Heart Rate – Pace Judgement For Greater Success (Part 1) Posted on February 8, 2018

By Rameshon


Picture 1 – Heart Rate helps monitor pace judgement

When I was attending the IAAF coaching course in 2014, we invited kids to have sports day kind of carnival, with Kids Athletics activities involved. An amazing and puzzling thing that happened was that even when a number of times the kids were told and reminded on going steady state pace, the kids did not listen and dash doing an all out run and then they die out after 1-2 min of the run, Nearly all of them did that, instead of the continuing the total ten min run test. 

My answer to kids is to start slow, and go moderate after a few round and reserve at the last part of the race. In actual fact, world top elite runners do not go at top speed for their workouts. They look at their heart rate and work below the heart rate maximum. At least one needs to do a 90% or below to sustain the run for long. By doing this, over a period of time, the timing of the race performance gets faster and this teaches pace judgement. If one does this, there will be tremendous progress in the personal best for athletes who strives for excellence.

When do we start to run fast from the start?  This is not an easy answer and it needs vast experience, especially for an athlete who keeps winning a number of races. My own experience is that I will be a frontal runner in a race, only after winning gold in three long distance races. 

Hence, an understanding of Heart Rate is therefore imperative for performance, as even adults do the same. 90-95 % of runners, one way or another, have experienced being like a superman before the start of a race. Once race starts, one may go at top speed, or faster than the usual steady state fast pace. They go to near heart rate maximum. The laboratory studies show that with 100% maximum, one can only last for a minute into the race, after that it is found that the running performance just drops, as the lactate build up in the blood becomes exorbitant to handle. One will go through discomfort during the race. Some athletes also will look for when the race will stop. One finds it hard to sustain and there is also no enjoyment in the race. 

Edited by Tan Mariviv