Heart rate while running: how to determine heart rate zones

Useful basic notions to know when practicing endurance sports:

Anaerobic Threshold (ANP) – this is the load level at which the formation of lactate in skeletal muscle exceeds its breakdown, so that lactate begins to gradually accumulate in the general circulation system. The value of the anaerobic threshold in highly skilled athletes is approximately equal to 90% of the CPI.

Maximum Oxygen Consumption (MPC) is the amount of oxygen absorbed by the human body in 1 minute. It is believed that it is the IPC that is the influencing and limiting factor in performance in cyclical sports.

On the topic: Maximum oxygen consumption (MOC): what does it depend on and how does it affect running results?

Anaerobic Metabolic Threshold (ANEP) – this is the level of exercise intensity at which the concentration of lactate in the blood begins to increase sharply, since the rate of its formation becomes greater than the rate of use.

VO2 Max – the maximum amount of oxygen (in milliliters) per kilogram of weight that you can absorb in one minute during maximum physical activity.

5 heart rate zones

Between the values ​​of “resting pulse” and MHR, there are different pulse zones that correspond to the intensity of the training and its characteristics. Specialists identify five pulse zones. In this case, the difference between the next and previous pulse zones is 10% of the maximum heart rate. Training in each of the zones has its own advantages. There is no single scientific name for these areas, but there are clear characteristics for each, and color designations are often added to sports gadgets to help non-professional athletes navigate.

Very low intensity wellness area (white)

50-60% of MHR. The norm at the heart rate is 115-120 beats / min. There is an improvement in overall physical endurance. Training in this zone improves overall fitness, aids recovery, and prepares you to train in higher heart rate zones. Training in this zone is the most comfortable and easiest. This zone is best suited for people who have just started exercising or have a low level of fitness.

Low or fitness zone (blue)

60-70% of MHR. The norm at the heart rate is 120-135 beats / min. Training in this zone helps increase overall endurance. Studies show that when you train in this zone, you ensure the mobilization of fat and the transport of fat to the muscles. The quality of muscle fibers and the density of capillaries increase. Training in the second zone is an integral part of every runner’s training program. When training in this zone, 85% of fat, 10% of carbohydrates and 5% of protein are also burned. Increases the total number of calories burned compared to the previous zone. Improve the condition of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

Aerobic zone (green)

70-80% of MHR. The norm is 135-155 beats / min. Optimal area for endurance training. This type of running trains the aerobic capacity of our body. It stimulates the development of a network of small capillaries in the muscles, which allow a more efficient delivery of oxygen. The number and size of blood vessels increases, the volume of the lungs increases, the functional state of the respiratory system improves, the size and strength of the heart increase. As a result – a gradual decrease in resting heart rate. Training in this zone increases the efficiency of blood circulation in the heart and skeletal muscles. When training in this pulse zone, lactic acid begins to flow into the bloodstream.

Anaerobic zone (yellow)

80-90% of MHR. The norm is 155-175 beats / min. Training in this zone develops maximum performance and improves endurance at speed. When the pulse reaches 90% of the MHR, the oxygen carried by the blood begins to be insufficient for oxidative reactions, so the cells go into anaerobic mode without oxygen. The fats in this zone are practically not burned, and the carbohydrates are used as energy.

A byproduct of anaerobic metabolism is lactic acid. This causes a rapid feeling of fatigue in the muscles, so training in the anaerobic zone will not work for a long time. This is a short-duration, high-current charge. When training in this zone, the indicator of maximum oxygen consumption improves, which means that “acidification” of muscle fibers will occur later. The athlete becomes much more resistant. The ANPO value increases.

Maximum area (red)

90-100% of MHR. The norm is 175-185 beats / min. Develops maximum performance. As soon as your heart rate approaches 100% of the MHR, the maximum load zone begins. The body works at the limit of its capacity, consuming all available reserves and buffer substances, and the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system work with the maximum possible efficiency. Lactic acid will build up in your blood and after a few minutes you won’t be able to continue exercising at that level of intensity. Such training is typical of professional athletes in the pre-competitive period. For people who want to lose weight or simply improve their health, exposing themselves to such loads is not only unnecessary, but also dangerous.

Heart rate zones: what heart rate to run?

7 simple tips for heart rate training

  1. Beginner runners during the training process should alternate the first four heart rate zones.
  2. The warm-up is designed to prepare the body for more intense physical exertion and should take place in the second pulse zone.
  3. Recovery training after high intensity training should take place entirely within the green heart rate zone.
  4. Regular heart rate monitoring will not only help track recovery, but overtraining as well.
  5. Trained athletes with great experience perform interval training not by pulse, but by time, because. so it is easier to control the load. However, the pulse values ​​are still taken into account by them.
  6. If you are a beginner runner, at the initial stage you do not need to train in the anaerobic zone. If you want to lose weight, alternate training in the fitness and aerobic zones. If that’s not enough for you and you want to improve your own endurance, you can add anaerobic training to your program.
  7. Perhaps one of the easiest ways to explain the difference between the aerobic and anaerobic zone is in the phrase, “If you can talk while running, then that’s your aerobic zone.” If you are running at such a speed that you can no longer speak freely, then you are running in the anaerobic zone.

Many sports doctors recommend that beginners over the age of 25 who are serious about jogging take medical tests to determine which heart rate zones to train in. As a rule, this test is carried out using a bicycle ergometer, on a treadmill or with special exercises requiring maximum physical exertion. This test should only be performed under the supervision of a sports physician.

When you go out for a workout with a specific goal, run focusing on your heart rate, trying not to exceed a certain heart rate zone. And in this way, it is possible to distribute the entire training process over different periods, depending on the defined tasks.

Read also: