Listen to Your Heart…

No, this isn’t the start of the Roxette song.  But, it’s close.

I’m a HUGE proponent of training with a heart rate monitor.  It gives you an immediate insight to your training, and it gives you the ability to track if (how) you’re improving over time.  I also find that my heart rate goes higher right before I get sick.  I can tell when I’m tired or dehydrated.  But, I love having that snapshot into what my body’s feeling at that moment and how far I can push myself.

I’ve run twice in the last week and a half, both of those in humid Florida.  The first run wasn’t so bad, but it probably helped that I was running right next to the beach and had a nice breeze.  Also probably helped that it was 6 am, and the sun wasn’t out yet.  The average heart rate for that 4 miler was ~180, which isn’t horrible, but it doesn’t make for my best runs.  

Today’s run, though, was just humid.  And buggy.  My heart rate 175 as soon as I started running.  Then it jumped up to 183 within 5 minutes, and I couldn’t get it down.  I tried to push through to a point where I was comfortable and could focus on my breathing, but I couldn’t get there this morning.  Once it reached 185, I started walking.  Then I went inside thinking that the muggy air was the problem.  I did a mile on the treadmill inside, and the HR was right back up to 185, even in the air conditioned gym.  It was at that point that I realized that a run was just not happening today.   

So, I went back outside to finish the workout, but this time I didn’t push myself to run.  I just walked (at a pretty good pace – 13:58 min/miles), kept my heart rate firmly in the low 150s (it did drop into the 140s at which point I would pick up the pace), and enjoyed the sunshine.  (And tried to avoid the horseflies that were using me as a morning snack.)  The workout was glorious.  

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