calculating heart rate %

You'd have thought it was straight forward, 85% of max H/R if your max is 180 would be 153.
But no apparently there's another way of doing it.
Does any one know which is the corect method to use if you're using a training schedual such as the time out doors ones or the RW ones.
And how do you work it out using the other method. Max HR - Resting HR or something.


  • MHR – RHR = WHR (working Heart Rate)
    (WHR x %) + RHR = Target Heart Rate
  • PM, the schedules should (hopefully) tell you which method of calculation they have used in determining the HR's.
  • oh dear, oh dear -

    you chaps having been keeping up with Uncle Ron, have you? for your homework, please check out Sean Fishpool's Heart Rate in Simple English on the General forum!!!!!!!! a veritable mine of HR information and wisdom.

    alternatively, there's a useful (and rather shorter and simpler!) account of this issue (and a snazzy HR zone calculator) here:

    for me, it's more useful to know where my various training zones actually are in terms of BPM readings and forget about fiddling around with percentages. and the best way of working out your zones is pretty much trial and error, unless you've got a fortune to spend on expensive tests. basically you need to know the upper and lower limits for a) your recovery zone; b) your aerobic zone (normal training pace, the upper limit of which is just above your marathon pace and is roughly your lactate threshold); c) your anaerobic zone (tempo run pace); and your "red line zone" (which you enter in interval training and under extreme race conditions).

    I've worked these out for myself, I know when and where to use them, and I can't see the need for anything more sophisticated.

    I also can't see the point of aiming for precise figures - the zone idea makes much more sense and allows for all the many unquantifiable variables that make HR monitoring a pretty inexact science.

    And the thing that really bugs me is the idea that your HRM is some kind of speedometer, which just ain't the case.

    Oh and don't forget that most of the time your HRM is reading the pulse of the runner next to you, or gauging the heart rate of the large electromagnet beneath your feet or the pylon running overhead.

    Most of the time I can't really understand why I bother with the damn thing. OK, rant over, sorry.
  • Thanks peeps.

    Achiles, I take it that I am now in detention and am not allowed out until the said thread is read.

    Thanks for the url and the tips. I'm off for a read.

  • PM -

    actually reading that thread is probably one of the tortures of the damned (doesn't Dante mention it somewhere?) - it'll certainly take you all eternity to get through, and I can't promise that you won't still be baffled at the end of it.

    not but seriously, Ron does have some pretty interesting stuff to say, if you can stay the course.
  • Pizzaman, you need to read it gradually. Too many people just rush in and read the whole lot in one go leaving them too tired to do anything except lay down and die.
    First day read a paragraph, rest, then read another one. When you've been doing this for a couple of weeks it's time to read a whole page without stopping. Each time you log on, make a note of how long it took you, how you felt during it, and how long it took you to recover afterwards.
    It helps to set yourself a challenging but attainable goal - 'by the end of the year I will have got to the 100th message'. Don't whatever you do introduce speed reading at this stage - it could result in eye injuries and general insanity.
    Feel free to email me direct for more training tips on how to read the HR thread.
  • Achiles/Laura, too late. I tried to do too much too soon I'm now blind in one eye and the other eye is starting to swell.
    Off to the physio in the morning for optical massage and I daren't even think about the optical stretching. Thanks anyway.
    Another bl**dy 6 weeks off reading.
  • PM -

    the important thing when reading this thread is to maintain good reading "form".

    resist the temptation to let the eyelids drop - strenght training can be useful here.

    don't tense up - a lot of readers clench their fists, some even start hammering their foreheads and pulling out their hair. these are all forms errors and need to be corrected.

    also make sure you're wearing the right shoes - these need to be well-cushioned so they won't do to much damage when you hurl them at your computer screen.

    and finally think about what you drink - readers who have hydrated adequately, say 2 litres of Absolut or other suitable sports drink, find reading this thread much easier even downright fun.
  • yeah I've had that "new runner enthusiasm" there too. you know the experience: new to the sport, back from injury or other time out: you really go for it and experience a rapid improvement then....

    you start to have aches, small injury, times start to rise again and you sit down after another bad read and wonder why you ever took up this sport/forum.

    Achilles - your diagnosis about what you need for HRM training is great and at the end of the day bpm is what counts - its what you see on your wrist. problem is that you've worked hard to find out these zones for yourself through a lot of trial and error. All the zones/% calcs are to try to help people who don't want/ don't have the time to experiment and come to their own conclusions about the approx BPM boundaries of the different zones.

    that's why I quite like Parkers stuff:
    train easy in a low zone with approx 70% max
    train hard with intervals going across the lactate threshold. I've just gone back to it after ingoroing it for a while (fool I am)

    My own experience in racing with an HRM leaves me with the following observations for a typical 10k

    1)"steady start" for first 15% HR 160-165
    2)"Pushing on" for next 50% HR 165 rising steadily to 178
    3) "hanging on" for next 20% HR 175-180
    4) "slowly fading" for last 15% HR 170-175

    (max= 190, RHR = ~53)

    pace over the ground is fastest in phase 2 not phase 3 which has the higher HR, and pahse 4 is slowest. This presumably correlates with lactic acid build-up and saturation. The art of running is to adjust your speed in phase 2 to minimise the time in phase 4 - that equates to experience. I'm getting there on 5miles/10ks but nowhere near on 1/2M's.

    still gives you something to think about while running
  • I made the mistake of contributing to this thread a while back & before I knew it I was logging on every day for my fix.

