Knowing what your target running heart rate is can improve your running performance. Whether you are running just as a form of exercise or you are an athlete with a marathon coming up, this method can help you in your daily training. Many athletes, and people who love to run, have tried using a heart rate monitor in their training regimen and were very happy with the results.
Getting Your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)
Your MHR is the number of heart beats you display when you try to exert yourself to the limit during an exercise. Athletes usually do this in health laboratories using an ECG. However, you could get your MHR by using this simple formula: subtract your age by 220, which is a given, and then you have your maximum heart rate. For example, if you are 50, just subtract this from 220 and you will get 170, which would be your MHR. This is just an estimate and is not a very accurate measurement.
What Is Your Target Heart Rate (THR)?
Your target heart rate depends mostly on what you aim to achieve. You can aim to work for your general health, improve your weight management, for more aerobic conditioning and for advance conditioning.
Your THR for General Health
If you want to stay in good health by doing simple exercises and you are not really training for a running event, just get to 50 to 60% of your maximum heart rate, and you can comfortably run at a slower and steady pace. For example, if your maximum heart rate is 170, multiplying it by 50% gives you a target heart rate of 85 beats per minute.
Your Weight Managment THR
If your goal is to improve your weight management, such as by reducing your body fat, you can use 60 to 70% of your MHR. Just multiply 170 by 60%, and you get 102 beats per minute as your THR. This should be the heart rate you maintain as you run in order to lose body fat.
Your THR for Aerobic Conditioning
For aerobic conditioning which could greatly improve your cardiovascular system and overall endurance, you can use 70 to 80% of your MHR. Just multiply 170 by 80%, and you get 136 as your target heart rate. This is a more vigorous activity level compared to the previous target heart rates.
Your THR for Advance Conditioning
And for advance conditioning, which is mostly used by athletes training for a marathon event, the target heart rate used is 80 to 90% of the MHR. Just multiply 170 by 90% and you get 153 beats per minute. This type of routine is not for many people, as it is very demanding, requiring both physical and mental efforts.
How Your Heart Rate Monitor Works
The heart rate monitor is a device you will be using to measure your heart rate during a workout. It has a transmitter that should be placed in your heart and is held in place by a strap. This transmitter would relay your heart rate measurements through a wire connected to your digital wristwatch for easy monitoring.