HRM training - Don Fink

1 to 20 of 30 messages
15/10/2012 at 14:19

Having read Don Fink's "Iron Fit" I have adopted his advice on training with an HRM and staying in zone 2 for the bulk of my runs.

I'm struggling with zone's slaying my normal pace - I can cope with this as I have read about the long term advantages, but the worst thing is that I almost have to walk up larger hills simply to avoid going out of zone 2.

I know my max BPM having tested recently, my zones are bang on - but the book fails to mention how rapidly a reasonably fit person should gain speed within z2 to allow them to stay in the zone and run up hills and at a decent pace.....I'm getting frustrated already and need to be told to stick at it!

cougie    pirate
15/10/2012 at 14:30

I'd not worry about going out of your zone for hills - thats pretty much unavoidable. Lets face it - your HR will be lower than that coming down the hill ? 

By all means try and stick to your base training, but you dont need to abide by it 100%.

15/10/2012 at 14:33

I try to do it for a coule of months.It's tough, real 'leave your ego at the door' stuff. But you will improve.

And I DO have to walk up hills when first starting out. Just looking at a hill can be enough it feels! But it does get better, promise.

15/10/2012 at 16:03

Thank you for the responses all of you.

I'm going to stick with it and get a little less flustered about keeping rigidly in the zone on hills - "ego at the door" is exactly right.

15/10/2012 at 16:17

I'm struggling with the same issue, but i'm fairly sure there is a part in the book where Fink says that in a race you will unavoidably fluctuate from mainly aerobic work to mainly anaeorobic for short periods of time (eg: up a hill like you say).  If I'm in zone 2 for at least the majority (circa 80%) of the run I think i've done ok!

15/10/2012 at 20:09

Ive been trying to train to the maffetone formula (180 - age) on and off for a couple of years now, this is lower for me than Finks zone 2.

for running outside I found it too frustrating to try and stay below on the hills and stopped wearing my heart rate monitor but for the last few months Ive been staying at a Hotel with a Gym during the week and returned to it, I'm now running about 1.5 mph faster on the treadmill for the same heart rate so feel i'm making progress. I now find training indoors at the Maf heart rate quite a hard effort especaiily on the bike. 

I still allow my heart rate to go up when training outdoors on the hills but it does tend to stay within the Fink zone 2 range now. (based on age calculation rather than a measured maximum heart rate)

The big advantage for me of training at such a low heart rate is it allowed me to build up distance fairly quickly without injury, and i feel great on it.

When my Fink training starts proper in December i will do a max heart rate test and attempt to train to his zones.


Edited: 15/10/2012 at 20:11
Britrisky    pirate
15/10/2012 at 22:37

If you do a max heart rate test by, say, running up a hill really hard ... how do you know your rate is at its max? I would be thinking that its max effort, and that actually, my max effort isn't perhaps as hard as my heart might be able to manage.

I often wonder if I'm not trying hard enough ... isn't your max in your head more than in your heart?

Razor51    pirate
15/10/2012 at 22:46
Z2 worked for me, my max HR is 190, but occasionally it does go over up to 208 so either I didn't max out when I did the test or I have got fitter, I don't know.
16/10/2012 at 00:07

Unless I misread, my understanding is that your max hr should not go up as you get fitter and is not in any way a measure of your fitness.

Razor51    pirate
16/10/2012 at 07:52
No idea really just reading the monitor. :-/
Edited: 16/10/2012 at 07:54
16/10/2012 at 16:27

my understanding is like Khanivore your max rate should not go up as you get fitter. however being more active is likely to slow the rate at which your max heart rate drops  ie less than 1 per year.

Razor if your measurements of 208 are accurate then that will be your max heart rate (or maybe higher) not 190.

Razor51    pirate
16/10/2012 at 21:12
It seems the more training I've done the more I can push my HR up to around 208 so maybe I didn't push myself hard enough when I measured it the first time
Edited: 16/10/2012 at 21:14
16/10/2012 at 21:52

+ 1 for MAF / phil mafeton based heart rate caps for running for IM training.

I started running  regularly 8 years ago.  For the first 4-5, my hr would hit 155 within the first minute, and I would run 5-10k at hr 155 - 165.  I thought I was fit as I was pooped at the end.

