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Couch to 5K
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Finished Week 4 BUT___!!!

Don't know why - but W4R1 was a piece of cake -- but R2 got tougher and today R3 was awful. I believe my problem may lie in my monitoring of my heart rate. I am conscious that, at my age, I can't overdo things - and also conscious I have future plans to run longer distances. I also know that I can handle running Parkrun 5Ks and W4D1's at what feels like me to be a fastish pace - and my body and lungs seem OK with it. BUT, doing so causes my HR to go higher than it should be for longer distances -- if I am to run for longer times and/or longer distances, then I have to slow my pace right down, but doing so then starts to "hurt" my legs -- I become more of a plonker than a gazelle :)

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What are you saying is too fast a heart rate Bazza? I have a minor heart problem and use on occasion a HRM but doctor has said not too get too hung up on its rate so long as it returns to a slower beat quite quickly. If you become light headed or experience chest pain while your heart rate is fast now that's cause for concern. Even more so if you have slowed your pace but your heart rate continues to be fast after a few minutes.

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Well - that is a little long story but here goes. I have not been able to have a heart stress test to ascertain my true maximum heart rate - as my Doctor will not give me a referral for one and merely trots out the old ( and apparently now disputed formula of 220-age-- which for me would give me a max heart rate of 153).. There are many other formulas out there - all put out by "expert" Doctors, so by averaging them out , I calculate a max HR of 160.

Now this morning, when running the 5 minute segments with little apparent effort and a low breathing rate (so in fact doing it apparently quite easy - no chest pain, no light headedness :)) my monitor is around 145. Now this is not a problem for this short 5 minutes, but "theoretically" would be a problem for much longer periods ( even the 30 minutes required by this programme - much less the 2hours 30 minutes required by a run that I have entered for in 6 months time (14 Klms) . When I take the walk periods, I go back to walking BPM in a shortish time - up to 2 minutes depending on terrain and walk rate) -- so I haven't really got a problem now, just anticipating one in the future if I cannot run slowly enough for training long-runs without hurting. There is one quite famous long distance trainer who says that we should do "long runs" at a heart rate of only 180-age -- which would make 113 for me. Have a try at running that slowly and you will see what I mean :)


I'm not sure if constantly checking your heart rate is doing your HR any good, its a bit like 'white coat syndrome' you go to the docs to get your blood pressure taken and it goes sky high because you are having it checked!! Constantly checking your heart rate while exercising seems that you are already anxious and expecting things to go wrong, that in its self could raise your heart rate. I wear a HRM on some runs and my heart rate has been as fast as 183 Max but only during a steep up hill climb, it soon returned to 145 bmp once I gained level ground, a sign of fitness I'm told. If your doctor has checked you out and pronounced you fit to run then do it and enjoy the time while you are able. Relax into your running that in its self will reduce your heart rate. But here's something to think about, while your heart rate is pumping harder the blood is flowing faster, that helps keep your heart valves from clogging up, a bonus many don't realise. 4 years ago I was told I had a narrowing artery and would need a stent fitted in a couple of years, the last check up showed a vast improvement. When asked what I had been doing I said running and exercising instead of sitting at a computer all day. Doctor shook my hand and said "keep on doing what you are doing cos its working" Happy running Bazza


183!!!!!!! Wow!

I do go to 145 but as I said, recover quite OK . But what I am trying to say is that this is OK for a 5K run, but not for much longer runs. Anyway, I will take your advice and put the HRM away for a while - at least while I am doing this 5K programme. I am intending to do 30sec/30sec intervals in my longer running - as I have done this before out to 7klms and it was easy. The 16K Galloway programme that I am planning to do for the Sydney2Surf is here as1.wdpromedia.com/media/ew... -- it has a maximum distance to attain of 17.6K before the race/run.


I was worried about my heart rate while running - my father and brother both died very young due to heart related diseases, so I did let it take over my life for a while. I would know when my heart was going too fast as i got a feeling like my scalp lifting off and when I was wearing a monitor, the feeling corresponded to when the rate was at its highest (I have had a GP check btw) - that was when I was only running for 60 seconds!! I thought I'd never get to running very long, but now I can run for 30 minutes and do 4km, my Hr probably goes up to 170 at times but mostly stays around 160-165. I don't wear a monitor any more - I don't want to scare myself all the time, and I know the signs now, and when I am doing my cool down, my pulse returns to normal fairly quickly. In my rambling way I think I'm trying to say your HR will probably improve as you carry on running, and will be more constant as you do the longer runs. Mine settles in now, rather than go all over the place.

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When I first started the c25k programme my heart rate was high even after running for just 30 seconds as I was so unfit. Now I am on week 8 and my heart rate is lower even though I am running for 28 mins.

As you progress and get fitter what seems like a lot of effort now wont be in the future. The c25k is designed to gradually increase your fitness so unless you run too fast your heart rate shouldn't really increase as you work through the programme. To do distances longer than 5k you would slowly increase the distance like you are doing currently. I think you are assuming your fitness level will remain the same and much longer runs will take more effort and hence faster heart rate. Nowadays if I ran for 30 seconds my heartrate would barely change from the rate at walking pace.


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