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Good Target HRT for Newbie (Read 62 times)

jebrown325


    I would like to ask for advice on what my target heart rate should be on my runs.  I have been running for about 3 months now after not running for decades.  Worked my way up to doing 4 mile runs three days per week at about a 14 minute mile pace.  This usually gets my heart rate up to about 145 bpm.  Would like to start pushing it harder but worried about pushing it to hard to soon.  I am 47 years old and standing 5'9" am 250 lbs.  I am fairly solid due to years of weight training but still heavy (about 25% bodyfat).  Is it a good idea to push it harder and let my heart rate get to around 160 bpm for my hour-long runs or is that doing to much to soon?  Any advice is appreciated.  Thanks!

    zebano


      Unless you have a heart condition, everything I've ever read says your body will shut you down before it allows you to harm yourself by running or exercising too hard (IANAD). Ergo, if you want to go hard, then go hard and let the HR climb, the main reason we don't is that you can log far more miles if you keep the effort lower which ends up being a better training stimulus.

       

      The more pertinent point is that all HR rules like 220-age are based on population averages, but individuals can and do have significant variation which means we cannot say go run at X heart rate. The only way to determine an appropriate heart rate for you is to do either a max HR test or a lactate threshold test. The next thing to know is that if you're relying on an optical HR monitor on your watch, those are unreliable while running, especially in cold weather but also depending on your particular wrist, skin tone etc. so a HR strap or an upper arm band like a Rhythm+ is strongly encouraged.

       

      Finally the big question is why are you running (what's your goal)? how long have you been running for and where are you trying to get to? To much too soon is impossible to determine without knowing where you're coming from (i.e. have you been doing hour long runs for half a year, how many do you do per week or is this your second run ever?).

      1600 - 5:23 (2018), 5k - 19:33 (2018), 10k - 41:20 (2021), half - 1:38:57 (2018), Marathon - 3:37:17 (2018)

      jebrown325


        Unless you have a heart condition, everything I've ever read says your body will shut you down before it allows you to harm yourself by running or exercising too hard (IANAD). Ergo, if you want to go hard, then go hard and let the HR climb, the main reason we don't is that you can log far more miles if you keep the effort lower which ends up being a better training stimulus.

         

        The more pertinent point is that all HR rules like 220-age are based on population averages, but individuals can and do have significant variation which means we cannot say go run at X heart rate. The only way to determine an appropriate heart rate for you is to do either a max HR test or a lactate threshold test. The next thing to know is that if you're relying on an optical HR monitor on your watch, those are unreliable while running, especially in cold weather but also depending on your particular wrist, skin tone etc. so a HR strap or an upper arm band like a Rhythm+ is strongly encouraged.

         

        Finally the big question is why are you running (what's your goal)? how long have you been running for and where are you trying to get to? To much too soon is impossible to determine without knowing where you're coming from (i.e. have you been doing hour long runs for half a year, how many do you do per week or is this your second run ever?).

         

        Thanks Zebano.  So what I hear you saying is I don't need to be afraid of letting my heart rate increase a bit during runs.

         

        I have a few different goals.  I initially just want to lose weight and get in better cardiovascular shape.  Eventually I would like to start running 10K's though.

        CanadianMeg


        Got Run, eh? in 2022

          Generally your cardio is going to come faster as a new runner than soft tissue adjusting to the impact of running. That's the tendons, ligaments, etc. You're right that too much too soon can lead to injuries, but the heart is usually not the common first victim of too much too soon. Tendonitis, shin splits, hamstring injuries, plantar fasciitis.

           

          Around here, you'll often come across the phrase Mostly easy, sometimes hard. Instead of focusing on the numbers, pay attention to how you feel. East runs, you should be able to speak in short sentences. If you're doing, three runs a week, do one as a longer run or one where you pick up the pace a bit at times so it's a little hard. Don't race all your runs. If you want to look at your heart rate, do that post-run and note how you felt. Smile

          Half Fanatic #9292. 

          jebrown325


            Generally your cardio is going to come faster as a new runner than soft tissue adjusting to the impact of running. That's the tendons, ligaments, etc. You're right that too much too soon can lead to injuries, but the heart is usually not the common first victim of too much too soon. Tendonitis, shin splits, hamstring injuries, plantar fasciitis.

             

            Around here, you'll often come across the phrase Mostly easy, sometimes hard. Instead of focusing on the numbers, pay attention to how you feel. East runs, you should be able to speak in short sentences. If you're doing, three runs a week, do one as a longer run or one where you pick up the pace a bit at times so it's a little hard. Don't race all your runs. If you want to look at your heart rate, do that post-run and note how you felt. Smile

             

            Thanks for the advice Canadian Meg.  I was reading through some old posts on the forum and they seem to be saying the same thing.  I think I may be getting impatient with improving and getting myself in the mindset that running hard every time will make me improve faster.  Sounds like I need to stay where I'm at with a lower intensity and focus on long-term goals.  I've read other people saying that if I focus to much on high intensity training when I am new I am only training anaerobically and not developing that "aerobic base" that will lead to real long-term improvement.  If that is true I should probably work on making sure I can pass the talk test as you said.  Thanks!


