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High Heart Rate when running

For 5 years been going to gym 2 - 3 times a week. Thought a bit of motivation would help so at 55 doing a spint Tri next year.
Never good at running, when fit I was slow but could keep going for a long time. So 25yrs later joined the local Park Run which is brilliant, I can run a 5K at with a heart rate of 160 in 29.30min (max HR is supposed to be 165) my HR is reasonably steady all the way round. I have a low resting heart rate of 50.
Did my PB week before 28.18min but didn't look at my HRM.
I find the run hard but think I can go faster but it is a worry that my HR is so high.
When doing same on the gym treadmill HR rarely goes above 150.
Would appreciate any feed back, should I just throw my heart rate monitor away and go for it?
Thanks Garry


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    gavinpgavinp Posts: 168
    Hi Garry

    You've obviously done the 220 - 55 = 165 to find your max heart rate. From research that i've found this works well for people under 40. A more accurate calculation is (208 - 0.7 x age), so yours comes out as 169.5, so there's not a huge amount of difference there. Maximum heart rates vary, even among people of the same age. There is another way of working out your max heart rate -by running to exhaustion, but that isn't reccommended for someone of your age

    When in the gym, you aren't doing the work of moving your body forward - the treadmill is doing the work and you are just moving your feet underneath you so it's not as much an effort which is why your heart rate is slightly different.

    When racing you are always going to to be near your max so I would say, don't worry too much about that, but if you are worried, set your heart rate monitor to beep at you if you go above your max. Once alerted then you can do something about it (i.e. slow down a little)

    The important thing I would say is that when you are training, to always exercise at 70-80% of your maximum heart rate. For you that would be:

    169 x 70-80% = 112-128bpm (or there abouts!)

    Staying within this zone will help you the most with pacing yourself during training and will improve your aerobic fitness.

    Ultimately you don't 'need' a heart rate monitor. Lots of people train by feel. In simple terms and as an example, if you can't talk while running (and it's supposed to be an easy run) then you are going too quickly. There are lots of simple charts out there that will help you to work out your zones in relation to heart rate, or how you should feel during your run (depending on the type of run you are doing at the time).

    Hope this helps a little.
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    PC667PC667 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info, now you've told me the treadmill issue sounds obvious. I fell into the trap of pushing myself everytime I excercised but now I have more of a plan. Problem with sticking bet 70-80% of max HR when running is it seems too easy to be doing me any good, even on an easy bike I would be about 80%.
    I got the heart rate monitor because it was cheap and wanted to make sure I didn't over do things, it does tell me I recover quickly and my HR comes down in a few minutes and shows my HR responds to easing off or pushing harder.
    Thanks for taking the time to respond, Garry
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    gavinpgavinp Posts: 168
    PC667 wrote:
    ...Problem with sticking bet 70-80% of max HR when running is it seems too easy to be doing me any good, even on an easy bike I would be about 80%.
    Yes it feels easy, but it works!

    Obviously don't just do this type of run session - mix it up with tempo runs, fartlek etc.

    Have fun
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