PDA

View Full Version : How important is knowing cals burned/exact distance or pace?


MJonesMBA2001
06-20-2010, 10:56 AM
I've been a runner for years, but just added a new workout program to what I do.

Up to this point, I haven't really cared about things like exact calories burned, exact distance run, and regular pace (things you could get on a Garmin or HRM watch).

When I used to run, I'd know about how long my course was, and I'd know my total time, so I'd know my average pace, and that's all that mattered.

But with my new thing I'm doing, pace/distance doesn't matter, but calories burned may be nice to know.

So, how many of you keep track of things like this, and how many of you don't really bother to track it? What are your thoughts about this?

VernRDH
06-20-2010, 01:54 PM
I have to say that I love my Garmin for all the information it gives me. Calories burned is important, as I am doing WW and trying to lose more weight (35 lbs to go!!) The only way to really get the calorie burn info is with a HR monitor and a watch that you program with your height, weight etc.

I do care at this point about pace and distance, more than ever, so all the features of the Garmin or something similar really matter to me. Plus its just plain cool to upload it to the computer and be able to analyze it all. I am kind of a geek that way.:rolleyes:

FireDancer
06-20-2010, 02:03 PM
Up until about 3 weeks ago I did the same thing you did. I would know the distance of my route (via Streets & Trips or Google Earth) and my total time and I just figured out my average pace. I had fought getting a Garmin for years but finally broke down and am very glad I did. It gives me pace and distance in real time and even without the heart rate monitor it estimates calories burned. To get a more accurate count you will want to use the monitor. Even then it is just an estimate since you running efficiency (or lack of it) could make you burn more or less calories.

It really does make for better training runs because you can keep from drifting into too easy of a pace by keeping an eye on the watch. As for importance, it really depends. Running without knowing the exact numbers is better then sitting on the couch but I do think that the more information you have the better, especially if you are shooting towards a tangible goal like a certain time or weight. If the goals are more loose (just finish, go down a size) I think that it is a little less important.

rubato
06-20-2010, 02:37 PM
I love my new Garmin as well. I have always just done what Firedancer has done. But, now I can tell how fast I'm going on inclines and declines, which is just good info for me. Since I'm now doing half marathon distances, this helps me know when to pick up the pace or chill out! :thumbsup2

As far as the calories, I use the info for proper fueling. I know how many calories I'm supposed to eat each day without exercise. Then, I add in the calories burned from my Garmin, and adjust. I don't want to be too far under or over, so this has been wonderful. Of course, there are tons of calorie calculators online that you can use to figure out how many calories you burn, so it's not a necessity to own a GPS watch. I definately feel good about my purchase!

cewait
06-20-2010, 03:38 PM
Sorry I went LONG

I think the Garmin with a HR monitor is a great training tool. It opens up a suite of data that can be important to getting you to the line in a better state of condition. It will also help keep you from over training yet push you to train harder when you need to be pushing in an interval workout.

Though one really needs to understand HR physiology and training better than 220- age = HR max. This is a conservative value that may be a great place to start HR training but it is even a better way to leave a lot of training value on the table. This also goes for the HR Reserve theories that take resting HR into account but still depend on age based HR max. The basis for the age based and degraded HR stems from two Finish cardiologists coming to the States for a conference. These doctors looking for other ways of presenting their data set determined that in the data of college aged male athletes they found that the formula you see plastered on gym walls and listed above fit that very limited data set. Anyone with a statics class (and who did not sleep through the class) understands that if you have a limited dataset any data relationships derived from that data should be limited to that data range. So what does this mean? 200 – Age probably works for you if you are a male between 18 and 22. Otherwise it becomes a conservative guess. Most educated coaches will use this (or other age based formulas) to start a very deconditioned person off. Other than that you are working at an intensity that is much lower than you need for the training you are doing. A great example is yours truly. I know my HR max as I found it three maybe four times in races – all as I pushed hard up a hill. HR max is a star seeing – tunnel visioning – I want to puke event. My HR max is 203. That would make me 17….. just three and half decades off.
Likewise training ranges based on a % of HR Max are also troubling. On average, a middle of the road athlete reaches anaerobic threshold near 85% of HRmax (a number you will see in many age based training programs). Again, this is only an average and should be used to see where you may be statistically. Note that this percentage can be below 50% for the couch sitter and over 90% for a person who is trained and has easy access to a metabolic testing service.

