Heart Rate Training for Running

Share: This page provides some simple training guidelines based on monitoring your working heart rate.

These guidelines are built on the advice from www.runningforfitness.org.

Your Heart Rate Settings:

  • Your resting heart rate is 60
  • Your maximum heart rate is 190
You can change your heart rate settings on /About_You/Training:

Some Simple Zones:

Zone What it does Heart Rate - % Heart Rate bpm
Long, slow runs, easy or recovery runs Training in this zone improves the ability of your heart to pump blood and improve the muscles' ability to utilize oxygen. The body becomes more efficient at feeding the working muscles, and learns to metabolise fat as a source of fuel. 60-70% 138 - 151
Aerobic zone or "target heart rate zone" Most effective for overall cardiovascular fitness. Increases your cardio-respitory capacity: that is, the your ability to transport oxygenated blood to the muscle cells and carbon dioxide away from the cells. Also effective for increasing overall muscle strength. 70-80% 151 - 164
Anaerobic zone The point at which the body cannot remove lactic acid as quickly as it is produced is called the lactate threshold or anaerobic threshold. It generally occurs at about 80-88% of the Heart Rate Reserve. Training in this zone helps to increase the lactate threshold, which improves performance. Training in this zone is hard: your muscles are tired, your breathing is heavy. 80-90% 164 - 177
VO2 max - "Red line zone" You should only train in this zone if you re very fit, and only for very short periods of time. Lactic acid develops quickly as you are operating in oxygen debt to the muscles The value of training in this zone is you can increase your fast twitch muscle fibers which increase speed. 90-100% 177 - 190

Some Training Sessions:

Session Type Why you should do it Frequency Heart Rate % Heart Rate bpm
Recovery runs Gives you time to recover from harder workouts. Use recovery runs the day after hard workouts. < 70% < 151
Long, slow runs. Builds endurance, and develop the strength of your muscles, bones and joints. Helps develop the metabolic system to enable you to burn more fat. Burn more calories, and so reduce weight. At least one long, slow run a week. 80-90% of your training mileage should be at recovery run pace or long slow run pace. 67% - 77% 147 - 160
Lactate (or anaerobic) threshold pace Increases the ability of the running muscles to use available oxygen to convert carbohydrate and fat fuel into output. No more than once a week. No more than 10 to 15 percent of total training mileage. About 3-8 miles a week. Beginner:
77% - 83%
160 - 168
82% - 88%
167 - 174
VO2 max pace Improves the body's ability to transport blood and oxygen. Improves running economy. No more than once a week. No more than 4 to 8 percent of total training mileage. 95% -98% 184 - 187


Important note #1

Don't just follow this advice - keep reading. There are lots of brilliant resources out there to use, including:
Important note #2

"The material in this website has been provided for general information purposes only. None of the information on this site is intended to constitute specific medical, phyiscal or training advice; and none of this information necessarily reflects the opinions of the authors or of any of the sources listed. This information is not intended to create any relationship between the managers of the website and the recipient. The information is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or current.

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If you use the information on this website, or on any website to which this website is linked, you do so at your own risk."

You are responsible for your own training - if you're in doubt, especially medically, then always seek professional, trusted advice.