I've been running on and off for more than ten years and started using a HR monitor about 3 or 4 yrs ago. I usually run at an avg hr of 155 to 161, which seems awfully high given that I'm not even close to an elite runner. Like I said, I run on and off which means that I'll run for 4 to 6 months and then don't run for a month or so. I'm 5'6", 178 lbs, and I'm currently running 4 or 5 times a week for a total of about 45 to 50 kms per week. During the regular runs (not the long run) I usually try to sprint on the last 1 or 2 kilometer, so I end up my run at a fairly high HR (usually between 168 to 173) but my HR goes down rather quickly. It goes down to about 145 within the first 2 minutes after I stop running. I heard this is good. Also, my rested HR (first thing in the morning) is about 80. Anyway, I do feel fine after my runs eventhough my HR seems high but I get concerned when I talked to other fellow runners who run at much lower HRs. Should I be? ...oops btw, I'm 49 yrs old and run at very high humidity.
Elite vs. non-elite shouldn't matter - its all a matter of fitness.
I'm a 45 year old with close to 40,000 miles under my belt. My best marathon was last fall. I trained most of my runs at a heart rate between 130-140; my max HR is 185.
I have tested various levels. My max is 185. For a 10 mile run, I average about 168. For my marathon PR, I averaged 163. For speedwork, I get my HR up to 175 - or 168 for threshold runs. Yet, I rarely, for normal runs, go above 145 - trying to keep below 140. This is my MAF pace. Check out Van Aaken or Maffetone... you'll learn a lot. Or buy Stu Mittleman's book.