Up nice and early this morning to get the run in before another day at work and a weekend that – fingers crossed – will be relaxing and enjoyable. We haven’t got a lot planned for the weekend besides cheering on the Run in Lyon competitors and maybe getting a little shopping done, too, so hopefully it’ll be a couple of days without stress.
This week is really about just maintaining the form I have coming off the Thames Path run two weeks ago so I haven’t been pushing it too hard. Yes, the 23-minute 5K in the middle of Wednesday’s run was a bit of an anomaly towards this end, but I had no intention of doing that again this morning. Indeed, I decided from the outset that I would keep an eye on my heart rate from the start to make sure that I wasn’t stressing myself out.
This turned out to be a little more difficult for my early morning brain than I had thought.
I kept the route nice and simple this morning with an out-and-back along the river to the Isle Barbe. I thought I would throw in the one kilometer loop at the bridge to the island to make it about 13km in total, and that I could get this done in about an hour and a quarter. Then it would be shower, blog, coffee, and off to work.
As the first kilometer ticked over I flicked the screen on the Garmin to bring up my heart rate data. I should explain that I’ve set up the Garmin to have three data screens that, with a flick of my finger, I can scroll through:
- The primary screen with distance, current pace, and elapsed time
- A second screen with the current heart rate, average heart rate, and average heart rate for the current kilometer
- A third screen with the same information but for cadence – current, average, and current kilometer
When I flicked to the heart rate screen I saw the numbers and they were scary:
- 178 current heart rate
- 175 average heart rate
- 176 average heart rate for the kilometer
After Monday’s run where my heart rate was spiking and I was completely spent very early – I blamed the diet that day – this was a concern, so I concentrated on maintaining good form, controlling my breathing, and keeping my pace. All the time I was thinking that it didn’t feel like I was pushing myself that hard but the heart rate monitor wasn’t shifting around a whole lot and for the next four kilometers it stayed about the same. Oh well, I thought, at least I am not breaking through the 180bpm level and maxing out again.
When I got to the Isle Barbe there was a little more light (I was running with the headlamp as the sun rises long after I return this time of year) and I glanced at my heart rate again…and this is when I noticed that it was not my heart rate at all. What I had been looking at the whole time was my cadence which – as expected – was sitting between 170 and 180 steps per minute! My heart rate? Well a flick of the screen and I saw it was a far more believable and manageable 154bpm.
Yes, I am an idiot.
The turnaround was easy enough and the run back into Lyon nice and smooth. I still kept an eye on my heart rate and it stayed about the same, occasionally spiking if I sped up or went up a slight rise in the path but basically staying steady. I closed out the run feeling good and clicked stop on the watch as the thirteenth kilometer ticked over.
Note to self for next time: cadence is not heart rate.