Heart Rate Training Part II

Monitoring your heart rate for intensity of training is great! Done properly you can get a lot out of HR training.

A word of caution: HR is not only different from person to person it also varies with the SAME person. WHAT?! Yes, the variables that you may encounter with your own HR can change minutely to changing drastically depending on the situation.

–Variables to be considered with you and your HR–

Music: ⬆HR when listening to music.

Stress: If you are overly stressed emotionally/mentally/ psychologically your heart rate with show it.

Duration of training: i.e. ⬆HR at end of 2 hour run, running at exactly the SAME speed the entire time.

Overtraining: There’s a fine line between “overloading” in your training and overtraining! Overtraining drastically changes your physiology and HR.

Heat: Jacks up the HR like crazy!

Loss of sleep: Don’t even bother looking at your heart rate.

Altitude: Do you live close to sea level? Have you traveled to a city with higher altitude? What happens? It’s HARD to breathe because there’s less oxygen to breathe. There is a wonderful relationship with oxygen consumption and heart rate (I will talk about this another time); hence, when oxygen consumption diminishes, no wonder you become fatigued and your HR is racing at altitude! On the flip side, the people that go from high altitude to low altitude everything is easier, generally speaking.

Dehydration: Make sure you are hydrated, not only for your training session, but throughout the day so you can keep that proper balance in your body. ⬆HR if you are dehydrated.

Decreased blood volume: Ladies, every month you experience this. The thick lining of your uterine wall is completely shed every single cycle! I don’t think people understand this incredible process. Needless to say, your HR increases during this time. With the end of menstruation also comes a rise in body temperature for a few days thereafter, which is another HR increase!

 ALL of these are valid reasons your HR training can be a little OFF kilter. This is just to say-> BE KIND TO YOURSELF <- You won’t always get the exact HR “training zones” you want… that is A-OKAY!.



Heart Rate Training Part I

MaxHR= 220-age is such a pervasive formula that it has become THE accepted way to find maximum heart rate. Predicting MaxHR based on your age is as accurate as being blindfolded, spun around three times, then swinging a stick to break the piñata at a party.

Think about it: this formula assumes that every single person your age around the world has exactly the same MaxHR as you. It doesn’t matter your height, weight, genetics, fitness level or background YOU along with the millions of others your age have identical MaxHR. In addition, as you age annually, your MaxHR declines at the precise rate of 1 beat/yr.

Come on now, humans are infinitely different! A 20 year-old male and a 50 year-old female can have exactly the same MaxHR. Yes, it’s true; and, it might have absolutely nothing to do with “fitness” level. What does this mean? The 20 year-old male could be in tip top shape and the 50 year-old female could be a coach potato with both having a MaxHR= 180 BPM (beats per minute). How many variables are there in MaxHR? A shitload!