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Best Way To Work Out Heart Rate Zones


Apologies in advance for a schoolboy question.

So I am looking to do a bit more training in heart rate zones this year and I am wondering what the best way to work these out would be. Could someone let me know or point me in the right direction if this has already been answered.

Should I be going with the formula "220 - age = MHR" or should I be actually testing this? Also should I use the same for cycling and running?

I have found this website, would it be a good or a bad idea to use a calculator to work out these things?







  • risris Posts: 1,002

    personally, and while i'm sure there are some places that will convincingly tell you that there is some formula you can use, i would do a max test. or a few of them - your max on the bike might be different to the one in the pool/water, and they may be different to the run. the calculator you have found there still needs a max rate. 

    i'll be honest and say i've not a running max for a while... they're just horrible to do. my swim coach makes me do them at training a few times a year and i hate them. worth it for the numbers, though.

  • The 220 minus your age formula is a rough guide but aimed more at sedentary people. If you are above average fitness this will not really work for you. You will need to do a maximal test to find your truist MHR.

    It will also vary from bike to run. With running it's more of a constant where as with a bike you get rest periods ( going g downhill, Wind assist etc) this is where power output is best on a bike if you can afford a power meter!

    I have done all the technical lab stuff and it can get mind blowing.

    If you don't have the money to invest in all the fancy gadgets to tell you all this info, do what I do and go back to basics. follow these rules; WU WD(warm up warm down) done at very easy pace should be able to hold a conversation. EASY PACE. should be able to have a conversation with slightly raised breathing rate. STEADY.this pace you should only be able to give a single sentence answer. THRESHOLD. only single word answers. HARD EFFORTS. These require your full on cent ration and are your flat out sessions so if you can speak you are not going hard enough! your threshold pace should be un comfortable but not unachievable.
  • KGKG Posts: 6

    Some great advice given already. I would definitely go with testing too.

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