Heart Rate on Hills

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  • #6977


    I am wondering when running hills for a zone 1 run if it is necessary to keep the heart rate under the zone 1 upper limit for the entirety of the run – including during climbs OR if it is ok if the heart rate goes above the zone 1 limit on hills but the average heart rate for the run is within the zone 1 range? Please let me know your thoughts as I try to make sure I am doing the zone 1 training properly. Thanks.

Posted In: Mountain Running

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    Anonymous on #6978

    Hi John,

    If your goal is a Zone 1 workout, but you exceed the upper limit of that intensity, then the stimulus of the workout changes. In general, it’s best to stick to the planned intensities so that you’ll get the desired response from the workout.

    With respect to the heart rate data, it’s best to work off of the maximum heart rate that you achieve rather than the average. This is for the same reasons mentioned above. For example, an average heart rate of 150, with peaks and valleys of 170 and 130, will be a very different workout than one with peaks and valleys of 155 and 145.

    For this reason, it’s normal to have to change from running to walking if the demands of the terrain increase.

    I hope that helps.

    Scott (S)

    Luke Nelson on #7045

    Scott is correct with his comments. I wanted to add that with the goal of the run being zone 1 you are working on your aerobic capacity. If your aerobic capacity is not enough to handle hills in that workout without heart rate going up too much you need to focus on easier terrain to build it. As your capacity grows you will be able to handle more varied terrain within the heart rate parameters.


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