I have a Polar chest band + watch heart rate monitor and have been using it on my runs for a week or so. I have noticed that I can be running at a very maintainable pace but my HR is hovering in the 190-200 range. I'm 22 so I gather my crude max HR is 198.I don't feel like I am exerting myself tremendously so curious to know why its so high.

Factors that I thinks are important;

1.) I have a pretty good level of fitness 2.) I have a very low blood pressure, runs in the family. resting it can be about 95/60. 3.) I tested my Vo2 max with the HR monitor and it said I was 'elite' for my age (actual number was 54). 4.) I do not have any cardiac problems nor arrythmias.

I don't want to get too focussed on HR while I run but I'm very curious as to why I can be comfortably running at a pace that is not pushing me.. however my heart is working overtime.




  • 1. Ignore the formula. It's a rough rule of thumb and very inaccurate for a lot of people.  My max is over 200 and I'm nearly twice your age. image
    2. Get a few more easy, relaxed runs in to make sure you're getting reliable readings.  Note average and max HR (preferably for mile splits for additional feedback).
    3. Do a max HR test.  The standard version involves a long warm-up jog/run for, say, 30 mins, then 3 x repeat all-out sprints up a hill, push yourself till you puke (optional but you get the idea) and see what max reading you get.  Alternatively wear your monitor during a 5k or 10k race, where pushing yourself to the limit under race conditions might yield a slightly higher reading.

    Actually, unless your max HR is freakishly high (like 240, which I've never heard of) I'm guessing that if you can average over 190 for a run, you're running a lot harder than would be advisable for the majority of your training.  Maybe you've got a max HR around 220, in which case you'd want to be keeping HR down to something like 160-165 for easy pace.  But you won't really be able to use the HR monitor practically until you've got at least a half decent estimate of max HR.

  • Cheers Philpub,


    I will give the HR test a go later today (minus the puking we hope). I also have a 10K coming up so will wear and compare.

    Thanks again

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