Heart rate in the morning


 I'm a regular runner, who usually runs after work or mid-morning at the weekend, due to circumstances out of my control, my evenings have been taken from me, so the only place to run is the morning. Getting up in the morning is not an issue (early to bed and all that), it's more my heart rate. I train with my Garmin 305 and normally run within my zones quite happily, (well not happily some are bloody hard, but you get the picture). This morning (running at 6am) found it really tough to hit 85% max, it nearly killed me! So my question, does the time of the day effect your heart rate? Normally in the evening not a problem, but it felt like whilst my legs were definately up and running this morning, my heart was still snoozing!!! Is it just me, or is there some science behind this.

 Any suggestions???



  • I believe there is some evidence to back you up.

    I have read info a few times detailing the fact that we are x%age stronger later in the day. Peak is late afternoon. Muscles (heart included) take some getting used to a new day. Plus the majority of us tend to have a small breakfast, medium lunch and large dinner (not all I know).

    So the muscles are stronger because we are more awake and better fuelled in the afternoon. Hence higher HRs when attemping stuff first thing in the morning, you are working harder. I can't remember the %age but think it was somewhere around 10% initially. Your body will adapt a little to the new regime given time.

    Quite a bit of the stuff I read would have been related to rowing but the science will be the same. They just have more accurate figures to prove it (watts/stroke, strokes per min, speed, HR etc).

    I am sure it just advised sticking with the normal HR range and put up with being a bit slower.


  • dehydration first thing could be a problem too. It may be worth taking a bottle of water out with you. Also have a coffee before you set off as I read somewhere recently that coffee can decrease the perceived effort of your run, or something like that! You should be pleased that you can actually get yourself up to run in the mornings, I just haven't got the will power for an early run! Good luck with it!
  • Not sure caffine will help. Caffine raises HR on its own so it will just push you higher than normal.

    The reason it makes it seem easier is the reverse of what you think. You have an increased HR rate for free. So if active rest is 80 it becomes 90. So running at 150 beats per minute is only +60 rather than +70, which seems easier.

    It doesn't give you any greater output at any given HR.

    It does however help burn fat as the increased HR takes energy.

    Or at least that's the way I think it works.


  • Crikey, I struggle to keep my HR low at the best of times, now I know (one of the reasons) why! Think I'll stick to my peppermint tea from now on, at least for my easy runs!
  • Thanks guys, comments very much appreciated, i haven't been eating or drinking much before setting out the door, so dehydration could be an issue. I'll take some water and see what happens. For the short term at least it's 6am dates with the road, hopefully my heart will get the message eventually!!!

     Thanks again.

Sign In or Register to comment.