Author Topic: Novice running  (Read 12155 times)

Re: Novice running
« Reply #125 on: Today at 07:49:13 am »

Forget the 220 minus age guff.  I am 57 yet regularly push my max HR beyond 170 with no apparent issues.  We are each different.  In fact, in two hours time I will have done so yet again.

Yup.  176 recorded.

Re: Novice running
« Reply #126 on: Today at 08:57:11 am »
Forget the 220 minus age guff.

No, don't dismiss it as guff without understanding the point of it.

The point is that in the absence of any other useful indicator (i.e. real world empirical data from a run or something) then 220-age is the best remaining option for estimating HRmax.

No other value than 220 in a formula of the form x-age gives a better fit in a population wide study.

Of course individuals vary, it should be obvious that there isn't a formula out there that can accurately predict individual values for everyone, but if you've got absolutely nothing else to go on then it is the best thing out there.

There are better fit formulae but they are more complicated. HRmax = 208 - (0.7 x age) has a better fit population wide than 220-age.

However, if you've got something that can record HR whilst running, and have no medical reason not to do vigorous exercise (e.g. you've been warned off it by a doctor, or you have a concern over a possible medical condition), then the best way to find your max running HR is:

* find a flat safe circuit (the outside lanes of a proper running track would be perfect) where there are other people about (don't do it completely alone somewhere)
* start by jogging gently for 5 minutes to warm up
* once warmed up increase your speed by 0.5kph every minute or so (if you can't show current pace on your watch then just bump up the speed a bit each time)
* keep doing this until you really can't push it any more, then stop and recover (don't forget to cool down and stretch properly once recovered)

Whatever max your HR monitor hit during the run is now your current best estimate of HRmax. It's not likely to be the exact value but it'll be close enough.

If you then see a higher value in a future run, and it's not just some glitch from adjusting the strap, some weird heart flutter, or passing a bus (this sometimes sets one of my HRMs to read 240bpm) then use that new value, it's that simple.

(The highest HR value I've got when running [sprinting to the finish of a half marathon] is still 13bpm lower than the highest I've ever seen my HR. I get the much higher values during 5-a-side football games and I just can't replicate these whilst running in a straight line[1]. Also I can never seem to get my HR up to either of these levels whilst cycling, even doing hill repeats. I don't want to use the 13bpm higher HRmax value for my running as it would make all of the corresponding 'zones' horrific to train in. Anyway, I digress.)

If you do have any medical condition that could prevent you from doing this, and you need to have an idea of your HRmax in order to know where to limit yourself, then that's a different story. You should probably discuss this with a doctor. From reading the previous posts I would say this would apply to nicknack's situation - speak to your GP first (telephone appointment first given the current situation).

1. I've discussed this with a cardiologist (after having an ECG and an ultrasound - thanks to the Cardiac Risk in the Young charity - back when I was young) and the cardiologist was unconcerned.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Novice running
« Reply #127 on: Today at 09:36:13 am »
If you want to monitor heart rate while running, a chest strap and watch is the best solution, but the recent Garmin watches do pretty well with their wrist sensors and monitor HR through the day too. I have a 935 which I usually, but not always, use with a chest strap for running and wear all day as a tracker. It tells the time too:) My old 235 was also a nice watch and now graces the wrist of one of our compatriots on here.

I can't use my wrist sensor alone on my Garmin 935 for running as it isn't reliable enough.

Two main problems with it:

a) It's sometimes slow to pick up on increase in HR at the start of a run, often settling on a value that is 20-30bpm lower than reality. This lasts for a good 5 minutes or so and then it suddenly jumps up to the real value. I get this on about one in every 10 runs. I also get this with intervals, I can start a specific interval and there can be anything up to a 30 second lag for it to pick up the increasing HR. It seems to pick up on the subsequent drop in HR with no problems.

Here's an example of this:-

Two runs on roughly similar routes (for the first 3km at least). The bottom one was using a HR strap, the top one using wrist alone (as I'd forgot to bring the strap in that day). Relatively flat HR trace for ~3-4 minutes after the warm up (the "missing" bit includes the "climb" of crossing Blackfriars Bridge which shows as a definite hump in the lower trace) and then suddenly jumps into life and works fine for the rest of the run.

b) It can't deal with rapidly changing HR and under-reads considerably and consistently. I get this when I use it for 5-a-side football to the point that I don't think it's been within 10bpm of reality at any point during an hour.

