Running with a heart rate monitor

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Well, I finally did it. After 38 years of running I finally bought myself a heart rate monitor. Why now? After that many years of running you’d think by now I would be able to Body Sense everything I needed to know to run injury-free and run long distances without burning myself out. The truth is, I can do that.  But what I’m currently in the midst of is developing specific training programs for beginner, intermediate and advanced runners for everything from a 5k to a marathon…and beyond.

The key to training and conditioning oneself properly for long distance running and walking (and the most sane way), is aerobic training which was used quite effectively by Arthur Lydiard, one of the best running coaches ever. Training in your “aerobic zone” means that you do the vast majority of your workouts at a pace where you’re not gasping for breath or feeling like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest. So, if I’m going to be giving advice I need to make sure it’s good, accurate advice and not just theory.

There have been volumes of books written about how to train for all of the distances I mentioned, but what is needed today more than ever is a system that helps runners and walkers to realize their fitness goals in the safest and most energy-efficient way. To me that means not just putting out another training manual that tells you how many minutes or miles to run during each workout. That’s easy. But if you’re training for a 10k race, you’ll get a lot more bang for your training buck if you add great running technique onto all of that great conditioning. My goal is to offer training programs for running and walking that not only help you too increase your conditioning level by training within your aerobic zone, but actually help you to master your technique at the same time. As long as you’re going to be out there, why not kill two birds with one stone?

So, to make a long story (what could be an entire book, in fact) short, I bought a heart rate monitor so I can measure the effect that any of the ChiRunning form focuses might have on my performance and efficiency…measured in heartbeats per minute. For me it’s a biofeedback tool for measuring whether or not my efficiency is effected by making slight adjustments in how I run or walk. I’ll let you know how it goes.

My first use of the heart rate monitor was to measure my resting heart rate as soon as I opened my eyes… it was 41. I’m going out for a hilly trail run this morning, so we’ll see if I can get this thing to help me run hills more easily.

See ya later,


Posted in Inside Chi, Technique

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