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TOPIC: Running Heart Rate - what's yours & what's good range?

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April 30, 2013 5:22 AM
I'm wondering if I'm running in good heart rate range or not.
I'm 40. My runs are around 4 miles at 10 to 10:30 min mile with around 350ft elevation.

My average running heart rate is around 155 - 162.

When running harder at faster pace, heart rate will go near 170 and at times higher than 170.
My highest heart rate so far is 181 when running uphills.

I'm not sure what my max heart rate is.
Does it sound like good running heart rate or am I running too hard when it goes higher than 170?

And what's yours?
thanks
  36506843
April 30, 2013 5:29 AM
Here's a site to calculate heart rate: http://www.briancalkins.com/HeartRate.htm

I'm 43 and my max is 177. I get into the low 170's when running uphill or pushing a very fast pace. My average lately is around 140-150.
April 30, 2013 5:37 AM
Your 40 so according ot the simple calculation 220-40=180 so that is your max and I shoot for around 90-95 of my max my average is 160 I am 45 and I run 3-5 times a week 6 at average 8 minute mile sometimes 8 miles at 8 minute mile depending on how much time I have. Of course this is a simple calculation my max may be higher due to the conditioning yours may be lower until you get yourself conditioned. If you google it you can find ways to calculate by doing sprints checking heart rate ect ect ect if you care to. More accurate than the simple method By just by looking at the stats you gave looks like your in the right range.
Edited by belgerian On April 30, 2013 5:38 AM
April 30, 2013 5:37 AM
Thanks for the link. My target rate is 160 (I'm 60 years old) but I rarely get over 150 so maybe I can push a little harder. My boss, who is 40 and runs marathons, once said that his rate is 170-180 on a normal run.
April 30, 2013 7:18 AM
Other people's heart rates are irrelevant to you. Firstly, you need to work out your max (not the 220-age estimate) - google for how to do this.

Once you have a Max HR then you use it to calculate different training zones - aerobic, anaerobic etc . Then you tailor your training programme accordingly.

AFAIK your max HR is not affected by conditioning but your Resting HR is - generally the fitter you are the lower your RHR will be.

Heart rate based training is a whole science so worth reading up on it.
April 30, 2013 7:50 AM
From the book Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger.

% Heart Rate Reserve (HRR) for type of run. My max HR is around 172 so I aim for the range in parentheses.

Recovery 50-70% (105-132)
General Aerobic/Easy 62-75% (121-139)
Long 65-78% (125-143)
Marathon Pace 73-84% (136-151)
Lactate Threshold/Tempo 77-88% (141-156)
VO2max (5k pace) 91-94% (160-164)

Most of my runs are easy and generally in the range of 128-132.
  2927295
April 30, 2013 7:53 AM
QUOTE:

I'm wondering if I'm running in good heart rate range or not.
To answer this specific question, for building pure endurance, at 40 years old your running heartrate should be closer to 140. By running at higher effort levels all the time you are missing out on training the slow twitch muscle fibers in your legs.
  2927295
April 30, 2013 9:08 AM
QUOTE:

From the book Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger.

% Heart Rate Reserve (HRR) for type of run. My max HR is around 172 so I aim for the range in parentheses.

Recovery 50-70% (105-132)
General Aerobic/Easy 62-75% (121-139)
Long 65-78% (125-143)
Marathon Pace 73-84% (136-151)
Lactate Threshold/Tempo 77-88% (141-156)
VO2max (5k pace) 91-94% (160-164)

Most of my runs are easy and generally in the range of 128-132.

^^^^ ---- this! Great advice.
April 30, 2013 9:34 AM
thanks for all the great advice.
Based on the link, my estimated max HR is around 180.
That puts most of my runs over 86%.

It's probably because I have been running up/down the hill all these time. (I'm beginner and just get outside my house and run)

If I do want to train endurance/distance and the slow twitch muscle fibers in my legs, does that mean I need to find some place with minimal uphill?
  36506843
April 30, 2013 9:42 AM
QUOTE:

If I do want to train endurance/distance and the slow twitch muscle fibers in my legs, does that mean I need to find some place with minimal uphill?
You just need to slow down on the hills. Try to keep equal effort rather than equal pace. Also, if you go a bit over going uphill its not going to hurt the training.

