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HR Useless for Intervals?

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HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Jerry on Mon May 14, 2012 10:52 am

I look at my 6x400 interval HR this morning. Average 160 for the fast lap, too low, lower than my half marathon number. Then I remember you HR runners mentioned it is too short to get the HR up?

Can some of you confirm my memory?
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Admin on Mon May 14, 2012 10:53 am

Yep. Confirmed.

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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Kenny B. on Mon May 14, 2012 11:55 am

I wear a HR monitor even when doing track work out like 400's etc. And although the data is kind of useless while in the midst of running it is IMP useful for me to compare one track workout to another to see if I was working as hard and if there is improvement. My stats show I am running repeats faster now then last year etc and my HR is about the same if not lower in some cases!
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Martin VW on Mon May 14, 2012 12:04 pm

Also helpful to know what pace to shoot for when it's really hot or humid and you can't hit your normal paces.
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Mark B on Mon May 14, 2012 1:39 pm

It an also be good to make sure your HR doesn't fall too much in your recovery periods.
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Jerry on Mon May 14, 2012 2:18 pm

@Mark B wrote:It an also be good to make sure your HR doesn't fall too much in your recovery periods.

I don't really look at the # during the workout. Very Happy Not a hr runner,just look at it for fun after.

Thanks every. I got more than I wanted.
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Martin VW on Mon May 14, 2012 3:16 pm

@Mark B wrote:It an also be good to make sure your HR doesn't fall too much in your recovery periods.

Not sure I'm clear on what the tip you're providing here is, Mark. Can you expand a bit?

Just curious.
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Mark B on Mon May 14, 2012 3:42 pm

@Martin VW wrote:
@Mark B wrote:It an also be good to make sure your HR doesn't fall too much in your recovery periods.

Not sure I'm clear on what the tip you're providing here is, Mark. Can you expand a bit?

Just curious.

I think so. It's from Maffetone, so it's naturally a little complicated.

In a nutshell, the idea is to replace a prescribed distance or time as the recovery period between repeats with a physiological measure: heart rate.

A traditional plan may have you run 400-meter repeats with a 400- or 200-meter interval. Using this approach, you'd run your 400 meter repeat and then walk/jog to recover until your heart rate fell to whatever target you'd set. Then you'd start your next repeat. That keeps the intensity level in the zone you want for the whole time.

If your pulse doesn't fall, or stays elevated for more than a minute, it means you did the repeat at too high an intensity. Next time, slow down.

As the workout continues, it'll take longer for your heart rate to fall down to the target level. When the recovery period takes the same time and/or distance as the repeat itself, then Maffetone says you have achieved the maximum benefit you can get from the workout. It's time to cool down.

In this, you'd set your low end target at your MAF/aerobic heart rate. Maffetone advises that the anaerobic interval itself be slightly faster than your racing speed but not at a level of intensity that would get your heart rate up any higher than 15% above your aerobic/MAF heart rate. (Not as all-out as a standard VOMax workout, but Maffetone doesn't advise speed work until you've built a massive aerobic base, so maybe it's closer than it appears.)

This information came from Maffetone's book "The High Peformance Heart" (buy it used for as little as a penny on Amazon.com!).

Hope that helps!

Oops! I see you replied as I was editing/embellishing this.



Last edited by Mark B on Mon May 14, 2012 3:58 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Martin VW on Mon May 14, 2012 3:51 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@Martin VW wrote:
@Mark B wrote:It an also be good to make sure your HR doesn't fall too much in your recovery periods.

Not sure I'm clear on what the tip you're providing here is, Mark. Can you expand a bit?

Just curious.

I think so. It's from Maffetone, so it's naturally a little complicated.

In a nutshell, the idea is to replace a prescribed distance or time as the recovery period between repeats with a physiological measure: heart rate.

A traditional plan may have you run 400-meter repeats with a 400- or 200-meter interval. Using this approach, you'd run your 400 meter repeat and then walk/jog to recover until your heart rate fell to whatever target you'd set. Then you'd start your next repeat. That keeps the intensity level in the zone you want for the whole time. You can also measure your mounting fatigue by noting the time it takes for your HR to fall back down to your "go again" level.

Maffetone goes into this is much more detail in his book "The High Peformance Heart" [/url](buy it used for as little as a penny on Amazon.com!). I can crib more from it if you're interested, Martin.

No, that helps, Mark. Now I understand.

McMillan doesn't prescribe a recovery HR floor, but keeps the recoveries short, so that basically accomplishes the same thing. So it may be shown as a short distance - 200 M active recovery (maybe 1:15) after a 400, or it may be time - 1:00 after a threshold mile, but it isn't full recovery.

I agree with not having HR drop all the way back to resting before the next interval, even if it means that the intervals are slower, or fewer.
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Schuey on Mon May 14, 2012 4:22 pm

@Jerry wrote:
@Mark B wrote:It an also be good to make sure your HR doesn't fall too much in your recovery periods.

I don't really look at the # during the workout. Very Happy Not a hr runner,just look at it for fun after.

Thanks every. I got more than I wanted.

I with you there Jerry! afro
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Admin on Mon May 14, 2012 4:29 pm

For 400m and shorter distances I like near full recovery so I can hit each repeat HARD. Anything longer and I shorten the recovery intervals to keep HR up.

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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Martin VW on Mon May 14, 2012 4:32 pm

@Mr MattM wrote:For 400m and shorter distances I like near full recovery so I can hit each repeat HARD. Anything longer and I shorten the recovery intervals to keep HR up.

