I'm almost on schedule with the Jeff Galloway 3:45 marathon program--I was supposed to be running 17 - 18 miles this week and I did 15 yesterday. 18 on the calendar for next weekend. 15 was a little bit of a leap but it felt pretty good except for the nasty welt at the base of my sternum caused by the HR monitor transmitter. Maybe the strategy is that if this weird device is making a hole in your skin, you are distracted from other issues like foot or knee pain. It was interesting though to be able to look at my watch and see whether I was tired or not. HR stayed in the 150's for most of the 2 hr, 27 minute run unless I was spacing out (causing it to drop), climbing a hill or trying to speed up a little. I also tried the Galloway run / walk method. It varies depending on the pace you are trying to achieve but for a time of 3:45 in the marathon Galloway suggests running 4'30" and walking 30". So, thirty seconds out of every 5 minutes. This is supposed to help you maintain a faster pace. 30 seconds goes by in a flash but during my run yesterday these tiny intervals probably added up to about 15 minutes of walking. My only complaint (other than the chafing) was that between timing the run / walk segments and checking to make sure I still had a pulse, I was constantly looking at my watch.
HR monitor training is highly recommended. Why, Dean Karnazes trained with one so long that he eventually could tell exactly what his heart rate was at any time without using the device. Probably because it wore a hole all the way through his ribcage and he could just look down and count. For the record I have owned my HR monitor for well over a year, just haven't used the transmitter strap much. I would never have gone out and purchased a monitor just because Dean Karnazes mentioned it in his book. Well, I guess we'll never know for sure whether I would have done that, but anyway it's irrelevant since I already have one and I have just chosen to start using it at this time.