Heart Rate Zones

During my run on Tuesday of this week, I wore my HR monitor and was disappointed to learn that my “comfortable” running pace put my HR in the 155-161 range. According to my HR zones established during my VO2 Max test, this put me in Zone 3-4. In order to train aerobically and increase endurance, I need to train in Zone 2 (139-151).

So this morning, I strapped on the HR monitor and hit the pavement for another run. Keeping a close eye on my HR, I kept it below 151 for my entire run. If it jumped to 152, I would slow the pace. Average was probably around 148. One big problem…keeping my HR in this zone really slowed me down. Lap 1 was done in 9:35 (7:55/mile), Lap 2 was done in 10:15 (8:28/mile) and Lap 3 took me 10:38 (8:47/mile). Would I have to run this slow to build my endurance? I felt like I was barely exerting myself…well below what I would consider a “comfortable” pace.

Something wasn’t adding up. While on the bike, I can go all-out and not get my HR much above 160. Why was my running HR so much higher? So I pulled out my “Triathlete’s Training Bible” to see what it said about HR zones in running vs. cycling. Sure enough…they are different.

So the zones that I calculated based on my VO2 max test are only accurate for cycling. HR zones for running are 6-10 beats per minute faster. So my target HR for Zone 2 in running is 154-162. What a relief! I can handle running in this zone and my pace won’t suffer. I’m not sure how I missed this little bit of information about the different HR zones. It was in the early part of the book, which I read a few months ago. Or I may have been dozing off while reading that page!

Heart Rate Zones for Running
Zone 1 (recovery) 60-73% 134-153color>
Zone 2 (extensive endurance) 74-81% 154-162color>
Zone 3 (intensive endurance) 82-84% 163-168color>
Zones 4 & 5a (threshold) 85-93% 169-180color>
Zone 5b (anaerobic endurance) 93-95% 181-183color>
Zone 5c (power) 96-100% 184-189color>

Ran 3.63 miles in 30:28 (8:23/mile) – it was a little cold. I had my gloves, but could have used something to cover my ears!
30 minutes of weights (shoulders, traps, abs)

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