Determine Your Heart-Rate Zones

heart-rate zones

The old formula of 220-age = max heart rate has been discovered to be quite inaccurate, particularly for trained runners.

Unless you know your exact max heart rate, you can try the following:

  1. Calculate max heart rate (MHR):
    • Women 209 – (0.9 x age) = MHR
    • Men 214 – (0.8 x age) = MHR
  2. Measure resting heart rate (RHR): Lie in bed before getting up or drinking coffee, relax for 10 mins and then count your pulse for a minute.
  3. Determine your training heart-rate zones:
    • MHR – RHR = Working heart rate (WHR)
    • Calculate 70% and 85% of your WHR – then add RHR back on. That gives you your training zones for 70% and 85%.

Aim to run about 70% for all your easy pace runs and long runs. Running at 85% is considered harder tempo pace.

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Written by Jenny Nickelson

Jenny Nickelson has been a sports enthusiast since childhood. Because of her deep love to water, she started training swimming in early years. Today she swears on variety and does it all: from swimming, running and cycling to fitness, skiing, dancing and mountaineering.


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