Elite Feet

Me and My High Resting Heart Rate

monitoring heart rate for runners

I have decided to take my training "to the next level" as they say and start using my heart to gauge my training. I am an avid Garmin user but have heard great things about the Polar watches for heart training so I picked up the Polar RS200. I have always known that my standing heart rate (STR) was a bit higher than most athletes. Despite the fact that I ran two marathons this fall, one under 3:30 and finished a 95 degree Chicago at 3:50, my standing heart rate is still 70 beats per minute. Most of my training partners are in 40-50 range. With this knowledge I decided to try the Polar and see what's up. Here are the details of what I've found:

  1. My RHR is very high for a high mileage runner. A few things may contribute to this: One, I am on Synthroid to speed up my metabolism because my thyroid is slow. Two, I am 25 pounds over my peak weight. I do this every year. I put on the weight in the winter, despite my continued training, and then lose it right back.
  2. My heart rate barely changes between running a 8:30 pace and 7:30 pace. It is abnormally high at 8:30 pace at 150 but doesn't get any higher until I start to push the pace under 7:00. My lungs and legs certainly feel the difference but my heart stays steady.
  3. My maximum heart rate (at an all out sprint) seems to be 180 which is completely normal. I was doing 6 X 800m interval speed workouts at 3:15 and I was at 170 bpm but really not very tired. The last one I sprinted got me into the high 170's but again there was more in the tank (the track was snow covered and not safe to push harder).
  4. That is the data I got from my first heart work out. Again, I am out of shape for me, but compared to most people I am in great shape. If there are any "experts" in this area, feel free to comment. I look forward to seeing what my improvement will be.

P.S. As I sit here and type my heart rate is still 83 but I did just work out an hour ago.