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I'm a 47 year old male with a few months of running under my belt. I do about 5K every other day without killing myself, but it is still challenging. I just got a heart rate monitor and I've found that running in the 140-155 bpm zone is fairly doable without much discomfort. In reading some of the information on heart rate and running, my maximum heart rate is about 173 (220-47(myage)). This seems about right because my heart will do almost that high if I push it to the max. If I am getting my information correct, I should be aiming for 60% to 70% of that which is around 105-120 bpm. I can get that rate with a brisk walk! Am I missing something here or should I go to the emergency room! BTW, I did have a complete physical about a year ago and got the go ahead.
Is it healthy for me to run in the 140-155 bpm range?
From what I've read 60% is fat burning and 80% is cardio. I'm 49 and target 140 on the eliptical and have been hitting 155-165 jogging in week4 of c25k. I get a headache if I go much higher. These are also just average suggestions and can vary based on your condition.
As always see a doc before starting any excersie routine...
First, the "maximum heart rate" is a rule of thumb and does not apply to everyone. Second, aerobic training (running) will increase your maximum heart rate. Third, heart rate monitoring is a way to help with perceived effort. The zones, just like the maximum heart rate, are guidelines, not fixed in stone.
So, keep running in the 140-155 bpm zone until you start longer runs. In those runs, you should back off on your speed and heart rate.
If you want to find out more, there is a lot of information on the internet.
Good luck, and keep running.
"Victory through attrition!"
Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03
The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00
The science behind the 220 minus Age formula is pretty inexact. I'm about your age and my maximum heart rate is over 190. I tend to run my long slow days at between 150 and 155 bpm, which for me feels pretty easy. Hard(-ish) tempo runs are usually 165-175 bpm, and I regularly push it to 185 bpm or so in a 5K race. If you look online you may find zone estimators that use other formulas to estimate and account for your maximum heart rate. I use a zone calculator based on "heart rate reserve," which tends to feel more natural than the zone charts posted at the gym.
This has been discussed several times in the last few months. Here are a couple threads.
220 minus age is only valid for 50% or so of the general population. It was not intended by its authors as a general rule. You really need to be tested (in a lab or on your own) if you want to know your maximum (MHR). Your MHR is fixed and personal, except: 1.) It is different for different types of exercise. Running seems to be highest; 2.) For a sedentary individual, it tends to drop by 1 beat per year as you age.