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What is the Ideal Heart Rate Zone for Running?

Regarding the suitable heart rate zone for running, let’s answer it from three perspectives:

  • The meaning of heart rate and heart rate zones
  • How are heart rate zones divided and what do different zones mean?
  • When it comes to running, what heart rate zone should you choose?

The meaning of heart rate and heart rate zones

First, it’s a good habit to pay attention to your heart rate (and the heart rate zone you’re in) when running. Compared with pace and exercise time, heart rate can more accurately reflect the intensity of your exercise and the effect of exercise. It can also tell you situations in which your pace cannot be expressed – such as whether you have exercised too much and whether you have any abnormal conditions in your body that you have not yet exercised. Perception.

We recommend not only seeing the current instant exercise heart rate, but also knowing the heart rate zone you are in. Calculations aside, how should runners measure their actual maximum heart rate? This article mentions:

Many people monitor their heart rate during exercise and just want to know the current heart rate value to judge exercise intensity and physical condition. This is only part of the purpose of heart rate monitoring. The heart rate value is just a number, and its meaning is actually not that great. What’s more important is to know the heart rate zone level where your current value is, and compare it with the percentage of the maximum heart rate or reserve heart rate (reserve heart rate = maximum heart rate – resting heart rate).

For example, if a family car and a sports car reach the same speed of 180km/h on the highway, the former is already “doing its best”, while the latter still has room for speed increase. Similarly, most ordinary people and professional athletes will be out of breath at a heart rate of 170, but the latter can maintain this heart rate for a long time. Therefore, we need to know our maximum heart rate and resting heart rate, so that the current heart rate value will be more meaningful.

Therefore, for different people, if they know their heart rate while running and the range of this heart rate, they can clearly understand their current state of exercise and the effects of exercise in that state.

For example, for a person who loses fat through jogging, his/her running heart rate should be as evenly placed in the fat burning zone/aerobic endurance zone as possible; for someone who practices return running or sprinting, his/her exercise heart rate may be in the anaerobic endurance zone/ in the maximum oxygen uptake zone.

How are heart rate zones divided and what do different zones mean?

Heart rate zones are usually divided into 5 zones (Zone), Z1, Z2, Z3, Z4, and Z5. Some are more detailed and have 7 intervals.

This article: Three calculation methods, five zones—understand the heart rate zones during exercise? There are more detailed instructions.

The Z1-Z5 heart rate zones represent 5 different exercise intensities respectively: warm-up zone (Z1), fat-burning zone (Z2), aerobic endurance zone (Z3), marathon pace zone (Z4), anaerobic endurance zone ( Z5).

The motion states corresponding to these intervals can be seen from the names. For example, when warming up before starting formal exercise, the heart rate is generally in the warm-up zone (Z1); usually when we call jogging, the heart rate zone is in the aerobic endurance zone (Z3).

To put it simply, if your purpose of running is to burn fat and jog, then just run in the Z2 heart rate zone; if your goal is to participate in marathon endurance training, which is what some long-distance running enthusiasts call training, then the heart rate zone will be in Z3. In fact, the heart rate of most people participating in marathons is often within the Z3 heart rate zone, and rarely reaches Z4; if your running is a 400/800-meter sprint on the playground, the heart rate zone will be in the Z5 range.

When it comes to running, what heart rate zone should you choose?

When most people run, they refer to aerobic jogging, and their heart rate is between 60-70% of their maximum heart rate. This heart rate zone is also called the “fat burning zone”. During long-term running at a constant speed, the body burns fat to provide energy, so it is also called by many people the most effective running and weight loss zone.

In addition, running in this range can also maximize the body’s aerobic endurance capacity. That is, the more aerobic running you do, the more obviously your endurance level will improve. For runners who aim to complete a marathon, we also recommend that the proportion of aerobic running in daily training should reach 60% or higher.

There are also various algorithms for heart rate zones. To know your heart rate zone, you need to know these two basic data: maximum heart rate and resting heart rate. These two data can also be used through algorithms to obtain reserve heart rate, maximum oxygen uptake, heart rate zone, etc.

The simplest calculation method for maximum heart rate is 220-age. There are many other methods for calculating maximum heart rate under this answer. How to measure maximum heart rate?

Measuring resting heart rate is much simpler: Choose a morning when you have enough sleep and a relatively regular life. After waking up, sit up and stay quiet for 1 minute. Record the value measured by the heart rate monitor after 1 minute. Average it over several days to get your resting heart rate. resting heart rate. The resting heart rate of ordinary people is generally between 55-70, and the heart rate of top marathon runners and cyclists will be as low as below 50.

One point to note: the more data you collect and use the heart rate monitor for a long time, the more accurate the calculated heart rate zones and other data will be. It can also better guide your exercise (and recovery).

In addition to Z1-Z5, the heart rate zone also has the distribution of EMTAI.

Therefore, for most people, running usually refers to aerobic fat-burning running. This kind of running can burn fat to the greatest extent to achieve the purpose of fitness and weight loss. It can also best exercise your aerobic capacity and is good for the body. Less consumption;

For such jogging, the heart rate zone is in the aerobic fat burning zone, which in simple terms is 60-70% of the maximum heart rate;

If you want to know your fat burning zone, you need to know your maximum heart rate (and resting heart rate). Today’s heart rate exercise meters, such as Garmin’s, can give detailed data very accurately;

Once you know your heart rate zone, you can run within that zone to get the most out of your run. At the same time, based on the heart rate data, you will also get other exercise guidance, such as detailed running plans, physical status, required recovery time, etc.;

I hope that all runners can achieve their exercise goals by understanding their heart rate (and heart rate zone)!