Marathon Training Weeks 2 & 3 - Heart Rate Training

The other night I had a dream that I ran a 3:31 marathon and during that marathon I had even stopped and eaten for 45 minutes with my family.  I was pretty excited because I knew I could do better in the next marathon if I didn't take a lunch break.  lol!

^^As seen on my run.  4x hot air balloons if you can see them.

What I wouldn't give for a 3:31 = BQ!!  But I did have a couple of great weeks training.

Since having B3, I've been running a majority based on my heart rate for my legs' sake, but I finally dove head first into 100% heart rate training.

So far it's been ...interesting... ...........................................................................

I did my first longer run while actually sticking strictly to my zones and averaged a 125 bpm for the entire run!!  I should win a flippin' award.  My warm ups have always been higher than that!!  It was incredibly slow, but I have adjusted to not looking at paces and only monitoring my effort.

Reasons for heart rate training:
  • Keep my legs happy by running below lactate threshold
  • Build my mileage safely (while being able to run more days per week)
  • Build my aerobic capacity
  • Faster running in the long haul
  • A good way to earnestly come back after having a baby

I read an interesting fact the other day.  The marathon is 99% aerobic and 1% anaerobic.   By running slowly (I'm talking molasses slow) I will increase my aerobic capacity over time.  It can take 3-6 weeks before I'll see any progress, but over time I will be able to run faster at a lower heart rate.  Fascinating!

My training isn't all aerobic, just mostly.  I do get to do some speed work (below).

3x fans = lower heart rate..? :P

I stick with 99% of the things I start, but 100% heart rate training is one thing that has me worried.  I hope I can stick with it.  It is really hard to trust the training sometimes.

If you are not as aerobically strong as you should be, it can only be for one (or both) of two reasons: 1. You don’t run enough miles. 2. The miles you do run are being run too fast. Fix either (or both) of those, and (aerobic) improvement will follow.
-Hadd’s Approach to Distance Training

A couple of articles to read:
Aerobic base training: Going slower to get faster
Run Faster With This Suprisingly Simple Technique
Hadd’s Approach to Distance Training  <--long but interesting!

Onto week 4!  Looking forward to it too.

Have a wonderful week!


  1. Clicking on those links. I dabbled here and there in HR training but have failed to make the connection between that and, say, my legs giving out during marathons. Maybe if I ever decide to "come back" and do #16, I will consider a more HR-based approach.

    1. Yeah, no doubt the marathon is a tough distance! I think it'd take a very long time to increase lactate threshold, but I'm hoping to at least improve aerobically and remain injury free. And 16...that's so crazy! You're amazing!

  2. I did this for awhile in 2012 when I trained the first time for NYC. I actually really enjoyed it because I never felt sore and my runs did t feel hard. The only problem I had is that I'm already a really slow runner so as I had to increase mileage for marathon training, it was just way too much time running. Otherwise, i enjoyed it and it felt like much less pressure. I'll be checking out those links!

    1. I do have some concerns about my long runs. I'm running for time during the week but distance for the long run. I hope I am patient enough to go so slowly. That's great you enjoyed it overall though!

  3. I have slowed my long runs down a lot too and I am a little worried. I am not used to it but we will see how it works out for me. You are doing great. Keep it up!