What Happens When Your Running Heart Rate Gets Too High For Too Long
Take a marathon training schedule, for example. A marathon training plan has a lot of easy, aerobic runs, because the act of running a marathon is primarily aerobic, Lakritz says. Your body has to become really efficient at burning fat for energy so it can last a long time.
Over time, the pace at which you can do this will improve you can run faster at the same heart rate as you get in shape. But, if you consistently run your easy runs at 75% of your max heart rate, you wont train this system of your body.
Youll probably get better at shorter distance races because youre training the lactic threshold system, which helps you run faster for a shorter period of time, Lakritz explains. But by always running at this pace, your body wont be able to recover enough to properly train the lactic threshold system, either.
Eventually, running at a heart rate thats too high for the purpose of your training will lead to a plateau in race times, burnout, or injury.
Your body will already be tired, so your heart rate will actually be higher at slower running paces. According to your heart rate, you might be within your lactic threshold range at a 6-minute mile pace if youre tired from running too fast the previous day. But if you were fully recovered from the previous day, you might be able to run a 5:45 pace at the same heart rate range.
While heart rate training is a great tool to ensure youre training in the appropriate zones, the numbers dont lie.
How To Determine Safe Heart Rate Zone For Running
Running with 50 to 60% of your MHR is considered as running with low intensity. But this is the safest or healthiest zone to exercise for the beginners. One may speak normally while running with 50-60% of MHR. Beginners should gradually increase their intensity, as the capacity of the heart and lungs increases slowly. Remember, you cannot reap the health benefits of running if you run with a heart rate, that is just a little bit higher than the normal one.
Those who exercise regularly can run with 60 to 70% of MHR. This is called the fitness zone. While running with higher heart rate, you may find it difficult to breathe and speak. But exercising with high heart rate is natural for high intensity exercise and you can burn more fat and calories by exercising in this zone. Running with 70 to 80% of your MHR is possible after enhancing the capacity of the heart and lungs. This is called aerobic zone.
Athletes who undergo endurance training can run with such a high heart rate. The anaerobic zone is the zone when your HR falls within the range of 80 to 90% of your MHR . Athletes do reach such a high HR during circuit training for a short while. Athletes can run with even 90-100% of their MHR for a short while, under the guidance of their physicians and physical trainers.
What To Do When Your Running Heart Rate Gets Too High
Youre out for a run and its going great. Youre on mile four of a five-mile tempo run, and youre in that sweet spot where your perfect pace feels comfortably hard. But soon, your heart rate begins to climb. Within a few minutes, comfortably hard feels uncomfortable.
If youre not paying attention, the feeling of dizziness, or feeling close to hyperventilating, may creep up on you. That means your heart rate has been too high for too long and you need to get it down to be able to continue running. Heres;how to lower your heart rate while running, and what to do when you find yourself in a scary situation on the run.
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Concentrate On Your Form
Beginners or non-professional athletes tend to disregard their form when running. This is because running is almost as simple as walking. People tend to think its just a mechanical movement that doesnt need technique.
Well, such a misconception can lead to added exhaustion and increased beats in your heart. When running, always maintain a proper form. A good form includes your feet being set shoulder-width apart. Also, your hands and arms must be not higher than your abdomen.
If you tend to see people run with their hands near their chest, consider it as a bad form. Having your arms and hands that high only adds exertion since youre battling gravity.
How To Tell If Your Running Heart Rate Is Too High And Then What
Originally published April 12, 2018 9:15 am, updated September 28, 2020
Its Track Tuesday, and youre up with the sun to meet your crew for an intense 12x400m workout. After a proper warm-up, you take off, crushing the first interval. Then the second. Then the third.
Going out too eager, too hard, and too fast is common. But sometimes, the problem isnt just the pace, and its definitely not your legs its your heart rate. While what goes up must eventually come down, there are warning signs that youre working;too;hard and thats not always a good thing.
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Here’s How Running Affects Your Heart
It’s no secret that running is a great way to stay in shape. Pounding the pavement, trail or treadmill provides many bodily benefits, including keeping your heart in tip-top condition. We took a deeper look at what running does for your heart and the risks it can pose, too.
