Dilemma on Long run, Intervals & heart rates

Hello everyone - Hope everyone is staying safe in these times

I am a 45 year old male runner who has taken up running again, was never a fast runner (one half M - 5 years back). Currently I am able to run upto 10 km / 6.25miles on my long runs in 80 minutes so I run at about a pace of 8 min/km i.e. 13 min/mile so very slow

My heart rate on my long runs seems high (average 153bpm, high of 189bpm) with a training effect 5.0 as per my Garmin 235. I come back exhausted and need 15 minutes to recover. I tried to break up my 3 days a week runs, with 1 interval training and though my heart rate was lower and distance shorter- I found the interval training much harder than my long run.

2 Questions
1. I dont think I could run slower on my long runs (I do take walk breaks every 7-8 minutes to recover) so should I continue as they are and push the heart rate.
2. I tried to add in interval training but frankly found it HARD despite a lower heart rate and distance - should I continue or just build distance endurance for now because it feels I am doing more on running 10 km than my 4km intervals

Strava examples attached on both

Other notes: am alternating days on bodyweight strength exercises and running AND my Vo2 Max from garmin is a terrible 34. I am also asthmatic so I tend to be cautious is pushing myself but have managed 70 km so far in April and feeling proud of that

In awe of runners who can run fast and long!



  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    Welcome back to the weird, frustrating, amazing and fabulous sport of running. I have had to restart running quite a few times (health related) and I find the same thing when I do. I now build up my base fitness by walking, walking and walking! I then start walk running and then running. This can take weeks, but the end result is, for me, faster running and more endurance. 
  • <div>Hi Guys, I have the same problem, worked up slowly first walking then fast walking and now slow jogging at now mid 12 min/mile pace and monitoring my HR with a Polar M430 I know wrist based HT is not ideal but don't want to shell out for a chest strap just yet so do I keep going at this pace with alternate fast walk/jogg days where my walks are an hour and half 6 miles or so and jogg days are an hour covering about 5 mile or so noticing I am spending more time in HR zone 5 feeling tired after it but still OK with no aches or pains. Ive lost 3 1/2 stone any advice would be most welcome. Thanks.</div><div>Paul.
  • It doesn't sound like you're doing much wrong, Paul.  Wrist-based monitors aren't terribly accurate or consistent and not really ideal for basing a training plan on.  You're not really spending all that time in Zone 5, that would be physically impossible.  Either it's reading too high, or the max HR it's using is too low.  Being tired afterwards is normal, as long as there's no chest pain.  If you've lost 3.5 stone then running / walking seem to be doing the job. 
  • <div>Hi Dave, thanks very much for the advice, I know that zone 5 is max but I sort of hover between the hi 80's and low 90% , I tend to sweat a lot but that's down to conditioning I think and being new to this I expect it will get easier and I try to slow especially up hills but I couldn't believe the difference in effort from fast walking to slow jogging its just a totally different exercise and I can see the benefits.</div><div>No, no chest pain or any aching muscles yet, at my age and being totally sedentary I wanted to take things slowly but I can see the benefit of increased pace already, so will just keep at it for now and as I get better I think a Polar H 10 would be my next investment to pair with my tracker as the wrist based HR monitor is reading too high I think but it is consistent with uphill effort, I've just used the default HR zone numbers and not adjusted anything on it and the running index setting says good so I know something's wrong hi hi.</div><div>Thanks very much Dave, regards</div><div>
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