            SMART Approach

              It just takes time to build your base and fitness. Think about this as a journey not a race in 3-6 months. Over the next 3 months build some progression. Add some time/ miles to your runs and within a month a 4th run during week. I would not worry about adding speed work or faster runs at this point. 6 months of running will set you up to up your game. You are a big boy, let your body, muscles, tendons and heart adapt to the stresses of running. As you run more your running skill improves and you become more efficient. As you drop weight, all of this is magnified. At this point, if feeling good, on one run a week, pick up pace the last mile to get legs moving to release the energy you want to. It will feel good without beating you up. Another day you can do 3-4 quicker strides over the last 1/2 mile to get legs moving. Other than that keep things comfy and definitely HR under 150. You can do a 5K all out time trial (warm up jog first) next week to check on your fitness and then retest in 3 months.

              Run Coach. Recovery Coach. Founder of SMART Approach Training, Coaching & Recovery

              Structured Marathon Adaptive Recovery Training

              Safe Muscle Activation Recovery Technique

              www.smartapproachtraining.com

              jebrown325


                It just takes time to build your base and fitness. Think about this as a journey not a race in 3-6 months. Over the next 3 months build some progression. Add some time/ miles to your runs and within a month a 4th run during week. I would not worry about adding speed work or faster runs at this point. 6 months of running will set you up to up your game. You are a big boy, let your body, muscles, tendons and heart adapt to the stresses of running. As you run more your running skill improves and you become more efficient. As you drop weight, all of this is magnified. At this point, if feeling good, on one run a week, pick up pace the last mile to get legs moving to release the energy you want to. It will feel good without beating you up. Another day you can do 3-4 quicker strides over the last 1/2 mile to get legs moving. Other than that keep things comfy and definitely HR under 150. You can do a 5K all out time trial (warm up jog first) next week to check on your fitness and then retest in 3 months.

                 

                Thanks TChuck!  And thanks for sending me your training program.  I'm going to read through it today and put together a strategy.

                dhuffman63


                Trails

                  If you are just using running as a means to lose weight you are overlooking the diet part that plays a role.  You did not get to where you are now with your weight over night so you won't lose it over night either.  Maybe add one more day of running and make it a little longer each week.  Use one day and do some intervals with a rest day before the next run.

                  jebrown325


                    If you are just using running as a means to lose weight you are overlooking the diet part that plays a role.  You did not get to where you are now with your weight over night so you won't lose it over night either.  Maybe add one more day of running and make it a little longer each week.  Use one day and do some intervals with a rest day before the next run.

                     

                    Agree with you 100% on the diet.  I worked with a dietitian and put a meal plan together.  On average I'm losing a little over 2 lbs. a week right now.  I'm hoping as the weight comes of my run times will start improving.  Right now I go on 4 mile runs two days a week and do a six mile run for my third run of the week.  Was thinking about adding a fourth weekly run in about another month or so.  With my current weight running puts a lot of strain on my knees and other joints.  I want to let my joints get used to it slowly before doing to much to soon.

                    littleGizmo


                      I read online the ideal approach is to keep most of training in a low heart rate zone at a level 2 zone they call it. So it might be hard at first as a newbie to keep your heart rate at a low level 2 zone.

                       

                      When your first starting out since your not in good aerobic shape and overweight your heart rate is going to be very high regardless of what pace you run at, at least that is how it was for me when I started.

                       

                      When I first started running My heart rate would by like 165 bps for just 1-2 miles at even 3.5 mph - 4mph pace. For me to get down to  a 130 ish heart rate I had to do a run/walk program. The walking intervals would slow my heart rate down .I did that for about 3 months or so. Then I could run steady at a 4mph pace for 1 -2 miles with my heart rate between 130- 140 ish.   I slowly increased my miles so I could still maintain a 130 ish heart rate at a 4mph pace over many miles. I got to the point now where I can run 10.5 miles at a 4mph pace with my heart rate maximum not reaching above 129 beats per second during those 10.5 miles, but my legs and muscles kill me at that distance. At first I would always wear a chest monitor back in December- January, but I was going months without using it and just checking my heart rate at the very end of the long run when it was the highest.

                       

                      I recently for the heck of it did a 1 mile trial with a chest monitor on at a 4mph pace. My average heart rate now for 1 mile is like 117 at a 4mph pace, so I probably can start increasing my pace a little. My resting heart rate has also gone down from 64 bps to 55 bps.

                       

                      Most advice I read online says to try to do most of your training at a level 2 zone with a lower heart rate. I push harder once in a while for timed trial runs, but most runs I try to keep it easy.

                       

                      I also thinking lowering bodyfat and weight will make it much easier to maintain a lower heart rate during running. Which is what I should be doing...but haven't really started dieting... still stuck at a fat 200 lbs Wink