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1649 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 29, 2013 4:28 PM by ultimatehlth
heathdamien Rookie 1 posts since
Mar 10, 2013
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Mar 10, 2013 8:15 AM

Heart Rate Training Question

Good Morning,


I am a 41 year old 6'2", 190 lb male and have been running for many years. I know that I run pretty hard, but only started using a HR monitor consistantly over the past couple months.


When I do the general calculations, my max HR should be around 180, with an anarobic range of 156-168 (unsustainable) and maximal range anything above that (i.e., sprint)


I never run shorter than 5 miles, and I run those shorter runs pretty hard, but sustainable, and I average around 165.


My long runs of up to 10 miles currently average about 158-161. BTW, I never dip below 154 or so on any run. I find it hard to believe that I run 95% of all my miles in the anarobic zone.


So, considering that the anarobic zone should be unsustainable, do I assume that my max HR is a lot higher than 180 and set a new number to base my zones on, or just learn to run at a lower threshold?


My true resting heart rate is somewhere in the low to mid 50's, and walking around HR is the mid-high 60's.


Any advice would be grealty appreciated.



Heath Huffman

  • RunningNut3 Amateur 9 posts since
    Mar 6, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Mar 10, 2013 11:12 AM (in response to heathdamien)
    Heart Rate Training Question

    Max heartrate by the online forumulas can be off significantly. Try doing some hard intervals on a track or treadmill (on a slight incline) to calculate your MHR.


    The only way to truly know what your LT is, is to do a test in a lab..HR is only so accurate up to a point and can vary from day to day.

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  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
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    2. Mar 10, 2013 6:45 PM (in response to heathdamien)
    Heart Rate Training Question

    As RunningNut3 said, the formulas can be off significantly.  220 minus age was never intended as a general rule and is estimated to work for perhaps 50% of the population. If you are physically active your MHR is less likely to decrease with age, which the formula assumes.  Also MHR varies by sport, with running being among the highest.  So you can't do a cycling test to determine running MHR, you have to do a running test.  And as mentioned above, the most accurate way is to be tested in a "human performance" type lab - not a typical hospital treadmill test.  But of course, that costs.  Here is a link with several ways to approximate your MHR.

    You might also consider using the Karvonen method to calculate your zones.  It takes resting heart rate (RHR) into account and tends to produce higher zones.

    Basically % of (MHR - RHR) + RHR




  • gilbertholdings Amateur 27 posts since
    Mar 6, 2013
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    3. Mar 15, 2013 3:41 AM (in response to heathdamien)
    Heart Rate Training Question

    from most of the information i've read, the heart rate zones seem out of favor and not much believed anymore.  your experience seems to support that.  maybe it's just the formula's are bad, or the whole concept, i don't know.  but personally, i woiuldn't worry so much about monitoring your heart rate.  run at a pace you feel comfortable at and push yourself a little and you should make good progress without risking your body.

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  • Urbster Legend 760 posts since
    May 27, 2008
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    4. Mar 19, 2013 7:27 PM (in response to heathdamien)
    Heart Rate Training Question

    48 female 155lbs 5'8


    Once a coach saw my BMP on a treamill he slowed me down.  He did the general rule thing.   In races I hit 180, (hit 190 once)  any easy runs are 160ish, a nice average run is 166-168 and my tempo runs hits 170.  Foever I tried to figured out what my BMP should be, what I was doing wrong or right and then after a few years I just knew what felt like where I should be.  I know I dont fit into the 220 less age or where I should be occuring to the treadmill.  I just run   

  • ultimatehlth Pro 118 posts since
    Jul 13, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Mar 29, 2013 4:28 PM (in response to heathdamien)
    Heart Rate Training Question

    You didn't mention what type of monitor you are using. The only ones that are accurate are properly fitted chest monitors. Any movement in the harness and you can get double beats. Ultimately, you'll probably do what most of us long term runners do and that is use our perceived rate of exertion. With experience you'll know just how hard you should be going by the way you feel.



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