Heart Monitor Training

I've just started following the training methods suggested by John L Parker in his book Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot...

I have measured my max heart rate (interval session at club produced a max of 189) and I have measured my resting heart rate at 48...

The big problem I am having is running slow enough to keep my heart rate below the 70% threshold...

I would love to hear from anyone else that has tried this training method and if it has worked or not. I am going to persevere for a month to give it a real chance but would like to know if there is anyone else who has tried or is currently using this training method !


  • Keep persevering.

    I followed the advice in this book and it has made a huge difference to my running (6 mins off 10k time in about 8 months)

    It is difficult at first. You feel like you are shuffling along and barely moving, and as soon as you get to a slight incline your HR shoots up and you have to walk!

    However, I found that by sticking to the sub 70% rate, I quickly improved to the extent that I can now run reasonably briskly at a HR of 60%. The downside is that the 'hard' sessions (80% or higher) become more and more difficult to acheive. At the start, running with 90% HR was pretty easy!

  • Thank you image it is nice to hear from a "real" person that it works !

    I know what you mean about the slight incline though.... Trouble is everywhere around here has hills !
  • It seems to be a very common problem not being able to keep your HR low enough when you first start HR training, so you are not alone.
  • +1 on what Colin said above.

    I have basically been training this way since 2006. You do get a very good return for "easy" running.

    I'm so lazy now that I do most of my runs at 60% WHR!

  • Thank you all, I'll stick at it and see how it goes image
  • Just a little bit more to add, IMHO you need to run almost everyday and for around an hour most days and still include a LSR at some point too.
    There is nothing new with this notion of training.
    You get a good "bang" for your "buck" and should be very easy on your muscles and joints too if you are prone to injury. The only downside really is that volume of mileage that you need to run. Again, this is IMHO.

    Looks at Hadd's training methods too.

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    You're not alone in encountering this issue, but I would add a couple of caveats.

    My 70% whr is 137. I found that doing lots and lots of very slow running led to repetitive strain injuries. It also over time led to hr drift. My suggestion is once a week to do something more energetic, to "reset" the body, so to speak, like rebooting the computer. I found that the 70% run the day after one of these sessions was at a faster pace than before and the repetitive strain niggles went away.

    Also, we're now heading into the warmer weather and the body's increased need to cool itself means it works a bit harder and that might mask any gains in the meantime. Put in the mileage in summer and the results will be seen in autumn.

    As for keeping the hr steady, I found that near-impossible due to gradients etc. I go by the average hr for a run.

  • Thank you image I'll be doing training sessions with the club once a week as well as the 70% runs so hopefully this will do the trick !
  • I read this book last year , and worked hard at running with HR below 70% I found it best to keep these runs short initially, as otherwise you can end up a long was from home and having to walk to keep your HR down low enough! Also I found the heat affects my HR hugely, so don't be too hard on yourself as the temperature rises.

    Good luck with it though and stick with it. It does get easier!
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