I have just started running again recently, after not running with any regularity for 8 - 10 years. Prior to that I ran (for fitness) for nearly all of my adult life - I am 57. I had quit running due to back problems which are basically resolved - long story, I won't go into it! Anyway, I started about 6 weeks ago, and am able to run nearly all the way now, (about 5 -6 Km) but conk out on the hills in the park where I run. I don't wear a monitor, but check my HR regularily and think I am running anaerobically instead of aerobically, because when I am pushing to improve, my HR is about 95% of my maximum according to the standard formual ie 220 - my age x %. So should I focus on walking more til my heart rate can stay in the 75% range? Advice would be appreciated. Thanks! PS I SO HAPPY to be running again!
Well, the 220 minus age is just a broad guess of what your maximum heart rate is. Probably based on averages of millions of people. So, it might be off for you.
However, you could certainly try to keep your heart rate in the 65 to 75 percent of your current estimated maximum heart rate and see how it goes.
I will warn you, however, that you might find that in order to remain "in the zone" you are likely to be running slower than you are used to, perhaps significantly slower, perhaps so much slower that you decide to "give" yourself a few extra beats per minute on your heart rate (above 75 percent of max).
However, having recently tried the opposite method, that is, lots of fast running, and seeing it blow up in my face, I am now a believer in lots of slow running.
I think that if you run slower than you are accustomed to running, you will be able to run for a longer distance. And on the next day, you won't be as wiped out. So, you will likely be able to run more miles per week.
In fact, when running coaches introduce speed work (a.k.a. speed drills) they almost always reduce the number of miles that their runners run because of the fatigue associated with running hard.
As you run more miles, you will find that you will be able to run faster while still remaining in the same heart rate or so I am told.
Now, if what I am saying is true, why do so many running coaches say that in order to run fast, you must run fast
and long, slow distance running makes for slow runners?
It's because there is some truth to this as well. But for low mileage runners like us, their advice might not apply as much.
We might benefit from just doing more aerobic running (65 to 75 percent of maximum heart rate). Once we get to the point (and I am not saying you have to) where we are running 40 to 60 miles per week and we notice that we aren't improving our speed
then perhaps it is time to consider adding some speed work.
Caution: I am winging it here.
I don't necessarily know what I am talking about.