50+ mile runs & heart rate

Hi all,
can anyone advise me about what heart rate percentage of max I could expect to maintain for a 50+ mile run?
Or, %age of WHR if that is known?

I have read figures for marathon distance, but not for longer distances.

I'm looking to avoid burn out on my first attempt at the 50+ mark!

Thanks for replies guys.



  • I did High Peak 40 with an average heart rate of 162 (my max is 196 and basal is about 50 therefore 162 is 82% of maximal heart rate or 77% of working heart range whichever version makes most sense to you.)

    Given the hilly nature of this race my actual heart rate varied a lot and spent a fair amount of time above 170 despite trying to keep it down at least for the first half of the race before realising I was OK with it higher.

    I think you get cardiac drift anyway which slowly puts your heart rate up for a given level of exertion, so maybe later in the race slt faster heart rates are OK.

    My strategy was run walk with 9 mins running to 1 min walking plus walking the steeper uphills although this was often as fast as those trying to run around me. As the race went on I went to 5 mins running 1 min walking as I fatigued. This strategy seemed to work as I didn't slow much and started overtaking people in the last 1/2 of the race.

    I drank about 5-6 litres of full strength energy drink (Powerbar)via a Camelback type pack (2-3 mouthfuls every 10 mins during the walk.) plus a bit of water at the aid stations with a few snacks of flatjack, I didn't really "bonk" to use the cycling term and although I felt slt nauseus at times it was bearable.

    Funnily enough I've suffered more in marathons.

    good luck what is your race

  • Sorry last comment and probably most important I think heart rate is idiosyncratic to a degree i.e some people will be different to the rules in the books and you only really find out by experimenting on yourself, I seem to run a heart rate at a rel high percentage of WHR and be OK in endurance events.

  • Roger,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I completed the Derwent Valley Heritage Way (a long distance walking route) on Sunday. Officially it is 55 miles, my Garmin measured 51 miles on a very slightly alternative route.

    Unfortunately I had IT Band problems at 17 miles & the HR didn't make much difference. I had to walk far more than I had anticipated & finished in nearly 12 hours.
    So, my first 50 miler caould have been better. The question is: will there be a second one?

    I admire you for having done the High Peak 40, as I gather there's a lot of climbing involved.

    Thanks again for the info Roger.

  • Jim

    I reckon that's not bad, did you go up or down. What was it like

    Was this a solo effort or a race?

    Funny I have the route printed off and in my wish list file, I spotted it while running up at Ladybower. The other one I want to do is running home from Glossop, only about 30 miles depending on route.

    Are you Sheffield based?

  • Roger,

    To answer your questions:
    I ran from Ladybower & finished at Shardlow.

    It was a solo effort but I did have some company! Two friends did the first 5 miles. A guy from North Derbyshire Running Club did about 10 miles & two friends from the club did the last 11 miles with me. I was fund raising for my cousin's daughter who is receiving specialist rehabilitation in Germany following an horrendous car smash 18 months ago. Her boyfriend was killed.

    On the day it was much tougher than any of my training runs. I had run 35 miles in 7 hours & felt fine at the end & the next day. But last Sunday I was in trouble from 17 miles onwards.

    I live in Chesterfield.

    I think it's a great route. It gets tough from Ambergate, with hill climbs (& descents) through to Little Eaton. After that was easier as it was flat.

    If you're interested, there is a book which gives detailed descriptions of the route. It's called the Derwent Valley Heritage Way & is published by Jarrold. I wanted somewhere off-road for my long runs & didn't think I would run all of it one day!

    How come nobody warns us about what we might end up doing! :)

    You could email me if you think I can help any further.

  • What did you do for nutrition?

    I work in Buxton and live in Sheffield, so I have run home a couple of times as ultra training, about 25 plus miles and rel hilly.

    I get a lift in and hide bottles of energy drink on the way in.

    I tend to use PowerBar

  • Last Sunday it rained all day, non-stop. I didn'tneed as much drink as I expected. Usually I start with water then it's lemon Lucozade Sport diluted 50:50. Lots of the stuffis too sickly for me. During the day I ate egg sandwiches, malt loaf, banana, homemade seed-biscuits. Also, I had some porridge from a flask.
    On other training runs I've managed with a camelbak bladder full of lucozade plus jaffa cakes, mixed nuits & raisins & malt loaf. Someone told me about Gouda cheese so I tried that too. I've never used gels or bars.
    Living in Sheffield must be great preparation for the hill climbing in the High Peak 40!
  • Why don't you try the High Peak 40 you could scout the route in your training runs, it's relatively straight forward.

    I can send you a map if you email me.

  • Roger,

    Anything approaching "yes" to your question has serious implications (lol).

    I'm not able to connect on the forum with your e-mail. If you can send it through to mine though that would be fine (I think!).

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