Tuesday, July 16, 2024

What Should Your Heart Rate Be When Running

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What Should My Heart Rate Be While Running

How To Use Heart Rate For Running

Finding information about heart rate training for distancerunners is incredibly challenging. No doubt prior to arriving at this page youfound yourself knee deep in articles about physiology that would confuse mostanyone. Well we will try our hardest to straighten out confusion about usingheart rate monitors while running.

When attempting to train based on heart rate, the firstthing that must be discovered is your MaximumHeart Rate, because this is the base from which the rest of training isderived. There are two ways to determine max heart rate. The first is a simplecalculation, . So if you are 40 years old, your max HRwould be 180.

The problem with this method is that while it is quick, it is notalways 100% accurate. If you are interested in finding a more accurate max HR,you can head to a nearby hill with a heart rate monitor to do a fieldtest. Begin with a 15 minute warm up onflat ground. From there you will do 3 hill repeats. The first will be 2 minutesuphill at an effort that you could maintain for 20 minutes, then jog back down.The second repeat will be two minutes long at an effort you could maintain for3 minutes. Note your heart rate at the top as that will be near your Max HR.Return to the bottom of the hill and let your HR drop 30-40 beats per minute.The final repeat is a 1 minute repeat all out. Note your heart rate at the end,that is your max heart rate.

What to Read Next

What Causes High Bpm

Heart rates that are consistently above 100, even when the person is sitting quietly, can sometimes be caused by an abnormal heart rhythm. A high heart rate can also mean the heart muscle is weakened by a virus or some other problem that forces it to beat more often to pump enough blood to the rest of the body.

Five Heart Rate Zones

There are five different heart rate zones and your training plan can include workouts in all five zones. This HR zones chart shows the level of intensity and percentage of Maximum Heart Rate used in each one.

Maximum 90100%

Below is a breakdown of what each heart rate zone means and what the benefits of training in that heart rate zone are.

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What To Do When Your Heart Rate Is Too High

If you find your heart rate is too high while you are training, you may need to take a look at your routine. Are you doing too much too soon? If you are running and notice your heart rate is way above your maximum, slow down and walk for a bit. Take time to get your breath and allow your body to recover. You certainly do not want to lose the progress you made, which could happen if you overtrain, get sick, or injured.

If you continuously have a high heart rate while running, it may be a good idea to consult with your doctor to make sure everything is okay, and they may recommend a different training program or have another option.

How Do You Know Your Heart Rate


Your heart rate is a measure of how fast your heart beats and is also an important indicator of good health. Your doctor will always make it a point to measure your heart rate whenever you visit him for your routine health checkup or any health-related problem.

While the heart rate is routinely examined by your doctor, you can also measure your heart rate. With the help of your middle finger and index finger, you have to first try to feel and locate your pulse at any of the following places

  • Wrist
  • The inner side of your elbow
  • The base of the toe
  • The side of your neck

The wrist is the most commonly used and convenient place to check your heart rate. Once you locate the pulse on your wrist, you have to gently press on it for 60 seconds and count the beats. This is how you will know your heart rate, which will be in beats per minute.

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Calculate Your Target Heart Rate Zones

You can use target heart rate zones in different ways depending on your goals. If you want to exercise at a moderate intensity, you’ll aim for keeping your heart rate between 50 and 70 percent of your MHR, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’re aiming for a more vigorous workout, your target heart rate zone will typically be between 70 and 85 percent of your MHR.

Very fit people and athletes may do high-intensity training above this zone to increase their anaerobic threshold and VO2 max, but it’s not recommended that the average person exceed 85 percent MHR. For some populations, exercising below 50 percent MHR may also be recommended.

Take this example of a 32-year-old male who wants to work out at a vigorous intensity level:

  • 220 – 32 = 188
  • 188 x 0.70 = 132
  • 188 x 0.85 = 160

His target heart rate is between 132 and 160 BPM.

Keep in mind that the “220 minus age” formula is just an estimate. To get an accurate measure of your max heart rate, and therefore your target heart rate zone, you can undergo an exercise stress test.

Target Heart Rates Chart

What should your heart rate be when working out, and how can you keep track of it? Our simple chart will help keep you in the target training zone, whether you want to lose weight or just maximize your workout. Find out what normal resting and maximum heart rates are for your age and how exercise intensity and other factors affect heart rate.