As you train longer your heartrate will begin to drop and you will find you have to start putting in a whole lot more effort to get the heartrate up.
  2927295
April 30, 2013 9:50 AM
QUOTE:

You just need to slow down on the hills. Try to keep equal effort rather than equal pace. Also, if you go a bit over going uphill its not going to hurt the training.


Very true. Our neighborhood is very hilly so if my intent is to take it easy I use smaller strides going uphill. Kind of like changing gears on a bike.
April 30, 2013 9:50 AM
QUOTE:

I'm wondering if I'm running in good heart rate range or not.
I'm 40. My runs are around 4 miles at 10 to 10:30 min mile with around 350ft elevation.

My average running heart rate is around 155 - 162.

When running harder at faster pace, heart rate will go near 170 and at times higher than 170.
My highest heart rate so far is 181 when running uphills.

I'm not sure what my max heart rate is.
Does it sound like good running heart rate or am I running too hard when it goes higher than 170?


It depends on the speed. Here's this morning's workout. I averaged 146 and a 9:33 pace on average but I was hitting close to 170 on a couple of those strides at the end. Of course you'll see an increase in HR going uphill or if the wind is higher.

Image not displayed


I try to stay around 150 for easier runs, 160 for mid effort runs, and under 170 for anything but racing. I did a 5k a week and a half ago and my HR for the race was about 179 most of the time but that was at a 7:35 pace. I've seen it go as high as 185 but like you said that was racing uphill. The more you improve your endurance the better it will be at a higher rate of speed.

I used to hit around 170 to do a 10:00 pace but lately on a cool morning I can do a 8:30 pace for miles and stay under 160. Just keep adding on the miles and you'll get better and better at this. Don't do it all at once of course so you don't get injured but if you gradually increase your miles you'll see your pace and heart rate start to drop all on it's own. For now I would say try to keep it closer to 160 and don't be shocked to see it hit 170+ on a hill. You can probably run 180 for a few miles but there's no need to do that on a daily basis. Save that speedy stuff for actual races. Your feet and shins will thank you.
April 30, 2013 9:52 AM
It depends honestly on what type of running you are trying to do. The longer your distance, the more you want to be in the Zone 2 range. For most people that's around 140. Rich Roll has a funny moment in his book when his coach forced him to stay below 140 for his runs, and fat guys kept running past him. I am guilty of staying in the high 150s, but when I slow down and keep it at 140 I can go a lot further. And as you build up your aerobic base your pase to keep 140BPM will also get better and better. I am working on training for an Ultra next year, and my coach is making me keep mine below 150 :)

That said if you are doing short fast distances then this doesn't matter nearly as much.
  23997354
April 30, 2013 9:54 AM
I don't know anything about what it's supposed to be, but when I'm jogging mine is between 155 and 165. When I'm running hard it's usually around 170!

QUOTE:

I'm wondering if I'm running in good heart rate range or not.
I'm 40. My runs are around 4 miles at 10 to 10:30 min mile with around 350ft elevation.

My average running heart rate is around 155 - 162.

When running harder at faster pace, heart rate will go near 170 and at times higher than 170.
My highest heart rate so far is 181 when running uphills.

I'm not sure what my max heart rate is.
Does it sound like good running heart rate or am I running too hard when it goes higher than 170?

And what's yours?
thanks
April 30, 2013 9:55 AM
I usually find mine is 160-175 when I jog (about 9:30 mile pace) unless I'm purposely going extra slow to hit some time in zone 2. my racing pace can easily get me up in the 180s, sometimes 190s.
April 30, 2013 9:55 AM
This is good to know!

QUOTE:

It depends honestly on what type of running you are trying to do. The longer your distance, the more you want to be in the Zone 2 range. For most people that's around 140. Rich Roll has a funny moment in his book when his coach forced him to stay below 140 for his runs, and fat guys kept running past him. I am guilty of staying in the high 150s, but when I slow down and keep it at 140 I can go a lot further. And as you build up your aerobic base your pase to keep 140BPM will also get better and better. I am working on training for an Ultra next year, and my coach is making me keep mine below 150 :)

That said if you are doing short fast distances then this doesn't matter nearly as much.
April 30, 2013 9:59 AM
bump
  1079185
April 30, 2013 10:03 AM
Just a couple items to throw into the pot:

1. My MaxHR is 205 and I am 47 years old. This is based on my kick into the finish of a 5K and is consistent with perceived effort for the other paces I run.

