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sustainable HR max

When I run, I find my heart rate never really drops below around 170. I'm 30 years old and I'm reasonably fit, but I just cant get my HR down

I run about 7 or 8 miles at a time (about 3 times a week), and my comfortable pace is around 8minute miles - I'm not out of breath too much when I'm running and I could probablu hold a conversation, so I dont think my effort is too much, but am concerned that I could be risking my health by keepng my heart rate so high for around an hour at a time ????

Can anyone give me any advice ??




  • If that is your training HR then you may be running too fast all of the time. I run with HR in mind for all my runs and the majority of steady state running is down around 135 average, it will always go higher for a hill or two but that is comfortable for me. It takes a lot to keep at that pace though, i.e not too fast.

    For a 10km road race I will be at 170+ for the whole race. For Cyclo cross I will be at 175 to 185 for the entire 50 minute race (right fromt he outset).

    In training you are trying to train the body to use certain feuls etc and if you are beyond threshold then it may not be working fully for you. Have you had a lactate threshold test to formulise your HR zones?

  • Graeme - sustaining a relatively high heart rate for an hour is possible as you will be doing your runs at about lactate threshold (there are many measures for this) which can normally be sustained for about an hour (the pop u heard there was the can of worms I just opened)

    The real problem is (as tripyrenees eluded to) is to slow down into the correct HR zone for the goal of the training session something I struggle with last year.

    There are a whole myriad of ways of calculating your training zones and also which zone you should be training in for each event. For most triathlons and depending your level of expertise I'd say most of your training needs to be in the aerobic zone (L2)

    These links will probably help a bit


    http://www.brianmac.demon.co.uk/hrm1.htm - this has a load of "Heart Rate Max" forumulas if you don't fancy the torture of a step test

    Also Joe Freil has a lot of thoughts on correct zones based on lactate threshold seacrh amazon for his books.

    Hope that helps

  • Hi guys,

    I've found that its a very personal thing as I generally run at between 150-165, then when I push on a track session, I'm averaging 166 with max of 178/179. Over the last couple of years I've managed gentle runs at slightly lower heart rates. I think its something that needs some practise.

    Don't worry too much about the numbers as my mate (now 39) ran a 10 mile race earlier in the year at an average of 183 (max 188) for 1 hour and 1 minute. I don't think there are any rules.
  • This is totally personal, as said, you cannot compare figure, only Zones.

    For alot of my runs I am "supposed" to run in my Zone 1 which for me is below 130. You get slower, you get slower and near enough down to a walk to get that BUT it does work, you might look a daft idiot strolling along for 45mins before moving up to the next zone but it is worth it.

    That is the key though, to work within the correct zone for that particular session. Take a test and get it done properly. We are booked in for a lactate test next week for running (bikign will be different) as I have not had a HR test for a few years now.

  • GraemeGraeme Posts: 48
    Hi GUys

    Thanks for all your useful information. especially looneytoon for the links. I've had a look through the data and tonight, I tried keeping a lower heart rate. To keep my heart rate below 140, i was pretty much walking at around 10 min miles, where as I find my confortable pace to be around 7.5 ish minute miles. At this pace I can hold a conversation and not get out of breath, but I've only ever tried it over distances less than 10 miles.

    Anyway, I'll try and digest all the information and if you see some guy in the swindon area running at what looks like a walking pace and looking bored, then that's me trying to keep my HR down.

    Thanks guys

  • Graeme

    If you can run for an hour at that pace then your LT is probably around there. Your Max HR sohould be 190 for your age but is probably a bit higher.

    If you can still talk while running then you are still aerobic which is fine, but to benefit from the training you don't want to do all your running at the same speed. One long distance 8 min/m, one intervals short faster spurts 4x 800m @ 7min/m pace and one slow recovery 30mins @ 9mim/m would be good.

  • GraemeGraeme Posts: 48
    OK, I'll try that,

    Thanks very much for your help


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