Skip to main content

Heart rate improvements so far

It's been extremely rewarding to see improvements in my heart rate from my exercise routine that I posted about last week. Aerobic fitness was one of the main things I wanted to improve, so seeing large gains in both max capacity and general cardio fitness has been great. Some examples:

- Today I did a strength training circuit day, and because there was no clock with a second hand (and I don't wear a watch), I used the treadmill between supersets to time my minute recoveries. I noticed that even after intense exertions during the supersets, my heart rate was dropping to 110-120 beats per minute within 30 seconds. I honestly thought the heart rate monitor was faulty until I verified the measurement by taking my own pulse. Recovery time is a major metric for cardio fitness, and this was both surprising and very welcome.

- Ability to maintain a low heart rate during moderate exercise. The best example of this has been with biking, where I can go for an hour on the exercise bike at a decent resistance and clip and keep my heart rate down safely in Zone 2. Back when I used to train haphazardly, I was never able to get anywhere near this level. During these rides, I visualize my heart as an engine, and try to maintain a steady power output while "greasing" the engine with blood (internally) and sweat (externally). Call me crazy, but the visualizations make the workout much more enjoyable - I'm building a stronger, more powerful engine for my body!

- Running: While there is still really no such thing as Zone 2 running for me (I'd have to be going so slowly that I could probably walk just as fast), my low-speed jogging heart rate has steadily been going down, and is now just in Zone 3. One day I hope it will be in Zone 2, but since I have no desire to do long-distance running, it's really just a fitness measure for me.

Unfortunately, I haven't seen wonderful improvements in resting heart rate. I can tell how hard I worked out by my post-workout heart rate as well as my resting heart rate the next day, but I've only been able to knock off about 4 beats per minute, and even that is based on sketchy data. I want to drop my resting heart rate to 50 bpm. I'm nowhere close =P.

Another area where I've seen improvements is in avoiding running stitches. I suffered one during my treadmill intervals yesterday, but I was able to mitigate and finish the intervals by dropping the intensity down to my previous workout's intensity for the last half, and walking for two minutes following the final interval. I'm convinced I get stitches by venturing into anaerobic territory for too long, so presumably, the fitter I get, the harder it will be to get a stitch.

Life goal: Run a 6 minute mile, and a 20 minute 5k. Haven't tested either of these, but based on my interval speeds, I'd imagine I'm a long way away. =)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

English Lesson: "한국에 오신지 얼마나 됐어요?"라고 영어로?

I've lost count of how many times Koreans have asked me the question, "How long do you stay in Korea?" in those words or something very similar. Clearly this question is taught in every English class in Korea, because I hear it over and over again, so I just wanted to be very clear about something here:

DO NOT USE THIS EXPRESSION. IT IS INCORRECT.

This phrase is incorrect for a few reasons, but primarily because it sounds ambiguous to native English speakers. Specifically, there are probably two different questions that you really want to ask:

1) How long have you been in Korea? (한국에 오신지 얼마나 됐어요?)
2) How long will you stay in Korea? (한국에 얼마나 있을 거예요?/한국에 얼마동안 있을 계획이에요?)

Nearly always the intended question is number 1, "How long have you been in Korea?", followed afterwards by number 2, "How long will you stay in Korea?". But the incorrectly stated question ambiguously sounds somewhere in between number 1 and number 2. So, don't ever use it again. T…

Stuttering in Korea

I had given up on English. It's my native language, but I figured after 30 some-odd years of disfluent speech, it was time to try something else. So I signed up for language classes in Korean, rationalizing that if I was going to try to teach myself how to speak, I might as well learn a new language along the way.

This might seem completely insane, but when the prevailing theme of your conscious thoughts for multiple decades is some variant of "Why can't I say what I want to say?", you come up with lots of crazy ideas.

For background, I've been a person who stutters for my entire life. I wrote about it on this blog a few years ago, so I think it's time for a followup. I've learned a lot since then, about myself and about stuttering, but in this post I simply want to give some insight into what it's actually like to stutter, and how my speech has changed over time.

After the last stuttering post, the predominant reaction I got from friends was either &…

Why Korean Is Hard For Native English Speakers

A couple of days ago, as an experiment, I wrote my first blog post ever in a non-English language. It was an attempt to explain some of the reasons that Korean is hard to learn for native English speakers, so I figured I might as well try to write it in Korean. Those of you who actually read Korean can see how awkward the attempt was =).

In any case, the post came from an email conversation I had with The Korean from Ask a Korean, a fantastically well-written blog about all things Korea from the perspective of a Korean who moved to the United States during high school. Since I tend to geek out on language things, I figured I might as well post part of that conversation. An edited version follows.

---------

Out of the languages that I've attempted to learn so far, Korean has been the hardest. I've done a lot of meta thinking about learning Korean, and I think there are a number of reasons it's difficult for non-Koreans (and especially Westerners) to learn:

1) Obviously, the…