HEART RATE 101: MARCH-MAY 2017

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HEART RATE 101: MARCH-MAY 2017

HEART RATE 101: THE BASICS OF TRAINING BY BEATS

Here are the registration dates and waves for heart rate-based programs.

Heart Rate 101 is suitable for any runner—beginning, advanced, marathoner, not-yet-5K’er, postpartum, in a training lull—who wants to give heart rate-based training a spin.

There are no physical prereqs, other than being injury-free.

Because there is no goal race at the end of the 8-week plan, it’s a great, no-pressure way to build or maintain your fitness. Bonus: If you want to jump into a race-focused plan after Heart Rate 101, you’ll be in great shape in many respects.

Every workout is measured in minutes, not miles. You’ll run five days a week, with one day of optional easy cross training like a yoga or Pilates class. Speed development is minimal in this plan, as it focuses on maximizing your endurance. For the first six weeks, no run is longer than 60 minutes. During the final two weeks, the long run extends to 75-90 minutes, while weekday runs all stay 60 minutes or fewer.

In the first week, you’ll run 2 hours, 45 minutes over the course of five workouts; in week eight, the biggest week, you’ll be at 4 hours, 30 minutes over five workouts. (Those are minimums; there are ranges for a few workouts; you can add up to 45 more more minutes of running weekly.)

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You need to wear a heart rate monitor with a chest strap for every run. For nearly every mile, you’ll aim to keep your heart rate at or under 140 beats per minute (bpm). Why 140? Based on Maffetone’s Formula (180-age, with a few qualifications), 140 is a solid number that works for nearly every body. Keeping your heart rate under 140 greatly expands your cardiovascular/aerobic base, greatly decreases your chances of injury, significantly lessens post-run fatigue, and makes running feel very doable and even fun. (Truly!)

For the first three weeks, you will have a weekly Free Run, where you can run as fast as your heart desires.

Fair warning: Your initial pace at 140 bpm will surprise you. You will likely be 2-3 minutes slower than your current average run pace, and you’ll walk quite a bit to keep your heart rate within range, especially when you climb hills. You will be frustrated and possibly teary and maybe even think about dropping the program.

We’ll keep you going though, and over the course of the next eight weeks, your perspective on running (and your own potential) will do a significant U-Turn. Your runs will turn from frustrating to fun, and you’ll be ready to rock whatever you choose to do next.

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Product Description

  • Heart Rate 101 includes:

    A 8-Week Training Plan. Designed by Coach Mary-Katherine (MK) Fleming, Heart Rate 101 is suitable for any runner: beginning, advanced, marathoner, not-yet-5K’er, postpartum, in a training lull, wanting to give heart rate-based training a spin.

    Because there is no goal race at the end of the 8-week plan, it’s a great, no-pressure way to build or maintain your fitness. Bonus: If you want to jump into a race-focused plan after Heart Rate 101, you’ll be in great shape in many respects. (Not sure about heart rate training? Here’s an in-depth explanation.)

    In the plan, every workout is measured in minutes, not miles. You’ll run five days a week, with one day of optional easy cross training like a yoga or Pilates class. Speedwork is minimal in this plan, as it focuses on maximizing your endurance.

    In the first week, you’ll run 2 hours, 45 minutes over the course of five workouts; in week 8, the biggest week, you’ll be at 4 hours, 30 minutes over five workouts. Every workout is 60 minutes or less, with the exception of two 75-minute long runs in the last two weeks. In addition, there is a range for workouts, so if you want to go a little longer during some workouts, you can.

  • Miles of Resources. Your registration gets you access to the Train Like a Mother private site, where you’ll find helpful articles; video demonstrations of strength training moves, foam rolling routines, and running drills that are totally doable (read: less than five minutes! truly!) and will keep you running strong and injury-free; and plenty of other tips and tricks to compliment your heart rate-based training.

  • Exclusive Train Like a Mother Podcasts. We’ll answer individual training questions—and entertain you on your runs. Your first podcast will be a Heart Rate Training 101, which will explain many of the tenets you’ll use in this program. After that one, we’ll pull in experts, answer questions, help you thrive. As always, no question is too basic or TMI.

  • A Training Peaks Account. This comprehensive training tool will help you chart the nearly daily growth of your endurance base. It also sends you a daily email with your workouts for today and tomorrow so you can plan accordingly.

