A Little Something For The Ladies

If you were expecting some pictures of me in a Speedo, sorry to disappoint you. This post has to do with calculating a woman’s maximum heart rate, which if you are serious about training, you need to know. Many runners, cyclists and other exercisers monitor their heart rates by taking their pulse (or wearing a heart rate monitor) and rely on a calculated maximum heart rate number to gauge the intensity of the workout. The typical goal is to stay within 65 to 85 percent of the estimated maximum heart rate, depending on whether the athlete is trying to build aerobic capacity or increase endurance.

In a study of nearly 5,500 healthy women, scientists discovered that a decades-old formula for calculating heart rate is largely inaccurate for women, resulting in a number that is too high.

The commonly used formula subtracts a person’s age from 220. But based on the data collected by the Northwestern Medicine in Chicago study, the right formula for calculating a woman’s maximum heart rate is a little more complicated: 206 minus 88 percent of a woman’s age.

So if you are 30 years old, your calculated max heart rate would be
206 – (30 x 0.88) = 179.6 bpm

Of course, this just gets you in the ballpark. If you want to know your actual max heart rate, there are many running/cycling tests that can find this number for you. Just do an internet search to find them.



1 mile repeats with 2 minutes rest in between (this is one minutes less than my rest during previous 1 mile repeats). I think 3 minutes was too long, 2 minutes gives my HR plenty of time to recover.
Warm-up (ran to the track) – 1.37 miles in 9:44 (Avg HR = 144) 7:06 min/mile pace
1) 6:39 (162)
2) 6:42 (163)
3) 6:52 (163)
4) 6:44 (166)
Cool-down – 1.37 miles in 9:56 (159) 7:15 min/mile pace
Total Workout: 6.74 miles in 58:43
For whatever reason, my speed running to and from the track continues to increase. The first time I used the track at Waggner High (June 8th), it took me 10:39 (7:46 min/mile pace) to get there and 10:23 (7:34 pace) to get back. I’m going to try and get it under 7 minute pace next week. No real reason for doing so; just to see if I can!


Pretty simple workout
7 minutes of drills, then around 15 minutes of swimming at an easy pace
Total workout: 1104yd in 22:25 (35:44 min/mile pace)



7.44 miles in 56:21 (7:34 min/mile pace)
Avg. HR = 159 bpm
I knew from the beginning that this run was going to be a struggle. Turns out I was right…my legs felt heavy and tired the whole way. I could blame it on the fact that I went to the Louisville Bats game last night and only managed 5 hours of sleep, but it was worth it, time with my Dad and brothers at the game was lots of fun. Anyway, I had planned on running some hills today, so even though I was feeling sluggish, I stuck with the plan. The hills on this run included running up and down two overpasses…two times each. What I didn’t realize until I looked at my RunKeeper data is that “man-made” hills (i.e. interstate overpasses) do not show up as hill on my GPS. So while the elevation below shows one big hill in the middle, there were actually two small, steep hills on either side of it.


14 minutes of warm-up and some drills…as well as around 2 minutes of fighting with my leaky goggles.
1/2 mile (888yd) swim at race pace done in 16:46 (33:13 min/mile pace)
Total workout: 1584yd in 31:34 (35:04 min/mile pace)
The goggles that I wore this morning are typically ones that I only use during races. I’m really glad that I decided to use them this morning. I’m not sure why, but I couldn’t get them to make a good seel around my left eye and water continued to leak in. I’ll try them again next week, if they still leak – I’ll be making a new purchase before next Saturday’s race!

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