Sometimes, I need a dose of reality. Those who know me, know it isn’t uncommon for me to have mini-freakouts from time to time. It happens in most parts of my life and exercise is no exception. Let me explain…
When I run, I have a tendency to psych myself out and think my heart rate is climbing much too high. I then think maybe I should slow down or even walk. Sounds crazy, right? I know I am. When I think about this logically, the feeling is probably a direct result of not being the best runner, but I’m not wanting to over analyze my sometimes unrealistic thoughts, I just want to explain how I deal with it hoping maybe it will help you, the reader. My solution to this is wearing a heart rate monitor. Simple and straight forward…my kind of fix to any problem. When I put on the heart rate monitor I can keep an eye on my actual heart rate – not what I’m imagining it to be. This usually gets me in the right mental state to keep running. It also helps me recognize how I feel when I’m keeping my heart rate consistent, something beginner runners often struggle with.
Case in point: this weekend’s triathlon. I wore a heart rate monitor during the race. I’d never worn one racing before, but since I didn’t feel completely ready for this race, I knew it would be the best way to make sure I kept my heart rate at the right level to finish strong. (Note: Everyone has a different maximum heart rate and one that can be sustained for a longer period of time. It depends on many factors like your level of fitness, your gender, your age, hydration status, ambient temperature, etc. You can read more here if you’re interested.)
I gained some insight into my mental state while racing and my motivation this weekend. My heart rate monitor helped me stay around my target heart rate for the run and I finished feeling strong. It was one of the best runs I’ve had in a triathlon – ever. It wasn’t fast, but it felt good. Did I still get passed by someone almost 3x my age? Yes, that happened, but I felt good running (a rare occasion) and that’s what mattered to me.
The added bonus:
Along with my best “red-faced” photo to date and I’m one happy girl.
Eat Well.Feel Well,