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 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

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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