heart rate %

I know this may be an old chestnut which has been covered before but I have been guilty of too much effort and subsequent injury following speed work.

I have a heart monitor and have been encoraged to use it more effectively. It is said that 70% of MHR is ok for most running. So far so good?

I have just been out for a nice steady run (7 miles). I was concsious not to push it and felt really comfortable at 135-140.

My MHR is 182 but I have just read on the RW website that 70% of 180 is 127. At 127 it would feel like a real daudle. Plus, I would be out half the night. For interval work that makes 155 around 80%. Am I to beleive that I am supposed to run at 127. Coz I had better start walking!

What is the formula because I do not know many runners who run at that rate.


  • you cant apply a formula to an individual
    you need to test it for yourself
  • But surely if my MHR is 182 the percentages are a matter of maths fact. Do other runners feel mega-comfortable at a so-called 70% of threashold?
  • How did you measure your MHR
  • I can't run at anything below about 130-160, my max is about 185.
  • qed
  • If this appears twice, sorry - it just dissapeared off my screen and I don't know where it went!

    MHR - the usual maths. 220 minus age (I get it, you just wanted to know how old we all are :) 182

    Also 300mtr reps - to almost throwing up point somewhere mid third at 180. It felt fairly conclusive my MHR or perhaps I am just soft!

    Same question - do others feel really too comfortable at 70%?
  • the others arent in kepping with the formula

    its individual

    One lass on base training is comfortable at 180

  • my max should be 178 but on my bike i often reach 194,(am i dead now...)it dosnt feel good but im not totally out of breath,so either im very fit or my mother DID find me under a gooseberry bush and doesnt know how old i am(also my bodys knackered for a 26 year old!!!!!)
  • andat 70% of my max, if i went by formula, id be walking
  • my supposed formuls max is 182

    well, my comfy training rate is 150

    and my LT(done by practical means0 is 175
  • mrs slainte`s doctor once told her she had a resting heart rate of 46,and then said she had the heart of an athlete,and the body of a slob,she`s now lost 3st 8 lb ,and runs 3 times a week to try to get the body to match her heart......
  • brave doc
  • not realy,she knew he was right [g]and she`s a sweet heart with a g.s.o.h. she needs it with an old fart like me around...
  • your wife, or the doc
  • It is not what your max should be, it is what it is that counts. If you get to 194 on the bike, your max is not 178, whether it should be or not.

    I have a friend who runs at the club - he is a better runner than me but when I am at 160 he is at 185. I think his max is 200 - he did spend £100 on a VO2 max test. He also cannot run at 70%. To him that is 140 and he just cannot get that low whilst running - he is at a very slow in-efficient jog.

    At a heart rate of 127 I cannot imagine enjoying a run very much, as I said it would be better to walk fast. By the numbers 70% is 127 but it no way feels like 70%. My heart is already at 25-30% when resting so jogging only a little bit more than doubles my heart rate of when I am sitting watching the fish swim around the tank. Maybe I should buy a book! I see there is an idiots guide to heart rate monitors - that must be the one!
  • cat
    the base traiing thing gets you used to that low HR slowly, and then builds you up
  • PH.

    Your figures are about what I reckon -150 is just about enough for a good run and anything under 140 is nice and gentle. But it just dont figure with the advice we get!
  • Slainte, did you say 26?

    Oh dear I do feel tired all of a sudden.
  • No cat
    150 is a gentle jog for me
  • I am feeling tireder and tireder. But before I retire - You said that your formula MHR was 182. Is that your actual MHR coz if it is you are in a similar boat to me - worse even. If you are gently jogging at 150 you are around 85% and would find it even tougher to get down to running at 127. What is your actual MHR?
  • cat
    thats me formula HR
    havent done a max HR test

    But done a Had test

    so know me lactate threshold
    i think
  • used to do 220 in aerobics classs
    was a while ago tho
  • and now im to bed
  • Me too.

    I think I shall leave the HM at home tomorrow and get on the bike.

  • The formula for MHR I use(and I got it from a book) is

    220-(0.7xage) which is is for you = 193

    70% of this is about 135, which is waht you say you are comfortable at.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    Good luck

  • Cat,

    you really don't want to use any of the set formulae to calculate your max. HR as they have been known to be as far out as 15-20 bpm.

    You need to do a max HR test. Find a decent length hill and do 3 to 4 reps up the hill hard with a slow jog back to the bottom. Towards the end of your 3rd or 4th rep you should reach your highest HR and should take this as your max. If on a run at some later point your HR goes higher than this you should use the updated figure for your max. HR.

    Also work out your resting HR (best done first thing in the morning or when asleep as you are very relaxed and haven't started moving around then).

    Once you have these two figures you can work out your 70% level with the following formula (70% refers to 70% of Working Heart Rate).

    Resting HR + (Max. HR - Resting HR*0.7)

    For example my 70% level is calculated as follows:

    52 + (194-52 * 0.7) = 151.4 (I use 151 as 70% level)

    Hope this is of some use Cat and presevere with the <70% training as this is a valuable tool to build any running base upon. I have been doing this for 3 months (having read John L. Parkers book "Heart Rate Training for the Compleat Idiot") and you find that you soon improve and you can start to run faster still keeping your HR under the 70% level.
  • Action Man,

    Now your talking sense. I am glad someone knows what 70% actually means in real terms. That makes my 70% at 142bpm which feel much more like 70% than 127.

    It took some time to get a decent answer but we got there. Thanks for the explaination. Now I can figure out all my percentages - Thanks!
  • Cat - this info is also in the beginners training section of the site. May take a bit of finding, but it is there!
  • that was a very funny thread! Reading it late i know.... I still cant figure mine out but who cares!!!!!!!! even have the bodylink system and cant read that!!! 2 books!!!
  • Action Man's post is spot on, and if anyone is confused, I'd strongly recommend (as many people have), Heart Rate Training for the Compleat Idiot.

    It cuts through most of the complicated theories and makes everything very simple.

    It also says very clearly that if you are on a recovery run, and you need to walk to stay under your Recovery Ceiling (70%), then you should walk. Running over it means you're not recovering anymore and you're burning glycogen - which means your next "hard" run will be a disaster.

    The book also makes it clear that the first few weeks of using a heart monitor to regulate your easy sessions will leave you feeling frustrated and stractchy, but by following the rules you get fitter quicker and soon you able to do much more whilst remaining under the Recovery Ceiling.
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