Heart Rate

I have been running off and on for quite a few years now, but only recently upgraded my Garmin to one with a HR monitor.

I was quite shocked to see how high it is. I have been using a trainer with my bike in the garage for a while with a HR monitor, and there even when I'm going at it, it rarely gets above 160.

However, as you can see from a 10K I did yesterday, when running my HR is barely below 160.

I'm 6'5, 38 years old and only slightly over weight. I have been reading about HR zones and I am wondering if I am running too fast which is stopping my aerobic development? Or does it not work like that? Does running at a higher HR actually help more than lower?

Any advice would be appreciated.



  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    Your heart rate means nothing unless you can see it in relation to your resting heart rate and max heart rate. Both are unique to you and can't be found by formulas. Resting is easy enough, just wear your monitor in bed or relaxing. There are several ways to find your max, just google it.

    you cant really use the heart rate that you reach in a 10k race as a guide either, it's a race after all, not a controlled session planned at a designated zone that you've calculated from your rhr and max range.

  • My resting HR is about 65, and even when doing a training 5K or so, its often up in the 170's for long periods.

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    You still don't know your true max though, so you don't know what that 170 means, and where it falls in the range of your working heart rate.


  • Thanks for your responses, but I think I may have misled you in what I was asking.

    Irrespective of what the figures are, is it better sometimes to run at aerobic levels rather than anaerobic, or is it a case of faster the better?

  • Charterorsomething wrote (see)

    Thanks for your responses, but I think I may have misled you in what I was asking.

    Irrespective of what the figures are, is it better sometimes to run at aerobic levels rather than anaerobic, or is it a case of faster the better?

    IMHO the opposite is true, make (say) 80% of your running easy/conversational pace then a couple of days a week do a harder session. (Pareto tends to agree with me).

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    As above, do the majority of your running at an easy pace. This will help to build a decent aerobic base.

    I`d reccomend googling Dr Phil Maffetone. He has some good ideas on building a decent aerobic base using heart rate.
  • Cheers, just did a 5K run with the target of 80% of my MHR (which I know I don't know accurately yet!), and I actually found it easier to do than I thought. My heart tended to quickly respond when I slowed the pace slightly when close to the upper limit.


    Felt quite easy though, think 5K might not be far enough for a run like this.

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    80% MHR is actually still quite high - from memory, Hadd recommends most runs at 65-70% (happy to be corrected by the experts above).

    It's something I struggle with too. According to the training pace calculators on here, I currently run at 1 min a mile faster than my ideal long run training pace on long runs.  Probably why I'm not progressing, but my head keeps telling me I'm running too slowly!

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    Putting your 10k time into the calculator here  http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/general/rws-training-pace-calculator/1676.html

    would give you a long run pace of 11:14 to 12:37 min mile.  I'd bet a few quid you are running faster than that!

  • Posted in error

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    According to Maffetone your HR for most of your runs should be around 135-150, you need to work this out properly to get a good guide.

    If your 10k pace is 9.30 miling then your long run pace should be around the numbers stated by Nessie.
  • Thanks Nessie, those figures on the calculator feel very slow, yesterday with my HR somewhere between 155 and 160 I was going at 6:30min/KM pace, so 7min/KM would feel weird.

    I do feel that my max HR is higher than the standard calculator, at the end of my 10K run at the weekend it was up near 190, and I didn't feel that I was really pushing it to the limit, although, I am aware that it would be higher after a 10K run rather than after a short warm up!

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    What distances / races are you training for?

    Also what does a regular weeks training look like (including paces)?
  • You still need to do some kind of max test. I ran a 5 km pb a week ago and that came out at 91% of max averaged over the race (and I could have pushed a little bit more). Last autumn I know I managed to average 94% in a 5 km race. You need to be working in this area if you do any interval sessions.

    How important this is to get right depends what you are training for. Some people could go through a whole marathon programme without doing tough interval sessions, but if you want to train properly you need to know at least roughly what the max is, so that you don't do too many hard sessions (the typical error).

  • Thats everybody, been out quite a few times this week, running slower means I can go out consecutive days, and I'm actually enjoying it more.

    Did a fast 1K in the middle of a 4.5K run yesterday just to push my heart a bit.

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