Below is from an email exchange with another forum member which hopefully adds something to this discussion. NOTE we were originally talking about long slow distance training :eek: this is their reply, I’m not clever enough for all this
[i]And further - how can using a HR monitor help 1- elite performance, and more importantly 2 - how can it help the AVERAGE JOE, since most start out after they turn 30 (as you can tell from Fun runs ect, the 20-30yr age group is LOW, if they can run A grade or elite they give up, They turn 30-35 and decide it’s time to loose the kg’s and get fit again, and they keep running for many yrs)
Then you have the problem, of comparing the avg JOE to an Elite - an elite was already active as an Junior. A 35yr old just starting out, has spend maybe 15-35yrs doing nothing.
The Elite can by virtue run easily at Low HR levels.
So those that are not quite making the grade, train harder and harder, raising the HR levels during training, and therefore OVER-TRAINING.
What do they say about USAIN - and other great runners? Sometimes it looks like they are bludging too much - how can he be so great when he is taking it so easy!
Thankfully the hard work has been done by others willing to be tested.
If as an example - an elite has a La+ threshold of 92% of max HR - and yours is 70% - then doing the same program as him will just have you Overtraining. Even if training at the same HR % of max.
There are a lot of charts saying, La+ threshold is around 88-90% - but mine is only 81%. So i would be in a state of deep overtraining following them numbers.
The other point is - an Elite at say 92% of max La+ threshold, got there through training. He was at one stage with a Low La+ threshold and a Low Vo2 max, and Slow speed.
Over time - he slowly pushes up those figures, and training adjusts accordingly.
Way back when - in the late 70’s and 80’s - Seb coe did just that
The other thing is with testing - you can work out how FAST a certain HR level is - and therefore training according to Speed as outlined in the Testing.
So - They dont “need” to train with a HR monitor - But every 4-6wks they retest, using a HR monitor, and the Speeds at certain intensities and HR levels change (hopefully for the good if you trained right) and your training is adjusted accordingly.
However - HR monitors have advanced since Seb Coes days - and you can Fine Tune your training on a Daily/weekly Basis.
You can still train According to the CF principles - but with a HR monitor, you can ensure you’re heading in the right way, avoiding overtraining and constantly improving.
An example might be - to raise your La+ threshold - you’re doing intervals, go too fast, and the La+ threshold remains unchanged. IT could be seen as a Tempo workout - go the right speed, and Fitness improves - go too Fast and overtrain.
So, what might be 80% speed of an elite (with a La+ threshold of 90%) - might have to be run at 70% of max speed for me with a lower La+ threshold.
Oh - most after the age of 30-35 who take up training - after only a few hundred meters, their HR levels are already at 80% - and soon after, much higher. Even running slowly.
without a HR monitor, they get USED to the feeling - and as they get fitter, they run faster, but with still a high HR. They are lucky to run 15-20km per wk - they feel buggered all the time, but assume they are doing it right as they improve quick - but eventually Plato out. And yr after yr, they struggle and struggle with the same results.
The trick, is as you get fitter, run slower - it took me 6months before it could run 10km at 70% of max hr. It’s now a recovery run - where as when i 1st started, a 10km was an effort the entire way. I still have to concentrate on speed to keep it that slow - natural tenancy is to run off faster. It’s amazing how much better you feel after a 10k the next day with a HR level avg of only 70%. [/i]