What Is A Healthy Running Heart Rate?

What Is A Healthy Running Heart Rate? All You Need To Know

Heart rate is widely used in running and other sports as it can be a good measurement of how hard you are working. As your pace increases, so do your work rate and heart rate. That is why it is important to track your heart rate when running.

But what is a healthy running heart rate?

In this article, we discuss the ideal heart rate to train at if your goal is to improve overall health. We also discuss what is a dangerously high heart rate when exercising and if you should stay away from pushing the heart rate too high.

What Is A Good Heart Rate When Running?

Heart rate when running differs between each person. That is because your heart rate can be influenced by many things, including:

– Age
– Fitness level
– Heat
– Humidity
– Medication
– Stress
– Supplements (caffeine)

Because of this, there is no set heart rate you should run at. Instead, you should focus on the percentage of your maximum heart rate when running. Alternatively, the more experienced runner can base their heart rate when running on their lactate threshold, which is more accurate.

Based on recent studies, if you are starting out running and are between the ages of 20 to 45, a good heart rate when running should sit between 100 and 160 bpm, on average.

However, as we have talked about, the average will depend on several factors, including your maximum heart rate, lactate threshold, and current fitness level.

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If you don’t know your maximum heart rate or lactate threshold, you can use the basic formula below:

Maximum heart rate = 220 – Age

Keep in mind, that this is just an estimate, and your heart rate may vary from 15 to 20 bpm in either direction. However, for most beginners, it is a good baseline to start from.

The American Heart Association recommends targeting a heart rate of 50 to 75% of your maximum heart rate when exercising if you are a beginner.

However, for more vigorous physical exercise, you can work your way up to 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Below is a general guide based on American Heart Association recommendations.

Age in years Target heart rate (bpm) Maximum heart rate (bpm)
20 100–170 200
30 95–162 190
35 93–157 185
40 90–153 180
45 88–149 175
50 85–145 170
60 80–136 160

To keep track of your heart rate, you can use a heart rate monitor which is available in most sports stores worldwide.


What Is A Dangerously High Heart Rate During Exercise?

Going higher than your maximum heart rate for long periods has been shown to be dangerous for your health. This is even more dangerous if you are new to exercise.

Beginners that push close to or above their maximum heart rate often can increase their risk for cardiac events such as:

– Chest pain
– Discomfort

It can also delay recovery between workouts. So, if you are constantly reaching your maximum heart rate when running, it is important to back off. Otherwise, you may start feeling light-headed, dizzy, or even ill.

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If you find you constantly hit more than 200 beats per minute during a run, it is important to check that you don’t develop any palpitations, an irregular heart rate, shortness of breath, or chest pain. If you do, you should seek medical advice, as it could be a sign of life-threatening heart problems.

While many professional athletes reach close to their maximum heart rate in competition, it is important to know that their heart and body are used to this intensity level. However, as an average person, you need to be a little more careful how hard you push your heart rate until your body adapts to the stress placed on the heart and body.

So if you are starting running, stick to the table guidelines, and once you develop a stronger heart, body, and lungs, you can vary from these heart rate figures.

Is It Ok To Have High Heart Rate While Running?

In most cases, if you are beginning running you will have a naturally high heart rate. As you become fitter and more accustomed to running, your heart rate at the same intensity will lower. This is a sign that you are becoming more efficient.

For most people, it’s okay to have a high heart rate when running, especially if you are starting or getting back into running after a break. However, if you start to hyperventilate or get dizzy, your heart rate is probably too high. If this is the case, you should take a quick stop to allow your heart rate to drop.

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As a beginner, you should be targeting 50 to 75% of your maximum heart rate, so if you find yourself constantly surpassing this, you may want to slow down your runs.


What Is A Healthy Running Heart Rate? Final Words

Heart rate training can be an effective way in measuring your intensity levels and how hard your body is working when running. However, it is important not to push yourself to complete exhaustion regularly. Doing so can have some long-term effects on your health.

When starting running, try to keep your heart rate in a comfortable zone. Alternatively, work with a running coach or personal trainer. They can test your maximum heart rate and prescribe the correct training zones for you. Alternatively use the basic heart rate zone layout below. Bear in mind, there are different variations of heart rate training zones. So, use this as a basic guide to get started.

Zone 1: 50 to 60 percent of maximum heart rate
Zone 2: 60 to 70 percent of maximum heart rate
Zone 3: 70 to 80 percent of maximum heart rate
Zone 4: 80 to 90 percent of maximum heart rate
Zone 5: 90 to 100 percent of maximum heart rate

The bulk of your training should be run in zones 1-3. However, to improve your speed, fitness, and V02, it is important to spend some time in zones 4 and 5. However, before you start jumping into zone 4 and 5 efforts, make sure you can comfortably run in zone 1, zone 2 heart rate, and zone 3.

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