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HEALTHY4HIM SparkPoints: (75,879)
Fitness Minutes: (48,319)
Posts: 5,041
5/12/13 7:41 P

Thanks Jen.
I guess I minimize those pounds as they shouldn't have been there in the first place... just having to re-lose them after being careless through the winter. I AM grateful they are coming off, but really more focused on hopefully breaking through the plateau from last year.
I will let you know - and thanks again.

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 57,908
5/12/13 8:11 A

Losing 6-7 pounds in the past month is making GREAT progress. As long as you're varying your cardio workouts (different distances, routes, speeds, etc.), that should be good. Strength training is really important, so hopefully adding that to your routine 2-3 days a week will help give the variety you need to get below 160.

Let us know how it goes!

Coach Jen

HEALTHY4HIM SparkPoints: (75,879)
Fitness Minutes: (48,319)
Posts: 5,041
5/11/13 9:39 P

Coach Jen - great questions and no, not strength training but I DO know I need to. I haven't enjoyed it and so I fight myself on it. Do I vary my workouts? Only within the realm of walking and running - I do both and vary my speeds and distances, but through the winter I don't cross train. Summer - big time. Lots of biking, hiking, swimming etc. As far as the weight loss, I plateaued in the low-mid 160's last spring/summer and fall. Gained about 12 pounds over the winter. Have lost 6 or 7 of that in the last month. But I have never been able to break below 160.

Lovemouse: thanks for the tips! I'm not doing hard and fast - definitely concentrating on slow and short strides. I'm lucky if I end up with a 12 minute mile - bare minimum to qualify as 'running' on the fitness tracker! As for breathing through my nose... nope. Can't get enough air. Even running as slow as I possibly can, my heart rate stays elevated around 170 and I need all the air I can get.

Thanks to both of you. Yes, I will purpose to add in strength training. Having finished the 5k race I signed up for, I'm ready now to start cross-training and getting into some more summer activities. I was debating registering for a sprint duathlon late in the summer. However, truthfully I am fearful enough about this cardio thing I just can't get my head around it. I'm just going to focus on healthy eating and enjoying all the opportunities to be outside and enjoying things!

Maybe I'm just not meant to be a runner?
emoticon emoticon emoticon

LOVEMOUSE82 SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
5/11/13 8:10 P

You might want to consider HOW you run....are you going at it hard and fast, pounding away, huffing and puffing? My rule of thumb is that you should be able to breathe through your nose (at least at first, maybe not by the end of the 5k). If you find it very very hard work (which it is), a tip might be to shorten your stride. Try slowing down your runs and not just slowing down but taking smaller running steps, usually helps me get through a run when I'm getting tired. Try to really focus on the breathing through your nose part....if you can, your heart is likely not beating as fast as if you are huffing and puffing. Now good cardio CAN get you huffing and puffing sometimes, but running-wise, you might not last very long anyway if you are very out of breath, and that obviously is a sign that your heart rate is elevated.

Oh and one more is very important to add in some strength training into your workout routine. Building muscle will make you overall stronger which will make your runs easier!

Edited by: LOVEMOUSE82 at: 5/11/2013 (20:12)
SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 57,908
5/11/13 7:19 P

Do you change your workout routine frequently? Are you strength training? How long has it been since you lost any weight?

Coach Jen

HEALTHY4HIM SparkPoints: (75,879)
Fitness Minutes: (48,319)
Posts: 5,041
5/10/13 7:48 P

Thanks for the assurances!

I currently run 3x/wk for about 3 to 5k. Total for the week 11-15 km.
Calorie range... generally around 1400 - 1500cals.

I dont rely totally on the scale and yes, clothes are fitting better. However, I have been at this a long time and know that i still carry excess fat. Would love to continue to see results on the scale, in my clothes... and most of all, in how I feel while running.

Guess i will just keep at it!

Edited by: HEALTHY4HIM at: 5/11/2013 (12:27)
5/10/13 6:56 P

"Is it dangerous for me to continue to run with my heart beating THAT fast, even if my RPE is not extreme?"

Only if you have a pre-existing medical reason not to exercise at that level.

"Can I use my heart rate monitor to train it down?"

