Heart Rate Training Zones

Have you ever been out running on a hot day and after pushing yourself to get to the top of a hill you feel your heart beating uncontrollably? Do you ever stop and wonder what is actually happening to your heart?

Your body is an extraordinary machine that is able to function at many different levels, and understanding what level or “zone” your body is working in can be very beneficial in your efforts to increase speed, endurance and ultimately performance.

Finding your optimal heart rate training zone is easy to do and contrary to popular belief doesn’t require the latest in running technology.  Start by subtracting your age from 220 (220 – age).  This number will give you an estimate of your maximum heart rate (MHR). Depending on what type of run you are doing, whether it is a long slow run or training at your anaerobic threshold, you will be training at different percentages of your maximum heart rate. A heart rate monitor is an excellent way to quickly find your heart rate at any given point during your training. If you do not have a monitor, no sweat! Another way of finding your heart rate is to count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by 6. For a more accurate reading count your pulse for 30 seconds and multiply by 2.  If you are a coach, this is an excellent way to quickly check how well your athletes are recovering between intervals. Continue reading “Heart Rate Training Zones”