  • Accountability—and Camaraderie—Galore. In addition to Train Like a Mother Club, you’ll be invited to join a private Heart 101 club on Strava, where you can track your miles, and a private Heart Rate 101 Facebook page, where you’ll quickly find an army of (funny, empathetic, inspiring) #motherruner teammates. You’ll share training tips, stories of good runs and bad, cheer each other on, and push each other out the door. Momentum comes from teamwork, and these Challenges roll on some serious #motherrunner momentum.

  • Best.Swag.Bag.Ever. As part of your registration, you will receive a package stocked training essentials, including a tube of Nuun, packets of GU, a pair of Balega socks, and sample of SweatX sports detergent. (Shipping of $6.50 on U.S. orders and $15 for international orders will be added to your registration at checkout to cover the cost of getting these goodies to your mailbox.)

  • Expert, Accessible Guidance. We’ll pop in via email weekly and host a weekly Q+A on the Facebook page. If you hit a big speed bump, we’ll happily help you on an individual basis.

  • Optional Celebratory Merchandise: We’ve got a sweet (Run) Like a Mother long sleeve tech tee and a range of custom shoe tags—we’re calling them the new finishing medal—including don’t think/just go; #coachandloved; and Stay Strong.

FAQs

  • When does Heart Rate 101 run?
    You can find the  2017 dates for the waves of Heart Rate 101 here.

  • How will heart rate-based training help me become a better and faster runner?
    The plans dial in —or simply develop—an endurance base, which will help your running economy skyrocket and make you a capable, strong, injury-free runner. Think of a pyramid; the wider its base, the higher its apex can be without tipping or crumbling. Same with running: the wider your endurance base, the higher or faster you can run.

    Unfortunately, developing the endurance base is the process most non-elite athletes skip when decide to train for a half- or full marathon. They substituting other activities for easy runs or take the “easy” out of their easy runs. Either way, they don’t get the physiological benefit they need to finish the race feeling strong and healthy.

    Most runners devote a lot of energy looking for the Magic Workout, believing it’s something that involves the track and/or really challenging paces. There is some magic in pushing your paces, but only—and this is a big ONLY—if your body has a developed endurance base and is ready for the more intense work.

    I—MK—know plenty of runners who have been logging miles for decades in search of the Magic Workout and can’t figure out why they repeatedly get injured or continually getting slower, despite putting in more and more effort.

    Their Magic Workout isn’t more effort or speed. It’s the easy effort run with a heart rate cap. Over time, those easy miles allow your body to magically transform into a cardiovascular beast—and that is when the true magic can happen.

    (Dive deeper into the physiology of and my perspective on heart rate-based training here.)

  • How do I know if this is the right plan for me?
    Heart Rate 101 is suitable for any runner–beginning, advanced, marathoner, not-yet-5K’er, postpartum, in a training lull— who wants to give heart rate-based training a spin.

    There are no physical prereqs, other than being injury-free. The only other prereq? You need to own a heart rate monitor with a chest strap, and you need to wear it all the time while training. The majority of your time, you’ll be training with a heart rate <140. Check out a range of suggestions from Polar, super accurate and reliable heart rate monitors.

    Because there is no goal race at the end of the 8-week plan, it’s a great, no-pressure way to build or maintain your fitness. Bonus: If you want to jump into a race-focused plan after Heart Rate 101, you’ll be in great shape in many respects.

  • I am constantly injured. Why will heart rate-based training help me stay healthy?
    Muscles have memory, but tendons and ligaments do not. I—MK— see runners going too fast all the time who swear to me, they, “feel FINE!” Perceived effort can be shaded so many ways; the heart rate cap will keep you honest and keep your easy effort days easy. This in turn will prevent you from letting those muscles that feel FINE push your tendons and ligaments beyond their breaking points, leaving you with a roaring case of plantar fasciitis, IT Band Syndrome, Achilles tendinitis, or shin splints.

    Heart rate-based training slows you down so that your tendons and ligaments have time to get up to speed; in addition, many of the short strength circuits you’ll do after your runs will encourage all the right kinds of running strength.

  • What heart rate monitor do you recommend?
    Coach MK loves and uses the Polar M400. So does Dimity. Here a few other monitors with a range of features that we recommend.

    Here’s a little more advice from Coach MK:

    My advice is to go for the low-hanging fruit. Translation: You might not need to run out and buy a super-expensive and fancy new watch.

    Did your current watch come with a strap that is sitting forgotten and unloved in a drawer? Grab it.

    Is your current watch heart-rate enabled but you didn’t buy the strap at the time because you didn’t think you needed it? Get the strap that goes with your watch.

    If you’re ready to upgrade your whole system, check out the price of the watch you want. Sometimes the stand-alone strap is pricey enough that it makes more sense to go ahead and upgrade.

