Are you running in the correct Zone?
As a runner under Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) training, running at a low heart rate is always on my mind.
I am required to maintain the HR zone of 134 – 144.
Any higher, I will not get the desired outcome from the training session.
This has been my obsession for most of my endurance run journey.
I made vast improvements from such training, having recorded a 9min/km pace before to just 7.30 min/km now.
Recently, however, my path crossed with another brother-in-Christ who shared his passion for prayer runs and moments of intimate conversations with the Lord.
That struck a chord in my spirit and I knew immediately that I needed to find that ‘spiritual-zone’ which was lacking in my runs.
When I finally “connected” and was “in zone” with the Lord whilst running the other day, I realised that I started noticing new environments and taking in the beautiful sights surrounding my runs.
I knew the Lord was with me on this run as it felt similar to the space I occupied during quiet time with the Lord.
There were a lot of dialogue exchanges during that divine run.
Nevertheless, I found myself subconsciously looking at my watch to look at my HR reading at frequent intervals.
Then a gentle voice spoke, “Are you in the correct zone?”.
I knew, at that moment, without a shadow of doubt, that it was the Lord who spoke to me.
“I want to be in the right zone with you, Lord!”
I had been so obsessed with the matrix on my watch, I was not enjoying the run as much as I could have.
It felt like the Lord was trying to bring me somewhere new, but I kept “looking back”.
It was akin to the how the Israelites behaved when they were brought out in the exodus from Egypt.
They complained about their status quo, were inclined to return to their comfort zone (in slavery), and failed to see that the Lord was, in fact, blessing them with freedom.
In keeping my fixation to track my heart rate, I was about to miss out what the Lord wanted to show me.
At that juncture, I stopped and took a few deep breaths.
I decided there and then that I wanted to be in the correct ZONE with the Lord.
I slowed down my pace thereafter – walking and running as the Lord prompted and I was sure that He was with me throughout the run.
For the first time, it didn’t bother me that my heart rate shot up because I had to run faster or climb hills.
I simply ran with the Lord, and I finished my run wearing a smile and knowing that I was in the right zone.
Prayer & Reflection:
- What is your go-to metric while working out? Is it time? Heart rate? Intensity? Pace?
Have you felt enslaved by always trying to achieve that metric of concern every time you workout?
Do you feel frustrated if you do not achieve that target of the workout session?
Workouts are supposed to be fun and beneficial for general health.
You should not feel any burden or burnout.
Ask the Lord to reveal areas in your workout that have robbed you of joy.
- Have you felt uncomfortable exploring new boundaries and experiences because of unfamiliarity?
Do you keep holding on to past “victories” or “good experiences”, and are afraid to try new things in life?
As the Lord what is holding / hindering you from these new challenges.