Posted: 15/12/2014 at 12:26
I do use beats per mile as a general gauge of fitness, as it covers both pace and HR (bpm = av pace per mile x av HR per minute).
When I first started Hadding I wasn't convinced that you could get a flat bpm graph - my shorter races had a way lower bpm than longer ones. Now I can see that, if aerobically fit, you should average into roughly the same bpm on any race distance.
5k 1221 bpm
(I don't expect races shorter than 5k to correlate, as you get a mile or two of low HR before the rate jumps up - my bpm for a 1m PB is 1041, and for 100m it's 358!)
As you can see my problem is still HR drift in a marathon - if I could stick to an average 1300 bpm at 84% max, that's 7:18 pace. If I could 'merely' hang onto 1400 at 84%, that's 7:47 pace.
But to illustrate how much fitness the pneumonia cost me, I was averaging roughly 1300 bpm in training in September. Now it's 1500.
Tricia I suspect your worsening bpm recently is merely a function of the extra hill-work, (you'd expect to be running more slowly / higher HR) rather than a sign of lower base fitness.