Heart rate query


Not sure if this should be in training or beginners so have posted in both.  I’m hoping that someone out there can answer this heart rate query?  I have been running for about 9 months now and I’m doing three 30-40minute runs per week.  My resting heart rate is about 72 bpm and I have fairly low blood pressure (110/55).  I’m 53 by the way.

 My ex-aerobics instructor calculated the various percentage heart rates for my monitor but even on the slowest of runs and I mean slow (just above walking) my heart rate is up to over 145 bpm.  Faster ones average around 155 but it seldom goes up over 165 even if I sprint!  However I can’t seem to keep it lower unless I actually walk.

 I have tried two or three monitors and it is the same.  Is this normal as most articles indicate that it should be lower for steady runs?  I’m sure this has been answered before but there are so many posts I can’t find one. 




  • First things first make sure your chest strap is giving good contact, even when you wet them they can be a bit spurious.  Sweat however does seem to always give a good contact so try running for a couple of miles before you look at the reading, if it still seems high press the two ends of the strap over your heart to see if it changes.

    Not knowing what your fitness level is I would say 145 is too high for your age, but if you can still keep running steadily I would suggest it is definitely a contact problem

  • Everyones hearts are different.

    What you need to do is do a maximum heart rate test.  If you havent done this then your instructor will have used the often wrong 220-age to calculate this, and looks like this will mean your levels are wrong.

    145bpm for a run doesnt sound wildly wrong to me. 

    Personally I'd throw the HRM away. Aim for most of your runs to be done at a pace that you can chat at. If you can't - then slow it down. 

  • Hi Helen,

    Worry ye not. I've noticed a similar finding in my recent runs wearing a HR monitor. I'm 34, and don't carry any excess weight, am reasonably fit for a novice runner. My waking HR is around 54bpm (has actually dropped from the high 60's a couple of months ago since I started running more often again) but when I do a slow run (the slowest I can run without walking) at the easiest possible effort, my HR increases to about 150ish within about 5-10 mins. I can sort of manage to keep it hovering at that rate, if i regularly check it, and keep reminding myself to slow down. it's harder than you'd think to run very slowly.

    Not knowing what you goals are, I won't preach about what you should or shouldn't be doing, but I will say that if you were to steadily increase your mileage, such that you're running maybe 4-5 times per week, and if a couple of those runs were nearer 60 mins, then you'd almost certainly notice that in the space of a few weeks to a couple of months your HR at that same moderate level of exertion would drop. That's precisely where I find myself at the moment. I'm planning to run a marathon next April and want to spend from now until xmas running around 30 miles per week at a VERY slow pace with the aim of developing my aerobic fitness. You can find more on the theory behind this type of base training in the forums. search for "base training", "HADD", "endurance training" etc and you'll see lots about it.

    Hope that helps.

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