    Happy to say that my therapist believes I am now cured of Ron's Thread as long as I keep up the weekly "Threads Anonymous" meetings and stay away from that damn thing.

    I must say that I am dissapointed in both Achilles & Laura in encouraging people to get involved as it only takes a couple of looks and then your in too deep, as I now know to my cost.

  • Nick.M -

    A lot of my ladies get all flustered and confused about reading Ron’s thread – you’re not a lady, are you Nick? Anyway, as I was saying, my ladies, bless their little cotton socks, often find it just too much to cope with and that’s when I tell them to remember PPPP.

    PPPP – that's Preconceived Patination of Permutable Proprioperception. Sounds good, doesn’t it? I think so.

    I always try to make my acronyms at least twice as long as everybody else’s. I think this is important. MMMM, ZZZZ – do you see the really clever thing about them? Spotted it? Yes, that’s right, they're all us the same letter repeated four times. You see, there's more to this training lark than meets the eye.

    My ladies, of course, say to me “Achilles, Persistent Pattern of Patronising Peregrinations. That makes no bloody sense, I mean it’s not even English”. And there you have it in a nutshell. Ladies! I mean, they’re lovely creatures right, but let’s face it, you can’t expect too much of them. Being ladies, they're never going to understand much you say, which means you can feed them pretty much any old tosh and they'll lap it up.

    You can't expect them to make much of this running lark either, for that matter. And yet they all want to be distance athletes - I mean, please. Let's face it, ladies just aren't cut out for this sort of thing. Some days I feel like telling them, "Look, love, the only thing you'll ever be any good at running up is a dressmaker's bill." Do they still have dressmakers? I don't know, perhaps I need to get out more.

    Look, I’ve got to rush off for five minutes, got to use the toilet, actually. But meanwhile I’ve arranged for Briseis (that’s her indoors, bless her) to do a couple of postings for me while I’m gone. Lovely lady. Won’t ever make first base as a runner, between you and me, but as you can see I’ve got her well-trained.

    Won’t be long, everybody. I know you can’t wait for me to get back.

    Oh and before I go, did I mention that I’m writing a movie all about me and my fool-proof training methods? Did I mention that? Perhaps I ought to index this whole thread just to check. Anyway, that’s right, a movie and Tom Hanks has agreed to play me, which is obviously very nice for him. Tom loves the script, he just keeps telling me he doesn’t understand a word. And I say to him, “Tom, you big girl’s blouse, you’re just as bad as one of my ladies! Don’t you understand Simple English?” Makes me wonder if he’s right for the part.

    Don’t anyone go away, I’ll be right back.

  • Achilles - priceless! Best laugh I've had in months. More! More!
  • Have to agree. Almost as a good a scriptwriter as my alter ego. you know who I mean the undersung partner of the 32nd, or was it 33rd greatest Briton.

    You get promoted to the dark side for that, or rather on second thoughts it runs at a level far beyond the Darkside. its teh reference to Briseis that fooled me at first.

    keep it up Achilles

  • It was just a simple questiom about the 2 ways to measure your heart rate.
    What have I done? I feel I've stumbled upon something which should best be laft alone. Like walking into the house from the Rocky Horror Show.
  • Sorry, but the word 'simple' in any thread is an invitation to spin it out into the forum equivalent of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
    Except this is the satiric version. And I'm delighted to see not just one but two classical scholars in our midst - Briseis? Explain please, in simple English.
  • is that satiric or satanic.
  • Don't blame me, it's Laura's fault, she's the one what started it. She's wicked, that one, wicked.

    Footnote from Achilles' legal representative: My client wants it to be known that Briseis is his lady friend and his only, and insists that Agamemnon is bang out of order in trying to get in there with the said lady. My client says he will go into a serious huff if the self-styled Achaean leader doesn't lay off right this minute. If anyone wants him, he'll be in his tent. That's all he has to say at this moment in time.
  • Agamemnon is still smarting over the dissapearance of his daughter, therefore he is not fully responsible for his actions at the moment.
  • My client denies any allegations of impropriety and childishness. These have been put about by the tabloid press and in particular scurrilous journalists like Homer writing in the mass-circulation "Iliad". My client has no wish to make an issue out of this, but if Agamemnon wishes a fight, then he's got one coming.
  • Ladies,ladies calm down. It will all end in tears.
    Is it better to work from max % heart rate or % working heart rate? Just to change the subject.
  • Sarcy

    that surely is a windup!! to which I can only reply that its better to work from a beating heart tan one that isn't working.

    Personally I prefer WHR, but two things to remember
    i) when following a guide make sure you know what method the writer has used
    ii) You end up with BPM anyway which is what's on your wrist.
  • I over heard part of a heated conversation as I walked past the Bee Hive last night,
    "The fertile plains of the Argoloid at dawn"
    I don't know what it means. But thought it might be of interest to those following.
  • PM -

    sounds like you need to get out less - are there some freaky people out there, or what?!
Sign In or Register to comment.