A Healthier Heart
Running’s impact on the heart has long been studied. In 1985, one;study concluded that “Regular runners have slow resting pulse rates and a high maximal oxygen consumption.” Echocardiographic studies have also shown that distance runners have “larger, thicker left ventricles and their hearts are more efficient than those of sedentary people, pumping a larger volume per beat.” This phenomenon is called “Athlete’s Heart,” and is a result of intense cardiovascular workouts. No matter the number of miles you log each week, it all adds up to a lower resting heart rate, lower bad cholesterol in your blood and lower blood pressure.
How Running Keeps Your Heart Strong
Exercise Intensity During A Run
Your ideal heart rate zone depends on your activity goals. If you want a vigorous run, monitor your heart rate and increase the intensity when needed. Similarly, if your heart rate is too high, you may need to slow down to stay in a moderate or vigorous zone.
Understanding how you feel. You may consider the intensity of your exercise based on how you feel. While this is one way to measure intensity, it may not align with your target heart rate zones for running.
A run may feel very difficult if youre a beginner, but its still a moderate exercise based on your heart rate. If youre an avid runner, however, a run may seem easier when it is still a vigorous exercise based on your heart rate.
Compare it to your heart rate. Use a heart rate monitor like a fitness watch to keep tabs during a run. After the activity, you can compare how you felt to the heart rate recorded during your run. Over time, you may be able to estimate whether your run is moderate or vigorous based on how you feel.
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Look At The Heart Rate Graph
Does your heart rate look like this most times you run? Does it shoot up at the beginning and stay high the whole way like in the picture above?
Or does it look like the picture above, where the heart rate rises gradually throughout the run?
Or perhaps it jumps around erratically like in Exhibit C above, suddenly going from a low heart rate to a high heart rate , even though you were maintaining the same pace throughout?
Assuming you are running at the same pace throughout the run, youd expect to see something like Exhibit B. So why are you seeing something different?
Athlete Resting Heart Rate
An athletes resting heart rate may be considered low when compared to the general population. A young, healthy athlete may have a heart rate of 30 to 40 bpm.
Thats likely because exercise strengthens the heart muscle. It allows it to pump a greater amount of blood with each heartbeat. More oxygen is also going to the muscles.
This means the heart beats fewer times per minute than it would in a nonathlete. However, an athletes heart rate may go up to 180 bpm to 200 bpm during exercise.
Resting heart rates vary for everyone, including athletes. Some factors that could influence it include:
- air temperature
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How To Tell If Your Heart Rate Is Too High
In individuals with underlying cardiac disease, prolonged intense exercise can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, says Mehta. These runners can be very well trained and may not even be aware of their condition until this unfortunate event occurs. But for the average person, training with a high heart rate is perfectly safe within limits. Mehta adds: In general, there is nothing dangerous if running at a high heart rate for an extended period. However, there are some signs to be aware of when exercising at high heart rates.
Signs that your heart rate is too high include:;
Understanding Your Target Heart Rate
Nearly all exercise is good. But to be sure youre getting the most fromyour workout yet staying at a level thats safe for you, you can monitorhow hard your heart is working.
Aiming for whats called a target heart rate can help you do this, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist;Seth Martin, M.D., M.P.H.;Think of it as the sweet spot between not exercising hard enough and overexerting.
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What Does A High Heart Rate Mean
A high heart rate can be very valuable training feedback, but it can also be quite normal for you! What this means is, it’s important to determine what exactly is a high heart rate for you as an individual runner before you can say that your heart rate is ‘high’.
For example, two runners of equivalent fitness running at the same pace can have very different heart rates from each other simply due to a difference in their respective maximum heart rates. Since maximum heart rate is largely genetically determined and not an accurate reflection of running fitness, the higher heart rate in the one runner would be normal.
So this leads to the first consideration regarding what you might consider to be a high heart rate. You must first know what your individual maximum heart rate is before you can figure out if your heart rate is unusually high. Once you’ve determined your max HR, you can then reference the heart rate chart which will give you a solid idea if your heart rate is within reasonable parameters during running.
That said, if you do regularly train by heart rate and therefore possess the awareness that your heart rate is unusually high during any given day for a given running effort, it might be a sign that you are not allowing yourself adequate recovery during your training program.
The following are some of the more common reasons for experiencing a higher than usual heart rate:
Finding Your Heart Rate
To find out your heart rate, first find your pulse. You can locate it on the inside of your wrist or on either side of your throat. If you can not find it, try placing your hand across the middle of your chest, slightly toward the left. Use a stopwatch to measure a full minute and count the number of beats. You could also count the number of beats in 10 seconds and multiply by six.
