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FlightZONES Marathon Training Sharing #02

- Training With Your Heart, Part I


One of the best methods of managing your training intensity is by monitoring your heart rate when exercising. The heart rate (beats per minute) is a good indicator to tell many stories and it is important to listen to what story is being told.


Cardiovascular fitness is the single most significant factor in your speed as a runner. Consequently, being able to track your cardiovascular fitness - not to mention tailoring your workouts to meet cardiovascular goals - is an extremely useful training tool.


Measuring the work-rate of the heart is the most accurate method of determining how much benefit you are deriving from your. Other methods, such as how hard one is breathing, or how tired one feels, can reflect other factors and give imprecise impressions of the effectiveness of your workout.


Tracking and managing your heart rate to avoid stressing your body too much means that you will maximize the efficiency of your training, while minimizing the opportunity for injury. Managing your heart rate to stay below a certain ceiling, and you will avoid depleting your body's glycogen stores, ensuring that you will have the energy to perform your intense workouts at a sustainable pace.


Tracking your heart rate is useful for pacing your training runs. Sometimes your time is not the best measure of how hard you are working. Your cardiovascular performance is best measured by the work-rate of your heart, so pacing your training runs according to your heart rate is the best method of targeting your cardiovascular fitness as you do your workout.


Training at the correct heart rate zones will allow you to bring your pace to the race. You will be able to gauge your pace, most useful in preventing you from going out too fast or working too hard early in the race.


At various heart rate zones, there are different physiological components that will be developed and individuals need to understand this to fully utilize this information and benefit from it. For example, low aerobic activity is more suitable for fat burning and will in turn improve fuel efficiency. Steady state aerobic training is followed to develop the body’s ability to actively clear lactic acid, which will improve muscular performance.


By monitoring heart rate during training you are also taking into account factors that add to cumulative fatigue, illness or signs of stress. These factors will cause your heart rate to be elevated above normal zones and if not determined correctly, can lead to sickness, injury and even burnout. If you are doing your training based on specific heart rate zones and according to duration rather than distance, you are less likely to over-compensate and dig yourself into a hole which will be much more difficult to climb out of at a later stage.


It is not accurate enough to go on perceived effort during training unless you are already a seasoned athlete and are very tuned into your specific training zones. Most budding endurance athletes already have heart rate monitors but many have given up using them because all they get back as feedback is a number. That’s why it is important to acquire the software so that you will be able to better use the hardware. Understanding what those numbers mean and what it is telling you about your body during training is so crucial.


The information that you get cannot be accurately determined by a generic formula. Understanding how to use a heart rate monitoring device and to interpret the information given, can be empowering to any individual and will allow you to train smarter, which in the long run will see you improving to achieve the goals you have set for yourselves.


Until recently, determination of heart rate during training has been difficult due to the lack of measurement devices. Runners would have to stop in the middle of their run and count their pulse. This method does not give an accurate measure of the heart rate while running.


Today, electrical Heart Rate Monitors (HRM) can accurately determine heart rate while running. One of the best uses for heart rate monitors is to slow the pace of recovery runs enough so that you can sufficiently recover from the previous day's workout.


Refer to Team FatBird FlightZONES™'s Optimal Benefits Chart for the purpose and usefulness for the various workouts under each targeted HRM training zone.


In the absence of Heart Rate Monitors, a simple age-graded calculation can be used to determine Max Heart Rate. For a start, Team FatBird will use the American sports scientists's modified the basic formula to allow for gender:


214-(0.8 x age) for men, and
209-(0.9 x age) for women


Team FatBird's FlightZONES™ Calculator

Enter your Age & Gender and let us compute your Max Heart Rate and Team FatBird's FlightZONES


However, this still gives a generalised result. For those who want to more precise HR Max readings, you will need to perform calculations factoring Resting Heart Rate (Karnoven).


i. Live2Run MARATHON G uide.com
ii. Team FatBird FlightZONESTM Marathon Training 

ADVISORY: You are responsible for yourself and your property for all Team FatBird run sessions. Team FatBird and its members shall not assume responsibility or liability for any loss of property, injury, damage, accidents, death during the runs.