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MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,412
2/25/14 4:46 P

The maximum heart rate formulas are based on broad population averages. Like most statistical averages, they are a good guide for about 1/3 of the population, a somewhat useful guide for another 1/3, and less useful for the remaining 1/3.

If your heart rate is going to the 160s just from walking, then there is good reason to believe that your heart rate response to exercise falls outside the statistical average range. and that heart rate may not be a good guide to exercise intensity for you.

Coach Jen's link has great information on other measures of exercise intensity.

Just one other thing - make sure the HRM is clean, and has good and secure contact with your skin - loose contact can lead to inaccurate measurements.


ZURICHMAN SparkPoints: (1,775)
Fitness Minutes: (1,919)
Posts: 363
2/25/14 1:04 P

Getting your heart rate up to the max for 45 minutes probably isn't good for you. I would say then that you should try the walking running in increments. Never increase distance more than 10% per week and don't forget to take a rest day. A good plan for that would be to take your rest day before a long run for you now weekend.

good luck on your journey.

BTW 165 lbs is a decent weight to be running so there should be no problems there as long as you have really good running shoes.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (183,860)
Fitness Minutes: (178,655)
Posts: 15,629
2/25/14 11:48 A

Online Now  • ))
2-4 words is not moderate level..that's intense.

AMYRYLE SparkPoints: (43,931)
Fitness Minutes: (34,683)
Posts: 101
2/25/14 11:37 A

Thanks! I've read about the talk test on SP, and I can say 2-4 words max., so I know I'm working at moderate to intense level. It sounds like I'm doing okay though since I can talk while doing this workout.

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 64,991
2/25/14 10:32 A

Hi Amy

Target heart rate is an average calculation that doesn't work for everyone. It's not possible to work at 85-100% of your max heart rate for more than a minute or two, so my guess is that your max is just higher than what the formula suggests. You might try using a different method to gauge the intensity of your workout, such as the Talk Test or Rate of Perceived Exertion. You can find out more about both of those here:

As long as you don't have any health issues, it's better to work at a level that's challenging for you instead of decreasing the intensity to get your heart rate into a specific range.

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen

AMYRYLE SparkPoints: (43,931)
Fitness Minutes: (34,683)
Posts: 101
2/25/14 10:08 A

I got a heart rate monitor for my b-day in Nov., but only used it twice during all of Nov. and Dec. (i.e. only exercised 2 times in 2 months). For a New Year's Resolution I decided to try to train for a 5 K race planned for mid-April. I have been training for 3 weeks (2-3 times each week), and have started to try to incorporate running into my walking. I started walking for 45 min. on the treadmill, then moved to running 1 min. after every 4 min. of walking. The walking gets my heart rate up to 160's, and the running hits my max heart rate of 185 bpm. Since my heart rate stays up between 85-100% of my max heart rate for 45-55 minutes at a time, I was wondering if I should stick with just walking and try to increase my walking speed, if I should continue alternating between walking and running but do it for a shorter time, or if I should continue to push my body to get into shape. I'm in my mid-30's, 20-30 lbs. overweight, but completely healthy- no blood pressure issues,heart issues, diabetes, etc. I'm very competitive at everything I do and I really want to be able to run the entire 5 k w/o walking, but I don't know if I'm being too competitive and pushing myself too much too fast. Any insight from other runners, fitness trainers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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