OK, So I am a little bit of an I.T Geek – not fully fledged (I don’t talk solely in code), but I do love a good spreadsheet. So here are a few for you to use, should you so wish, that will help with any marathon (or simply running) training that you may be undertaking.
This first spreadsheet allows you to calculate the optimum training heart rates for each different type of training that your plan may call for. The science behind this table is taken from ‘Advanced Marathoning‘ by Pete Pfitzinger & Scott Douglas.
Fundamentally, you are offered two different types of Heart Rate Calculation:
Maximal Heart Rate (MHR):
Basically a sum taking 0.7 x your age away from a standardised point (207) e.g: 207 – (0.7 x 26) = 189bpm (in my case). A more efficient way to calculate your own maximal heart rate is to perform a simple jogging warm up whilst heading to a moderate hill. Once at the hill run three high-intensity 600 meter repeats up it, jogging straight back down after each one. By running these efforts ‘all-out’ you should be within 2-3 beats of your MHR by the end of the third effort.
Heart Rate Reserve (HRR):
Your heart rate reserve is a far more accurate measure of HR as it takes into account both your MHR and your resting HR. e.g (207 – (0.7 x 26)) – 54 = 135bpm. In order to calculate a heart rate, lets say 75% you apply this figure to your HRR and add your resting HR back on e.g (0.75 x 135) + 54 = 155bpm.
In order to find your resting HR, simply take a reading every morning for a week – before you even get out of bed! As soon as you start really even thinking of too much your HR will go up by up to 10bpm, the lowest reading over 5 consecutive days is your resting HR. It is a good idea to keep tabs on your resting HR, as this can highlight when you are becoming ill or overtrained, and hopefully allow you the opportunity to compensate before it gets too late.
In order to use the calculator, simply put your age and resting HR in the coloured boxes. The sums will all be done for you. However, if you care to be that little more accurate – you can calculate your own MHR and insert that in the coloured box too.
This spreadsheet allows you to enter a couple of quick details, workout your average weekly calorie usage and will then give you the calories you need to consume in order to maintain current weight, to lose weight, or to gain weight. The information is further broken down to advise the ratio of carbs, protein and fat that should form the structure of this calorie intake.
The information in this spreadsheet was taken from the Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition by Anita Bean.