Why running by heart rate rules!

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile (or if you ever run with me in person), you might have noticed that I am a BIG fan of running by heart rate vs. pace. I don’t do every run by heart rate – generally if I’m at a group run (which has been most of my running for the past few months), I just keep up with the group, but I do monitor my heart rate just to see where I’m at. If I’m running alone or racing, I generally target a certain heart rate and not a certain pace.

I prefer this method for a few reasons:

No regrets. I never question if I could have ran a race faster, or if I should have run a training run faster (or slower). If I hit or stay within my heart rate targets, I know that whatever pace resulted was the best I could do for that run on that day.

No running out of steam. I’ve been monitoring my heart rate while running for about eight months now. I use this as a point of reference, but I’ve gotten a feel for what each zone feels like, and how long I can maintain it. I know I can maintain a heart rate of around 178-180 for a 5K. I know I can maintain a heart rate in the 160s for a half marathon. I’m nervous about my first marathon in October, but I know if I keep my heart rate low (probably in the 150s), unless something unforeseen happens, I should be fine.

No confusion. The last time I ran, it was a 5K in 32 degrees. Today I just wanted to do some easy miles … but it’s 82 degrees out. I don’t have to stop and think about how to adjust my pace. I just set out and target the same heart rate I’ve been targeting for my easy runs.

This has nothing to do with heart rate, but awhile back, I mentioned that sometimes after I run, when I’m stretching out on the floor, my cat comes and sprawls out next to me. Today I had my camera nearby when that happened:


Also, in case you were wondering, the Juno bra by Moving Comfort (yes, the same exact bra in the banner on the right side of my blog … I only run in that bra!) makes a really good water bottle holder. I hate holding anything in my hands while I run, and I don’t have a water bottle belt. Honestly though … sticking it in the back of my bra works out really well. I haven’t chaffed from it yet. And it doesn’t move while I’m running. And the straps of Moving Comfort bras are adjustable.

water bottle holder
Not the most flattering angle, but I had to demonstrate

And yes, that black strap just barely sticking out from the bottom of my bra is my heart rate monitor.

And I skipped tonight’s group run to run closer to home because I had a date with my niece tonight!

Madeline Madeline
That’s Macgyver on the left
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