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Perceived Effort vs Garmin Pace Numbers?

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Post  Mrs. Schuey on Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:42 am

Question about perceived effort: I have switched from watching my paces on a run and have chosen to run off of feeling/perceived effort. The question I have is what if the numbers are better than my perceived effort? In other words, what if I perceive that I’m running at a pace where my body feels it’s comfortably working and the numbers show that it’s more easy than perceived? Am I selling myself short in training?

Sorry if this sounds like a like a silly question.
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Post  Kenny B. on Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:46 am

@Mrs. Schuey wrote:Question about perceived effort: I have switched from watching my paces on a run and have chosen to run off of feeling/perceived effort. The question I have is what if the numbers are better than my perceived effort? In other words, what if I perceive that I’m running at a pace where my body feels it’s comfortably working and the numbers show that it’s more easy than perceived? Am I selling myself short in training?

Sorry if this sounds like a like a silly question.

Problem with perceived effort IMO is at times you can be running too fast or too slow because your "mind" is doing the running. Perceived should be how your body feels but your body is controlled by your mind. So you end up fighting with your mind and body. It ends up being very confusing and next thing you know your mind has left your body. bounce Which is not a bad thing at times! (what?)

Seriously, I like using a watch on certain training runs when I know I want nail a certain pace for that run where my perceived effort might fall short or long from the purpose of the run. I prefer to run on perceived effort on recovery days matter of fact all my recovery runs are run that way. Sometimes I hit 9:10 pace other times 9:50. That to me works because I meant to recover not nail a certain split.


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Post  Jeff F on Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:02 am

Lisa, as you know we all approach training differently. I almost hate to do this but to quote Hall "don't be a slave to the numbers." I run most of my training runs on perceived effort, however, I also wear my Garmin just to monitor actual pace. Somedays when I am fully recovered and the weather is perfect I may run a faster pace because that is what feels right, on other days when I am tired and it is hot my perceived effort may result in a slower pace. I am more of a feel runner than a technical by the numbers runner and that is what works for me.
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Post  Schuey on Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:12 am

@Jeff F wrote:Lisa, as you know we all approach training differently. I almost hate to do this but to quote Hall "don't be a slave to the numbers." I run most of my training runs on perceived effort, however, I also wear my Garmin just to monitor actual pace. Somedays when I am fully recovered and the weather is perfect I may run a faster pace because that is what feels right, on other days when I am tired and it is hot my perceived effort may result in a slower pace. I am more of a feel runner than a technical by the numbers runner and that is what works for me.

I agree to what Jeff said. Like Jeff I'm more of running by feel runner. I think that the more you get the feel of your body while running and you are in tune with your fitness I find that my paces will natural fall within a certain pace range for my given runs. Again like Jeff said we are all different and the way we approach training is going to be different. The secret is to keep trying things in your training until you feel comfortable with what you are doing and that it works for you. I really don't think there is a true right. I only say right because I do believe that there are some "wrongs" to training that should be avoided but that doesn't apply to your question.

Now I must add that there are times I feel that I do need to change my run from running on feel to being more in tune with the pace. For me that happens when I'm doing intervals, LT workouts and MP runs. I feel that you can still run on feel when doing surges, fast finish runs. I must add that when I'm more in tune with pace on the above certain runs, I'm not looking at the watch the whole time. Once I see that I'm at the pace that I want to hit I stop looking at the watch and I now work on memorizing that pace. What does this pace feel like so what ends up happening is that as I get use to what that pace feels like I don't have to look at the watch because my mind and body knows what pace I'm running hence now sometimes these training runs or even in a race I can run on feel and I know the pace without looking.
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Post  Kenny B. on Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:18 am

[quote="Schuey"]
@Jeff F wrote:Now I must add that there are times I feel that I do need to change my run from running on feel to being more in tune with the pace. For me that happens when I'm doing intervals, LT workouts and MP runs. I feel that you can still run on feel when doing surges, fast finish runs. I must add that when I'm more in tune with pace on the above certain runs, I'm not looking at the watch the whole time. Once I see that I'm at the pace that I want to hit I stop looking at the watch and I now work on memorizing that pace. What does this pace feel like so what ends up happening is that as I get use to what that pace feels like I don't have to look at the watch because my mind and body knows what pace I'm running hence now sometimes these training runs or even in a race I can run on feel and I know the pace without looking.

I like that! Good response!
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Post  Jerry on Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:22 am

@Mrs. Schuey wrote:

Am I selling myself short in training?


IMHumorO, if you like to run by feel, this is the guilt you have to get rid of first. We are pursuing performance gain through the whole training, not the single workout.