2. I base my effort on my breathing. For normal Long Slow runs, I aim to breathe in for 4 steps and then out for 4 steps. (I'm running around 180 steps, or 90 strides, per minute). I will check my HRM, but I don't watch it all the time. This also helps when I'm not getting reliable readings. When I want to push harder, I breathe faster and speed up to what that can sustain. Flat-out sprinting is red-line all the way just breathing as hard and getting the highest turn-over in my legs I can.

Mostly, I do Long Slow as I'm focusing on marathons and weight-loss this year.
  33301840
April 30, 2013 10:03 AM
For optimal improvement in running do about 80% or more of your weekly mileage in the General Aerobic/Easy HR range, and around 10 to 15% in the Lactate Threshold/Tempo HR range. If you do speed intervals do no more than 5% of weekly mileage in the VO2max (5k pace) HR range. Also do a weekly long run of 2 to 2.5 hours in the Long run HR range.

Daily easy training runs should not kill you. Once you get in basic shape they are easy enough to do them every day. Save the pain for Tempo and VO2max runs.

% HRR
50-70% Recovery
62-75% General Aerobic/Easy
65-78% Long
73-84% Marathon Pace
77-88% Lactate Threshold/Tempo
91-94% VO2max (5k pace)

Heart Rate Reserve (HRR) Formula
HRR = RHR + X%*(MHR-RHR)

RHR=Resting Heart Rate
MHR = Max Heart Rate
X% = The % HRR you are calculating for
Edited by scottb81 On April 30, 2013 10:05 AM
  2927295
April 30, 2013 10:06 AM
bump
April 30, 2013 10:10 AM
Another comment on heart rate:

When you are just starting, you will run your HR up to near MaxHR fairly easily. As you get used to running, and more fit, it gets harder to push your system hard enough to get to MaxHR. MaxHR will not move significantly (if at all) due to training, but the effort required for a given HR will increase as you get better.

And you will be amazed as how quickly you move off the "untrained" condition.
  33301840
April 30, 2013 10:22 AM
Thanks for all these great advice. I really help me with better picture how I should do better in running.

I started running in Jan/2013 (a little over 3 months). My regular run grows from 1/2 mile to 4 miles and pace naturally improves from 13 min mile to close to 10 min mile.

I will try to keep my HR closer to 140 for my runs to train for the distance.
My last question is, does it take long (like a year or 2) to improve my regular pace down to 8 min mile? (I try to maintain 4-5 runs a week)
  36506843
April 30, 2013 10:24 AM
My wife took her half pace down from 10:00/mile to about 8:15/mile with relative ease over the course of 6 months for a Half distance. I myself run like a turtle, and seldom break 10:00. But I am never racing to win, whereas she is a competitive person.
  23997354
April 30, 2013 10:32 AM
QUOTE:

Thanks for all these great advice. I really help me with better picture how I should do better in running.

I started running in Jan/2013 (a little over 3 months). My regular run grows from 1/2 mile to 4 miles and pace naturally improves from 13 min mile to close to 10 min mile.

Amazing improvement. You're doing really well.

QUOTE:

My last question is, does it take long (like a year or 2) to improve my regular pace down to 8 min mile? (I try to maintain 4-5 runs a week)

I've been running outside a little less than a year and I'm not doing an 8 minute mile as a training pace. I do some stuff faster but not quite that fast. I'll be doing 6 miles at an 8:30 pace Thursday but tomorrow's run will be around 9:30 again. You just can't run that fast all the time if you want to add in a lot of miles. I'm at 165 miles this month. Focus on distance more than your speed. Don't worry too much about speed.

I did a 5k @ 23:46 a couple weeks ago and I never run that fast in training runs. You'll improve speed just building endurance.
April 30, 2013 10:35 AM
The more you run (and recover) the faster you will improve. By decreasing the effort of the daily easy run you will be able to run longer and more often. Its hard to say how long it will take to get your pace to where you want it but I would caution you against training to achieve a faster training pace for its own sake.

Train at the correct intensities so that you can race at a faster pace. Schedule races and judge your progress on that.

My normal easy run pace right now is usually anywhere between 8:20 to 8:50/mi depending on how rested I am. I also run some runs at 10+ min per mile with other people. I recently ran a marathon at an 8:06 pace and a 5K at a 6:40 pace.

I used to judge progress on how fast I could do my daily runs. By racing myself nearly everyday my body was unable to recover properly and after a few months I stopped making progress. Burnout followed soon after.
  2927295

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