If you have a Garmin watch you can set it to alert you during workouts if your heart rate goes higher or lower than a given threshold… kind of like a built in speed limit monitor for your heart rate.
I tried this feature once and quickly disabled it. I wanted to just run at my own pace and found the alarms when I reached a moderate heart rate annoying.
After a long recent layoff, as I recently started ramping up training, I found basic runs to be a bit too difficult, and sure enough my heart rate would rocket into marathon pace and the lactate threshold. It’s one reason I started doing Galloway style intervals, run/walking the workouts in 2 minute run, 1 minute walk intervals.
Galloway Intervals kept my heart rate level on-average: Even if it spiked during the runs, the minute of walking would bring it back down, the overall average more closely resembling a typical easy run. And overall the effort on these runs didn’t feel terribly difficult.
I’ve since gone on actual full-length training runs of 30+ minutes, and this past weekend I ran a 10K (albeit at closer to regular training paces), so I’m now in condition to run at distance again.
But I want to improve the usage of my natural speed. Now that I track walks on my Garmin watch, I can track paces of not just my walks, but those moments when I run across streets and the pace of those brief, hurried sprints that have always been a part of Working Class Running.
I find those easy, brief sprints vary around a 5:00-7:30 pace without much difficulty. I have speed, but it’s hard to maintain that speed over anything beyond those random little sprints. Even in 400 meter repeats and other workouts I find it very tough.
Is there a way to develop my ability to use that speed at distance in a race?
I think there’s a way, and it goes back to that once-annoying Garmin alert feature.Continue reading