    Don’t have a watch because you run with an iPhone? Look at the available GPS apps like Strava, MapMyRun and Runkeeper. All will sync with different heart rate straps, so check prices and pick the combo that works with your budget.

  • Do I need other equipment for this plan?
    We have optional super short routines that involve a BOSU and resistance loops. While they are not mandatory, they are crazy helpful in building glute strength (BOSU) and hip stability (resistance loops)—two areas that are usually lacking in #motherrunners and are the root of many running injuries. If you don’t have access to or funds for a BOSU, don’t sweat it; resistance loops are adequate and are much more affordable. (You can also look for a used BOSU on craigslist, a used sporting good store or at garage sales.)

    We also recommend having a firm foam roller; the more dense it is, the better. (But we admit: It will be a little painful the first few sessions!) Our first choice is the TriggerPoint Grid X.

  • Do I have to do a bunch of calculations or complete a running test to figure out my optimal heart rate zones?
    No. Here’s why: When I—MK— started as a coach, I was handed a motley crew of 20 people who were at varying levels of fitness. Not a single one had a decent endurance base yet all were severely overtrained. I was floored. People running less than 15 miles per week shouldn’t be overtrained! Worse, they would absolutely kill themselves on our Tuesday night social (easy effort) runs and swear they weren’t failing the “Talk Test,” or being able to carry on a conversation while you run.

    A big believer in Lydiard’s rule that a well-coached athlete should never be injured, I knew I had to come up with a system that would work for everyone without alienating anyone.* I respect Phil Maffetone’s work and initially told everyone to use his formula (Heart Rate cap: 180-age, with a few exceptions) on their easy effort days.

    This failed spectacularly. Everyone bent the rule, so I set out to write a different rule. I researched all the data and theoretical reasoning behind most existing heart rate training programs, read up on studies of the existing endurance running population in North America, then looked at the success rates of my athletes with their Maffetone formula and reevaluated the verbiage around my ‘rules’ for the easy-effort run.

    The result was a 140 cap on heart rate for easy effort runs. Keeping your effort on or below 140 beats for minute is firmly aerobic territory for most of the population of non-elite endurance athletes and will increase the endurance base and running economy. (Dive deeper into the physiology of and my perspective on heart rate-based training here.)

    In an effort to make sure my runners do as little math as possible, and because perceived effort is not always an effective, we ALL wear heart rate monitors and use 140 as a cap for easy efforts. The cap comes off for other workouts—and there are plenty of times we pick up the pace—but keeping the easy efforts easy will transform your running.

    Exceptions to this rule are people under 20, over 60, and former competitive**/elite endurance athletes.

    [[*I’ve been the fat kid at track club more than once. I HATED it. I make a point to make sure everyone is treated equally and fairly at my group workouts, and have developed a system that ensures no runner is ever left behind our demoralized.]

    [[**By ‘competitive’, I mean, “someone who was ranked in the top 10% at the state level or nationally in track or cross country either in high school or college.]]

  • Does every run have a heart rate cap?
    No. There a few Free Runs, where you can run as hard and fast as your heart desires because we know that feels good. Also, there are bits of speed development sprinkled thoughtfully through the programs; depending on your plan, you will do anything from 20-second pickups in an easy effort run to miles at race pace, and those elements do not have a heart rate cap.

    But the Magic Workouts—the easy effort runs that develop your endurance base and running economy—are capped at 140.

  • Does the registration fee include a race?
    No. Heart Rate 101 is simply a training plan to gain or maintain fitness and try heart rate training.

  • Can you please explain the shipping charges?
    Within a few weeks of registration, every participant in a Train Like a Mother program receives a stocked swag package with some of our favorite training essentials. Domestic #motherrunners are charged $6.50 for shipping; international #motherrunners are charged $15 for shipping. The Train Like a Mother tee and medal have no shipping charges associated with them.

  • What if I realize this isn’t the right training plan for me?
    We definitely want this to work into your life and your running lifestyle. You can email us at tlamclub@anothermotherrunner.com within 2 weeks of starting the program and we will set you up with another plan or a credit for an upcoming challenge. We will not be able to issue a straight-up refund.

  • What if I get injured or really sick?
    With a smart training plan, doable strength training, and advice on foam rolling and other self-care, we’re going to do our best to keep you injury-free. That said, if you have an injury or illness that totally slays your training, let us know attlamclub@anothermotherrunner.com. We’ll work with you to get you a credit for an upcoming program.

Any other questions? Hit us up attlamclub@anothermotherrunner.com and we’ll help you out!