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Running based on heart rate

You can no longer ignore it. In sport there is more and more monitoring and also in the world of running more and more people are running with heart rate monitors. In this article you can read what a heart rate monitor does and what the pros and cons are.

What is a heartrate?

Your heartrate is the number of times your heart beats in one minute. The heart fills with blood and then contracts to pump blood through the body. We experience this as the beating of the heart. The heart rate is lower at rest. Your body needs less oxygen and nutrients than during exercise. With exercise your heart rate becomes higher because you need more oxygen and nutrients.

Your maximum heart rate is the maximum number of beats you can achieve in one minute. This will be lower as you get older. A commonly used formula to calculate your maximum heart rate is 220 - years of age, but this is a very bad one. A better formula to calculate this is: 208 - (your age x 0.7). This is only an estimate through a formula. These are therefore not exact values. By training a number of times on maximum effort with a heart rate monitor you can determine your maximum heart rate more reliably. Think of a training of high intensity. Please note: only do this if you are healthy and have no complaints!

Your resting heart rate is your heart rate when not doing anything. In contrast to the maximum heart rate, training does influence this. A trained person has a lower resting heart rate than an untrained person. The average resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. With well-trained people this can also be lower than 60. You can see, for example, that elite athletes who run marathons sometimes fall below 40 beats per minute.

Why run on a heart rate?

Your heart rate shows you the intensity of your training. If your heart rate is too high, than your training is harder than on a low heart rate. Too much running on a high heart rate increases the chance of injuries and overtraining. When your heart rate is low, you can doubt whether you will get enough training.

That is why it is important to divide your heart rate into heart rate zones to train more specifically.

What do you need to start training on heart rate?

A heart rate monitor! These days you also have heart rate monitors in your watch. In addition, there are of course also the heart rate monitors for around your chest.

Before training with a heart rate monitor you need to know what your maximum heart rate is so that you can calculate which heart rate you are in which zones.

You can classify the zones as follows:

ZonePercentage of maximum heart rateGoal of training in this zone
Zone 150-60%Recover from heavy training the day before or to run slowly for a long time
Zone 260-70%Improves endurance and fat burning
Zone 370-80%Improve pace for longer distances
Zone 480-90%Improve pace for shorter distances
Zone 590-100%Speed and sprints

What are the benefits of training with a heart rate monitor?

  • Train effectively

Through the heart rate zones you can train specifically on your goals. This gives you an effective training program.

  • Prevents overtraining

The heart rate shows how intensive the training is. Because you avoid running at a high heart rate, you make the chance of overtraining and injuries a whole lot less.

  • Right training intensity

This also works the other way. Of course you need enough challenge. A low heart rate shows that it is not yet intensive enough and that there is a low or even no training incentive.

  • Measure progression

If you can run the same distance and the same speed with a lower heart rate, your fitness has improved!

  • Heart rate changes due to weather conditions

Example, in warm weather, your heart rate increases. As a result, you will sooner achieve a higher heart rate and you will, for example, have to adjust your speed to train at the same heart rate.

  • You can see if you have recovered well

Your heart rate will also increase if you have not recovered well from training or if you are sick. So good to know this!

What are the disadvantages of training with a heart rate monitor?

  • Certain medications affect your heart rate

An example of this is beta blockers. These lower your heart rate, making it more difficult to train for your heart rate. It is also good to wear a heart rate monitor to keep an eye on this.

  • The time of day has influence

In addition to the weather conditions, the time of day also affects your heart rate. In the morning you have a longer heartbeat than at the end of the day. You should therefore take this into account if you are not always walking at the same time.

  • You are working with figures

Not everyone is a fan of this. Training with a heart rate monitor has many advantages, but according to some, the pleasure of training is influenced.