Your target rate when you are running should be 50-85% of your maximum rate. Here is the method that most runners use for determining their target.
The first thing that you want to do is to take your “resting” heart rate. The perfect time to do this is to do when you first wake up in the morning – before you even get out of bed. Place two fingertips on one of your pulse sites – either your neck or your wrist. Be careful not to press too hard. Count the beats of your heart for one minute.
Do this for three mornings. Write down what your pulse rate is. Then, after the third morning – average those three reading to get your average rate. (Add the three together and then divide by three).
Now you want to determine what your maximum rate is. Take your age and then subtract it from 220. For instance, if you are 40 years old – – – 220 – 40 = 180. To determine your target rate you take your maximum rate – your resting rate and multiply it by the intensity of your workout (50-85%) then add back in your resting rate.
So, following our example, let’s say that you want to run at 50% of your target. Let’s also say that your average resting rate is 72. Now, let’s calculate your target rate.
220 – 40 = 180. 180 – 72 = 108. 108 x.50 = 90. 90 + 72 = 162.
162 would be your target heart rate in this example. You can determine this on your run by counting it yourself or by wearing a heart monitor. If you were planning on a harder workout and your heart rate is quite lower than your target – then you know that you may want to kick it up a notch if possible.
By checking your heart rate every morning before you get up – you can keep a check on your body. If some morning your heart beat is significantly higher, you may not be fully recovered from your run the day before. Then, you know that you should take an easy day to recover fully.
Knowing your target heart rate can help you become a better runner as well as keep you from doing too much, too soon. This will help you stay on the roads for a long, long time.