You might be surprised to hear that heart rate does not have a high importance in the VICSYSTEM training program.
This is because every heart rate is different and is dependent on many factors (fitness, previous day's exercise, duration of sleep, stress, illness, hydration, caffeine, nutrition, etc.) and subject to fluctuations.
It is also important to be able to read your body's cues (such as breathing rate and perceived exertion) to develop an innate body awareness in order optimally pace yourself.
If you wish to do so you can measure your heart rate but you do not have to constantly monitor it.
Whenever possible you should run at the assigned pace.
At times when you do not have ways to gauge performance (GPS, foot sensor, km markers etc) or when running on undulating terrain and not being able to maintain a given pace
you should stay within the heart rate range given by VICSYSTEM.
Example: Let's say, the target is a 60 minute training run at a pace of 5 minutes per km (12km/h) with a heart rate range of 130-148.
If your heart rate falls below the lower limit of 130, you should speed up, if your heart rate exceeds the upper limit of 148, you should slow down.
If you stay within the range for about 60 minutes you'll have fulfilled the targeted training session.
On average, ones maximum heart rate
is measured by subtracting your age from 220 for females or from 226 for males.
This rule is only true on average and can vary between individuals.
To better determine your maximum heart rate you can perform this test:
- Warm up for 20 minutes
- Run hard for 10 minutes while continuously increasing your pace reaching the anaerobic zone (you're out of breath) at the end
- Finally, ideally uphill, give everything you've got in a final sprint, push it to the edge
- Your maximum heart rate will be the highest value registered by your heart rate monitor during that run, or measure your pulse the moment you stop running (count your pulse for 30 seconds and multiply by 2)
- Theoretically your maximum heart rate will be another 3% higher than what you just measured, so add another 3% to record your official maximum heart rate
A more convenient way to determine maximum heart rate may be to use a heart rate monitor which has the predicted heart rate function (ie. Polar HRmax-P function).
In this method the heart rate monitor uses personal info (age, weight, predicted VO2max, etc.) in conjunction with resting heart rate and heart rate variability at rest to calculate max heart rate.
Heart Rate while standing
We also require you to measure your heart rate while standing.
Note that this value is different to your resting heart rate which is taken while lying down.
Please measure your heart rate while standing as follows:
- Go to a room without any distractions (i.e. people, TV, music)
- Stand quietly for a few minutes while breathing regularly with eyes closed
- Find your pulse on your wrist with your pointer and middle finger
- Count your beats over the course of 1 minute
- A heart rate monitor can be used for convenience
As training progresses your heart rate while standing
typically changes faster than maximum heart rate and therefore should be updated weekly.