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Arvind Kandaswamy
RHWB Rockstar
RHWB Rockstar
Mar 11, 2023
In Nutrition & Recipes
Source;Featherstone Nutrition/Instagram
Pre-run Nutrition options content media
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Arvind Kandaswamy
RHWB Rockstar
RHWB Rockstar
Jul 23, 2022
In Running Theory & Techniques
I have been following Heart Rate Training (HRT henceforth) for my running since Feb 2022. I have had few successes and learnings as I went through it. I have been sharing some of my learnings through Strava chats & private whatsapp chats. I want to start a thread on it here so a) I can share what I learnt with others b) If I am doing/stating something incorrectly an opportunity for other experts in this area to point out so we stop the spread of misinformation I encourage others to join the discussion. Remember running is a team sport! Before we proceed, it is important to call your attention to few things. Heart rate training may not be for everyone. If you've had heart based ailments in the past (light headedness, out of breadth condition, irregular heartbeats etc), you should not attempt to do this method without consulting your doctor first. Lastly, one doesn’t need HRT to become a great runner. You could just follow the guidelines for your everyday runs in Finalsurge and become a better runner every day. Many have followed that path and went on to become great runners that I admire. HRT may be one of the methods to achieve that and not the only method of course. Who this is for? HRT works best for those training for half marathon or longer. Since the method calls for longer periods of time, this may not be suitable for 5k/10k participants. That said, everyone can benefit by running slower at a lower heart rate than at a higher HR. What is Heart Rate Training (HRT) in a nutshell? Fundamentally there are three ways to measure the intensity when you run. Pace (how fast you complete a mile) Heart Rate (At what Heart Rate you are running) Rate of Perceived Exertion or RPE (How hard or easy you run) There are several schools of thoughts around these three methods and you could often find people online touting one is better over the other. Personally, I use the first two methods in my running training and rarely use the third (I know I would get some flake from some quarters for saying that). In this thread, I am going to share on what I learnt using the HRT method and when to make an exception and run at a higher heart rate. Are there any books to get me started? Yes, there are several books on this subject if you search Amazon. I recommend the following books to get started. Hear Rate Training by Roy Benson and Declan Connolly This book was recommended to me by coach @Anirudha Joshi. A huge shoutout to him as this book fundamentally changed on how I view running as a lifestyle activity. This book goes into great detail behind human physiology and exercise science as it makes a case for Heart Rate Training for all endurance sports (Running, Cycling, Rowing etc). This book could get boring at times due to its technical descriptions, so be forewarned. 80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster by Training Slower by Matt Fitzgerald This book recommends that 80% of your training load to be "low intensity" and the remaining 20% should be at a higher intensity. This method is also known as polarized training. There is plenty of reference to HRT methods in this book but it talks about other methods as well. In addition to these two books, I also listen to lots of podcasts, YouTube videos and blog posts. Be forewarned though, there are a lot of conflicting opinions out there. Sometimes I try few things I learnt the previous day and have failed miserably (My Strava followers would attest to this). . Are there any downsides of HRT? There is only one. It takes a long time to see significant progress. Coach @Bala Sankaran often talks about Macro/Meso/Micro cycles in training programs. HRT falls in a macro cycle approach and as such can span to multiple seasons. Sometimes one may feel that they are not progressing at all or even lost some of their earlier progress. This is the most grueling part of the training and you have to have a great leap of faith to pursue this method of training. Lets cut to the chase. How do I control my Heart Rate while running? That is one question I am often asked. Another favorite of mine is how do I lower my HR? Here is another: my HR is high when I am running what am I doing wrong? My suggestion to all of these people is to approach the problem in a different way. One cannot "control" their heart rate. They cant "lower the HR" either. What they can do however is to keep their pace at the HR they want to keep. That is the only way to control or lower your HR. (Told you, this is going to be a boring method) What is an ideal Heart Rate we should target? Maffetone method is a great place to start. Subtract your age from 180. That is your MAF (Maximal Aerobic Function) rate. Use that as a base HR for your easy runs. Let's say your age is 40, then your MAF is 140 bpm (180 - 40). You have to keep your "Easy Runs" or "Conversation Pace" runs at between 130-140 bpm. For some people, this HR may be too low to run. You may hit this HR if you start jogging or walk a little faster.. That’s fine, keep jogging. Keep an eye on your watch, when it exceeds the target HR, slow down even if we you need to walk for a while to be at that HR. (told you, its gonna be boring) Wait, I