I run a lot for a lot of different reasons. One of those reasons is to lower my resting heart rate. I find that I can perform live on the piano with greater comfort and control when my resting heart rate is low. Right now it is measuring at 57 bpm and that's a good level for me.
I put my body through the stress of running so that I can perform at a higher level. It's kind of like the mottos that we see in MMA gyms, "Train hard. Fight easy." I often equate 'Train Hard' with 'Run Fast' and that has adverse affects.
This spring season I have been looking at the heart rate zones in training. (I know, I am late to the game in many ways but it's really never too late. I hope that encourages some of you reading this.) Much research has been done on what is being developed in the body while training within these zones. Google heart rate zones and you will see what I mean.
Tomorrow, I plan on running 8 miles. It will have to be early in the morning. It's been hot around here. My goal is to run 8 miles at an easy pace. My zone for that will be around 145bpm and 155bpm.
When I started taking this seriously, my pace felt slower and slower. It was painful. But, we must be patient. When you take heart rate monitoring seriously, you can see that in the long run, your aerobic capacity grows and mine has.
I am tempted to bust out fast runs every single time I train. What happens when I do this? I go anaerobic and crack. It happens. Every. Single. Time.
Patience and time are mighty warriors as Tolstoy reminds us. I will get faster if I am patient in my long runs and train the right way.