The better way to HR train is to train around AT and to find your very own personal AT. It is commonly called a sub maximal test. I perform this on a treadmill with folks who I work with. We start off and warm up with a slow jog/fast walk for 5 minutes then set the speed at a pace you could run for 10-15 minutes. We run for 3-4 minute at 0% and I have the person pick out a 7-9 word sentence that they will easily remember and say that sentence. Then we raise the elevation 1% and run for 2 minutes. At the 1 minute and 2 minute mark we say the sentence. This continues in a very structured 1% increase every other minute. I am also monitoring intensities. I am looking for a change in intensity from its hard but I can go on for a while to it is very hard and I do not think I can make more than a few more minutes max. That is where the runner typically can only say 1-3 words per breath. So say we are at 10% minute 2 and they get 2-3 syllables per breath. It has just become very hard and they are looking for a way to accidently hit the stop button. I note the HR and I will go ahead increase the elevation one more percent. I can usually eek out 2-4 extra beats and another minute or so. I note the HR and this is a good approximation of AT. This is the HR value we train at.

We set training ranges based on that HR. 90%AT - AT is the upper aerobic zone where we run most workouts. 75-80%AT is where we start long runs and allow HR creep to push up in the later miles. Once a week or maybe twice we run intervals where the HR at the very end of the interval is AT-110%AT.

You need to check your AT every 6-8 weeks. It changes with conditioning. If you are starting out in a deconditioned state you will see a rapid change upward. This increase will plateau as you near peak conditioning.

With the Garmin you can program these values into your unit and then have them at your disposal while out running.

Caloric Data
Other than to get a relative feel for levels of Kcal burn, I would not put a lot of stock in the Kcal output from your Garmin unless you have been through a metabolic assessment. Here is why.

The Garmin calculates Kcal based on miles and type of motive force to get the miles. To do this you must fit the standard profile of a 150 pound male athlete in good to excellent condition. Not very exact.

You can get better data, if it is important to you, through a metabolic test. Note that the metabolic test will also set the AT HR rate. Metabolically speaking, your AT is the point where you no longer burn fat as fuel. In the assessment, the equipment is measuring O2 and CO2 levels as you exhale. O2 is a marker for fat burning and CO2 glycogen. At lower HRs in the assessment you will be exhaling more O2 than CO2 or have an O2/CO2 ratio > 1. Once you hit an O2/CO2 ratio of 1.0 in the test you have hit your AT. Green Leaf manufactures a line of metabolic equipment. They also have an agreement with Garmin that allows you to download your met data to you Garmin. Once in your unit, you will have a better set of Kcal values to base your decisions on. It will also give you a readout of expected fat Kcal and Glycogen Kcal. For a distance runner you want to operate as close as you can to 100% fat Kcal.

Note Until this last year I tested quarterly so that I would have the best information to train from. This last year I have relied a little more on ‘feel’ and the treadmill test described above. I suggest that at a minimum you do the treadmill test. If you really want confirmation, then hit the metabolic assessment.

Rose&Mike
06-20-2010, 05:34 PM
This is an interesting discussion. I have a lot of trouble deciding what heart rate to train at and espcially what is max. I have very frequent PAC's (sometimes every 3-4 beats). I have no limitations from the cardiologist except to avoid stimulants of any kind, including caffeine. My resting heart rate in the morning is in the low 50s. I do the elliptical about 3x a week for 60+ min, strength train 2x a week for an hour and run 2x a week, one short run (4m), one long--this week was 9m.