thought this is going to be a running program and not a walking program? In matter of weeks, your walking will turn into running. As you "train" your heart to pump blood at a low rate over a long period of time, your body "learns" to process the blood efficiently across the body and slowly you are able to increase the intensity of your runs without impacting your heart rate. Key here is to train slow for a long period of time so your body adapts to the new rhythm of the heart. What do I need to get started? You will need a Heart Rate monitor. It is a strap that goes on your bare chest. It listens to the electric signals to calculate your HR and much more accurate than the wrist based HR that Garmin and Apple make. There are two popular models. Polar & Garmin. If you use a Garmin watch I would suggest go for the Garmin HRM. If you have a apple watch you could use either one. If you are on budget you could also consider Wahoo which gets great reviews. Garmin HRM Pro Polar H10 Wahoo HRM Wont the chest based HRM makes you uncomfortable when you run? Not anymore than a watch does. After a while you will get used to it and wont notice it much. For longer runs (90 minutes or more), the HRM may leave chaffing marks on your body. Use Vaseline or petroleum jelly to avoid it. (don’t put the jelly on the sensors). Run Slow for a Long time, I get it. But how do I get faster since that is what my ultimate goal is? Once a week do a speed workout. Some examples of speed workouts are Fartleks, Short Sprints, Tempo run, Interval runs etc. While 80% of slow running trains a certain type of muscles, the speed workouts are your other 20% and they focus a different type of muscles so you get the full benefits of a running program. What heart rate should I keep at for these speed workouts? You have to keep these runs at your slightly above Lactate Threshold heart rate. There is a great deal of info on thresholds and other running related metrics that was shared by Coach Bala in an earlier podcast. Please watch this to get a better understanding of these metrics. I will write a separate thread on how to determine your LTHR and Maximum HR. But for now, look up any of your previous runs you did that lasted for an hour or more. Whatever average pace you used for that one hour run, you could consider that as your LTHR pace. Your average HR for that one hour run would be your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate. Sounds great, but wont all of this conflict with RHWB program that I signed up for? Not at all. When your Final Surge is asking you to do a conversational pace run, do your runs at low heart rate. When it calls for short sprints, tempo etc, go for higher intensity running. How long does it take to see results? That is indeed a tricky question to answer. No two people are same and not two hearts are same. There are several factors play into this and it is hard to put a magic number on this. Having said that, here are some guidelines. Thomas Maffetone recommends to do the low heart rate, easy runs for six months and introduce speed workouts after that first six months. But in my experience, you could incorporate speed workouts almost simultaneously. All of this sounds great as a theory, does it really work though? Can you share an example? I am glad you asked. I will share the progress I have been making using HRT and also some of my own learnings on what worked and what didnt. Stay tuned.
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Arvind Kandaswamy
RHWB Rockstar
RHWB Rockstar
Jul 07, 2022
In Destination Runs
I was visiting San Francisco for a Tech Conference. I was staying in the Financial District and wanted to run in the neighborhood. Did a four mile run by the water and thoroughly enjoyed the bustling neighborhood. Here is a picture of the Bay Bridge that morning. See my full Strava stats here. (Ignore the map. GPS on my watch malfunctioned). Coach @Srivatsan Sathyamurthy asked me on Strava if I try running the bridge which made me wonder what if I try running the Golden Gate bridge the next day. Thats exactly what happened. I did a 3.6 mile run the next day on the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a beautiful foggy morning with weather in early 50s. Can't be a better time to run it. Measured 1.7 mile one way with a decent elevation gain of about 80', the golden gate bridge should be every runners dream. However looking at it from such a close vantage point, it looked big and scary. The pedestrian walkway was virtually empty at that time (5:45am) further amplifying the eeriness. I had many self doubts. What if I can't make it? What if I get mugged on the way? What if there was a cardiac event? What if there was an earthquake like it happened in 1900s? So many What Ifs. But once I got on the walkway there was no stopping except for taking pictures. It was as pleasant as pleasant can be. Forty five minutes later I was all done and dusted. Click here for my Strava stats. Revive Video below. If you live in the area or visiting it, I highly recommend running the Golden Gate Bridge. Awesomeness guaranteed!
San Francisco - Financial District & Golden Gate Bridge content media
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Arvind Kandaswamy
RHWB Rockstar
RHWB Rockstar
May 23, 2022
In Running Gear & Tech
RHWB has negotiated a discount program with Roadrunners. Scan the coupon below to get 10% off retail price of shoes and other accessories. If you are a member of their rewards program you will get 20% off.
