Heart Rate Training - Again

Did you know you can biomechanically be running and only moving at a 15:00 mile?  I do.  Because Z2 running is awful.  I was looking back at this blog to find encouraging stories of improvement from my first round of heart rate training.  I'm disappointed that I never wrote how utterly frustrating it is, and how slow it forces me to to run.  I should've said that before.  I keep trying to remind myself there was a time I couldn't run a 15:00 mile with a heart rate below 150, so keeping it around 135 is a good thing.  But some days, I just want to go. 

Mio Alpha: Last April I got my first heart rate monitor.  It was a plain watch that paired to my iPhone.  It had some downsides, particularly that it didn't work with any apps that tracked indoor running, but I thought it worked quite well and I was happy with it.  Until it broke 1 week before my A race this year.  Sigh.  The wrist band is the part that broke, but the monitor won't work without being strapped tightly to my wrist.  Sigh

Garmin 225: The day the first thing broke, I got myself over to REI and bought a Garmin.  I can't believe I never owned one of these before.  This thing is way more sophisticated than the original heart rate monitor and I enjoyed putting it through its paces.  One of my favorite features is the display of 'heart rate zones' complete with pretty colors. 
One the other available features are in depth training plans on Garmin Connect.  (I have yet to decide if I like this feature.) There are training plans that are heart rate based (vs a traditional distance/speed based plan).  I was checking them out in advance of my 2016 races, and all the plans have significant amounts of time running in zone 2.  Z2 is not an intensity to which I'm accustomed.  And it's slow.  Like, I mean, SLOOOOOOW.

I haven't started the actual training program yet, but it's clear to me the Z2 runs will be my Achilles heel so I'm trying to practice them now.  I'm still seeing this as part of my race recovery time.  As Z2 runs are considered "recovery runs" it seems appropriate.  Hopefully this time around I post more about the heart rate training progress.  And hopefully it becomes less frustrating this time around, as it did last time. 

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