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Different training zones for different sports

I am a 14 stone 41 year old male. I run approx 2 times per week for about 45 - 60 mins per run, ride 1 time per week for about 1 - 1.5 hrs. I also play football 1 or 2 times per week.

Should the HR zone percentages change for base training on the run and on the bike. When I run I find that even on a long (ish) run of 60 mins, my HR is generally around 87% - 90% of my HR max. When the road goes up hill it goes above 90%, upto 95%, and when the road goes downhill it drops to about 82%.

My max Hr is based on the POLAR own zone calculation from the fitness test mode of my S210 HR monitor. (I have got within 1 beat of this on a long steep climb on the bike, so I think it might be accurate).

I don't run particularly fast, about 9min mile pace, but the HR rate does not seem to change much if I go down to 9:30. At the moment I am trying to put some miles in at steady pace, but never get close to lower HRs for aerobic runs or recovery runs. On the bike or turbo I can ride steadily at 70 - 75% comfortably. Am I getting the same benefit from my training runs, or do I need to run even slower. I know I can run 5 miles at sub 8 mins as I did at the start of the Great North Run last year (not over quick but faster than training runs) and single miles in sub 7 mins. So why can't I get my HR down on training runs at fairly moderate speeds?

Bit of a long winded post, but I hope someone can make sense of this.


  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425

    What most of us find is that max heart rates vary for run, bike & swim. This is reported in all the coaching literature. Generally swimming is 10 to 15 bpm lower than cycling & cycling 10 to 15 bpm lower than running.

    Poor running technique shows as higher than neccessary bpm.

    I strongly suspect that your max HR is wrong. That you got close to it on your bike seems to confirm it. If I was to be running at 87 to 90% I waould be racing hard & looking for a 60 minute 10 miler. At 95% I would be doing hard hill intervals. As would those around me.

    If you want answers to most of your other questions get hold of Joe Friel's Triathlon Training Bible. Heart rate zones, perceived intensities and training at various intensities are all dealt with. As are the many questions you haven't asked but probably need to.
  • THanks for that. I've just looked at ordering it.
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