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Getting my head round Heart Rate

I bought a HRM a while back and always put it on when I go running, but if I'm honest I don't really know what I looking at.

I've read about Cardio Zone about 70-80% and Lactic at 80-90% but I always feel I am going too slow and end up pushing to an average of around 85% by the end of a run.

Ultimately my aim is to get faster - obviously.

Can someone advise (in beginners terms) what and how I should be using the HRM to make the most improvments



  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    At the risk of sounding unhelpful...that depends..on how you are determining your zones (see many previous threads), previous fitness levels/current level, terrain, etc etc. sometimes & that time is coming soon with winter training...you have to go slower to go faster, counterintuitive though it may seem, a winter in the 'aerobic zone' will pay dividends next season..pepper in some faster work to remind your legs what you expect of them & off you go.
  • learnerlearner Posts: 100
    It is really frustrating but listen to what it is telling you. yes to start with you will be running at a snails pace, but as you aerobic fitness increases so will the speed. I agree 100% with Britspin, chuck in a couple of speed sessions a week but make sure you are fully warmed up, also check resting heart rate for five days a month to ensure not overdoing it.
  • stustu Posts: 28
    Can recommend Heart Rate Training for the Compleat Idiot - by John Parker, (correct spelling!)

    The hrm is a great tool to have, use mine virtually all the time even in the pool (which brings in another set of hr protocols!)

    As Britspin says it feels counter intuitive, esp. when you need to slow to a near walk to stay in zone, I once had someone overtake me in full suit n briefcase as they ran for a bus!!.

    Running at 70% max hr you are stressing your aerobic system and teaching your body to burn fat as fuel and essentially becoming more efficient.

    80% and higher you're stressing your anaerobic system and probably pushing lacate threshold, definately not to be done every session!

    Over a few weeks/months you should see that at 70% you start to get quicker therefore indicating that you're becoming aerobically fitter and more efficent.

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