You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Endurance’ tag.

(c) Christiana Lambert 2010

(c) Christiana Lambert 2010

What I’d really like is to hear from someone who started out hating using a heart rate monitor watch, stuck with it, and found out that he or she did improve over time by following the program. Everyone I speak with—of a certain age, of course—seems either to disagree with what information the watch gives out or not want to pursue what it suggests. My biggest question is whether or not the data really says what it purports to say. In other words, if I slow down as it tells me to do now, over time will I be able to speed up again?

A fitness instructor yesterday told me she tried hers for a couple months, but didn’t like having to think so much while running. She says she goes running to let her mind be free, not to be told constantly to run at a much slower pace. I hear her on that.

But what if jump-starting my heart rate so quickly really is a sign it’s not ready for the pace I want to run? Might a heart build its endurance quicker by not facing the stress caused by extreme intensity?

I’m new to all this, but can tell that the fitness community is divided by the validity of the whys behind this kind of self-monitoring and whether or not it helps—in the long run and/or the short run.

So often I feel personally affronted that this watch—a watch for goodness’ sake—is telling me how fast I should go. Yesterday I was reading the ending of some running book where the author described a runner he observed and concluded that she was just starting out. That person could have been me right now and I’ve been doing this off and on for over thirty-five years! I still want to put a sign on my back that reads, “I can run faster but the watch won’t let me!”

Then I take a deep breath—which usually reduces my heart rate, right?—and celebrate the small victories. I thought that small computer brain came up with the threshold heart rate between fat-burning and fitness-burning based upon my age, weight, and height only and that it would remain static if those numbers remained constant. Turns out somehow it “knows” how well I’m doing and has decided to move up the threshold by 4 beats. Ha!

And back to the results in yoga that I mentioned in an earlier post. My heart rate is often lower in yoga—while moving—than it is just sitting here thinking and typing. It drops to 57 and 58 several times during class. I realize that to verify that the results show a statistically normal distribution (i.e. the traditional bell curve), one has to get to N=30, but my early results are suggesting to me that my mindfulness and breathing have a lot of power over my heart and however much it ticks.

Which also tells me that if I just stop fighting this thing, then maybe it will do for me exactly what it should—which is improve my endurance safely over time so that I can improve my performance and speed.

Which could bring me full circle back to how I have run when I was in shape for running.

Over time I tend to develop an internal clock based on how I feel. I was that person in track who usually hit the interval targets, not overshooting or undershooting them, even when we did as many as 20 200 meter runs. I’m also the person who once won a contest based upon guessing my finishing time against several women who timed everything they did to the last second—without their watches they were lost, but I just ran as I always did.

By giving into the (artificially-intelligent) wisdom of the watch now, I hope that down the road (with all those miles to go before I sleep) I will have re-developed the accuracy of my inner watch so that it runs in sync with the monitor and vice versa. This seemingly rigid tool I have been fighting really does have the potential to set both my body and mind free—if I just let it do so.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 608 other followers

Blogging AtoZ Challenge 2012