I prefer this method for a few reasons:
No regrets. I never question if I could have ran a race faster, or if I should have run a training run faster (or slower). If I hit or stay within my heart rate targets, I know that whatever pace resulted was the best I could do for that run on that day.
No running out of steam. I've been monitoring my heart rate while running for about eight months now. I use this as a point of reference, but I've gotten a feel for what each zone feels like, and how long I can maintain it. I know I can maintain a heart rate of around 178-180 for a 5K. I know I can maintain a heart rate in the 160s for a half marathon. I'm nervous about my first marathon in October, but I know if I keep my heart rate low (probably in the 150s), unless something unforeseen happens, I should be fine.
No confusion. The last time I ran, it was a 5K in 32 degrees. Today I just wanted to do some easy miles ... but it's 82 degrees out. I don't have to stop and think about how to adjust my pace. I just set out and target the same heart rate I've been targeting for my easy runs.
This has nothing to do with heart rate, but awhile back, I mentioned that sometimes after I run, when I'm stretching out on the floor, my cat comes and sprawls out next to me. Today I had my camera nearby when that happened:
Also, in case you were wondering, the Juno bra by Moving Comfort (yes, the same exact bra in the banner on the right side of my blog ... I only run in that bra!) makes a really good water bottle holder. I hate holding anything in my hands while I run, and I don't have a water bottle belt. Honestly though ... sticking it in the back of my bra works out really well. I haven't chaffed from it yet. And it doesn't move while I'm running. And the straps of Moving Comfort bras are adjustable.
|Not the most flattering angle, but I had to demonstrate|
And yes, that black strap just barely sticking out from the bottom of my bra is my heart rate monitor.
And I skipped tonight's group run to run closer to home because I had a date with my niece tonight!
That's Macgyver on the left