Optimum heart rates for racing

1 to 20 of 29 messages
08/01/2007 at 15:17
Hello everyone, just a question about heart rates. I know they say the optimum training HR is between 60%-80% but does anyone know what advised heart rates are for set race distances? I would presume for example that a half marathon would have a different on to a 10K.

cougie    pirate
08/01/2007 at 15:28
I think my Half Av HR is about 88% of max.
Reckon my 10k would be a little bit higher, but its probably all very personal. If you're not used to running that hard, you won't be able to do it.

I tend to go on effort more than HR myself.

So 5k - flat out
10k - slightly less than flat out
Half - fast
Marathon - steady

Really useful eh ? ;-)
08/01/2007 at 15:34
Spot on!
Have a brownie point.

The HR that you can sustain will depend on the amount of training you've done.
08/01/2007 at 16:03
I run 50 miles a week and have been running nearly 2 and a half years. I have 37 min 10k PB and 1.24 Half Marathon.

My problem is my mind is weak when I race these days and I lack the mental power that used to make me a better runer. Although on a treadmill I can run a lot better as I set the speed and then keep to it as for obvious reasons I cant lose concentration and slow down whilst on the treadmill.

If I can work out the heart rate thing it would be similar and staying within the set HR parameters would help me a lot until I can rebuild confidence as a runner again.

cougie    pirate
08/01/2007 at 16:05
Mark - what about doing a race with milemarkers on - so you know whereabouts you are with your PB and so every mile you get a check ?
08/01/2007 at 16:46
I like Cougie's classification, but I question 'flat out'. This implies (at least, to me) 'as fast as you possibly can'. But doesn't this mean sprinting?

Now you can't sprint for 5000 metres, so it's back to the original question...
cougie    pirate
08/01/2007 at 17:41
OK - it was a bit tongue in cheek - but its pretty much flat out. To me anyway.

What I want to know is, how come I can run a marathon non stop, but if I want to get home in a hurry I can only manage about half a street before I'm puffed out ?
08/01/2007 at 17:53
As for the mile marker proposal I would no more rely on the mile markers in the average race than national rails timetable although Sir Rodger Bannister would have been proud of me in the Brighton Super heroes 10K last year as I broke his record during one of my mile splits.

The running a few blocks thing whilst late for work happens to me to. I put it down to the extra weight and reduction of free movement from clothing and baggage. Also you are resisting the run too as you really dont want to be doing it and feel uncomfortable and focus on the negitivity.

Anyway I guess as for the heart rate question I will just have to race a 5k as hard as I can and see what rate I consistantly hold. Perhaps a VO2 max test would clear things up for me? Any ideas how I can test this?
08/01/2007 at 22:02
The following rates may be of some help it was taken from "Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot" by John L Parker.
one mile 98-100%, 5K 90%, 10K 85%,1/2 marathon 80%, marathon 75%
08/01/2007 at 22:14
Thats interesting Cat - cos I did a 10k yesterday which was as hard as I could possibly have run (I think!) and my heart rate was 182 i.e. 85% of max.

So there may well be something in that formula...
08/01/2007 at 22:18
Well thank you very much I will now try this out and see what happens.

I thank you all for your help
cougie    pirate
09/01/2007 at 09:40
I find it so hard to keep my marathon HR down. Maybe I'm still under trained for it, but my HR just drifts in the second part of the race.
09/01/2007 at 11:00
Well the heart rate can race a lot especialy in a marathon. Its all down to dehydration and the less water you have the lower blood volume.

That means the blood gets thicker and the heart has to work even harder to transport the same amount of oxygen.

It happens to us all as I dont think its possible to hydrated in a marathon. I even notice it in a 10K.
09/01/2007 at 11:44
My max HR is about 188. I do 10Ks at around 170, which is around 90%. To be honest, 85% of MHR on a 10K would be far too slow for me!
09/01/2007 at 12:02
those figured from Parker are Working HR not Max HR, and are for less experienced runners.
09/01/2007 at 13:53
Please can someone give me some guidance!

I am training towards a half marathon in a couple of months time, and I am aiming for 1hr 30.

Now, I currently run 8 miles at about 1hr 28 minute half marathon pace, with a HR of 153 average. Its steady at this rate through the distance, so my plan is to just up it about 1 mile per week, if I can. I run hills once a week and a long slow run at the weekends.

I'm a bit worried that I am pushing too hard here - using the 220 minus your age (I'm 43) formula, I am looking at running for 90 minutes at 88% of max.

Anybody help me?


11/01/2007 at 11:33
I've just bought an HRM, but obviously haven't got it set right. I tried 3 miles as a test at a fairly good pace (for me) and apparently I spent all but 1 min above 'the zone'and a lot of it at 100%. recorded Ave 157. max 169. How do I work out my targets? The 220-age thing is way off for me as I'm 52 (female)and 55ish resting rate. There must be more to it than that?
I am trying to increase my pace, or rather maintain it for a 1/2 marathon, not just 10K.
Can anyone help please?
11/01/2007 at 12:28
The 220 minus age thing is about as reliable as the BMI scale ie very little.

What you need to do is work out your maximum HR yourself. The best way is to find a nice hill thats long and steep and do reps up it. You will really need a HR monitor as you cant really count 190 beats per minute. So check your heart rate before you start then you need to run up the hill 3 times as hard as you can. Then take a 1 minute standing recovery and do the 3 reps again. Take your pulse.

This should be your maximum heart rate or as close as you will get.

Also when I say do it as hard as you can I mean pace it for exhaustion at the end of the 3 reps, 1 minute recovery then total exhaustion at the end of the 2nd set of 3.

As for "the slow one" you are training way too hard. I am 28 and run 50 miles a week minimum and I do not go outside 145-150 BPM as a steady traing run. My maximum HR is 195.

Since you are 43 I would guess that your threshold is at least 10 beats per minute less than mine. I run a half in 1.24 and 10k in 36.

So according to the books which I go by you need one 90-120 minute long run a week, either hill reps or tempo run on tues, reps of 8x3 minutes - 4x6 minutes (or inbetween) on a fri or sat and 2 or 3 steady paced (65-75 BPM) runs of 45mins to an hour with the remaining 1 or 2 days off.

You need the steady runs to be solely in the areobic zone and not creeping outside. The idea of the steady runs is for your body to recover from the hard anaerobic runs whilst still building stamina.

It seems to be the best way to do it as believe me I have tried lots of ways and got myself into terrible states.

Well I know I started the forum to ask about heartrates but since I have learnt a lot in the last few days I may as well pass it on so any questions I will try to answer.
11/01/2007 at 12:45
Thanks Mark. I'll give the hill reps a try - I live at the top so won't have to stagger far home to recover! Hang on a min, how long is long? in mins perhaps?
11/01/2007 at 22:47
Hi Mark,

thanks for that. Sorry for the stupid question, but what's the "aerobic zone" and anerobic mean?

Oh, I assume you mean 65 to 75%, not bpm?

cheers, nick
1 to 20 of 29 messages
Previously bookmarked threads are now visible in "Followed Threads". You can also manage notifications on these threads from the "Forum Settings" section of your profile settings page to prevent being sent an email when a reply is made.
Forum Jump  

RW competitions

RW Forums