a given distance, but most of them are listed in time. Yesterday, for example, was a 30-35 minute recovery run (I switched the runs to different days of the week, to better fit my schedule). The recommended heart rate zone for the recovery run is listed as 65-75% of maximum heart rate. It was kind of fun to forget about pace and distance, and just focus on time and heart rate. I ran 31 minutes with my average heart rate at 72% of my maximum--it ended up being a 10:04 pace for a little over 3 miles.

This is the chart for recommended HR on this plan:


Today was a Steady Pace-Tempo Run: 15-20 min warm-up (65-70% max heart rate), 3 miles @ Tempo pace (85-90% max heart rate), 15 min cool down (65-70%). I wasn't sure what pace to start with in order to keep my heart rate in the "warm up" category. I started at 6.0 mph, but had to keep lowering the speed to keep my heart rate that low, and when I reached the 15 minute mark, I was actually at 5.0.

After the 15 minute warm-up, I bumped up the speed to get my heart rate to 85-90% of my max--which, for me, is 160-169 beats per minute. That was hard to do! I started out at 7.8 mph to get my HR up to the 160's, and then as it got to the high 160's, I lowered the pace as needed. It was a tough three miles, but not all-out effort. The cool down was impossible to get my heart rate low enough, though, unless I walked. I just lowered the speed to 5.0 and jogged at that speed for the whole 15 minutes, even though my heart rate was a little higher than the warm-up.



Anyway, I think it's fun, and definitely something different, to focus on time and heart rate. I'm going to try this plan for a while and see how it goes! That's the fun part about not training for anything in particular--I can try out a bunch of different plans, based on what interests me at the moment.

Tomorrow is a rest day, so I'm going to go to the new Weight Watchers meeting in the morning, and then go visit Mark, because the nursing home is just another 15 minutes from there. My dad saw him yesterday, and said he was doing great!

19 comments:

  1. Good going Katie! I'm curious, what was your weight? I was rooting for you when you decided you weren't going to focus on numbers so much. I bet you still look great. :)

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    1. I'm definitely not focusing on the numbers so much, as long as my weight stays in the healthy range and I'm staying active and binge-free!

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  2. Hope the new location is just what you need!

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  3. I hope that the new location works for you. :) I am glad that your sister recommended you look for a new location. It stinks to not get the support that you really need. Please let us know what you think. At my weight watchers location we used to have monthly get-togethers for lifetimers. It helps to talk to others at goal that understand we can still struggle.

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    1. I'm SO glad I went to a new meeting today! It went wonderfully :) I'm writing a post about it right now.

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  4. How do you breakdown your points plus during the day? For example 4 at breakfast, 6 at lunch and 10 at dinner, etc. I'm finding trouble balancing it out during the day without having to go too much into my weekly allowance.

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    1. It varies from day to day, depending on what food I'm in the mood for, but a typical day would probably look like this: 6-8 PP for breakfast, 6-8 PP for lunch, 4-6 PP for a snack, 10-12 PP for dinner, and 5-6 PP for a treat (wine, dessert, etc). On an average day, I eat about 40 PP. I always use my weekly allowance and my activity PP, which helps!

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  5. I hope a new location works out well for you, I love my location in Southgate, Mich. I get support from the desk workers all the way to my leader. Hope this is just what you need! I enjoy reading your blog, it definitely helps keep me on track.

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    1. Southgate was another location I was considering, but I ended up going to Brownstown, because it's closer for me. It went really well!

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  6. Good for you for continuing on your journey and recognizing when you need something fresh! That's key to remaining healthy and happy. Hope the new location is just what you need!

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    1. Ever since I was a kid, I've always liked making changes--back then, I'd rearrange my bedroom furniture every month or so for something different ;)

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  7. I drive 25 min for my meeting's because my leader is awesome! I tried 6 different meetings but none of them were as good as my leader so I just make the trip it's worth it!

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    1. That's great that you found a leader you like so much!

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  8. My husband does HR training, but for me, I hate looking at my HR and seeing it sky high and knowing that I don't "feel" like I am working that hard. I had a traumatic miscarriage last August and lost a LOT of blood and, after my month of Dr-advised no-exercise, I tried to start with HR training and ... wow! I couldn't keep my HR under 160 to save my life! That was obviously due to the blood loss, but I always have that problem. And with two small kids, I rarely get good sleep, which is a huge contributor to overly high HR. I'm interested in how this goes for you-- please keep us updated!

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    1. Yes, there are lots of different reasons that it could be high or low. I've found my heart rate to be pretty consistent for a long time now, and it seems like a good indicator to me of how hard I'm working. But we'll see :) I just like trying something new!

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  10. How do you know your maximum heart rate? Sorry that may seem like a silly question, but I have never monitored my heart rate. Thank you! :)

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    1. The general rule of thumb is to subtract your age from 220. So mine is 188 (220-32=188). It's not an exact science, but will works well for most people!

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)