Before going any further I advise before any physical exercise is carried out, a complete and thorough warm up activity must be done, and likewise, before any activity is ended, a complete cool down followed by stretches must be completed!!
To be able to ‘train to our heart rate’ we first need to know the value of our maximum heart rate (MHR). It will also be handy as a tool to monitor improvement to find out our resting heart rate (RHR).
The easiest way to find out these values is to use a heart rate monitor.
First we will look at RHR. Put on your monitor, and lie down for 20-30 minutes doing absolutely nothing. After this time, see what your monitor is recording. Record this value.
If you don’t have a monitor, do the same, but take your pulse over a minute and record this value.
Next we will ascertain MHR. Do this by going for a very very gentle warm up, and then running as hard and as fast as you can for 500 metres. Do this 3 times and take the average reading, although they should all be around the same.
If you don’t have a monitor, a useful way to predict your maximum heart rate is to take your age away from the figure 220. For me I am 30 years old. 220-30=190 beats per minute. This is actually spot on for my measured maximum heart rate! But bare in mind for some it could be way off the mark!
Now we have our RHR and MHR. Why are these important or useful? I will start with the easiest – if we can record our RHR once a month and monitor it for improvement, then we should hopefully see the value come down as our heart becomes a bigger stronger more powerful muscle!! Just write this value down on your calendar every month!
Why is our MHR important?
At different levels of our heart rate when compared to our maximum heart rate, small physiological changes take place in our body. For example one heart rate range might trigger fat burning, where another heart rate range might trigger a development in our cardio vascular system. If we can find out these certain heart rate ranges, then we can work within them, and then be more successful at achieving our goals!!
I will discuss these ranges in tomorrow’s post.
Happy running Stoke F.I.T.