May 11, 2012

This can't end well...

I am in search of the holy grail that is my maximum heart rate.

I decided yesterday I was too tired to run, after Tuesday's squats and ladder climbing and pushing on the bike. My 13 mile bike ride was unavoidable, and would be yesterday's sweat-once-a-day. Even on tired legs, I decided to see if I could peg the heart rate monitor. I knew I wouldn't hit the highest number possible, but was curious how high I could get.

First, I was surprised when I put the HRM on to find my heart rate went up to 100ish, just getting ready to leave. Just moving around getting water and filling my knapsack brought it up 20-30 points. I should probably say first that I measured my resting heart rate at 65 yesterday morning. So from 65 sitting around doing nothing, to 100 just moving around packing a bag.

Once out on the road, the highest I could get my heart rate up to was 166. 220 - 166 = 54, so using that "rule of thumb" equation, yesterday I was the equivalent of 54 years old. I'd seen 170 the first time I ran with the monitor, when I kept stopping because I was trying to stay within the range set by the programming. Remember my maximum heart rate according to the "rule of thumb" is 175. I tend to believe it's higher, but have nothing really to base that on besides the fact I've been running pretty regularly for 2 years and like to consider myself active.

I measured my heart rate immediately after getting out of bed this morning. After only getting up, finding the monitor, turning it on while standing, and measuring, I was at 80. I'm leaving it by the bed tonight, to see where it's at tomorrow without all the moving around.

Other than that measurement first thing, I didn't use the monitor today. My bike ride was only 4 miles, which didn't seem worth measuring. Then I spent over 6 hours painting the ceiling in the living room.
I'm a bad blogger and didn't take pictures, so
imagine the ceiling is now a brighter white. 
The ceiling took a lot longer and was more involved than I expected. I ended up having to brush out each connecting line in the tile that mimics wooden planks. There were also a few tiles that needed screwing up into the ceiling - apparently they suffered from similar water damage as the ceilings on the 2nd floor. I used about a gallon to prime the walls. I used about 2 gallons to paint the ceiling. In the process I managed to fubar my right shoulder and lower back, enough that I had Superman come rescue me and drive me home. I'll pick up the bike Sunday after our family Mother's Day breakfast. Supposing I can ride it by then.

With my back messed up and my legs still exhausted, I won't be doing any stress test tomorrow to find my maximum heart rate. It is very interesting to me that the stress test is similar to this exercise, which I learned about last week as a way to train for running without all the pounding on knees and other body parts. I have been thinking about alternating running days with treadmill incline days, but bike days have been kicking my ass. Running days are few and far between right now.

No matter what I do, I'm sure I'll be watching my heart rate monitor to see how old I am on any given day, i.e. to see how high I can get my heart to race. I know I'm not supposed to train at max heart rate. I know I risk over-training by pushing hard all the time. That's not any different from how I've trained all along. This is why I'm checking my resting heart rate in the mornings, to keep an eye out for signs of over-training before they result in injury. I'm not worried too much though. The way I feel today, I'd be lucky to get my heart rate up to 80%, not to mention max. That approach to training is self limiting, in that one day of pushing super hard leaves me stiff and sore the next, unable to push as hard and giving my heart a break in the process.

At least that's what I'm telling myself.  Myself is telling me "This can't end well..."

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