Exclusive Discount with Roadrunners content media
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Arvind Kandaswamy
RHWB Rockstar
RHWB Rockstar
May 23, 2022
In Running Gear & Tech
RHWB has arranged a discount program in coordination with Garmin & Finalsurge for the benefit of all runners. Use the link below to order any Garmin product to avail 20% off. https://log.finalsurge.com/premium/garmin
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Arvind Kandaswamy
RHWB Rockstar
RHWB Rockstar
Mar 28, 2022
In Recovery Zone (Off Topics)
Hell Yeah content media
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Arvind Kandaswamy
RHWB Rockstar
RHWB Rockstar
Mar 19, 2022
In Race Day Strategies & Tips
I attended a running expo as a volunteer and leaned some interesting things. Below is a pictorial. First of all, expo is a sort of trade conference for runners that takes place two days before the race so runners can meet other runners, discuss strategies etc. There are also vendors that hawk their products during the expo. There were maps placed around the expo so one can familiarize the course they are running. Runners, some of them along with their coaches were seen standing in front of the maps and discussing strategy. Maps displayed every tiny bit detail of the course including where the water stations are located, bathroom facilities and also important landmarks of NYC. (There are lot of runners flying from other parts of the country and across the world) See the inclines including various peaks and valleys depicted in the picture above. A wall showed the names of all runners participating in the race. A great photo op for race participants. There were distributing free race bands. You can pick one that matches your target pace. Here is one example. Let's say you target to finish your half marathon in two hours and forty minutes, the race band displays what mile you should be at what time. This way you know that either you are running too slow that you may not reach your target and therefore you have to pick up your speed OR you are running too fast for your targeted time and you may run out of gas before the finish line so you better slow down now. I thought this was a great idea. There were also additional virtual meetings for discussing the course, pace and time strategy with experts. These people are called pacers. They will be running the course carrying this placard. They are experts of this course having run the course multiple times. In this case, this pacer runs at 9:09 minutes per mile. If your pace is around this number then you can just follow him. He knows the course quite well and he knows exactly when to slow down and when to speed up (considering all the peaks and valleys throughout the course) so you can maintain overall average pace of 9:09. There were many pacers for different paces and you can pick one that closely matches your pace. Their corral/starting place is also displayed at the expo so you can ask to be assigned to the same corral. These pacers were also seen answering questions about the course from other runners and they were giving so much details about the course including the turns, where to stop and take a selfie for a great view etc. Of course, nothing screams 'America' like a free beer at the end of the race. There is also a running joke (pun unintended) that most people run a marathon so they get a free beer when you finish. Anyway, the visit was truly inspiring for me. I could see how runners take their craft seriously and put in their 100% in order to achieve their goal. (Like many in RHWB). I also met bunch of people who have run NYC marathon for decades, also people who have run other marathons (Tokyo, Berlin etc). I highly recommend all serious runners to attend one of these expos and you will find them quite valuable.
Attend a Race Expo if there is one content media
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Arvind Kandaswamy
RHWB Rockstar
RHWB Rockstar
Mar 04, 2022
In Nutrition & Recipes
Being a vegetarian (eggitarian actually), I am having a hard time finding protein rich food options. Sure, I can look for recipes and make something that is protein rich but then I don't find this a viable option for me to do it on an everyday basis. Protein powder provides me a convenient way to add protein to my diet easily say immediately after a run. I like the Orgain brand that I buy in Costco. Even though it is tad expensive (32$ for 24 servings), it doesn't leave an aftertaste like some of the Whey based protein does to me. What is your every day protein management? Do you like one product over the other? Anything to avoid?
Protein powder recommendations content media
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Arvind Kandaswamy
RHWB Rockstar
RHWB Rockstar
Mar 04, 2022
In Strength Training & Yoga
There is a new tiktok trend going on currently called 12-3-30 workout. Basically it works like this. You put the Treadmill at 12° incline and 3 mph speed and walk for 30 minutes. You will magically lose weight in few days. First I thought this is just another fad that will dissipate soon (who really remembers oo antava mama song still? Exactly). Then I remembered Matt Fitzgerald recommending walking on an incline as an effective cross training for runners. Perhaps there is some truth to this kind of workout then? Experts, please chime in. If this method can be used as a cross training workout, what is an incline and speed that is safe and effective?
12-3-30 Workout content media
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Arvind Kandaswamy
RHWB Rockstar
RHWB Rockstar
Mar 03, 2022
In Running Gear & Tech
Do you chase numbers like I do? Garmin has many ways to configure the data fields that you want to see. Here is an add-on that I downloaded from the Garmin IQ. This is free to use and it shows all different numbers in a single screen. Each of the location in this data screen is independently configurable. To install go to Connect IQ Store on your Garmin Connect app, search for Single Run Field and choose install. It will be installed on your watch. To edit the data screen, when in Run mode, select Options, Data Screens. Tip for Apple watch users: Get a Garmin watch.
Tech Tip - Single Run Field content media
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Arvind Kandaswamy
RHWB Rockstar
RHWB Rockstar
Mar 03, 2022
In Nutrition & Recipes
How do you carry water during your long runs? There is a water reservoir that goes on your back with the tube that you can suck on as you run, a waist belt or a vest that hold the bottles, a handheld bottle that you can carry it on your hands as you run, there is even a collapsible bottle these days. Tried few of the these from Amazon and returned them promptly, as they look great in the picture and the description but found them not realistic. I am still looking for the right method to carry a water bottle. Answer this poll below to help me narrow down my choices.
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Arvind Kandaswamy

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