It would appear that I am on the edge of gearing up for a whole new kind of running adventure, and with the idea of an ultra looming, I know I’m going to have to re-evaluate my training. My husband is very into fitness, and therefore of course loves to give me advice on how to train- which I promptly shrug off because he is not a runner. But, I’m entering new territory here, and I know that finding the most efficient way for my body to fuel my runs will be key… so this time I may not shrug him off. This time, I’m listening a bit more and engaging in the conversation. I’m out of my element and I’ll take all the help I can get.
The idea he’s pushing is running below my aerobic threshold. It comes from Phil Maffetone’s 180 Formula. I’m still researching and deciding how best to train, honestly, I haven’t really looked into it much yet. But from where I stand, on the edge of a new world, it feels like a good time to try something new. And since one of Phil’s big principles is slowing down to get fast- it might be a good fit for ultra training. I already know (ok, think- did I mention that I haven’t actually researched any of this yet… I’m still operating on pure runner’s high confidence) I’ll have to slow down at first to handle this new level. And, what little reading I have done on ultras seems to indicate that speed isn’t always the goal- you run your own race and aim for the finish line. So, for the first time in a long time I’m not really training for speed, I’m training for endurance. Which means I can probably reign in my ego enough to submit to training at a slower pace. Probably.
Now, let’s circle back to the picture… and my point. In order to attempt the new training that I’m considering, I need to have the ability to monitor my hear rate while running. As soon as I realized this, I remembered that I once owned a Garmin running watch that came with a heart rate monitor. It was a chest strap and I never really gave it a chance, only running with it once or twice before storing it away with other outdated electronics. Fortunately for me, I love Garmin… so the next running watch I bought, in fact all of the running watches I have purchased, are Garmins. So, when I got home on Monday, I did a little digging and found the chest strap. Surprisingly, finding it was easy. But I was dreading the next step- would it pair with my current device? And if that was possible, was it complicated? And if it was complicated, how bad are we talking?
Come to find out yes and no. Yes, the heart rate monitor paired with my current device and no, it was not complicated. All I had to do was turn on my watch and go into settings to turn on the heart rate monitor connection. They paired instantly and boom- I was monitoring my heart rate. I soon learned that cooking gets my heart going a bit, but eating calms it back down. As one would guess, vegging out in front of the tv brought my heat rate way down… so lets call that my “resting” heart rate- which hung out right around 64. I found all of this to be fun and fascinating data to have. And, to add a little icing to the cake, I really liked the heart rate monitor display screen on my watch. It was the same as my normal screen, displaying pace and distance… but the overall time was replaced by heart rate. This is fine by me because I never really cared about time… it has always been about distance and pace for me. So, maybe it is time to try something new. I have to admit I am looking forward to getting out there and seeing what happens with my heart once I start moving.