If you want to drink fresh water, you need to empty your glass first.
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Post  mul21 on Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:24 am

I think on most runs you're going to be fine. Like Martin said, if you're doing a tempo or something with a specific purpose, you'll probably want to watch pace, but if you're just doing LSD or easy miles, not a big deal. The one thing I have an issue with is making sure I run my recovery runs easy enough and I really need the watch or mill on those days.
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Post  charles on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:13 pm

I think heart rate training may be a good compromise. If you have a heart rate range you are working in - just run by feel. If you start to work too hard ease up a bit. If you "FEEL" you are running easy at the low end of the range that is a great sign that you are in good/better shape and can actually work a little harder if the particular workout calls for you working harder. And of course the HRM eliminates the situation where you think you are feeling great and running easy but in reality you are working harder than what your particular workout calls for.

I know there are a lot of variables that affect one's heart rate - humidity/temperature/dew point, hydration, sleep/rest etc . . . but those factors also affect how you "FEEL" on your run as well.
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Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:02 pm

Completely agree with the notion that it's not really important unless you're doing a tempo (okay, even that one should have a big component of "feel" in it: comfortably hard), intervals, or MP. I'll add, too, that if you're using a HR monitor, you might notice a lower HR at any given "easy" pace when you're not worried about keeping something specific as opposed to when you're focusing on maintaining an exact range. I notice that when I start thinking I might be going "too slow" - as if that's possible - my HR jumps 3-8 beats.
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Post  Schuey on Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:08 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote: I'll add, too, that if you're using a HR monitor, you might notice a lower HR at any given "easy" pace when you're not worried about keeping something specific as opposed to when you're focusing on maintaining an exact range. I notice that when I start thinking I might be going "too slow" - as if that's possible - my HR jumps 3-8 beats.

Approval No doubt Mike. I guess I would put that as stress or tension. I have found that when I stay relaxed during a run the HR is lower compared if I'm putting tension or stress on myself on whatever I'm doing running. That is why my biggest keyword I use whether it is in training runs or a race and no matter what the pace is "RELAX" the more I relax myself when running the better and more fun the run or race is. Thanks for bring that point up Mike.
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Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:27 pm

@Schuey wrote:
@Mike MacLellan wrote: I'll add, too, that if you're using a HR monitor, you might notice a lower HR at any given "easy" pace when you're not worried about keeping something specific as opposed to when you're focusing on maintaining an exact range. I notice that when I start thinking I might be going "too slow" - as if that's possible - my HR jumps 3-8 beats.

Approval No doubt Mike. I guess I would put that as stress or tension. I have found that when I stay relaxed during a run the HR is lower compared if I'm putting tension or stress on myself on whatever I'm doing running. That is why my biggest keyword I use whether it is in training runs or a race and no matter what the pace is "RELAX" the more I relax myself when running the better and more fun the run or race is. Thanks for bring that point up Mike.

Yep, that's definitely what I'd call it, too. If I start thinking about a race that I'm excited about, the same thing happens. Same thing happens cycling. If I'm riding with a group and am excited/anxious about falling off a wheel or not performing well, my HR skyrockets. Just the mind's way of preparing the body for what's to come: fight or flight.
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Post  Jerry on Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:33 pm

Then the next level is relaxly focused.
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Post  Nick Morris on Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:58 pm

@Jerry wrote:
@Mrs. Schuey wrote:

Am I selling myself short in training?


IMHumorO, if you like to run by feel, this is the guilt you have to get rid of first. We are pursuing performance gain through the whole training, not the single workout.

If you want to drink fresh water, you need to empty your glass first.

This sounds like ancient Chinese wisdom!!

But seriously, I think you have to listen to your body and how you feel on any given training run. I still use my garmin, but each training run is still different, depending on how I am feeling that day.
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Post  charles on Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:31 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote: I'll add, too, that if you're using a HR monitor, you might notice a lower HR at any given "easy" pace when you're not worried about keeping something specific as opposed to when you're focusing on maintaining an exact range. I notice that when I start thinking I might be going "too slow" - as if that's possible - my HR jumps 3-8 beats.

But these are just momentary spikes. I too get them - especially the more I look at my watch and wonder why I am running so slow at a higher heart rate than my perceived effort would suggest.

To paraphrase Schuey and Jerry - you find the Golden Road to Unlimited Relaxtion (~);-)
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Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:15 pm

I guess it depends on what you mean by momentary. Personally, I can sustain enough stress/worry to keep mine up for miles on end, if I really want to. Very Happy
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Post  Mrs. Schuey on Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:18 pm

Thanks for all of the really informative responses, everyone! I printed this out so I can read it all on my walk home before my run. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond! Very Happy Very Happy
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Post  charles on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:35 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:I guess it depends on what you mean by momentary. Personally, I can sustain enough stress/worry to keep mine up for miles on end, if I really want to. Very Happy

True dat!
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Post  Dave-O on Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:05 pm

@Mrs. Schuey wrote:
The question I have is what if the numbers are better than my perceived effort? In other words, what if I perceive that I’m running at a pace where my body feels it’s comfortably working and the numbers show that it’s more easy than perceived?

