An Attempt To Manage Heart Rate

With Lauri down in Staunton helping Jaimi prepare for her wedding I decided to do an after work walk. The intent was to keep my heart rate in “zone 2”. For me, zone 2 or the “fat burning zone” is 132-142bpm. The body is supposed to get 85% of it’s energy from stored fat in this zone. Based on my results when running I didn’t expect any trouble getting my heart rate to jump up but this turned out to be overly optimistic (or pessimistic depending on how you look at it).

I set off at as brisk a pace as I could naturally walk. That turned out to be an average pace of 16:30/mile. If I tried to go faster my body wanted to shift to jogging and I wanted a day of rest from running to ensure I didn’t try to get too crazy with a flabby body too quickly. To my surprise I had a hard time reaching zone 2 while walking. I managed it on hills but on flat ground my heart rate stayed stubbornly in zone 1.

My initial interpretation of this combined with yesterday’s run results is that my heart is healthy but out of shape. Walking on level ground even at a brisk pace doesn’t put enough stress on it to raise my heart rate too much. Jogging, though, immediately sends my heart rate up into zone 4. Zone 3 seems firmly unobtainable except for quick transits on the way up or down unless I can find the right combination of walking and running. I suspect this will change over time as my fitness improves though how long it will be before I see improvement in the numbers isn’t known.

If the pretty picture below is not so pretty but instead blank, you can see all the details here.

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