Heart rate is an indicator of the intensity of running exercise. There are also many runners who wear heart rate monitors such as smartwatches, activity trackers while running. But everyone's physique is different. Even if you run at the same pace, for example, Tom's heart rate is 158, and Lucy's heart rate is 164, can we simply say "Lucy's exercise intensity is stronger?".
The answer is: you can’t just look at the real-time heart rate to determine the exercise intensity. Heart rate changes at any time, ranging between the resting heart rate and the maximum heart rate. Of course, this value range also varies with each person's physical condition (including exercise habits, health status, age, etc.).
Therefore, when we use smartwatches to monitor the heart rate and thereby the exercise intensity, we can’t just rely on the heart rate during exercise. It is also necessary to consider resting heart rate and maximum heart rate at the same time.
What is Resting heart rate?
The resting heart rate can be measured by smartwatch for 1 minute in the supine position before getting up in the morning. If you are sitting or standing, your pulse will be higher. The resting heart rate of adults is generally 60-75/min. People who train frequently, especially endurance sports training, have lower values. Many amateur marathon enthusiasts have a resting heart rate below 50, while professional marathon runners have a resting heart rate of more than 30.
Training is able to lower the resting heart rate, it is mainly because the heart's contractility becomes stronger, and the pumping volume of each heartbeat increases. There are also many athletes who have hypertrophy of the heart (large muscle and large capacity). The amount of blood circulation required by the human body in 1 minute = the number of heartbeats in a minute * the pumping volume of 1 heartbeat. If the amount of blood pumped per heartbeat is increased, fewer heartbeats can be used to ensure the same blood circulation.
Therefore the decrease in runners' resting heart rate is the result of improved heart function, which means that they can adapt to more intense exercise.
What heart rate should I run?
A person’s heart rate has the highest point—maximum heart rate, and a lowest point—rest heart rate.
The so-called "maximum heart rate" is not mentioned in those formulas ("220-age" and the like), but the upper limit of your heartbeat during the actual exercise. This value is inherently fixed and needs to be tested by running. get.
The so-called "rest heart rate" is the heartbeat value when you enter sleep or just wake up. This value will decrease with long-term exercise. Generally speaking, the average adult is about 60-70, while the perennial exerciser is about 40-50. The lower the resting heart rate, the stronger the cardiopulmonary function.
The high point and low point of each person's heart rate are not the same. The interval before these two values is the heart rate interval in which you exercise. The closer the heart rate is to the high point, the faster the speed, the greater the intensity, and the harder it is to persist; the closer the heart rate is to the low point, the slower the speed, the lower the intensity, and the easier it is to persist.
When you wear a smartwatch during a run, watch for The low point and high points heart rate. The interval before these two values is the heart rate interval in which you exercise. The closer the heart rate is to the high point, the faster the speed, the greater the intensity, and the harder it is to persist; the closer the heart rate is to the low point, the slower the speed, the lower the intensity, and the easier it is to persist.
The heart rate interval obtained by subtracting the high heart rate point from the low heart rate point is called the reserve heart rate (maximum heart rate-resting heart rate = reserve heart rate).
To classify this heart rate zone can be roughly divided into an aerobic zone and an anaerobic zone. You can call the running in the aerobic heart rate zone "jogging"; the running in the anaerobic heart rate zone as "fast running". Of course, this definition is not very precise, but it is very practical in running.
Aerobic exercise, such as full marathon, long-distance jogging, etc., mainly uses fat as a source of energy. This state is basically between 59%-84% of the reserve heart rate.
When you are running in this heart rate range, your body will not produce a lot of lactic acid, you will feel comfortable breathing, relax your muscles, and run very easily. You can run for a long time without getting tired. This is why we like running with the help of smartwatch. I like comfortable jogging instead of the 400 meters or 800 meters that tortured the dead.
This interval is the main training intensity interval for our amateur runners. It can be subdivided into E intensity (Easy) and M intensity (Marathon).
As the name suggests, E intensity is easy running, which is between 59%-74% of the reserve heart rate value. E-running is the basis of aerobic capacity. All amateur runners should start from the E heart rate, and after running for a period of time, do not rush to accelerate, but appropriately lengthen the distance. Long-term training in the E heart rate zone can help you lay a solid aerobic foundation, and improve the fat burning and aerobic capacity of the muscles, increase the strength of the heart contraction, and make the muscle fibers stronger to avoid injury.
Generally speaking, for marathon runners, E-runs for more than 30 minutes will have a training effect, and the longest will not exceed 2.5 hours.
M-strength is better understood, that is, marathon running, which is between 74% and 84% of the reserve heart rate value. The M run can help you simulate the intensity of the competition and improve your ability to master the pace. As an aerobic run, its intensity is greater than that of the E run. It is recommended that the single training time should not exceed 110 minutes.
Anaerobic exercise, such as 100-meter, 200-meter, and 400-meter sprints, mainly uses sugar as an energy source, which will produce a large amount of lactic acid. At this time, your heart rate will basically be above 88% of your reserve heart rate.
When you are running in this heart rate zone, lactic acid will accumulate quickly, you will feel your legs getting heavier and sore, breathing more and more quickly, and you want to give up in minutes. This is why many people run daily to exercise, but they can’t stick to it every time-running too fast, the heart rate is too high, they can only feel pain, and can’t experience the joy of running.
This interval can be subdivided into A intensity (Anaerobic), I intensity (Interval), and R intensity (Repetition). For sprinters or elite runners who want to improve their marathon performance, raising their heart rate to the anaerobic zone can help them increase their maximum oxygen uptake, get faster speeds, improve running economy, and temper their willpower. This is also the main purpose of anaerobic training while monitoring your heart rate wearing a smartwatch.
There is a very small transition zone, which we call T intensity (Threshold)-the lactic acid threshold zone, which is located at 84%-88% of the reserve heart rate between.
This interval means the critical point of lactic acid, and the rate of lactic acid production is equivalent to the rate of elimination. When you train T-runs frequently, your critical lactate speed will increase, and your aerobic zone will also expand. This is also one of the "secrets" for long-distance runners to continuously improve their performance through training.
We talked about how to use heart rate as a metric in order to improve the quality of our run, there's no better time than now to order a RIG smartwatch to accurately monitor your heart rate!