I'm not trying to play the existential game, but I don't understand this question. I don't think your body's perception can be wrong. It felt like it felt. If you felt like you were comfortably working, then you were, regardless of what the numbers show. Now, you may have expected to be faster (or slower) given your perceived effort, but that doesn't mean your perception was wrong.

Or is this a dream within a dream? Shocked
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Post  Jim Lentz on Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:08 pm

I can usually lower mine if I concentrate enough on running relaxed.
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Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:09 pm

@Dave-O wrote:
Or is this a dream within a dream? Shocked

(in the voice of a washed-up surfer)

Maybe, like, life is just one big dream, and like, maybe the guy that's dreaming is, y'know, who God really is... And what does that mean when I dream? Do my dreams think they're, like, real? Do they dream within my dream? And who's dream is God?... Whoa...
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Post  Nick Morris on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:22 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:
@Dave-O wrote:
Or is this a dream within a dream? Shocked

(in the voice of a washed-up surfer)

Maybe, like, life is just one big dream, and like, maybe the guy that's dreaming is, y'know, who God really is... And what does that mean when I dream? Do my dreams think they're, like, real? Do they dream within my dream? And who's dream is God?... Whoa...


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Post  Schuey on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:26 pm

@Dave-O wrote:
@Mrs. Schuey wrote:
The question I have is what if the numbers are better than my perceived effort? In other words, what if I perceive that I’m running at a pace where my body feels it’s comfortably working and the numbers show that it’s more easy than perceived?

I'm not trying to play the existential game, but I don't understand this question. I don't think your body's perception can be wrong. It felt like it felt. If you felt like you were comfortably working, then you were, regardless of what the numbers show. Now, you may have expected to be faster (or slower) given your perceived effort, but that doesn't mean your perception was wrong.

Or is this a dream within a dream? Shocked

Yeah I was giving her a hard time about how she worded the question also Dave. I think she was trying to ask more of what you were saying in your responds. That there are times when she feels she is running at comfortable effort and was thinking her pace was 9:30 when after looking at the data after the run she was really running faster then that. She is also learning that perceived effort can feel dramatically feel different on a hot humid day compared to a cool low humid day or getting a good nights sleep vs not.


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Post  Dave Bussard on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:32 pm

@Mrs. Schuey wrote:Question about perceived effort: I have switched from watching my paces on a run and have chosen to run off of feeling/perceived effort. The question I have is what if the numbers are better than my perceived effort? In other words, what if I perceive that I’m running at a pace where my body feels it’s comfortably working and the numbers show that it’s more easy than perceived? Am I selling myself short in training?

Sorry if this sounds like a like a silly question.

Here's what I say (and do myself...) Take off your watch! Most days the time doesn't matter. It's the perceived effort that matters. If it's an easy day, just run easy, and log it that way as... just an easy run.
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Post  Schuey on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:54 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:
@Dave-O wrote:
Or is this a dream within a dream? Shocked

(in the voice of a washed-up surfer)

Maybe, like, life is just one big dream, and like, maybe the guy that's dreaming is, y'know, who God really is... And what does that mean when I dream? Do my dreams think they're, like, real? Do they dream within my dream? And who's dream is God?... Whoa...

Like Heavy Dude

@Dave Bussard wrote:
@Mrs. Schuey wrote:Question about perceived effort: I have switched from watching my paces on a run and have chosen to run off of feeling/perceived effort. The question I have is what if the numbers are better than my perceived effort? In other words, what if I perceive that I’m running at a pace where my body feels it’s comfortably working and the numbers show that it’s more easy than perceived? Am I selling myself short in training?

Sorry if this sounds like a like a silly question.

Here's what I say (and do myself...) Take off your watch! Most days the time doesn't matter. It's the perceived effort that matters. If it's an easy day, just run easy, and log it that way as... just an easy run.

Great advice!
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Post  Schuey on Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:17 am

[quote="charles"]
@Mike MacLellan wrote: To paraphrase Schuey and Jerry - you find the Golden Road to Unlimited Relaxtion (~);-)

HaHa I missed that the first time around Charles! How I missed that I don't know but I'm sure that is the last time you will slip one of those by me.

"Take a vacation, fall out for a while,
Summer's comin' in, and it's goin' outa style
Cause your mother's down in Memphis, won't be back 'till the fall.

Hey hey, hey, come right away
Come and join the party every day."
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