March 31, 2022

Return to Running Recap : Week 44

I don't have much to recap on this post because I didn't do much running last week! Jerry and I both agreed to take the second half of the week off and then start it all over this week.

We were working on Week 6 of our training plan, but we each had problems with it--mine being my left knee. It doesn't really feel like a "real" injury, but it bothers me the day after each run for some reason. It doesn't hurt while I'm running, but the following day it hurts. And it's not terrible pain, but more of a nagging pain. It almost feels like the top of my tibia is bruised (I know that's very specific, haha).

Anyway, I had been skipping one run per week due to my knee anyway, but when Jerry suggested taking a few days off and then repeating Week 6, I thought it was a good idea. I hoped that the extra few days would help my knee to quit bugging me.

And thankfully, it seems to have worked! I'm going to continue to run just three days a week instead of four, at least until after the race. I really don't want to risk having knee issues come race time. So, I'm going to skip the Thursday runs. (I wrote in the plan that if you have to skip a day, the Thursday run is the best one to skip.)

That means I only have one run to write about today, and unfortunately (or fortunately, I guess), it's not very eventful!

Tuesday - Tempo Run

Tuesday's run was a tempo run; since I'm repeating Week 6, this is the same run I did a week prior:

Run 5 minutes easy; Run 15 minutes at tempo pace; Run 5 minutes easy.

I liked that this was only 25 minutes total! ;)  I looked at what I did the previous Tuesday so that I could run at the same speed (or possibly a little faster) this time. I read my book while I ran, but the run felt hard--which was good, because a tempo run isn't supposed to feel easy. 

Summary: 5 minutes at 10:58/mile, 15 minutes at 9:02/mile, 5 minutes at 10:48/mile. Total of 2.59 miles in 25:08.

Since I got the new Garmin and spent some time messing around with it, I decided to try something a little different. I changed the heart rate zones to the default (percentage of heart rate reserve) rather than using the MAF heart rate formula. I'm not heart rate training right now, but I am curious to see where my heart rate falls under the default settings.

Percentage of heart rate reserve (HRR) is more accurate than using a percentage of maximum heart rate (MHR) because it takes your resting heart rate into account as well as your maximum. Lately, my resting heart rate has been about 70 bpm. 

I don't know my *actual* maximum heart rate, but using the well-known formula of 220 minus my age (40 years), I get 180. This method has been shown to be pretty inaccurate and gets less accurate as you get older.

There is another method called the Gulati formula that is just for women and it's apparently much more accurate. Your maximum heart rate is calculated like this: [206 - (0.88 x age)]. That would make my maximum heart rate 170.8 (we'll round up to 171 bpm). That seems a lot more likely than 180 for me--even when I run my very hardest, it's hard to get to the high 160s. 

So, I'm just going to go ahead and set my maximum heart rate at 171 bpm. So here is what my heart rate zones would look like when using the heart rate reserve method:

It took me forever to find a good chart for the descriptions of the zones using heart rate reserve, but here is a great one from RunBundle. You can put your own numbers in and it will calculate everything for you, but here is the description of the zones themselves:

This only lists four zones, so Zone 1 on the Garmin would basically be "Zone 0"--useless as far as this training goes. I marked the chart with red to reflect the zones on my Garmin. So I would basically run in Zone 2-3 for easy runs, Zone 4 for tempo, Zone 5 for intervals.

Like I said, I'm not training by heart rate right now (although my runs lately seem to fall into those zones) but after the race, it might be fun to try training with these zones for a change. I always like trying something new to keep things from getting boring!

I had no intention of turning this into such a long post about heart rate stuff (in fact, I think I said I *wasn't* going to write about heart rate stuff during this training period, haha!). Since I only had one run to cover on this post, I figured it was a good time to mention it, though.

Let's hope my knee holds up okay this week. Four miles tomorrow and then five on Sunday!


  1. Love your geeky running posts! Thanks for the mention of Gulati. I'd never heard of that before. I'm so tempted to pay for one of those fancy Max VO2 tests to get an accurate max heart rate. It never seems right no matter which formula I use, but the closest to accurate for me comes from the "test" I did following John L. Parker, Jr.'s method in Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot. Basically, you run up a hill five times, doing your best to push as hard as you can without throwing up! The top rate you record is your max. But I'm going to try the Gulati method and see if that feels more accurate. Thanks!

    1. I always feel bad for posting such nerdy numbers stuff, but it fascinates me. And I know there are some other people who are into the nerdy stuff, too ;) I did read about doing a test to find my max heart rate (which is what you described) but the thought of it sounds so miserable! Hahaha. Not to mention, I can't think of a single hill within at least a 30 minute drive from here! I guess I could do the treadmill on a super high incline. Someday if I'm super motivated I will ;) But the numbers I got from the Gulati method seem pretty spot-on for me, so I'll see how it goes.


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