Heart Rate Training Zones

I have used a HRM for many years but have just used it to see what I have been doing - this year I bought a new HRM and have been using it to control my training intensity.

I have calculated my Working Heart Rate 190 (maximum HR based on a treadmill test and the usual 214-0.8 of age they all came out with the same figure) minus my resting HR of 46 therefore my Working Heart Rate is supposed to be
190 - 46 = 144

I have then calculated my training zones ie. 70% is 144 x 0.7 + 46 = 146.8 etc.

These zones seem way off what I actually run at, for instance I ran Great South Run (10 Miler) and maintained an average HR of 177 which is 91% !!!! The training zones suggest for a 10 Miler that I should be running at around 80 - 85% which would be in the 160's which would be way too easy and slow for me to race at?

Do I train and work out my own zones i.e. I know that for a 10 Miler I can maintain 91% and therefore I should be able to maintain 94% or thereabouts for a 10K and so on?

Or should I presume that my maximum HR is actually a lot higher than 190 and up that part of the calculation to say 200 and see how I get on?

Advice please............


  • Honer - look on the training forum.this has been covered extensively recently!!..... hope you've got a couple of hours spare...
  • Yeah, look up 'Sean Fishpools HR in simple english' on the General forum, it's on p 2 as I write this.
  • Cheers Guys and gals.
  • Hi Homer Hart. I won't go into to much detail here because it has already been well covered.However I would just like to say this:

    If you dont know you maxHR you can only use any Zone Training as a guide. Also remember that no matter what methods of calculation you are using or what zone percentage your heart does not know this,it is only telling you what it is for any given workload,which in this case can be related to running pace.

    It is far more important to make judgements by how you feel in relation to different running pace rather than which zone you should be especially as you are not sure what your maxHR is.

    There is a very good guide that has been shown to be very accurate and has always worked very well for my athletes.

    It is simply that what pace you can maintain for 16000metres (ie almost 10miles)will be as near a guide as you will get to your Anaerobic Threshold pace.

    So as an example if your can do it in 60minutes your pace is 6min/mile (4.47m/s)
    90 " 9 " (2.98m/s)
    120 " 12 " (2.23m/s}

    Once you know this and note your HR that will be about your maxHR. This would normaly come out at at around 92% of maxHR.
    So you can even get a good idea of what your maxHR is. This is a much better way than just guessing a number to add on as you suggest.

    As I dont know your finishing HR in the 10miler,if you use your average which you say is 177 this would suggest a maxHR of 192
    However as it is an average I assume your finishing was higher which would make your maxHR higher.

    Please forget all about using working heart rate in all this,it really has got no part to play in it and will only confuse the issue when trying to relate it to what HR should it be, an in what zone.

    Hope this helps. I have brought this point up in this thread as it has not been mentioned in the others. The real point of all this is to bring pace into it as it is relating heart rate to something positive that can easily be understood and built on.

    All the best Ron.
  • Hi:I have just noticed that when the posting got sumbited it jumbled up the pace information so I will just write this out again so it is not misunderstood.

    60mins is 6min/mile which is 4.47metres/sec

    90mins is 9min/mile which is 2.98metres/sec

    120mins is 12min/mile which is 2.23metres/sec

    I always refer to pace in metres/sec as it is easier to relate to other influenceing factors. But for most relating it to mins/mile seems most useful.

    Women please note that it is often found that your Anaerobic Threshold is closer to maxHR than the accepted 92%. This is unless you have undertaken a considerable amount of training around this percentage to develop an improvement. This is not being sexiest,but it does not apply so much to men. The reason being that in general women have less anaerobic development than men in everyday life and so women need to work at it more. But when they do considerable improvement can be seen.

  • Thanks Ron for your time and effort in replying.
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