Run, Baby Run!

I purchased a new IRONMAN* Road Trainer Heart Rate Monitor the other day and decided that I am going to start jogging to increase my cardio exercise. It was an impulse buy and you can get it online at Amazon for a much cheaper price than what I paid at the Sports Chalet. Anyway, after going through the instruction manual and calibrating the device for my specific body weight and maximum heart rate (I used the generic 220 – age to calculate max heart rate, not sure this is accurate enough) I put on some shorts, cranked up the iPod and headed out for a “trial run”. Now I am not much of a runner, the last time I ran any type of distance was by force in high school gym class. Of course I’ve jogged on the treadmill for 15/20 minutes at the gym as “cardio” before lifting weights but it’s more of a jog/walk. I’m not a big fan of the treadmill. I never really know what’s going on with my heart rate using the sensor grips provided on the hand rails and I don’t trust some of the numbers I’ve seen come up on the screen.

The heart rate monitor provides instant feedback and tracks useful information such as exercise duration, min/max heart rate and how long you were in the targeted heart rate zone during your workout. There is also an alarm that can be set to alert you when you fall under the minimum, or go over the maximum heart rate for the targeted zone. At the end of my workout I was able to recall and review this information including how many calories I burned.

Here are the stats for my first run:

Total time: 28 minutes, 53 seconds

Min. heart rate: 115

Max heart rate: 181

Avg. heart rate: 157

In zone: 19 minutes, 2 seconds

Calories burned: 550

I find running outdoors on the road much more enjoyable than the treadmill. Sometimes I feel a little off balance while trying to keep up with the monotonous speed of the rotating belt under my feet. Running on the road I can increase/decrease my stride as I see fit and I don’t feel off balance at all. My head is up and the scenery is contantly changing. I felt great afterwards. A quick shower when I got back and I was re-energized for the evening. Hopefully this is an excercise plan I can keep up, with the baby coming soon time is going to become scarce.