I’m a 250lb, 29 year old man. I’m a big guy and by years end I will reach 30 years old, thrusting me into a whole new age group full of people who really know how to crank up the pace.
So far I have enjoyed my time in the 20-29 age group, or 25-29 if the event is large enough. Sure the winners of most events up to a half marathon come from that group. But the great part is, once you get past the top few runners, the curve drops dramatically. Most people ages 20-29 haven’t gotten all the partying out of their system, so 2 hours on the pavement on a Saturday or Sunday morning isn’t their idea of a hangover cure. Think I am wrong?
PROOF: I took 3rd in my age group at the Run wild Half Marathon last year with a blazing finish of 2:08.
According to conventional wisdom and math, when I turn 30 years old I get to adjust my heart rate zones. Woo Hoo!
You see, right now: 220-29 = 191 as a max heart rate
Come September: 220-30 = 190 as a max heart rate
And every day that I run in this Louisiana summer time heat, I need every extra beat I can get my hands on. I START a 4-5 mile run at 140-150bpm and by the half-way point I am easily 170+ beats.
It feels like my heart is jumping out of my chest. No doubt the people in my running group can spit back my comments on staying at 90% of my max heart rate throughout the run. I’m a whiner when it comes to summertime runs, and I consider just showing up a victory on most days.
Well no more! I have officially changed my stance on heart rate training and feeling crappy because my heart run runs so damn high all the time.
Yesterday my wife and I had the 8 week ultrasound for our first child. It was an amazing thing to see the little moving object the size of an olive up on that screen. Then out of nowhere we hear the rapid whomp-whomp-whomp of the baby’s heartbeat. I now understand why people find this such an emotional experience. My baby was chugging along at 166 beats per minute. 166!
My wife was very emotional and fighting back tears at the sound of our baby’s heart. I must admit that I too was fighting back a tide of emotion. When I think about how hard it is for me to sustain a 166 heart rate for a long run and this little punk is just swimming around making it look so EASY.
If it weren’t bad enough that I am now going to jump up in age group with a bunch of people that really know how to drop the hammer on race day, now I already have to look over my shoulder at my unborn child trying to show up the old man! Well I am not going to let that happen!!!
I’m going for a run, heat and heart rate be damned