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Heart Rate often in Zone 5

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  • Heart Rate often in Zone 5

    Hi - looking for a bit of help here. I'm a 37 year old male, have been exercising 2-3 times a week for the past few years, mostly weights (high reps) and would not consider myself to be especially cardio fit. My (estimated) max heart rate is about 187bpm and my (measured) resting rate about 53bpm.

    My question is this: I've started running regularly now and am working towards a 10k in September. I can maintain at least a 6:00min/km pace for 5k (a little over actually - which is as far as I've run - and don't feel like I'm emptying the tank. The issue is my HR averages 170 (Z4.8) and spends a fair amount of time above this in Zone 5. This seems really high.

    I believe a good runner might well do a 5k in this zone but this is my "long run" at the moment until my endurance builds up.

    Any thoughts? Does this seem unreasonably high? or do I just need to keep going and this will fall?


  • #2
    Originally posted by WALTERSJONATHAN View Post
    My (estimated) max heart rate is about 187bpm [...] ny thoughts? Does this seem unreasonably high? or do I just need to keep going and this will fall?
    My first guess is your estimated HR max is too low. There's a LOT of variability from person to person, so "estimates" are often way off. For example at 45, my

    What is your actual measured max HR, say from that last 100m sprint of a 5K or 10K race?


    • #3
      I do keep meaning to check my max HR properly. When I was younger and mountain biking, long & steep hills could see it go well over 200bpm.

      DEEDDAWG it looked like you were going to quote your max HR at 45 but didn't finish that thought ....


      • #4
        Keep Training Like You Are - Monitor Overtraining

        I would not worry about your HR being "too high" while training. If your perceived exertion is moderate (as it seems to be) since you are maintaining it for the 30 or so minutes it takes you to run the 5k. And you are not overtraining (10/15+ beats elevated resting HR day after) As your heart gets more efficient for running activity you will be able to go faster for longer because your heart will "learn" to pump blood more efficiently for running activity.

        As you said you are mostly weigh lifting fit. So your heart has modified itself for that (thicker/bigger left ventricle muscle for pumping blood to your muscles while lifting weights). Running is a different modification - increased left ventricle volume for sustained blood flow for longer duration. I would say as your heart starts to modify itself for the sustained need for blood (and you maintain the same perceived exertion or maintain the same pace) your heart will not reach as high a rate. This is simply because it gets better with each beat at supplying your legs with oxygen rich blood.

        Also, Like DEEDDAWG said your age predicted max HR is probably off some as well. So when you think you are at 90% of max - maybe you are only at 84%?

        To surmise: If i were you I would
        -Keep training like you are
        -I would keep some sort of journal of perceived exertion for the last bit of the run. Mainly just to track improvements.
        -And I would monitor overtraining to ensure you are achieving improvements instead of damaging your body by going too hard.

        -Which HRM do you have?


        • #5
          Are you sure the HRM is accurate? Mine is very often prone to errors.


          • #6
            Valid point FGONELL!

            @FGONELL valid point.

            I suppose we just tend to give Garmin the benefit of the doubt that the HRM will be accurate.

            But @WALTERSJONATHON maybe take another HRM different brand maybe (borrow one?) and cross-reference the heart rate data for the same workout session.