Staying fit is the key to a healthy and wholesome life, and most people who run are aware of that fact. Some people run to lose weight; few do it to maintain their fit body, and yet others either run to improve their health or to break away from the monotony of a sedentary lifestyle. But do you think you are making the most out of your running time? Experts say, “Run with your heart, not with your legs.” Your heart rate is a good indicator of the intensity of your workout. Want to know about heart rate zones or what is target heart rate training?
Read on to learn more.
A good workout regime encompasses a balance of frequency, duration, mode of exercise, and intensity. While the first three are simple concepts, the twist here is the intensity. Intensity defines how hard you exert your body while you are exercising. By measuring your heart beat, you can set the pace of your training session and gradually increase the intensity. Thus, monitoring the heart rate is extremely important especially in cardiovascular assessment and training programs.
But, you need to remember something!
Pushing your body beyond the permissible heart rate can be detrimental to your body and may cast negative and long-lasting effects.
If you have just shifted from a sedentary lifestyle, then going for high-intensity running training is a strict no-no. You need to make the transition gradual while continuously measuring and logging your heart rate. This will enable you to measure your progress in quantifiable terms and allow you to step up the heat in your exercise schedule slowly.
What is Heart Rate Zones
Heart rate zones are a range that defines the upper and lower limits of training intensities. It is linked to aerobic and anaerobic thresholds. The aerobic heart rate zone is different for each exercise or sport. For example, for fat burning, the range is 50–75% of your heart reserve rate, while for fitness it is 75–85%.
Learn what is normal heart rate for men, what is a good resting heart rate, and what is normal heart rate for women.
For defining your heart rate zones, you must acquaint yourself with some basic terminology. However, first of all, you should know your normal heart rate. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply it by 6; the number is your heart beats per minute. The normal heart rate for men is between 70 and 72 beats per minute, while the normal heart rate for women is between 78 and 82 beats. This variation is due to the difference in the size of the heart, which is typically smaller in females than males. A smaller heart will pump less blood with each beat, and therefore needs to beat at a faster rate.
Resting Heart Rate (RHR)
You can check this in the morning immediately after you wake up but before getting out of bed. Count the number of heart beats per minute. The average resting heart rates for children above 10 years and adults is 60–100 beats per minute. For adults and athletes, the average resting heart rate is 40–60 beats per minute.
Heart Rate Reserve (HRR)
Heart rate reserve is the difference between your resting heart rate and the maximum heart rate. The reserve denotes the extra heart beats you have available for exercise.
Target Training Heart Rate
Soon after the running workout, you can calculate your target training heart rate using the target heart rate zones calculator.
Why does your heart rate number matter to you? Well, by knowing your heart rate percentage, even if you don’t run or play sports, you can catch the signs of early heart disease, defects, or other related health conditions. While running, it is very useful
Well, by knowing your heart rate percentage, you can catch the signs of early heart disease, defects, or other related health conditions. While running, it is very useful to know the beats per minute to understand the way you are running and make changes if necessary. If the percentage of beats per minute is too high, then you are exerting yourself more than usual. This means you should naturally slow down. But if the beats per minute are too low, then you can push yourself to move a little faster, to your best capacity.
If you do find that you have a heart-related condition, then consult a professional physician to check which types of exercises and workouts to avoid. You should check the types of activities you can engage in and if you require monitoring. With this information at hand, you can begin planning your customized target ranges and goals. Do not be disappointed if you cannot attain a higher target than you hoped for, everyone has varying ranges. Now that you know your body and limitations, you will be able to surpass your own range in no time! Remember, this is a major achievement.
While you are checking your heart beats per minute and running, try to reach a target area of 50 percent in the first few weeks. Eventually, as you train, move up to a higher target of around 85 percent. You will be surprised how naturally and easier it is for you maintain an increased heart rate while running.
The target heart rate range should be 50–85% of your maximum heart rate. If you want to know how to calculate maximum heart rate, then read the heart rate chart. The following heart rate chart or pulse rate chart shows the estimated target heart rates for different ages.
Now you can use the following equations for making your calculations:
In the first method, there can be a variation of 10–20 beats per minute. The second method is an exercise tolerance or stress test. It is done under a physician’s supervision using a treadmill, wherein the speed and incline of the treadmill is gradually increased to elevate the heart rate until it reaches its highest level. However, before learning how to calculate and monitor your heart rate, you need to first know your resting heart rate.
Below are five different heart rate zones; plan your training sessions according to these zones and see the difference in the results:
Zone I (Recovery Zone)
In this zone, the heart rate range is 50–60% of the maximum heart rate; it is a very light-intensity zone and is suitable for beginners, who can get ready to train in higher heart rate zones. At this stage, you can indulge in sports like jogging or brisk walking.
Zone II (Endurance Zone)
This is an endurance improvement zone where your heart rate range is 60–70% of the maximum heart rate. Your body is working toward breaking down of body fats and getting you in shape. This stage is a crucial part of every runner’s training program.
Read our article “ Proper Running Form for Beginners: Guidelines to Follow”
Zone III (Aerobic Zone)
Zone III improves your blood circulation in the body and breaks down the sugars in your body for energy. Thus, this zone improves your efficiency and adeptness. At this stage, you can easily upgrade from a beginner to a moderate zone.
Zone IV (Threshold Zone)
From this zone, high-intensity workout begins. Your heart rate range is 80–90% of the maximum heart rate. Your body is burning glycogen to meet its energy requirements. This zone includes activities like sprinting, high-intensity interval training, power lifting, and most athletic sports.
Do not give up; remember, “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”
Zone V (Anaerobic Zone)
This is the maximum heart rate zone where the range is 90–100 % of the maximum heart rate. Your body – heart, respiratory system, and blood—will be working at its maximum capacity. Like Zone IV, this can be incorporated into an interval training in your training schedule.
Customize Heart Rate Zones for Running
If you think the zones mentioned above are not working out for you, then you can even customize your heart rate zone. You can check your heart rate using the formulas discussed above and set your own heart zone. Another easy way to customize your heart rate zone is using Fitbit apps like iCardio, iRunner, and iBiker. They will personalize your heart rate zones for the best workout experience.
Read our article “ Top Android Running Apps for Tracking Your Run ” . Your customized Fitbit heart rate zones are created where your heart rate is continuously tracked for optimizing your exercises.
Monitoring the cardio heart rate is vital for your own safety. By tracking your heart rate during exercise you can ensure that the workout or training program you are following is safe. If you go beyond your normal range, that is, 60 to 100 heart beats per minute while exercising and 40 heart beats per minute while resting, then you are going beyond the safe heart rate zone. You should look for alternatives or take rest, or you can even consult your physician.
Recording your heart rate is, therefore, an excellent tool to gauge your progress. By regularly tracking it you can easily achieve your desired goal. While working out, if your heart rate is not going beyond your resting heart rate, then it is time to put in some more efforts. Improving your heart rate zones will boost your performance and will fetch you favorable results in less time.
So start with measuring your resting heart rate and include the different heart rate zones in your training schedule to reap the benefits. There are four crucial factors to fitness: assess, enable, sweat, and succeed. Remember, “Good things come to those who sweat.” Get ready to sweat and sweat it right. Tell us in the comment box which zone you belong to and how you included your heart rate zones in your training schedule.
Read the Benefits of Long Distance Running!
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