WOOT Member, Corinne Williams, Gets Results With Heart Rate Training

Jannine Myers

This is really just a brag post – with some useful training info “on the side” – to recognize and honor a great friend and fellow WOOT member who has wowed us with some amazing accomplishments over the past year. Although an already-accomplished road runner, Corinne Williams only discovered trail running a couple of years ago when she joined WOOT, and since then she has done some simply amazing things:

  • Tarawera Ultramarathon, NZ 100k – Feb 2014
  • Kunigami 19k Trail Race – 13 Dec 2014 – 1st place female 2:13:58
  • Shinetsu 5-Mountains 110k Trail Race – Sep 22, 2015 – 1st place female 14:02:40
  • Kunigami 19k Trail Race – 12 Dec, 2015 – 1st place female 2:08:38 (5 mins faster than last year’s time!)
  • Vibram Hong Kong 100k Trail Race – Jan 23, 2016 – 4th place female 13:19:34
  • Okinawa Marathon – 21 Feb, 2016 – 2nd place female 3:15:56 (a new marathon PR!)

Corinne’s first major trail race was the Tarawera 100k in February 2014; we were incredibly proud of her for finishing that race (along with another of our amazing WOOT members, Alicia Bolan). But her accomplishments since then have continued to excel, with each progressive race showing faster and stronger performances. Corinne and I talked a little about her progress during a recent track workout together, and I’d like to share some of our discussion as it will reveal much about Corinne’s character and also explain how she is a greater trail runner today than she was two years ago.

When Corinne started training for her first trail race, she worked hard to complete all of her training miles, and she did. Yet as solid as her training base was, she knew her Tarawera race performance could have been better. With that in mind, she subscribed to a different training strategy for her next major race – one that required not only a high volume of running but one that also forced her to slow down.

For the next seven months, leading up to the Shinetsu Five-Mountains 110k trail race, Corinne logged a massive amount of miles, but this time she deliberately slowed her pace and maintained a lower heart rate on all of her runs. She wanted to test the theory that slower running over a long period of time results in a fully-developed aerobic system. Few athletes, according to the Sock Doc (Chiropractic Physician Stephen Gangemi), spend enough time building their maximum aerobic potential because they are too quick to add anaerobic workouts (speed and interval-type workouts).

It takes months, says Gangemi, to fully develop the aerobic system, and most athletes simply don’t have the patience for it or the psychological stamina. It takes a strong-minded athlete to willingly train at lower intensity and exertion, over a period of several months, and not give in to the temptation of working harder. But that’s exactly the kind of athlete Corinne is, and it’s why she continues to wow us with such amazing race results.

Kudos to you Corinne, for showing the rest of us that it’s not only hard work that pays off, but also patience and the self-restraint to hold back in training when everyone else is charging ahead.

[Note: now that Corinne has worked long and hard to develop her aerobic system, she’s enjoying the re-introduction of anaerobic workouts to her training routine; I see more great race results ahead!]


To work out your aerobic training zone, follow this formula – developed by Dr. Phil Maffetone:

1) Subtract your age from 180
2) Modify this number by choosing below:
a. If you have or are recovering from a major illness or if you are on medication, subtract an additional 10
b. If you have not exercised before or have been exercising but have been injured, sick, going “down hill” or have asthma or allergies, subtract an additional 5
c. If you have been exercising for more than two years and making progress without any problems, add 5
d. If you have been exercising for up to two years without any significant problems, then keep the result of 180 – your age

Next – Put the number to work:

Now that you have your Maximum Aerobic Heart Rate number, it is important that you exercise accordingly.

  • Warm-Up for 10-15 minutes at a heart rate of 10-20 beats below your Max aerobic HR.
  • Exercise at an intensity 0-10 beats below your max aerobic heart rate, but not over.
  • Cool-Down for 10-15 minutes at a HR similar to the warm-up, but now with decreasing intensity.
  • If you plan to exercise only 20-30 minutes, your workout will be a warm-up & cool-down.

[For more information on Dr. Maffetone’s formula, and how you can reach your full aerobic potential, click here].


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