Heart rate?!

Hi everyone,

 Hoping someone can give me some advice?!

I've just started training for the Brighton Marathon and am new to running, I'm reasonably fit and active and was doing 6 miles in 50 mins.

A friend of mine has lent me a polar heart monitor thingy and as far as I can tell at 40yrs old I should be training somewhere between 138 - 158 beats per min! Well, to achieve this I need to slow down so much my 6 mile run is now taking twice as long! Does this sound right, and will my time come down in time or should I ignore the heart rate thing and just run at what I feel comfortable at?

Thanks in advance



  • Ignore your age, the much-repeated formula of Max HR= 220-age doesn't fit most of us.  If it does I'm still a teenager!

    Workout your Max HR, Resting HR and try the Karvonen forumula.  I'm not that much younger than you (31) and train between 160&175 bpm on a long run. 

    Strokes for folks.

  • You should do most of your mileage at about 70% of MHR.  Do not use a formula for this, as it is notoriously inaccurate.  The best way to find this is to run to your maximum up a hill.  Find a reasonably steep hill which can take 2 minutes to run up.  Run up and down it reasonably hard twice, then on a third time run as hard as you can to the top.  Thiw should give you a maximum rate.  From this you can work out what your 70% rate should be.  At first this rate will seem slow, but in time you will build up a good areobic base, and will be running faster at this lower heart rate.

    You can add a couple of harder runs a week to build up your speed once you have a strong base.

  • Excellent,

    Thanks for the prompt replies! Went for 7 miles last night at about 168-170 bpm and did a time of 70mins, ok it's not fast but felt good at the end if a bit tired but not really out of breath image

     Going to try to determine my max heart rate tonight!

     Thanks again, I'm sure I'll be back on asking for more help soon!

  • Hi Rob

    Stick with the LHR running I have slowed from 9.15mm to 11mm I am really enjoying running slowly did my first ever 40 mile week and hope to continue this to January then start my VLM training plan.

  • learn what its all about so you can make the most of your time on your feet.

    I have given this book to many people and they rave about it.

    Parker "heart monitor training for the compleat idiot(" its the correct spelling )

  • Try this, it's the best synopsis I've read


  • When I go running, even fairly fast, my H/R is around 120 bpm. I wonder being skinny lowers the threshold, as the older, larger runners are in the 150's, whearas, I'm only 120 ish. My max H/R, even being silly on the Gym Treadmill is 148. Didn't get further, as I broke the treadmill! (no kidding) had it on max (not me).

    What is the better? A fast H/R for: rest and runnning. a slow H/R for rest and running?

  • YOu really cant compare yourself with others unless they have the same maximum heart rate as youself. This is genetically set so it doesnt matter how skinny you are.

     MY mate has a maximum heart rate of 147, whereas mine is about 194. His resting heart rate is about 40ish.
     You work out the percentages off what your max is and off you go. You can compare percentages when you work out... 70%WHR for recovery and easy or long runs and %85 for speed work or hills etc. Forget the beats per minute.

  • Hi Rob

    I've been having the same issue. I used the site http://www.runningforfitness.org/ to try and figure out my HR and monitor using a Polar Heart Monitor Thingy.

    It offers various ways to calculate max HR and HR zones to train in. Even at that, i'm finding the slow run zone it suggests is too slow.

    The Polar HR monitor you use should have a test setting in which it'll analyse your resting HR coupled with your vital stats to suggest a max HR, etc. If you have the manual, give it a read.

    Good luck!
  • Mty hrm is a polar too. The percentages it give you when exercising are not true percentages. Work them out according to the WORKING heart rate :
    MAxHR minus resting heart rate , multiplied by .70 ( for 70% ) or .85 (for 85%) and then add the resting HR back in. It will allow you to run faster for the same percentage.

    The way I got my max was to have aloose calculation and then one day at a rac of a fast run I basically run til I thought I would puke and read afterwards what it recorded as my max. It only went up a few more beats at the end of a hlaf marathon since

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