This, uh, heart rate thing, and zones, and averages

Discussion in 'Other' started by Steve Freides, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    I'd start by timing a very slow mile, and figure that's the minimum time I'll have that bar on my back with about 270. Part of the prep would be dealing with that bar - getting used to holding it at load for extended periods. If you can't hold it standing there for the minimum possible time, you cannot hope to carry it. I cannot imagine how cruel it would feel at a 1/4 mile let alone the final few yards.

    When Steve first defined the challenge I thought "how is that possible!?" Ahhh, nobody gone more than half way.

    What padding if any is allowed?
    Bret S. likes this.
  2. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    @North Coast Miller, padding is not, in principle, allowed, but video of some of the attempts in the UK shows at least one person wearing a sweatshirt. The rule book makes no mention of anything other than standard powerlifting gear, so a t-shirt and a singlet.

    I did a 3-mile ruck today with 30 kg. It took an hour and 16 minute and included a stop to buy a bottle of bourbon (Eagle Rare, the house favorite, which the sales clerk nicely placed in the side pocket), so I was walking about 3 mph, but it will be slower, no doubt, with a heavy bar. My bar weight will be, depending my bodyweight and the interpretation of the rules, about 100 - 105 kg, roughly 220 - 230 lbs.

    As I may have mentioned earlier, my experience in training for this event is that training with the bar takes more than it gives. I've done enough of it, and am planning on not more than once a week with the bar for the time being. Leg strength-endurance is where it's at, in my opinion. I am looking at working up to 10 mile hikes with little to no weight, and 5 mile rucks with 50% bodyweight as training milestones. 3 miles with 40-45% bw today was a slog by the end, but I recovered quickly, taught about 20 minutes after I got home and have been teaching all day. 3 miles with 75-100% bodyweight would be another good milestone.

    We shall see.

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  3. Bret S.

    Bret S. Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Well, the bourbon definitely makes it worth the ruck! :)

    I admire your courage taking this on Steve (y) and wish you the best of luck with it.
    fractal likes this.
  4. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    Today, following on @Al Ciampa's advice to keep my heart rate lower, I did

    4.19 miles in 1 hour and 43 minutes, HR avg = 102, HR max was 123

    Zone 1, 70 - 104 bpm was 1 hour and 3 minutes
    Zone 2, up to 121 bpm was 38 minutes - mostly the uphill parts
    Zone 3, up to 139 bpm, was a minute and a half, and nothing above that.

    Wore a backpack w/ a 25 lb. plate in it.

    fractal, JonS, Oscar and 4 others like this.
  5. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    Does anyone know if the Polar app keeps the time running when you pause your training? Mine seems to have included that time. My wife and I made a couple of stops while we were out on our walk.


  6. Al Ciampa

    Al Ciampa Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Well done, Steve!

    I use a Garmin, but have used Polar. Garmin stops the clock when you pause. I can’t remember what Polar does, but there should be separate total time and moving time results.
  7. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    @Al Ciampa, it was an interesting walk. I had to make an effort to walk a little more slowly than usual. My next step is to add a bit of weight to see if what feels like simply a natural walking pace will increase my heart rate a little but still keep it at whatever "low enough" might be.

    I'm going to try going from what I did yesterday, which was Steve + backpack = 180 lb, to around 200, which according to what I read, is the average adult male weight in the US today.

  8. Tobias Wissmueller

    Tobias Wissmueller Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @Steve Freides

    When hitting the "Pause"-button the time until you hit "Continue" or "Resume" again will not be counted as training time. Tested with numerous kid/wife/parcel delivery related interruptions.
    Steve Freides likes this.
  9. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    Thank you, @Tobias Wissmueller. I guess we were walking slowly. We did stop a number of times during which I didn't turn off the timer, so I guess that's why it says it took so long.

  10. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    3 rucks today:

    #1: @ 10 am, 2 miles, grocery store w/ a 25 lb. plate in my pack.

    #2 and 3 - Two half-mile rucks today @ bw + ~90 lbs, weighed 245 lb on scale, out and back, and a hill for the last 1/3 of the route, brief pause at the top, then the same hill but down and then flat to home.

    #2 @ 11:30am: by myself, eyeing the HR on my phone and trying to keep it to a 120 average
    Avg HR = 123, Max HR = 134, pace 27 min/mile.

    #3 @ 2:30pm: with my wife holding the phone and chatting w/ me.
    Avg HR = 127, Max HR = 174, pace 29 min/mile but stopped to chat w/ neighbors, to pick up a ball, so probably the same pace or faster.

    offwidth likes this.
  11. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    I got a weighted vest. Today was the first outing, 70 lbs. in the vest so I weighed 220 altogether.

    1.09 miles including a couple of short hills.
    HR Average = 110
    HR Max = 122
    Pace Average = 23:13/mile

    Spent most of my time in the "blue" zone, which is Zone 2 on the Polar app.

    I'm liking the vest much more than the backpack at these weights. Vest maxes out at 140 lbs., will gradually add some variety in terms of distance and weight. Biggest issue in all endeavors so far is where the weight presses in - today, straight down on the shoulders but 70 lbs. feels like a massage for my tight traps - heavier will be less comfortable.


    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  12. Bret S.

    Bret S. Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Getting the vest on you can be tricky when it gets heavy.
    Climbing a hill with 100 lbs is tough enough, but on the way down the knees take a beating.
  13. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    Yes. I ended up laying it down on a chair in front of me and pushing my head through the middle, then standing up. It took a bit of experimenting to figure out that this was what I needed to do.