If you're healthy, that isn't necessary. Your situation doesn't sound excessive for a healthy person.

"could this be why I can't seem to break through this weight threshold?"

The scale isn't an accurate measure of progress, because you could be gaining muscle, water, or other non-fat weight while simultaneously losing fat. Are your clothes getting looser? Are you measuring your body fat percentage?

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 57,908
5/10/13 6:52 P


If you don't have any medical issues, then you're probably fine to use the other methods I mentioned. I just always like to provide the "check with your doctor" disclaimer in case you've got a medical history that warrants it.

Running is hard for me, even though I've been doing it for so long. I've not been blessed with the "fast" genes, so any time I really try to push my pace, it's difficult. If you were really working anaerobically, you'd only be able to do it for 1-2 minutes before the lactic acid buildup would be too much and you'd have to stop. So you're probably just working at the upper level of your aerobic range.

How much are you currently running and what's your current calorie range? Depending on how much you're doing and how much you're eating, that could be a reason for the lack of weight loss.

Coach Jen

HEALTHY4HIM SparkPoints: (75,879)
Fitness Minutes: (48,319)
Posts: 5,041
5/10/13 2:29 P

Thanks Jen.
I can adjust it to whatever I choose... but I don't know how to choose! My doc is... well... let's say he's much more into cosmetic improvement than athletic prowess. (wink) Just not sure I trust his call on this. Is there another profession that could provide answers?

Rate of Perceived Exertion... running is really hard - but not unbearable. I have experimented a bit with HIIT training and so truly know how different it feels to push beyond the limits. And generally through my runs I can get out 2 or three words at a time - but certainly couldn't carry on a conversation.

I know you are a long time runner, Jen. I didn't start until 40, and still tend to worry at activity that is "uncomfortable". My best friend - a lifelong runner and ironman finisher - tells me I need to get over expecting a run to feel good. She too experiences this elevated heart rate through her runs and, like me, experiences quick recovery. She tells me not to worry about it... but I continue to fear heart damage, and wonder first, can I possibly work anaerobically for that long? and secondly, could this be why I can't seem to break through this weight threshold? Should I bring down the intensity to turn up the results?

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 57,908
5/10/13 2:02 P


Target heart rate is an average calculation that doesn't work for everyone. It's always best to talk to your doctor if you're concerned, but I would suggest using a different measure of intensity such as the Talk Test or Rate of Perceived Exertion.

Every HRM is different, so I'm not sure if you can manually adjust the range on yours or not. You might want to check the manual to see if that's possible.

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen

HEALTHY4HIM SparkPoints: (75,879)
Fitness Minutes: (48,319)
Posts: 5,041
5/10/13 12:47 P

I've been running for almost 4 years now, continuing to be a relatively short distance runner. I have completed learn to run programs a couple of times and generally run 3 to 5k 3x/wk.

After a long struggle and some injuries (I started running over 200lbs and have lost 50), I have finally come to the point where I can run pain-free and I run the whole distance, as opposed to run/walk intervals for MOST of my runs.

HOWEVER, the cardio continues to worry me.
The facts:
My resting heart rate is a healthy 60bpm.
Wearing my heart rate monitor, my heart quickly escalates to 115 when I start to warm up.
Even though I can and do walk pretty fast (4-4.5mph), I struggle to keep it over 120.
BUT, as soon as I run - and I'm pretty slow (about 5 to 5.5mph) - it quickly spikes and will average 172 or more for the duration of a run.
That's 95% of my max heart rate, will spikes well over that if I hit a hill or speed up for some reason.

The questions:
1. Is it dangerous for me to continue to run with my heart beating THAT fast, even if my RPE is not extreme?
2. Can I use my heart rate monitor to train it down? I tried using last night by setting the range from 125-160 and it just beeped at me the whole time! So IF I can use it for this, HOW do it do it? I tried slowing down when it would beep high, but couldn't get it to come down until I walked. Then, within about a minute, it is BELOW range. Can't seem to find a happy medium.

Sorry this is long - but I'm pretty frustrated.
Any wisdom out there? Any experience with this problem?
thanks in advance!

Edited by: HEALTHY4HIM at: 5/10/2013 (12:48)
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