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What Are The Benefits Of Heart Rate Training

Heart-rate training prevents you from running too hard on your easy or recovery runs, reducing the risk of fatigue and overtraining it also helps you to recover. By recovering properly during your easy runs, your legs will also be fresher for your next hard session or race. Equally, you will be able to accurately track your effort in interval sessions, when you want to be working at a higher intensity. Heart-rate training is particularly useful for tempo runs, when getting your exertion level right is important for benefitting from the workout. Training to heart rate also helps you moderate the influence of external factors such as heat and humidity, which require your heart to work harder.

But remember that the change doesnt happen overnight. Once youve dedicated the time and slower miles, the results can be impressive.

Measure With A Heart Rate Monitor Or Your Fingers

What To Do If Your Heart Rate Spikes When You Start A Run – Should You Be Concerned?

Most fitness trackers and smart watches have a heart rate monitor built in. Many of them will also tell you what zone you are in while working out. When you set up your device you were likely asked to enter your age, weight and gender. The technology uses the data to figure out your target heart rate zones.

Alternatively, you can use a your fingers and a stopwatch to calculate your heart rate. To do this, place your index and middle fingers on your neck below your chin and next to your trachea. You can also find your pulse on your wrist directly below the thumb. Using a stopwatch, count your heart beats for 15 seconds, and then multiply by four.

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What Is Your Heart Rate While Walking

If you are walking on an even ground and slowly, your heart rate will not increase that much. However, if you are walking uphill, your heart rate will increase more.

Target Heart Rate When Walking

Then what should your target heart rate be?

  • If you are just beginning with walking exercise, you should exercise in the so-called healthy heart zone which is about 50 to 60% of your maximum heart rate.
  • However, as you continue to exercise you should increase your speed or hand weight to the so-called fat-burning zone which is about 60 to 70% of your maximum heart rate.
  • Aerobic exercise has to do with increasing cardiovascular fitness. Your heart rate reaches about 70 to 80% of the maximum heart rate and it involves adding stairs or hills while you are walking.

A Recommended Walking Program

A walking program which consists of a warmup period, brisk walking and a cool down period, is beneficial for cardiovascular training. While warming up and cooling down, you should aim for a 60 to 70% of your maximum heart rate. However, during brisk walking, you should aim for 70 to 80% of your maximum heart rate. Increase brisk walking gradually by a couple of minutes every day until you reach about 30 minutes a day.

In the following chart, you can find out the maximum heart rate according to age and intensity level.

Other Factors Also Affect Your Heart Rate While Walking

Other factors that can affect your heart rate include:

How To Get A More Accurate Reading From An Optical Heart Rate Monitor

Here are your options to fix this.

First, try tightening the strap. If you can quickly and easily slide your finger under the strap, its too loose. Tighten it until your finger gets a bit stuck when trying to slide under the strap. This will mostly likely fix the issue.

If the strap is already tight, but you are still measuring your cadence, or getting erratic readings, try shoving the watch up your arm a bit towards the elbow. This will move it on to a thicker bit of flesh, with more blood flow and a snugger fit.

Another option is to switch the watch to the other arm. Most people are right handed, but wear their watch on the left. However their left wrist will be slightly thinner due to less strength from the hand bias. See if your other wrist gives a more reliable reading.

Oddly, if your strap is too tight, it will prevent your blood flow from being measured properly and might measure too low, for example during a hill session, youd expect it to be really high, but its not reacting and is staying low, so it appears your heart rate is low while running fast.

I hope you found that useful. If it has helped you answer the question why is my heart rate so high while running, please let me know on the or drop me a message on the website messenger chat.

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Calculating Your Target Heart Rates

The first step to heart rate training is to figure out your max heart rate. There are a couple ways to do this go for a hard run, or just do some math. Going for a hard run allows you to more precisely figure out your true maximum heart rate. But just doing the math will likely get you pretty close.

To determine your actual maximum heart rate by running:

  • Make sure youre well rested and well hydrated.
  • Wearing your watch/heart rate monitor, head out for a run in a spot where you have ample space so you dont have to stop, such as a track or a quiet trail or running path.
  • Warm up with at least 10 minutes of easy running.
  • Run hard and fast for two to three minutes, recover at an easy pace, then repeat two more times, a little harder and faster each time.
  • On the third and last interval, push until you hit your maximum effort. The highest heart rate you see during and/or immediately after the last interval is your maximum heart rate .

To calculate your target maximum heart rate, a common formula is to subtract half your age from 205.

For example, if youre 38, then your MHR is 205 or 205 19, or 186.

