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Thread: Opinions on Specific HR Based Technique for Intervals

  1. #1

    Default Opinions on Specific HR Based Technique for Intervals

    I'm in the process of putting together a speedwork program for a marathon training group with a couple of other coaches. One of them has an interesting theory that he brought back with him from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. He's suggesting that shorter intervals (400m or 800m) be run at a speed which allows the runner to recover to a HR of 120 BPM in 90 seconds. If they can get down to 120 BPM in less than 90 seconds, they run faster. If after 90 seconds, their HR exceeds 120 BPM, they slow down. The 120 BPM benchmark is absolute, and doesn't take into account age or fitness level. We've previously coached the speed correlating to a working HR above 85% of MHR. His theory doesn't depend on MHR or resting HR, just recovery.

    I'm going to try it myself as soon as the weather here allows me to get onto a track. Do any of the really smart Exercise Physiology people who inhabit this site have an opinion?

  2. #2
    veespin Guest


    The 120 BPM benchmark is absolute, and doesn't take into account age or fitness level
    Not so much an opinion as an observation.....

    This is a protocol from the Olympic Training Center, right? For any discipline in the Olympics, you tend not to find a big variation in age or fitness level......Olympiads are usually really young (by my standards) and really fit (by anybody's standards)

    No harm in trying it but I could see why it might not fly with absolutely everyone regardless of age or fitness.


  3. #3
    SpeedyChix Guest

    Default HR parameters

    Did the coach that made the training recommendation follow up with an explanation? I'd be interested in having more scientific feedback.

  4. #4

    Default No Follow Up at All

    No, not only didn't he follow up with an explanation, but he was supposed to send all of us his recommended speed work schedule for the entire season and we haven't seen anything. I'll wait a few more days and bug him. I'd really like to understand it better. The more that I think about his idea, the less I like it. We have a wide variety of participants, including people in their 60s. Using the basic HR guidelines, assuming that they work for some segment of the population, a 60 year old will be at 75% of MHR at 120 BPM. That means that they aren't in their recovery zone.

  5. #5


    I am not sure where I would fit into this because my HR will drop 60-80 BPM in 1 1/2 minutes.... there is no way I could keep it up at 120 and have it be a recovery.... my recovery would bring me so far down that I would have to start working to get it up to 120 again.

  6. #6
    han-grrl Guest

    Default hr recovery times

    I will have to dig up the exact reference, but i have read once before that depending on the actual effort, and fitness level, you should be able to recover 20 beats of HR in roughly 60 seconds, but again that depends who you are and what you were doing.

  7. #7


    How much your drop all depends on your fitness level. The more fit you are, the larger the drop will be in your HR.

    I Read something like 0-20 beats means you are in ok shape...

    20-40 beats means your fitness is much better

    40-60 means you are terrific condition.

  8. Default

    I always understood, for marathon training - yasso 800s- that you would have as much recovery time as you would have taken doing the 800s. At a 2 minute 800 that would be a 2 minute recovery.

    I just can't see how you can work this into a class with so much variation in speed. A marathon training group can vary from 3 hour marathoners to 6 hour marathoners. That's s difference of a 3 minute 800 and a 6 minute 800. There is absolutely no way to do proper 800s with only 90 seconds recovery for either a 3 hour marathoner or a 6 hour marathoner (Or any in between)

    My dos centavos,


  9. #9
    SpeedyChix Guest


    Hi Bill,
    I wonder if you had any follow up from OTC? One of the cool things about going to classes/lecturs/seminars at OTC is that you can get stuff that is brand new to training and I always look forward to learning something new. Have they given you the feedback they said they would (of course, taking their time is also familiar).

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