Getting in Shape

Heart Rate

Morning ladies! Hope you all had wonderful holidays!

I have a question about heart rate levels. I'd always gone by the old adage that to figure out your target heart rate you subtract your age from 220. FI got me a pretty nice Polar HRM as a Christmas gift and this morning I was playing around with it on my run. I was checking my average HR at the various speeds I tend to run at when training and seeing how "efficient" my runs are. Going by the 220-age math my runs are keeping me in a lower HR range. However, my HRM has my high THR around 167, significantly lower than 220-age. I'm pretty sure my HRM is more accurate than my old adage and that it's probably pretty spot on with everything, but I was curious about your knowledge on the subject. 

Either way, I had a great run this morning; a 5k in under 30 minutes, which is pretty decent for me, especially not having worked out in a few days and eating pretty poorly. So I'll take it.
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Re: Heart Rate

  • edited December 2012
    If you're doing steady-state cardio for 30+ minutes, you should keep your HR within 55-75% of your maximum HR. Exceeding it and sustaining a high heart rate for a longer period of time increases oxidative damage to tissues, leads to systematic inflammation, a compromising of the immune system, and it decreases fat metabolism. Have you tried interval training?

  • I interval train regularly. I just wasn't sure when to keep "in the range" versus top at at my highest HR. My HRM gives me a range to train within and I stayed in the range for a fair portion of my run and was slightly above for most of it. I only scraped my 220-age rate for about a minute or two at the very end. I did a pretty paced run today, averaged about 6.3 mph, so nothing crazy. A round of intervals with it to see how my HR stacks up during that is on the docket for tomorrow. 
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  • You want to reach your personal max HR in interval training, and in a last sprint toward the end of a longer run, sure. But for the bulk of your longer runs, I'd aim for 75% or below of max HR.
  • That's exactly what I did today. Thanks!
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