Since spring, I’ve noticed more runners out hitting the pavement and enjoying the health and mental benefits running has to offer. As a fellow runner and running coach, I am thrilled to see neighbors, friends, and family getting excited about running.
I commonly profess how I am a “running nerd” and love to learn more about my sport and how to improve safely. One topic I always get excited about is heart rate training! I cannot express how much heart rate training has helped me as a runner in improving my pace, burning fat, and reducing the chance of injury. Even if you are not a runner, heart rate training can be key in improving your athletic performance and improving your cardiovascular health.
I am sure many of you have seen the MyZone placards around the gym. These formulas don’t just apply to MyZone, however. MyZone is an incredibly accurate way to track your heart rate, and I have been using MyZone for about a year now when training for a marathon, daily running, strength training, and so forth.
So, I wanted to share a little information regarding heart rate training, particularly when applied to running…
There are a few formulas commonly used to calculate your max heart rate. Once you have your max heart rate, you can then calculate what your 50%, 80%, or 90% MHR (Max Heart Rate) should look like. Here are a couple formulas for determining MHR:
My Zone: 207- (.7 x age)
Once you have your MHR, this is an example of how we might find what zone we are in:
80% max: Max HR x .80
So, what heart rate zone should you be in? Here are a few tips and tricks:
- For the first .5 mile-1 mile: maintain a heart rate of around 50-60% of MHR as a warm up
- Easy runs (light effort): 50-70% of MHR
- Moderate runs (this will be most of your runs): 70-80% of MHR
- Intervals: >85%
One last piece of advice I will leave you with, is remember to be kind to yourself and your body. Easy runs are some of the most important runs you will have and have numerous benefits, do not skip these days. Sprinkle in some speed work (intervals or running at 80-90% of MHR) about once every other week and hill work (again, about once every other week) and you’ll be on your way to reaching your running goals.
Learn more about MyZone!
By: Emily Hershberger