Anyhow, I haven't tried a garmin, but the elliptical machines are very inconsistent with measuring my heart rate. They are all over the place. Taking it by hand is hard because I never know how to count the skips. I guess my question would be, would the garmin give me a more accurate measurement? For the most part, I go on how I feel, but with the horrible heat we are having, I wonder if that's enough.

cewait
06-20-2010, 10:22 PM
This is an interesting discussion. I have a lot of trouble deciding what heart rate to train at and espcially what is max. I have very frequent PAC's (sometimes every 3-4 beats). I have no limitations from the cardiologist except to avoid stimulants of any kind, including caffeine. My resting heart rate in the morning is in the low 50s. I do the elliptical about 3x a week for 60+ min, strength train 2x a week for an hour and run 2x a week, one short run (4m), one long--this week was 9m.

Anyhow, I haven't tried a garmin, but the elliptical machines are very inconsistent with measuring my heart rate. They are all over the place. Taking it by hand is hard because I never know how to count the skips. I guess my question would be, would the garmin give me a more accurate measurement? For the most part, I go on how I feel, but with the horrible heat we are having, I wonder if that's enough.

The Polar (and I believe newer Garmin) straps are EKG quality so I believe they would accurately pick up each beat. What I do not know is how well the receiver integrates the inconsistent data. I believe the receiver would integrate and read the average number of beats over the last six seconds. If the PAC is near consistent under the same cardio loading then the relative error would allow you to use the same procedure mentioned above.

Since you have a gym membership, ask a trainer if you can borrow a monitor for a session or two. Be prepared to explain (and possibly show proof) your doctor’s clearance. I think that if you wore a monitor you could judge its ability to measure heart rate with your PAC condition. What I would fear is the Garmin or Polar giving you’re the same erratic values as the equipment in the gym.

I would say borrow to see how well it performs.

Oh, BTW, the electrode pickups in the handles of gym equipment are really bad at picking up a good HR in the rest of us, also. It's a matter of a bad design that allows moisture to collect under the electrodes and corrode the wiring.

hope this helps.

John VN
06-21-2010, 07:30 AM
.....So, how many of you keep track of things like this, and how many of you don't really bother to track it? What are your thoughts about this?

My thoughts regarding information monitoring.

I have used a bike computer with HR since '07. My speed, distance, and HR information are reviewed during the ride along with max. speed, average speed and calorie info. after the ride. Bike computer is a Polar.

In Jan. this year I decided to cross over to pavement pounding with the goal to complete the 2011 Goofy. My son sent me a Garmin 305 and I have reviewed every training event since. While the calorie mode is again interesting, I really do not find that information relevant for me.

Since my bike rides range from 45 miles to 200 miles in a day with varying intensities, I am constantly checking my pulse rate. It's nice to see the warm-up, then target exercise range and also the upper limit range.

I used to subscribe to the 220 minus age until I read in John Bingham's Marathoning For Mortals the calculation explanation. Page 85 he mentions that 220 is the max. heart rate at birth for most male babies and 226 for female babies. The minus one beat for every year of age works for many but for those more physically fit it is more like one beat for every 2 years. I have found this to work for me since in 2 weeks I will be 60 and 145bpm to 155bpm is my comfortable sustained exercise range with 165bpm to 177bpm the extreme range and when I hit 180bpm I max out quickly. My highest bpm has been 184.

I am going the walking route since I am not able to jog or run, knee issues. With my 305 I again target my exercise zones and push myself. I reached 166bpm last week while walking a short distance at a 9:30/mile pace and maintained a more comfortable 145bpm to 155bpm at a 10:30-11:30/mile pace for a few miles. Up to this date I have not earnestly trained but that changes in a week. Time to get down and dirty for W&D, then Spacecoast and then WDW.

BTW, I do not listen to music while out riding or walking. I zone into my body while exercising and use the data available for fun and physical benefit.

Rose&Mike
06-21-2010, 09:07 PM
The Polar (and I believe newer Garmin) straps are EKG quality so I believe they would accurately pick up each beat. What I do not know is how well the receiver integrates the inconsistent data. I believe the receiver would integrate and read the average number of beats over the last six seconds. If the PAC is near consistent under the same cardio loading then the relative error would allow you to use the same procedure mentioned above.

Since you have a gym membership, ask a trainer if you can borrow a monitor for a session or two. Be prepared to explain (and possibly show proof) your doctor’s clearance. I think that if you wore a monitor you could judge its ability to measure heart rate with your PAC condition. What I would fear is the Garmin or Polar giving you’re the same erratic values as the equipment in the gym.

