Hi all!I have been training now for over two months for a marathon and decided to invest in a heartrate monitor, which is really good. But i struggle to keep my heartrate lower than 151 on easy long runs and I have read that you should go slower! I can't I'm ar easy pace at about 161.. is this ok?


  • It all depends on your maximum heart rate. You need to test this to find it out and work back your levels from there. 


    Throw the monitor away and make sure you do most of your runs at a pace you can chat at. Thats easier. 

  • As cougie says, the easy test is whether you are able to maintain a conversation at the pace you are running.

    If you are new to training with a heart rate monitor, it is fairly common to find that the easy pace required to stay within the heart rate zone is incredibly slow at first.  However if you perservere you will find that you start to be able to run at a higher pace whilst keeping your heart rate at a low level.

    Also, I suspect you have calculated your maximum heart rate based on the 220 minus your age formula?  This isn't very reliable as real max heart rates vary widely from this, so you probably won't get accurate zones based upon it.  There are a few books available that can help you get the most out of heart rate training, so it may be worth investing in one.  

  • To calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR): warm up (including a couple of accelerations to sprint speed), then run very very hard for two minutes. You should get to within a beat or two of your MHR. To improve your endurance, run at 75-85% of this figure.

    Even this isn't the most accurate method though; for that you need your heart rate reserve (HRR) which is your MHR minus resting heart rate (RHR). Multiply (say) 80% by HRR then add RHR to get your target heart rate for endurance. For example if your MHR is 200 and your RHR is 50, your target heart rate for endurance is (0.8 x 150) + 50. Which is 170.

  • Thanks for all that info.. I forgot to mention that I have been running for about 3 years and its only recently that I took the heartrate more seriously. I find that I can maintain a comfirtable 150-160 for about 2hrs- 2hrs 30min. I find all the numbers and minus and age group etc a bit confusing.. so I'm trying to simply fy down to HR for 5k, HR for 10k etc etc. image

  • I think you're saying that you are trying to work out the HR to race at ?

    It may be easy for a 5k or 10k - but on a long race such as a marathon - you get cardiac drift. Its easier to try and run to a timing schedule than keep to a heart rate.

  • It will also depend on your age, assuming your true heart rate is 160 ish that's easy to maintain if your are 20, but bloody difficult if you are 60.  It's a big subject and takes some reading and experimenting to really understand it, but you certainly need a HRM and the ability to download it to get useful data.

  • Noakes gives some guidelines as to what %age of your MHR you should race the different distances at - but you do need an accurate MHR in order to work out what these are for you. I have taken my MHR from the figures I've seen at the end of 10k and half marathon races and work from a MHR of 185. I usually end up with an AHR of around 162 for a marathon; 169 for a half and 174 for 10k.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • Cheers guys.. I'm 39 and my MHR is or around 182 ish. I use a garmin F60 and download the dats to the web and it makes for very interesting readung.. I just wanted to know how everyone felt, it looks like we all have a similar take on it. But cougie I think ill stick to my time schedule. I'm hopeing for 4hr marathon.. so fingers crossed image

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