There’s a question that’s been plaguing me for a while and I still haven’t got a proper answer to it: “How high should my heart rate be when I am running?”
For the first two years I was running, I never wore a heart rate monitor. I just ran as fast as I could and often surprised myself with the results. My fastest 5K was 23 minutes, 8K was 43 minutes, 10K was 54 minutes and half-marathon was 2:13. I know these aren’t world-record breaking times, but I am proud of them. I didn’t pay much attention to my heart rate and since I never felt sluggish during races or exhausted after finishing, I figured everything was fine.
In 2012 I started to wear a heart rate monitor and noticed that my heart rate was regularly reaching 190 and 200 beats per minute when I ran. Of course, as someone overly concerned with health, this scared me. I searched online for various heart rate calculators and even went for a stress test at Women’s College Hospital and the general consensus is I should only be exercising at 75% of my maximum heart rate (192) which means I shouldn’t be going over 144 beats per minute. Unfortunately, this is impossible.
Can anybody run with their heartrate at 144, and if so, how fast? Lately, I have been trying to slooooooow down. The best I can do (and even this is tough) is keep my heart rate at 160. When I do this, I am running 7 minutes or more per kilometre. For my most recent half marathon, I couldn’t keep my heart rate lower than 180, and I finished in 2:24 – not the time I wanted.
My goals for this running year are:
1) To get some more expert opinions on my running heart rate and where it should be for me to run safely.
2) Practice running slow during longer distances to build up my endurance.
3) Do some interval training (which I vehemently avoid).
4) Find out what the average heart rates of other runners are so I can compare.
5) Read “Running With The Mind of Meditation” and try to relax more when I run.
What’ is your heart rate when you’re running hard? What’s your average heart rate? What are the zones you try to keep your heart rate in?