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I've been running on a treadmill that has a heartrate monitor built into it, so just out of curiosity I've been checking it periodically during my runs. This is what I've noticed:

I've been trying to keep my pace in the mid 11s. This is hard on the mill, because I feel like I have to shorten my stride quite a bit to do this. My heartrate is ridiculous at the end of my run - around 175. Now, every once in a while I do a run in the mid 10s, just because it feels better on my legs. My heartrate on these faster runs is SIGNIFICANTLY lower - around 155.

I imagine I should be doing most of my training at the pace most comfortable to me. However, I'm actually attempting to pay attention to my paces during training this time around - something I DIDN'T do last time. I know that my long runs are supposed to be done much slower than a typical training pace, and that's what concerns me. From the above data, it seems that there is such a thing as TOO slow for me. Is there a kind of isotherm thing with heartrate related to pace? I mean, if you were to look at a plot of your heartrate as a function of pace, it there a point where the heartrate dips back down with increased pace?

Holy c**p. I'm a dork.

Anyway, I'm not sure what to do about the long run pace thing. The pace itself is supposed to be easier on your body, yes? Slowing down seems to make it more difficult on mine. Can somebody, or perhaps a committee of sombodies, please explain?

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Here's my take on it: Screw the HRM and technical BS. You're just in the beginning stages of building your base back up. Run at a pace that makes you feel comfortable and don't over-analyze what you're doing.
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I've been running/training for the past three years using a HRM as a tool to keep me from running too hard during certain runs. It works for me. I found my HRM on my treadmill to be inaccurate. Currently use a Polar HRM. You might check out the book "Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat id**t" by John Parker Just my opinion.

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I don't use HRM......but I know my technically anal husband does the same thing (Polar rather than treadmill). RLAG- that is interesting. I'll run something by my DH. But I know I'd be tempted to run in the mid10s from now on. I don't think HR is the best indicator of ability, but maybe you are underestimating your potential. I have no idea how the HR factors in.....but I do know for myself, that yes, there is a point that it's too slow. I know when I'm on a treadmill and I do a real gradual cooldown, I can tell that that really slow run but too fast for my walking pace, absolutely feels stressful on my body. It would be interesting to see what my HR does at this point.

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If you're building your base, you want to be at a level where you can keep a conversation "reasonably" easily. This will typically be near the high-end of your aerobic range, or perhaps just into your lactate threshold. But keeping around this range will build your cardio base well.

If you are concerned about going "too slow", try your base building on a bike. Or alternate between bike and 'mill for your base-building. Removing the impact of running will remove some of the extra work your body has to do, thereby keeping your HR more into your aerobic range. And keeping on the 'mill will continue to develop all of the muscles used in running.
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I have noticed that if my pace slows down too much, I feel like I have no form and my HR jumps up. I believe that there is a point in which my form becomes very inefficient and that is what makes my HR jump up. :twocents:
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As gym owner I have learned not to trust the heartrate monitors on the equipment. According to the treadmill I use at the gym my heartrate maintains about 122 during a 1 hour run at 6.0 or 10:00 min. pace. Sometimes it goes up near 200. :? All while I'm feeling the same. :| I agree, get a polar if you wanna train according to heartrate.
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Ah...you may be on to something, there. Could be.
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That's what I was thinking too. I remember when I started running a few years ago I bought a heart monitor to try and help my pacing, and ran into the same problem. I struggled to run at the supah slow pace that the book told me would keep me in my target heart rate (as opposed to just the really slow pace I run normally :? ) and I felt both inefficient and stressed. I found my heart rate went up initially when I ran at the slightly faster and more comfortable pace but then leveled out, still higher than it was "supposed" to be but not to a point where I felt overtaxed, kinda what Sue said.

I then adopted the advice of the gurus at the quilting forum, one being the esteemed Kemibe, who said to run by "feel", or as he and Malmo used to call it, "kung fu"......of course, just as I got comfortable doing that I got injured so I never got to see the long term improvements I could make. But I do know that I put myself through a certain amount of mental stress, which does manifest itself in physical symptoms, whenever I run with my eye on the speedometer. Just my thoughts, for whatever they're worth.
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