Once you know your maximum heart rate, there are lots of suggestions for how to calculate your target heart rates for different types of workouts by calculating a percentage of your maximum heart rate. Some suggested ranges I have seen and personally used:

  • Easy or long run = 65 75%
  • Tempo run = 87 92%
  • Half Marathon = 85 88%

Understand What Youre Really Training When Running At Different Speeds

Your Heart Rate

There are specific energy systems in the body that are used when training at different intensities, says Jason Lakritz, PT, DPT, physical therapist at Finish Line Physical Therapy in New York City and founder of Profunctional Running.

Generally, these systems can be broken down into three categories:

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Target Heart Rate Calculator

Ever ask yourself, “how do I find my target heart rate?” Finding your target heart rate is easy with our target heart rate calculator. Target heart rate calculation can be determined for any age and activity level, enabling you to use a heart rate monitor and get the most benefit from your workouts.

How To Use Heart Rates During Your Workouts

Now that you know your target heart rates, how do you use them during workouts? Many runners often do all their runs at the same pace, so it can be a bit of adjustment to push yourself to harder heart rate zones. But its also a challenge to keep your heart rate low enough when necessary.

For most runners, trying to stay within the easy/long HR zone will feel really easy, maybe too easy. But there is a reason they call long runs LSD long slow distance. Some runners find it almost impossible to go slow enough to keep their heart rate that low while running. To which I say, no shame in taking a walk break. If I cant keep my heart rate in the target zone for my entire run, sometimes I instead aim for the overall average to be within that zone.

For races, I often ignore my heart rate at the beginning of a race while Im warming up. Once Im warm, I work to bring my heart rate into the target zone and keep it there for the majority of the race. Ill let my HR go over the target zone at the very end of the race if I still feel like I have gas in the tank. If I do a good job at staying in my HR zone, I almost always have some gas left to push at the end.

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Why Is My Heart Rate So High When Running

During cardio exercise such as running, your heart rate increases. Your heart rate while running can be a good measurement of how hard youre working. As your pace and work rate increase, so does your heart rate. Blood circulates to your muscles so they can get the oxygen and nutrients they need to keep going.

How To Calculate Your Maximal Heart Rate

Is There A Perfect Heart Rate For Running?

There is substantial variation in HRmax. The only true method of determining HRmax is to conduct a maximal exercise test. But HRmax can be estimated using formulas based on age.

The authors of a 2001 study proposed the following revised equation for estimating maximal heart rate:

HRMax = 208

This means a 45-year-old would have a predicted HRmax of 177 BPM.

Indeed, our genetics can influence actual maximal heart rates from their predicted value. However, HRmax is not a major determinant of exercise or athletic performance. Far more important is our physiological efficiency.

When assessing heart rate, its also important to take into account the effects of emotions such as excitement or fear, stimulants like caffeine, and circulating hormones like adrenaline, all of which can increase heart rate.

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Is Resting Heart Rate Different By Age

For most of us , between 60 and 100 beats per minute is normal.1 The rate can be affected by factors like stress, anxiety, hormones, medication, and how physically active you are. An athlete or more active person may have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute. Now thats chill!

When it comes to resting heart rate, lower is better. It usually means your heart muscle is in better condition and doesnt have to work as hard to maintain a steady beat. Studies have found that a higher resting heart rate is linked with lower physical fitness and higher blood pressure and body weight.2

Heart Rate Zone : 90100% Of Hrmax

Heart rate zone 5 is your maximal effort. Your heart and your blood and respiratory system will be working at their maximal capacity. Lactic acid will build up in your blood and after a few minutes you wont be able to continue at this intensity.

If youre just starting out or have only been training for some time, you probably wont have to train at this intensity. If youre a professional athlete, look into incorporating interval training into your training plan for peak performance.

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What Is The Best Exercise For Heart Rate

While interval-style exercise training is a popular choice for people who are time-poor, the intermittent nature of the exercise means heart rate will fluctuate, providing not much more benefit than traditional steady-state exercise.

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From a scientific perspective, athletes typically use heart-rate ranges to train at specific intensities during aerobic exercise, like cycling or long-distance running.

Exercising at certain intensities are known to elicit adaptive responses from the body, for example, exercising at or below the lactate threshold.

These intensities are called training zones and are expressed relative to HRmax. For instance, a light aerobic training session would be prescribed below 75% HRmax, while training at threshold will induce physiological change.

Overall, some exercise is better than no exercise for your cardiovascular health. Accumulating 150 minutes of exercise per week is the minimum requirement for health benefit. Exercising at your maximal heart rate is not necessary to achieve these benefits. Athletes can use training zones, relative to HRmax, to achieve optimal adaptation and enhance endurance performance.

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