Heart rate training for endurance

On 10th July 2015 by Rachael

Want to maximise your endurance and fat burning? Train with a heart rate monitor

Disclaimer: this is not me

Disclaimer: this is not me

Over the last eight years, I’ve used heart rate training sporadically. It always seems such an effort to find the damn thing when I’m running out the door. But as I’m considering training for a few ultra marathons next year – and attempting a 3 hour 15 minute marathon time, I thought it time to get a bit more serious.

So, why train with a heart rate monitor at all? Much as recording your pace and time taken to run a certain route is an important method of assessing progress, so too is keeping track of your heart rate zones and recovery times.

For my purpose, it will also help to ensure I build my aerobic base, rather than consistently hammering runs out in an anaerobic zone which can cause stress and injury to the body.

For me, and many runners I know, this is particularly important because running in the aerobic zone is hard; if you like the feel of challenging your body, which comes with tempo and pace work, training in the aerobic zone can feel frustratingly slow.

On top of this, the aerobic zone uses fat as fuel, as opposed to sugars and Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) response. For my purposes, the better able I can train my body to use fat as fuel for endurance the better.

So, how do you calculate your maximum aerobic training rate?

I’ve based my calculations on renowned coach and author, Dr Phil Maffetone’s 180 Formula which for me should work out at 142 beats per minute.

Which also means that I can max out my tempo training, secure in the knowledge that my aerobic training will seem like, well, like a walk in the park.


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