Friday, June 16, 2006

Maxing Out?

Now that I plan to do some heart rate training with my new Garmin Forerunner 305, I tried to determine my maximum heart rate (max HR) this morning. The easiest and least accurate method is just subtracting your age from 220 to come up with the max HR. In my case, this yields 179.

I decided to hit the track and to do 8 laps or 3200 meters in which I progressively increased the pace in hopes of getting a clearer picture of how high my max HR was. I figured that at the end of the run, the highest beats per minute (BPM) reading would be reasonably close to my max HR. I would then unscientifically add about 5 BPM to that number since I probably wouldn't be going flat out at the end.

After a long, slow warmup of about 4 miles, I made my way to the local high school and started the 3200 meter run. As I mentioned, I wanted to gradually increase the pace each lap. I actually felt OK throughout the run, and while the last couple of laps were hard they weren't all out. Here are the 400m splits:
  • 96.4
  • 94.7 (3.11.1)
  • 89.4
  • 87.7 (2:57.1/6:08.2)
  • 86.3
  • 84.2 (2:50.2)
  • 84.2
  • 78.0 (2:42.2/5:32.7/11:40.9)
In itself, this run really doesn't show anything other than I can run close to 5:35 for a mile in a workout. Nothing more, nothing less. At the end of the run, my BPM hit 177 so I'm going to estimate my max HR is 182 for now. Above is a chart of my % of max HR (based on 179 BPM) versus the pace during the run as pulled from SportTracks.

I might try and revisit this test or try Pete Pfitzinger's hill workout method (3 times of 2 to 3 minutes up a moderate hill with the last 2 close to all out) at a later date...

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