Watching My Heart Rate Helped Me Run 12 Miles!

Recently, what brought my training to the next level has been monitoring my heart rate.   Since using a heart rate monitor, and applying what the following Sportline article explains, I find that I don’t get as tired or sore after a run.

I am currently training for my first marathon. One thing I’ve done is follow a training program using the Runkeeper.com app.  It has been very helpful to keep variety in my training, and to help build both speed and endurance. I highly recommend it!

In addition, I have been able to maintain flexibility and avoid cramps, by using Ki-Hara Resistance Stretching.  An eccentrically based training program that creates gains in flexibility, strength and aerobic capacity.

I hope you find the information in this article as helpful as I did.

How can my heart rate help me get more out of exercise?

Turns out, your heart beat is a pretty big deal!

It’s actually one of the most important indicators of overall wellness, and it’s one of the most effective elements of any fitness program. Your heart rate not only controls your body but also the efficiency of your exercise. By monitoring your heart rate and aiming to stay within your target ranges, you will get the most out of any physical activity.

Your heart rate is the rate at which your heart contracts and is measured in beats per minute. According to the National Institute of Health, the normal adult resting heart rate falls between 60 to 100 beats per minute. To see how your fitness level is progressing over time, measure and track your resting heart rate (before any physical activity) on a weekly basis. As you become more fit, your resting heart rate will get lower.

How can my heart rate help me get more out of exercise?

To get the most out of your physical activity- whether it’s walking, dancing or aerobics- you need to make sure you are in your target heart rate zone. The target heart rate zone is typically 50-75% of your maximum heart rate. Find your target zone on the chart below and then spend the majority of your exercise time in that zone to make the most of your excercise.

TARGET HEART RATE ZONES

graph

Losing weight and managing to keep it off is a lot easier when you exercise within your target heart rate zone. To determine your target heart rate zone, first subtract your age from 220. That’s your maximum heart rate. To get the most out of any exercise, you should target 50% to 80% of your maximum heart rate.

Heart Rate Zones

Active Zone (50-60% of maximum heart rate)
Exercising in this zone reduces blood pressure and cholesterol and is ideal for fitness beginners or those on a low-intensity program. Almost all calories burned in this zone are fat calories.

Training Zone (60-70% of maximum heart rate)
Reaching this zone requires more intense aerobic activity and is perfect for fitness enthusiasts working to burn maximum calories and fat.

Endurance Zone (70-80% of maximum heart rate)
Exercising in this zone is generally recommended for athletes in training. Primary benefits of this zone are cardiovascular strengthening and elevated caloric burn. Active Zone (50-60% of maximum heart rate) Exercising in this zone reduces blood pressure and cholesterol and is ideal for fitness beginners or those on a low-intensity program. Almost all calories burned in this zone are fat calories.

Copyright © 2011 EB Sport Group

Before I Used A Heart Rate Monitor

Due to an ankle issue, I was behind on my training.  To catch up I would have to jump from 6 miles (my furthest run) to 12 miles.  That 12 mile run was my first run with the heart rate monitor.  The monitor helped me keep a conservative pace, giving me the endurance to last the entire distance.

If you found this article interesting, please leave your questions or comment below, and feel free to share it with your friends!

Leave a Reply