Again, just curious, based on....???

To me, that changes the purpose of the workout, not just the distance.
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Schuey on Mon May 14, 2012 4:43 pm

@Martin VW wrote:
@Mr MattM wrote:For 400m and shorter distances I like near full recovery so I can hit each repeat HARD. Anything longer and I shorten the recovery intervals to keep HR up.

Again, just curious, based on....???

To me, that changes the purpose of the workout, not just the distance.

For the life of me I can't remember why but it was apart of my training at one point were I did 400's with 400 recovery/easy between each 400. Actually I still do things like that with my fartlek runs. I have found that they have helped with my training in the past and help mix up the training running.

I have also done 400's were I did a 200 recovery jog between each also and I have found myself completely recovered between reps and that is McMillan that has the 200 between the 400's.

Also I think for me the fun thing about training is changing what I do and find nothing wrong with changing the purpose of the workout, no matter what you do you still find some type of benefit/gains out of workouts. If I don't see any benefit/gain out of doing a workout or doing it a certain way then I don't do that workout or do it that way anymore.

I guess we can go back to that old argument that what works for one may not work for another or just because they say to do the workout this way doesn't mean there is not another way to do the workout.

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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Admin on Mon May 14, 2012 4:45 pm

@Martin VW wrote:
@Mr MattM wrote:For 400m and shorter distances I like near full recovery so I can hit each repeat HARD. Anything longer and I shorten the recovery intervals to keep HR up.

Again, just curious, based on....???

To me, that changes the purpose of the workout, not just the distance.

Neuromuscular efficiency.

I seldom do 400s any more, though. Actually, I seldom do any interval training.

I feel a need... a need for speed.

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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Martin VW on Mon May 14, 2012 8:17 pm

@Mr MattM wrote:
@Martin VW wrote:
@Mr MattM wrote:For 400m and shorter distances I like near full recovery so I can hit each repeat HARD. Anything longer and I shorten the recovery intervals to keep HR up.

Again, just curious, based on....???

To me, that changes the purpose of the workout, not just the distance.

Neuromuscular efficiency.

I seldom do 400s any more, though. Actually, I seldom do any interval training.

I feel a need... a need for speed.

I remember something about neuromuscular efficiency from Fitzgerald but I don't think i understood what he was driving at. Is that the same, or similar to, running economy in your mind/based on your reading?
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Admin on Mon May 14, 2012 10:49 pm

@Martin VW wrote:
@Mr MattM wrote:
@Martin VW wrote:
@Mr MattM wrote:For 400m and shorter distances I like near full recovery so I can hit each repeat HARD. Anything longer and I shorten the recovery intervals to keep HR up.

Again, just curious, based on....???

To me, that changes the purpose of the workout, not just the distance.

Neuromuscular efficiency.

I seldom do 400s any more, though. Actually, I seldom do any interval training.

I feel a need... a need for speed.

I remember something about neuromuscular efficiency from Fitzgerald but I don't think i understood what he was driving at. Is that the same, or similar to, running economy in your mind/based on your reading?

Neuromuscular efficiency has more to do with improving the brain-to-muscle communication pathways/response and recruiting muscle fibers. Running economy is a measure of oxygen usage, I believe. Different things.

With neuromuscular focus you want faster, more efficient muscle response. You develop the power through training at paces much faster than goal race pace, which translates into improved efficiency at goal race pace. Or something like that...


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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  mul21 on Mon May 14, 2012 11:34 pm

@Martin VW wrote:
@Mr MattM wrote:For 400m and shorter distances I like near full recovery so I can hit each repeat HARD. Anything longer and I shorten the recovery intervals to keep HR up.

Again, just curious, based on....???

To me, that changes the purpose of the workout, not just the distance.

There actually is a distinction made between these two by Daniels. He terms them as repetitions and intervals (his terms, not mine). The repetitions are faster and with full recovery (and shorter as well, as he doesn't even prescribe anything beyond 400m until you hit a VDOT of 60+). The intervals are slower and with shorter recoveries. I'm not sure of the science behind it, but I'll dig out my Daniels' book and look it up tomorrow.
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Martin VW on Tue May 15, 2012 9:10 am

Maybe it's time to pull this out into a separate thread instead of hijacking Jerry's (although I think his question was fully answered)?
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Schuey on Tue May 15, 2012 12:14 pm

@mul21 wrote:
@Martin VW wrote:
@Mr MattM wrote:For 400m and shorter distances I like near full recovery so I can hit each repeat HARD. Anything longer and I shorten the recovery intervals to keep HR up.

Again, just curious, based on....???

To me, that changes the purpose of the workout, not just the distance.

There actually is a distinction made between these two by Daniels. He terms them as repetitions and intervals (his terms, not mine). The repetitions are faster and with full recovery (and shorter as well, as he doesn't even prescribe anything beyond 400m until you hit a VDOT of 60+). The intervals are slower and with shorter recoveries. I'm not sure of the science behind it, but I'll dig out my Daniels' book and look it up tomorrow.

Yeah I think that is were I saw that, but I still think there is someone else also. When I get a chance to go through my stuff I will have to look. Heck that might take a while due to everything being moved around awaiting the arrival of the new family member! Smile
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Re: HR Useless for Intervals?

Post  Schuey on Tue May 15, 2012 12:14 pm

@Martin VW wrote:Maybe it's time to pull this out into a separate thread instead of hijacking Jerry's (although I think his question was fully answered)?

VW you must have been gone for to long to forgot that Jerry doesn't matter! lol! Flame
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