It's a rest day today so I have a few minutes to blog instead of running. My dad has a nifty blood-pressure machine at home and while I was visiting over the weekend, he sat me down to do a few readings. I was a little puzzled -- yes, my blood pressure is pretty normal.
The number that surprised me was my heart rate -- it kept on reading in the 44 beats per minute range. Later when I got home, I hooked in my Garmin heart-rate monitor and found that it reached a low of about 43 beats, and that was only after lying in bed for a few minutes. Just checked again today after dinner and it quickly went down to 45.
This is quite surprising. I know that the average male has a heart rate of anywhere from 60 - 80 beats per minute. The more sedentary you are, the higher it is. According to this article (and there are many on the net) fit endurance runners usually have heart rates of between 50 and 60 beats per minute.
While some doctors would be alarmed by a low heart rate, I know that it signals among runners that you are getting fit, that your heart has to work less to pump the necessary blood to your body. Elite endurance athletes are known to have very low rates -- Lance Armstrong famously is known for his 32 beats per minute (and a sky-high VO2 Max, and a bigger than average heart, but who's counting).
Last year, I believe my resting heart rate was as low as 52 -- so what does the new numbers tell me? Maybe I'm becoming more fit? Maybe this Pfitzinger training cycle is starting to pay off.. Maybe I should wait until the V02 Max workouts to see how things go? In any case, it's a good sign. I don't know if this is a factor, but I have been shedding excess pounds the past six weeks as I look to get down to a good race weight (the same weight I had two years ago when I set many PBs). I have 5 to 8 pounds to lose and i'm confident i'll get there by mid to late September. I'm eating healthier, i'm running more and i'm feeling strong...