Well, today is a day of rest. That’s right … No exercise whatsoever today. With that being said, however, I’m going to walk around Pasadena some and enjoy this beautiful city. I’m going to head to the old town part of Pasadena, have a nice lunch, an early dinner, and then to bed so that I am well rested for tomorrow’s run.
Tomorrow will be interesting since I’m not only going to do the Rock n Roll Pasadena Half Marathon while trying to raise some money for the Wounded Warriors Project, but I will also be doing my heart rate test tomorrow.
Start out by running in Zone 2 … Do not exceed that theoretical zone for 2 miles. Once you have reached the two-mile mark, then start cranking up the speed, and run as fast as you can for 6 miles. You need to maintain a pace that you can sustain for 6 miles. So don’t start out to fast. Then down a one mile cooldown, getting your heart rate back down into your theoretical zone 2. Now you are ready to figure out your real heart rate zones.
When I talk about the theoretical heart rate zones, it is calculated with the following formula: HRmax = 220-age. Then your theoretical zones are:
Zone 1 – 50% HRmax (Moderate Activity – Maintenance / Warm-up)
Zone 2 – 60% HRmax (Weight Control – Fitness / Fat Burn)
Zone 3 – 70% HRmax (Aerobic – Cardio Training / Endurance)
Zone 4 – 80% HR max (Anaerobic – Hardcore Training)
Zone 5 – 90% HRmax (VO2 Max – Maximum Effort)
With the test that I will be doing tomorrow, I should see spikes in my HR that will give me my max heart rate. For example, when I go up a hill my HR will spike to its near maximum effort. It’s not exact, but if you are an athletic person then this will give you a better idea as to what your true HRmax is. Then just set your zones based on that HRmax effort. Now, if you are running a few weeks later and you see your HR spike to a number that is high than what you tested, then that will be your new HRmax. So you may need to readjust your zones.
The main thing is that you need to learn your zones so that you are not always training in Zone 5. I know that we, as individuals, have a hard time understanding what an easy run is. In fact, we always run faster on our easy runs that we should. An easy run should be just that … easy. It should not exceed your Zone 2 HRmax.