    My competition walk should be on flat ground, but in the meantime, as with a runner, I'm looking at both the up- and down-hills as strength training of a sport-specific kind. I take a pretty short stride thanks to my particular build: short, bowed legs. So far, the downhills haven't bothered my knees at all, and when I used to run, downhills were never an issue for me, so I'm hopeful that the additional weight doesn't turn into a problem on downhills for me.

    According to Google Maps, the two hills I did today each feature a net change in elevation of 15-20 feet over 1 block that's about 350 feet long - I think that's called about a 5% grade - and it's certainly nothing terrible, but definitely enough to drive one's HR up past a target if you're not careful to slow down just a little.

    Sometimes when I do walks with hills, I attack the hills and then try to relax on the flat or downhill that follows, but most times I'm trying to keep my HR from peaking too high.

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  14. Bret S.

    Bret S. Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    When is the big day Steve? And what are the temps looking like? Summer heat sucks power out of me and drives some elevated, erratic heart rates.
  15. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    @Al Ciampa, your suggestion about doing the same thing but having it be easier as evidenced by a lower HR (my paraphrase, correct as needed) seems right on the money to me.

    I seem to be averaging in the low 120's for my easy efforts - the fact that there are some hills around here isn't completely compensated for by the fact that half of them are down - somehow it seems to drive the average HR up some.

    But my point here isn't any of the above but a dietary one, of sorts, anyway. Specifically:

    I've had a few walks where I've pushed harder than I should, and my body began to feel distinctly acidic - can't describe it other than that - afterwards. I thought I was dehydrated but that wasn't all of it, and perhaps it wasn't any of it. Funny thing, but I have a fondness for lots of lemon in my iced tea, vinegar on my salads, and the like - and instead I started putting a teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of water and drinking that, and the baking soda and water, along with cutting down on the lemon and vinegar, was definitely connected, at least in my mind, with making me feel better. I did two rucks today, and had baking soda and water after each, and seem to have avoided the "acid" syndrome I've had sometimes before.

    Baking soda? I have no idea why or how it works or doesn't work, but I definitely felt the need for it, and once I've had enough of it, the want of it goes away completely.

    Anyone else?

  16. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I've read about baking soda use but I always had the doubt whether it passed to the bloodstream or just acted on the stomach.

    I suffer(ed) post exercise migraines (post football actually, only happens after football). Lately I have the idea that it is related to acidosis making me over breathe out the co2, causing vasodilation and hence the migraine. These migraines are almost gone since I started buteyko, haven't taken the painkiller in 6 months, but I sometimes still have a mild headache after the game.

    I just came across this:

    This study aims to test the effect of the ingestion of Sodium Bicarbonate
    (NaHCO3) on athletic performance. Ten high level athletes ingested 300mg/kg
    of sodium bicarbonate one hour before the tests. Following this on two different
    occasions which were six days apart, they ran repeated series of 300 metres
    between 80-83% of the best time at this distance until they were exhausted or
    performance fell below these percentages. The participants were randomly
    divided into two groups and were given the sodium bicarbonate mixed with fruit
    juice in order to conceal the taste. On one of the test days they carried out the
    tests having ingested sodium bicarbonate with the fruit juice, whilst the other
    day they didn’t have anything. The results of the two tests have highlighted
    significant differences, showing that the participants were able to complete a
    greater series of 300 metres having taken the sodium bicarbonate than without
    it. Based on the results obtained, it is possible to suggest that sodium
    bicarbonate could be used in training programmes to help achieve greater
    metabolic changes.

    Full article

    Your post got me thinking that taking baking soda after football might help with the migraine. I'll give it a try. Thanks!
  17. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    @Oscar, I look forward to hearing how you feel it works for you when you've had a chance to try it. There is at least one entire book on about the health benefits of baking soda; I haven't read it.

    Oscar likes this.
  18. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    I've come across a number of references to use of baking soda with endurance events specifically to buffer the bloodstream. Some of the users reported notable improvements and some said it had no effect.

    From what I have read it can help, but generally can also lead to bloating and digestive issues. Overuse or long term use inhibits absorption of some minerals IIRC. I use a small amount in my coffee to cut the acid.

    I'd say it is mostly benign for sure especially at relatively low dosage. More reading might be in order for long term or higher dosage use. At roughly 160lbs, the high performance dose is about 4 teaspoons (if I'm doing the math correctly) - 300mg per kilo bodyweight at about 5000 mg per teaspoon

    Does Baking Soda Boost Endurance? | Runner's World

    In this study it improved max power output but not endurance, it did inhibit Ph drop in the bloodstream, but nearly 50% of the participants had digestive problems. Interestingly, this study references other research which showed no difference between lowered Ph, increased hydrogen ion concentration and time to exhaustion or peak performance.

    Effect of sodium bicarbonate on prolonged running performance: A randomized, double-blind, cross-over study
    Oscar likes this.
  19. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    @NCM, all interesting. My intuitive use of baking soda is just to recover and not feel bad. The only time I ever had any before a ruck was yesterday, since I rucked twice and took it after the first one.

    You know all those science experiments where they mix vinegar and baking soda? I can't remember what I'd eaten, but I had a little of that happen once when I must have eaten something that reacted to baking soda. It was weird, but it didn't cause anything I'd call gastric distress. I just burped a lot for a minute or so.

    I just put about a teaspoon's worth into a glass of water and that's it. If I still feel like it, I'll have another, but I don't think I've ever had the referenced 4 teaspoons in a single day, and certainly not all at once.

    North Coast Miller likes this.
  20. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    I'm going to play around with this a little.

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