Larisa Dannis is a 27 year old woman who just won the USA 50 Mile Road Championship this past Sunday. Four years ago she was a recreational runner and now she averages 7:11 per mile for 50 miles. What’s her secret to success? Heart rate training.
Dannis wears a heart rate monitor to make sure that she’s doing all of her training runs and races in the proper heart rate zone. Over time, she’s learned what heart rate she can sustain for various distances, and uses those numbers to guide her in all of her training and racing. For example, she averaged 134 beats per minute during Western States this year, and she knows that she needs to be in the 163-165 range during a marathon.
For two years she ran with her heart rate in the aerobic zone making sure not to exceed a set heart rate. This helped build her aerobic base. She still trains more than 90% of the time at an easy pace and has only recently starting mixing in speedwork. Read more about her amazing training principals in this Runner’s World post.