Q&A: Heart Rate Zones
Q: I always run with a heart rate monitor and can't figure out why my heart rate is so high, even when I don't believe I'm overdoing it. I ran a full marathon this year, my average heart rate was 175, and my max was around 195. I'm 52 and can get my resting heart rate to around 50. Am I miscalculating my heart rate? - Steve, Billings, MT
A: Standard heart rate zones are based on age and not fitness levels or testing like we do at Athletes' Performance and Core Performance Center, so they can be off by as much as 30 beats. In your case, use the peak number observed (195) as your top training zone for Energy System Development work. Take off 10 percent for the second zone and 25 percent off the first zone.