How Garmin Changed Me

Since getting my Garmin, a lot has changed in my training. It started after a couple weeks of using my heart rate monitor during my runs. I would come back home, plug in my Garmin, and see that my average heart rate was somewhere around 190. My maximum heart rate was hitting up to 205!

I sent an email to Ray asking if maybe my Garmin was broken. He kindly responded, and shocked me by informing that no, it wasn't broken. And yes, my heart rate is just that fast.


This led to some Googling. I found an article written by a triathlete explaining how one would go about lowering their heart rate. He said you must train consistently at a low heart rate. Over time, the speed you are able to run at that same heart rate will increase.

In a nutshell, you must run slow in order to run fast.

Well then. That seems counter-productive. But run slow I did.

Since that day, I've been doing all my training runs with a "heart rate alarm" set on my Garmin. It beeps whenever my heart rate goes over 165 bpm. Let me tell you right now... this is often. My training runs are now between 14-17 minute miles instead of the 9-11 minute miles I used to do.

It is hard. It is painfully slow. At my slowest points, I could probably walk faster than I'm running! But I keep going. Because I have the end goal in mind.

On the plus side, I feel more refreshed. I'm not all "death, dying, exhaustion, and sweat" at the end of my runs. I'm all "ooo, that was refreshing... is that a little sweat on my brow?" when I'm done. Since my runs are less exhausting, I'm less scared to do them. But the time it takes to do my long runs sucks... there's no way around that.

I'm hoping that over the next month or 2, I'll start to see some results. All I need are just a little results... just enough to give me confidence that I'm doing the right thing.


JojaJogger said...

You will definitely see results in a couple of months. I didn't believe the run slower to get faster thing either, but it works.

Adam said...

I haven't totally bought into this, so keep us all posted!

Karen said...

It does work. It is horrible to go so slow but there is definitely something to heart rate training. I did it for 3 months. At the end of the months, I posted my 10k PR beating my previous by about 5 minutes. I am a believer!

Wells L said...

I stumbled onto your blog from being listed on "rustbeltrunner's" blog - I am very interested to see how the heart rate training goes for you. Please keep us updated - would really like to know how it goes for you. Great blog!

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