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Help Interpreting HR Data

Posted By: Tom B.
Date: Sunday, 1 July 2007, at 4:32 p.m.

Hey gang,

I'm hoping you'll be able to help me interpret some HR data from a 10km running race I did over the weekend. Before that, a bit of background:

- 23 year old male
- I've been in triathlon from 2003-2006, with many sprint/Oly races, one marathon (3:53), one half-IM (5:28), one full IM (15:39)
- Since my IM (Coeur d'Alene 2006), I took the last year SUPER easy, training at max 3x/week. I needed a mental break after thinking about IM for a few years prior.
- After the year break, my motivation is back -- and with a desire to "do things right" -- with training, nutrition, recovery, etc.
- My "training" for the 10km consisted of running 1-2x/week for the month prior. I signed up for the race just to have fun with it and see where my fitness is; my 10km PR is 44 minutes (off the bike in an Oly tri in 2004).
- Also, I played basketball from 10-18, so I'm very familiar with tough sprinting (could this account for my ability to raise HR's significantly?)

Here's the data by kilometer, with the split time and average heart rate for that split:

1 - 5:55, 160
2 - 6:03, 171 (15" planned walk break for fluid)
3 - 5:58, 173
4 - 6:04, 174 (15" planned walk break for fluid)
5 - 5:55, 178
--> 5km OUT = 29:56, avg HR = 171

6 - 6:08, 177 (30" planned walk break for fluid)
7 - 5:34, 183
8 - 5:34, 187 (uphill)
9 - 5:11, 192
10- 4:55, 200
--> 5km IN = 27:25, avg HR = 188

Total 10km
- Time = 57:21
- avg HR = 179
- max HR = 203

The first 5km felt comfortable. I made a conscious effort to pick the pace up the last 4km and I did. After standing in 60-degree water after the race (impromptu ice bath!) and giving a self massage, followed by lots of protein and a good night's sleep, I'm not overly sore today. Also, I wasn't seeing spots or feeling like I was going to lose my breakfast after the race; I was fatigued, yes, but not shattered.


My questions:

1. Using the Friel method to determine HR zones (warmup ~20 minutes, run at best effort for 30 minutes, taking the avg HR from the last 20 minutes to determine LT), should I consider my running LT 190? (by averaging the avg HR for km's 6-10)

2. I recall from previous forum postings and gBlog's that the AeT is located 25-40bpm below LT; closer gap if more fit, larger gap if less fit. I am less fit, so that would put my AeT at ~150bpm. I've done the "first deepening of breath" test and 150bpm is pretty close with running -- I've self-diagnosed my AeT to be ~149bpm. Does this sound accurate/reasonable?

3. I've determined my HR cap to be 160. (180-23 = 157; minus 2-3 for training 1-2x/week recently = 155; add 5 for being under 25 = 160). I know I should keep my HR under the cap of 160 for all training, except for certain times when I should go VERY hard, but how close to the cap should I get during base training over the next many months? Should I creep it up into 155bpm area, or should I just cruise along around 140bpm? Etc?

4. Finally, what sort of training HR should I use for the future to develop my base?


Many thanks in advance for your help! I really appreciate the knowledge and information gained from this forum, it's a great resource with lots of successful and motivating people around.


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