Confusion is over! Rory’s HR advice

Look at Rory go! He's done 11 Marathon des Sables. I'd better listen to him...
Look at Rory go! He’s done 11 Marathon des Sables. I’d better listen to him…

So my coach, the great 11-time Marathon des Sables completing Rory Coleman, has this advice for me on HR that anyone doing a multi-day race like The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica will find useful. Also, if you’re interested in how HR training can maximise your performance do check out our training plan in the next issue of Trail Running magazine, on sale 4 Sept.

Rory says, “With regards to your Max HR and how long you feel you can run at your peak of 195bpm. For a lot of people without Heart Rate Monitors 220-one’s age is always a good rule of thumb and one that I would like you to use, any HR data we get is a bonus. In the gym we could have assessed your HR during the Cooper Test but it’s not one of my real concerns right now as I’m trying to get you to run at your 75% MHR of 142 (220-31 x 0.75) to improve your cardiovascular function, improve your muscle performance and increase the amount of your body fat to be used as fuel. I’d like you to think of your Heart as an engine, at the moment it’s a good Mini Cooper and we now know it revs very high, the aim here is to increase your hearts’ capacity (the cc), and make you into a powerful Aston Martin V8 that we can run at low revs for a very long time which you will need for the The Coastal Challenge.

I’m not too worried about the speed of your slow runs, you just need to average around 142bpm and we’ll look at how your HR reacts as the distance increases (as it will). Your body also needs time to react to the training and I don’t want you to push any harder right now to avoid injury – so keep on the plan and well done so far.” 🙂

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