I purchased a heart rate monitor during my 2 week break from running. I just started using it last Sunday. I mainly wanted it for my workouts, especially my tempo runs so I can see and not just feel how hard my cardiovascular system is working.
Sunday was my first 6 mile run since the half marathon. My heart rate averaged between 150 – 156. Not bad. Monday was my day off.
Tuesday and Wednesday I felt good running and ran fairly fast for me (around 8:20 pace). During those days my heart rate was down about 10 beats/minute at 140 – 145. Okay, I wondered at this point, was Sunday “off” a bit with the monitor or was it my rest on Monday. The other thing I did differently was eat a piece of plain bread right before I left for my run. My dad used to do this and since I don’t eat many carbs, I thought it might help.
The plot thickens:
Yesterday I noticed a mile or two into my run that my heart rate was 160 – 170. I wondered if my monitor was defective since I felt okay running. Eventually I turned my phone off and just concentrated on my run. It was one of those “hard” runs. My legs started feeling like rubber and my pace got slower and slower as I went. In fact, I would say it was the worse run since I started back. As I looked at my heart rate, it stayed in the 160 and up range the rest of my run.
Now my thought was, maybe there was something going on in my body that was causing my heart rate to speed up during that run. I did forget to eat the bread. Also I lost a pound during the day and that included eating and drinking a gallon of water. Maybe since I hadn’t had many carbs, my body had to work harder to get a similar result.
Was it the bread? Was it just one of those hard runs? Did my monitor give me insight into the fact that it was going to be a hard run? Did I have a hard run because I saw that my heart rate was high and so psychologically it made the run harder? Who knows. I don’t.
So, I am going to keep wearing the monitor and see if I can glean anything from it to help my running.
If anything, it is interesting to watch.