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Problems Normally Caused By Optical Wrist
Most of the problems I see in this area stem from people using the optical heart rate monitor on their sports watch without setting the watch up correctly.
There is a sensor inside the watch with strong LED lights either side of it. The sensor looks at changes in the reflected light level caused by the blood pulsing past it. For this to work properly, the watch needs to be set up correctly on the arm. If its not, it can start measuring your cadence instead!
What Is Target Heart Rate
Your target heart rate is a range of numbers that reflect how fast your heart should be beating when you exercise. A higher heart rate is a good thing that leads to greater fitness, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist;Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H.;During exercise, you can monitor heart rate and try to reach this target zone. Doctors also use target heart rate to interpret the results of a cardiac stress test.
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Your Thyroid Is Under
Your thyroidthe butterfly-shaped organ in your neckproduces hormones that help your body function correctly. If it’s not making enough, it means you have hypothyroidism, which could cause your heart rate to be low, says Taub.
On the other hand, if it’s overperforming and pumping out extra hormones, you have hyperthyroidism, which can raise your heart rate. Your doctor can test your thyroid function with a blood test.
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Does Low Heart Rate Training Work
In short, it depends.;
But thats sort of the case with any training plan. Theres no one method of training that works for every athlete, so itll take some trial and error to see which plans actually work best for you and low heart rate training is no exception.
That being said, MAF training is actually a super beneficial, multi-faceted approach to building a solid foundation for endurance. In fact, thats essentially what the method was created for: establishing a stronger aerobic capacity so your body grows more accustomed to and capable of long-term aerobic exercise.
Lets dig a bit deeper into the specific benefits, shall we?
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How To Practice Low Heart Rate Training
Alright, heres the fun part: now you actually get to do something.
Youll first need to start out by calculating your maximum heart rate. But if the official guide feels a little overwhelming, you could also use this calculation guide for a more helpful starting point.
Once youve got that max heart rate figured out, its pretty smooth sailing from there on out.
And thats one of the best parts about this training plan; not only can you reap a bunch of benefits from more frequent, easy runs, but its also super simple to adhere to.
The most important rule? Never go over your maximum heart rate. And that applies to everything for your runs, your cardio, and even for any cross-training. If you ever notice that your heart rate does go over the maximum, make sure you immediately transition into a walk to get it to drop back down again.
You can still totally run the same amount of mileage you planned for your training goals, just without those higher intensity speed workouts.
Of course, if you wanted to adhere to the official MAF training guide, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind regarding your diet, bodily stress, and progress management as you continue with your training but otherwise, as long as you ensure that youre staying under that max heart rate, youre pretty much golden.;
What Are Heart Rate Zones
There are different ways to identify your heart rate zones calculation. One simple way is to define them as percentages of your maximum heart rate, and thats what well focus on in this introduction.
Heart rate zones can be defined as percentages of your maximum heart rate.
Heart rate zones are closely linked to your aerobic and anaerobic thresholds. Understanding this can really help when considering heart rate zones exercise, especially your heart rate zones for running or heart rate zone training for weight loss. But first, lets look at what the different zones are.
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Determine Lactate Threshold From Race Pace
We have a recent finish time for the half marathon, so lets use that to work out your pace for the half marathon. We can use a pace conversion chart to do this.
Half Marathon Pace7:19 min/km
Now we need to know what pace zone you were in during the half marathon. To work that out we can put your half marathon finish time into the 80/20 zone calculator.
We can see that your half marathon pace falls near the bottom of zone 3 . This makes sense, half marathon pace should be below the lactate threshold pace, which should be at the top of zone 3. Thats why the top of zone 3 is called Threshold Pace.
Threshold Pace6:51 min/km
Using a pace conversion app we can work out your threshold speed, which was 8.8kph. Your half marathon speed was 8.2kph. Making your half marathon speed 93.2% of your threshold speed.
We know your average heart rate during the half marathon was 174bpm and we now know you were running at 93.2% of your threshold. If 174bpm is 93.2%, then 100% is 187bpm .
Threshold Heart Rate187bpm
This is an unusually high threshold heart rate . However, if the heart rate data we have at hand is correct, it should be a fairly accurate estimate.
Now we know the threshold heart rate, we can plug that into any heart rate zone calculator to get the heart rate training zones.