If you're on a long steady run and it picks up the correct HR early on then you should be fine, but since it doesn't do it reliably then I always supplement it with an HRM strap if I can.

I've heard the newer sensors on the later models (e.g. the 945 that also does pulse-ox) are better, but I've no experience/evidence of this myself. Upgrading to a 945 from my 935 would be nice but even getting a good price for my 935 second hand would end up costing me close to £200 and can't justify that right now. Will probably aim to stick £50 a month away and upgrade to whatever supersedes the 945 (if there is anything).

I've got plenty of data of example runs with both a HR strap and attempting to use the optical wrist sensor to show it is unreliable for me. However, I still do my run so I'm not too fussed, it just tends to throw Garmin's own performance metrics/calculations up the spout as it suddenly thinks I can run 5 minute kilometers at 80bpm below my HRmax.

This may be my specific unit that has a problem, it may also be specific to me (although I'm white and have no tattoos). I haven't done enough runs with my new Polar OH1+ (which I wear on the upper arm) to see if it's specific to optical HR sensors and me, and I never got to try the OH1+ for 5-a-side before lockdown. Otherwise the OH1+ seems to be working fine so far (it was mostly purchased for swimming).

So for running I have to wear a HR strap if I want reliable and accurate HR data.

For 24h a day HR monitoring the wrist sensor seems fine, but then I've no idea how accurate it really is as I've nothing to compare it to. And I'm not going to try and find out by wearing an HR strap all the time, or the OH1+.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Novice running
« Reply #128 on: Today at 09:55:11 am »
One last observation:  Only a very small percentage of those who try actually complete C25K.  Only a very small percentage of those who complete C25K manage to run 5k in the 30 minutes that week 9 allows in it's schedule.  I ran 5k's for my week 9 sessions timed at 33 minutes and a handful of seconds.  If I keep going I will hit and break 30 minutes but the achievement for me was 30 minutes continuous running where only weeks ago 1 minute was bloody hard.
I started running when I was 53. I was working away from home three days a week and going out of my mind with the lack of exercise. I asked for help here (of course) and the C25K programme was suggested (see for the details). I am now rather addicted to running, albeit in a fairly limited way, no races (yet), parkrun being the closest I come to that. However, it did take me over a year to go from 'being able to run for 30 minutes' to 'running 5k in under 30 minutes'. I got as close as 30'09" once! The difference came when I did our local parkrun where the fear of embarrassment gave me an extra kick from somewhere. So, definitely do not worry about not being able to get to the 5k even at the end of the course. It's being able to do the half hour which matters.
And enjoy it!
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

Re: Novice running
« Reply #129 on: Today at 11:42:28 am »
I was advised by a cardiologist last year (I have a bit of heart disease - not enough for stent but enough for beta-blockers) that I ought to do something about being a fat, lazy bastard. Lose weight, more exercise then.

Did the cardiologist give any advice as to what form of exercise you should take?

It’s great that you are tackling this. Deciding to do something and actually starting is a good start, well done.

I’m 54 and I’ve been using the C25K as a way of gently reintroducing myself to running. It’s been great but slow, often due to caution on my part, as along the way there have been a few musculoskeletal issues. On that point it’s important to bear in mind the situation in the NHS with COVID-19. Minor niggles are one thing, but there is also the risk of doing yourself some damage that needs NHS input. You will find it difficult to see a GP, to say the least. I think it’s very unlikely that you’ll get a timely referral to physio or indeed anything else. If you were to do something that needed surgical input, let’s say you do your Achilles’ tendon, or break a bone, I don’t fancy your chances of getting optimal treatment just now. Be cautious. I’m not overweight and reasonably active, do Pilates regularly etc., cycle to work, but even so the gradual introduction of unfamiliar high impact exercise caused some injuries that required rest and a pause in the running.

In my view the C25K may not even be gradual enough, at the beginning, for those unused to high impact exercise. Have a look at some drills that you can do to get the tendons and ligaments up to speed, and think about core strength too. Don’t try to run injuries off.

As for the cardiology end of things, I cannot advise other than suggesting you have pay even more attention than usual to symptoms. Take account of the fact that normal heart rate ranges and age related targets will not be applicable. Exercise, but not to extremes. Get advice from your cardiologist when appropriate, if possible.

One thing to consider might be - assuming the “fat bastard” was not entirely in jest - that 1) losing some weight will reduce the likelihood of injury and 2) reducing the intake will be more effective than increasing your output at this stage.