Heart Rate Training – practice week

It feels like ages, but it’s only been a week.  I guess when I took it easy this week from running, I took a break from this page too.  It felt odd not to do too much running after about 4 months of training.  The first few days I just did some stretching, foam rolling, and a little yoga.  Then I decided to go ahead and get in my HRT (heart rate training) practice, and dig out the heart rate strap that came with my Garmin.  You know, the one I’ve never touched except to take it out of the box and place it into a drawer.

Another Mother Runner’s first Heart Rate Training Challenge starts tomorrow, the 9th, and for those that signed up early enough or didn’t have a big upcoming goal race, there were 4 weeks of intro to HRT as well.  I finished my marathon on the 30th, so I really only have the last of week of practice to get used to it.  It really seems like the perfect challenge for someone coming off of a big race, due to the nice and easy pace.

I did a short practice mid week on the treadmill to see what my easy effort pace would be, keeping my heart rate under 140, and to make sure the heart rate strap worked.  It did work (score!) but my pace was pretty slow – around 13 minute mile.  I didn’t run again until Saturday, which was a “free run” (i.e. whatever pace you want), and did 30 minutes at around 9:30.  All of the runs in this plan (so far it seems anyway) are in minutes and not miles.  Good thing, because otherwise we all could be out there quite a while!

Normally those runs are on Friday as it’s a Friday/Saturday free/long run combo.  But, Saturday was quite a hectic day – Esteban’s first communion…

Esteban's First Communion

Esteban’s First Communion

And my cousin’s wedding…

Esteban caught the garter!

Esteban caught the garter!

But Natalya missed the bouquet

But Natalya missed the bouquet

… so I knew that 30 minutes was the most I was gonna fit in that morning.

This morning is Mother’s Day and my first HRT long run.  Keeping my heart rate under 140 meant a slow pace, but thankfully not as slow as on the treadmill.  I ended up around 11:30, so not too bad in comparison.  I changed my watch face to show overall mileage, time elapsed, and heart rate, just so I wouldn’t get hung up on my current pace.  The competitiveness in me would end up f’g up the run by going faster than I was supposed to.  I did go up to 145 a few times, but then slowed and brought myself back down, averaging 139 over the course of the run.


I’m in “wave 1” of the plan which officially starts Monday, with a goal race of the Happy Girls Half Marathon on September 24th in Spokane.  I’m running the half as part of the Another Mother Runner Retreat, which I’m not signed up for (Happy Mother’s Day to me!!!), and I am beyond excited waiting for that little getaway.  The last one in Little Rock was SO much fun.  The plan itself is 20 weeks long and gets pretty high in the time spent running versus mileage – for example in week 9 there’s a 90 minute mid-week run plus a short (5 minute) strength session.  I will need to either work from home that day/those days or get up  at 3:00am, so it will be a challenge.  I like challenges though and I still have little kids, so really I’m used to not getting enough sleep 😀

Here’s to hoping this plan reaps many positive rewards and especially a half marathon PR!  And if you want to try it check out the Train Like a Mother Club site (not sponsored, just love their challenges).


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