For Beach to Battleship HIM in October, I’ve enlisted the help of a Coach Amber Toro. After giving her detailed race reports of my two Oly’s earlier in the year, she quickly decided heart rate training was going to be my focus over the next few months. I was on board, I wanted different results so I was ready to do things differently and I was stoked.
I am constantly amazed by how empowered and strong we can feel when we simply do what we say we are going to do. Discipline is an amazing thing. Although it sounds simple, “follow the plan, trust the training”, it isn’t always as easy to do as it sounds…
During the first weeks of my aerobic base training I walked. A lot. Some days I even did an old lady shuffle; I was left feeling frustrated and confused. Coach Amber told me to stick with it, gave me pep talks, mental mantras, and promised me it would be worth it.
As annoyed as I was, I was committed to this and promised myself I would see it through. After all, my coach had to know what she was talking about, plus there are plenty of successful endurance athletes who swear by this method and there is so much research that backs it (if you know me at all, you know I can geek out on some scholarly articles!).
And then… it happened! Something clicked. Have you ever seen Pulp Fiction? Well, a favorite line from that movie is “That voice in the back of your head? That’s pride f***ing with you. F*** PRIDE.” I finally told that voice to F*** off and REALLY trust in this journey! I headed out on my prescribed seven mile run in Zone 2. I knew my miles would be about 3-4 minutes slower than what my body (and brain) was used to doing previously and that the run was going to take 1.5 hours (which seemed like FOR-EV-ER for that distance) BUT I was not going to let my ego interrupt this process.
Just like that, I finally started to enjoy and respect the training.
At one point in the run I could feel a giant grin on my face and it must have looked so silly--I was thinking about all the cool changes happening in my body, how rad that my body system is rebooting to run more efficiently and serve me better so I can cross that finish line. I even whispered to myself “Yea body, you go on and do ya thaaang, you strong little thang, we’re gonna do this together and rock it!”
So now that my body, heart, and brain are all on the same page with this training, is it working for me? YES! Every so many weeks Coach has me go back and do a fit test for all three sports to see what kind of progress I’ve made -- I do the same exact tests that I did at the end of May for a baseline comparison. I recently had my first fit test since May, and WOWZA, I saw an increase in speed, lower HR during my race pace pushes, and I’m seeing more energy throughout the day after long training sessions. AWESOME!
I know I'm still new to the method, but the results are starting to show and I have no intention of giving up anytime soon. Bring on the next 14 weeks!
Written by Lynsey Capone-Smith
Have you ever tried heart rate training? How did it go? Tell us in the comments below!