Hope you are having the best day.
Below are three tips that I posted on the Motiv8 Running Crew Facebook page that got a lot of attention and is a topic that I have been hitting hard in our workouts. I wanted to post these three tips in a place where they would never disappear and give you easy access to find this information again if you needed it.
Motiv8ers loosing weight, getting stronger for an upcoming race, or just improving ones over all health is always the biggest topic at our workouts. We have been hitting the topic of nutrition hard to help you loose that unwanted body fat and give you the energy you need to help you feel awesome. But, there is another tool that you can use to help shed off that unwanted body fat and help boost your energy. That is....
Heart Rate Training!
Motiv8ers check out the three tips below and if you have an questions don't hesitate to post below.
Tip #1 Heart Rate Training! Why do it?
Motiv8ers have you ever wondered what good is a heart monitor or how do the hell do you use a heart monitor to help improve your running, biking, or to help you loose weight? Well let me give you a few training tips here that will give you some ideas.
First, in my research and experience I have found that in order to improve your running quickly and see improvements fast, you need to workout in the extremes. Make easy days easy and hard days really hard. I find most people pretty mush hover in the middle. The Grey Zone. They make easy days to hard because they want that feeling of accomplishment from a hard run and they don't push themselves hard enough on hard days because it is way to uncomfortable.
Pushing to hard on easy runs prevents your cardiovascular system from recovering from a hard workout the day before and might start the process of a new injury because you are not letting muscles rest. This in all, will be wearing you down instead of helping you get stronger and faster.
So how do you know if you are pushing to hard on easy days or not pushing hard enough on hard days? You follow your heart rate!
Crew below is a graph that maps out the Heart Rate Zones! There are 5 zones and it is very important that you understand all 5. Also below I'll write out which zones you should stay in for each type of workout. Lets get started.
Note: This is for running workouts. If you only do Boot Camp then ask me in class about which zones you should be in for your workout.
Easy Runs: Zone 2 or low Zone 3
Tempo Runs: Zone 3 or low Zone 4
Easy Long Run: Zone 2 or Low Zone 3
Training Long Run: Zone 3
Long Intervals like 1/2 mile or Full Mile repeats: Zone 4
Short Intervals like 200m or 400m? Zone 5
Example: Yesterday I ran an easy 5 miles. Goal was to stay in Zone 2. Which means I had to keep my heart rate under 131. That is super low and my avg. pace was 9:30. Which for me feels slow and I wanted to push harder. But the training says don't. Hold back so your body can heal. And, Today I am going to do a 3 mile tempo run. Heart rate target for me is in between 148 and 152. Right at the top part of Zone 3. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
Crew there is so much more advice I can give on this topic but for now lets stop there. Check out the graph, ask questions below, and lets start improving our running ability.
Tip #2 Do you eat a little bit the morning of your workouts or long runs?
In my opinion it comes down to what your goals are for that run. If you are already a fast runner and you are going to be pushing this long run hard, to help you get a PR on an up coming race, then I would say yes, eat a little bit before like a few pieces of fruit. This will give you a little bit of extra sugar/energy to burn during your run. Then while running start the process of gels every 30 minutes.
But if your goal is weight loss, or you are getting ready for an upcoming ultramarathon, then I would say no. Don't eat before you run. For weight loss and long distance racing it is important to train your body to burn fat for fuel. Only using your sugar,glycogen stores when you absolutely need to.
When you first wake up in the morning, your insulin level is quite low and most people are just starting to enter the fasted state, 12 hours after eating the last meal of the previous day. The worst thing you could do is to eat food, spiking insulin and glucose and immediately shutting off the fat-burning process. As soon as you put sugar into the system your body switches to that. So don't eat before the long run and fully enter the fasted state and burn stored body fat.
Note: it is important to not let your heart rate go above Zone 3 during this run or your body will switch from fat burning to burning Glycogen/sugar. As soon as your body enters Zone 4, which is an anaerobic state, your body needs a more efficient energy source to burn, which is sugar or glycogen that is stored in your muscles. This energy will burn out fast and at that point you will need to start the gel process.
So in conclusion. If you are training for a fast race to PR then eat before your long run. If you are trying to loose weight or train your body to burn fat for an ultra marathon, then don't eat before your long run so you can stay in the fat burning zone and remember to keep your heart rate low.
Last thing. If you don't eat before your run and want to stay in fat burning but your long run that day is going to take you around 3 to 5 hours then I would start eating a little bit every 30 minutes starting on the first hour. Just to make sure you don't crash and especially if you are new to this process.
Motiv8ers post below with your thoughts and do you eat before your run?
Tip #3 Zone 2 training for weight loss and base building for a marathon or half marathon!
Crew lets start with weight loss first. If you don't know what I mean by Zone 2 training then check out the picture above. Zone 2 is 60 to 70% of your max heart rate. As you can see this heart rate will improve general base fitness, improve recovery, and boosts your metabolism. If your goal for most of your cardio is weight loss, then staying in this zone is very important. Because look, once your heart starts to move into the Anaerobic zone, meaning high zone 3 or zone 4, your body needs a more efficient source of fuel. That fuel is glycogen, which is stored sugar in your muscles. Keeping your heart rate in Zone 2 will ensure that you are not working to hard and will keep you in that fat burning zone. For maximum fat burning do low intensity cardio in the morning before you have your first meal. You will start your cardio in a fasting stat and through staying in zone 2 you will see maximum fat burn. To understand this process more re read Tip #2.
If you are a Motiv8 boot camper in the morning and your heart rate gets high every day that is fine. Just don't eat in the morning so you can start in that fat burning zone and over the weekends just try to get in some low intensity cardio in the morning to maximize your results.
Now for marathon training. The theory is this. If you are new to running and you have never ran a marathon or half marathon before then you need to train your body to handle the work load. Your bones, joints, heart, lunges, and muscles are just not used to moving the amount needed to get through a marathon. To ensure that you are not over training, and to prevent an injury, you need to do a lot of easy miles first. Lets say you want to start training 5 days a week and we are going to do base training for the next month and a half to get you ready for the real marathon training coming soon. 4 of those runs need to be in Zone 2. The goal is to be moving your body and getting it used to putting in the miles. And don't get discouraged if your zone 2 is only a fast walk. Your heart rate will improve over time. This training will make sure you are not pushing the system to hard and help you start building that base you need without getting injured. Your recovery will be fast and you will find that your energy will stay stable. You won't have that extreme fatigue and tired feeling through out your week from training.
Now that one workout a week needs to be a run that you push pretty hard. You will push this run or workout in high zone 3 or zone 4. This run will help you improve that heart rate over time. But only one per week.
Motiv8ers I hope these three tips have helped you. There is still a lot to discuss about on this topic so please join the Motiv8 Running Crew page or the Motiv8 HQ page for updates and to ask any questions you might have. There is a ton of info here to get you started and use it to help you get started. Remember I am right here to help you along the way. Just reach out to me with your questions Motiv8ers.
No Stay EPIC and Don't Forget to Be AWESOME!
Coach Ty Out!