Different Ways To Set Your Effort Level On The Run


Hi folks,

My Garmin 310 running watch, with heart rate monitor. Great piece of gear.

My Garmin 310 running watch with heart rate monitor. Great piece of gear.

As a runner you can assess your effort level in a number of different ways, and some are safer than others. I have friends who head out on a run saying that they plan to hold such-and-such a pace for certain intervals or distances. These are the people who tend to be injured most frequently. Eight-minute pace can be easy one day, a struggle on another, and on occasions potentially disastrous.  It all depends on other workouts completed recently, level of conditioning, nutritional and hydration status, the conditions, such as running surface, weather, and time of day, and how you feel. If you become hung up on pace you are asking for trouble.

My coach, Chris Haute, sets my run workouts based on heart rate zone or perceived effort, never on pace. I get the pace I get and that’s that. On the bike my workouts are dictated by the above plus wattage. For the swim it is all perceived effort level, but the pace is in there as estimated set duration, but I am never held to any particular pace, just the best I can do on the day.

If you stick to heart rate zone and perceived effort you won’t go far wrong.

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.