Heart Rate Training - Hills

by Bob, Answer by Marius
(Atlanta, GA)

What to do about heart rate training on easy runs if it is hilly and at the end of sessions :

"I'm on the third week of the 4 hour marathon training and I have two questions that relate to training using heart rate:

First, what should I do about hills? If I were working off the pace option, I'd just push harder going up the hills to keep the pace up but using my heart rate as the guide, I end up slowing way down, especially on the long, easy runs.

Second, what should I do about what I call the fatigue factor? By that I'm referring to the fact that the farther into a session I go, the more my speed has to decrease in order to stay within the limits of the prescribed effort. Should I allow my heart rate to go above the range in order to maintain pace later on in the workout? Bob. "

Answer: Bob, thanks for your question. This is what you can do about that :

1. For the easy runs, if you have a hill here and there, do not worry about an increase in heart rate while going up it. But at the same time, do not push the pace. Just sort of keep the same kind of effort up it and there is no worry. The main point is to keep the most of the runs in the right zone but if you for natural reasons have to go abit over or below it at times, there is no need to worry at all.

2. For the intervalls - the better shape you get into, the easier it is to run at a steady pace while at the same type of heart rate all the way through the session. Meaning that the heart rate stability throughout the session is a matter of how fit you are.

What you can do in the beginning of your training cycle until you get there, is to start at the lower end of the zone (say 160) and end at the higher end of the zone (say 174) So you run in the correct zone the whole sessions but for the first intervalls you run at the lower end of it, while at the last intervalls at the higher end.

That way you can keep the pace steady throughout.

Good luck and kind regards,

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