I would say borrow to see how well it performs.

Oh, BTW, the electrode pickups in the handles of gym equipment are really bad at picking up a good HR in the rest of us, also. It's a matter of a bad design that allows moisture to collect under the electrodes and corrode the wiring.

hope this helps.

Thanks.:goodvibes

cewait
06-22-2010, 07:01 AM
My thoughts regarding information monitoring.

...
I used to subscribe to the 220 minus age until I read in John Bingham's Marathoning For Mortals the calculation explanation. Page 85 he mentions that 220 is the max. heart rate at birth for most male babies and 226 for female babies. The minus one beat for every year of age works for many but for those more physically fit it is more like one beat for every 2 years. I have found this to work for me since in 2 weeks I will be 60 and 145bpm to 155bpm is my comfortable sustained exercise range with 165bpm to 177bpm the extreme range and when I hit 180bpm I max out quickly. My highest bpm has been 184.

I am going the walking route since I am not able to jog or run, knee issues. With my 305 I again target my exercise zones and push myself. I reached 166bpm last week while walking a short distance at a 9:30/mile pace and maintained a more comfortable 145bpm to 155bpm at a 10:30-11:30/mile pace for a few miles. Up to this date I have not earnestly trained but that changes in a week. Time to get down and dirty for W&D, then Spacecoast and then WDW.

BTW, I do not listen to music while out riding or walking. I zone into my body while exercising and use the data available for fun and physical benefit.

Sounds like you have a decent set of ranges. I would suggest to you to fine tune the ranges through the sub-maximal test I described. I described it on the treadmill but sounds like you are in tune with your body enough to perform it outdoors. remember it's not an interval type test, rather a controlled increase in HR over time - until you get to the point where you cannot say more than a couple syllables per breath.

I like your pacing. I find that walkers at your speed make a lot of 'runners' feel threatened. For me I think a fast walking stride is fun to observe.



Just as continuing information... I also do not believe the formula mentioned in the book works, either. It is closer since it varies less, but each person is hardwired at birth for a HRMax. It will degrade some if you live a very soft life (Thinking the movie Wall-E). But frankly in testing several hundred folks and having test data to hundreds more I do not see a relationship between age and HR.

John VN
06-22-2010, 07:37 PM
Sounds like you have a decent set of ranges. I would suggest to you to fine tune the ranges through the sub-maximal test I described. I described it on the treadmill but sounds like you are in tune with your body enough to perform it outdoors. remember it's not an interval type test, rather a controlled increase in HR over time - until you get to the point where you cannot say more than a couple syllables per breath.

I like your pacing. I find that walkers at your speed make a lot of 'runners' feel threatened. For me I think a fast walking stride is fun to observe.



Just as continuing information... I also do not believe the formula mentioned in the book works, either. It is closer since it varies less, but each person is hardwired at birth for a HRMax. It will degrade some if you live a very soft life (Thinking the movie Wall-E). But frankly in testing several hundred folks and having test data to hundreds more I do not see a relationship between age and HR.

Just read the above. :thumbsup2

I got out on my bike today, first time in 2 weeks, for a self imposed pulse monitoring ride. High cadence with lower gearing. Happened to meet up with and joined 2 riders I know figuring I could still do my job. Turns out they met with 2 other riders and pace was not fast enough to elevate my HR so I told them my plans and picked up speed. Low and behold they started to draft me and we finally started to ride. I got up to 166bpm and maintained for a 3 mile pull then moved over to let another take a pull but pace slowed too much.
Got back in front and upped it more and maxed out at 177bpm then dropped back to lower 170s with another 3 mile pull. With temperature around 90 degrees and a cross wind the exertion was hard enough that the only thing that might have come out of my mouth other than air would have been DIE, DIE.:rotfl2:

When I approach these higher HRs, 170+BPM the effort is such that I am inhaling and exhaling as fast as possible. I call it my pass out if not exercising mode. My anerobic state seems to be around 180bpm and I would like to extend my time in that state but I am just too lazy.

Totalled 60 miles today with 35 really good pulse riding miles.