3-4 years ago, IM training started, and I started building a long run from an hour up to 2.5 hrs - at a hr of 135, (per friel / gordo / zone 2 based on a functional threashold hr (aka hard 30 min run ) of 160.  As a result, my HR for a normal 5-10 k training run plumeted to 140-145.  My running partner's garmin HR warning used to go off on an uphill section, and my hr was 145...!!!! wtf?  I had been running with him for the last 5 years.....  my hr fell, his had not......

so for the last 2 years I have had a MAF HR cap of 143 for all runs - When my daily 45 min runs started off, I was bumping this constantly.  4 months later, (5 runs a week) I really had to concentrate / push to hit 143, and a interval session of MAF -5 / +5 was hard / very hard.   I ended up with 7 min miling at MAF.

(Every 2 months I do a MAF test - run 5 miles at MAF hr - 143 for me) and see what your mile times are - they will degrade when you start despite the constant HR. When you are really fit, your speed will have increased at the MAF HR, and you will no longer degrade your mins/mile.

Oh the last thing......

its an IM  you are training for...... You have just done 5.5 - 7.5 hrs on the bike, and your legs are knackered.   

How hard / high a HR can you push in an IM marathon.  You will not be doing a tempo workout!
IM regensburg - I ran a 3.45ish.  the first 2 hours I was at a HR of 150 and all was good, then it got really hard, and my HR (and speed) fell, down to 140.  I just could not go any faster as the legs were so screwed, they could not make the hr rise any more.....

IM Lanza - I ran 3:49, just ran easy at 140-143 the whole way.  The last 5k was tough but speed did not really suffer....

If you are less fit, then the bike will have taken more out of you, and your legs (and heart) will be in an even worse state.  Its then all about efficiency

16/10/2012 at 21:58

OrangeCannon fantastic post! I am not brave enough to go for heart rate training before my first marathon in April. I am going to run a regular training plan to get me there. However as soon as it is done I will shift straight on to HADD or I will follow the book I bought, A Compleat Idiots Guide to HR Training.

Britrisky    pirate
16/10/2012 at 22:18

This is all a bit technical for me - MAF? Is the take home message from this OC that if you put the time in at Z2 early on you'll end up getting quicker for longer?

16/10/2012 at 22:38

basically yes, low heartrate base training for a period is the way to go.

Although using the Phil Maffetone recomended max heart rate (180 - age, with a variation according to fitness/previous training) will probably be at the lower end of your zone 2 or maybe Zone 1 for cycling. also he recomends that while base training you never exceed that heart rate which is pretty hard / frustrating to do.

Orangecannons post makes good sense though and gives me something to think about between now and whenever the Fink plan starts for me in December.

16/10/2012 at 23:37
If you are im training then the mesaage is do your run training at z2.
Thats the most specific zone for an im marathon.

If you are marathon training, it diffrrent as you can go a lot harder for 3-5 hrs

Oh, MAF if the phil mefetone hr cap, based on 180- age +- x bpm for history etc. my coach uses it for all his agegroupers and it works well.

Gordo byrne (endurance corner), joe friel and even don fink all also use z2 runs. some chuck one tempo workout in there a week with the aim of pushing speed / fitness like intrrval training. its a good idea, just dont do too much of it
I ended up with an interval session once a week.

Oh and the odd 5k park run is also nice to do occaisionally for a blow out/ change of pace.
Edited: 16/10/2012 at 23:46
17/10/2012 at 00:15

are your zones right? If you read Friel's book he bases them on LTHR - which makes more sense IMHO for the sort of stuff we are trying to do.

Friel refers to extensive and intensive Zone 2 sessions. You are doing the former. The latter will have about 1/3 of the entire session in zone you are probably doing you are probably doing right!

do a flat out 5k and press the lap button half way around. The avHR for the second half is probably somewhere near your LTHR.



Better 5k, Duathlon and Triathlon


Goals: 82% Age Graded 5k and an open water Triathlon.

17/10/2012 at 09:43

Have you ever used MAF principles for cycle training?

I'm already a believer in it for run training but I never considered it for cycling, I'm actually embarked on a winter of FTP raising workouts which are not in the least Z2 But your post got me considering the best way to train the bike hence the question.
17/10/2012 at 20:22

@theevilpixie...your zones are wrong then !! if you are young your HRmax could easily be 220.

mine was over 200 in my 30s

this is nothing to shout about as HRmax is NOT a measure of fitness...for that look at HRmin / HRrest

for FTP based training the most effective 1 hour session i think is at 85% of FTP for 2x20 mins HOWEVER you need to do that on an existing endurance base. Obviously just doing zone 2 work won't help shorter faster distances

Edited: 17/10/2012 at 20:27
1 to 20 of 30 messages
Previously bookmarked threads are now visible in "Followed Threads". You can also manage notifications on these threads from the "Forum Settings" section of your profile settings page to prevent being sent an email when a reply is made.
Forum Jump  

RW competitions

RW Forums