Running is a great exercise, as it not only helps you lose weight but it also improves your overall health. To get better results, you need to pay attention to your heart rate while running. The results you get from running depend heavily on the intensity level, and checking your heart rate is a great way to know how intensive the workout is. This is also important to beginners who are running too hard too soon, resulting in a much higher heart rate but poor physical results.

What Is the Average Heart Rate When Running?

Exercise physiologists believe that paying attention to your heartbeat is the easiest way to know the level of your running intensity. Your heart rate goes up and down in a systemic way, so you can consider those contractions to understand how fast or slow you should be running.

Heart Rate Formulas

You can figure your heart rate while running using a couple of different formulas. Here is more about them:

To find your maximum heart rate, simply subtract your age from 220. For a 30-year-old individual, the max heart rate would be 190 beats per minute.

To find your average running heart rate, you should first find your resting heart rate and then subtract it from your max heart rate. If you are 30 years old with a resting heart rate of 60, your average training heart rate is somewhere close to 128.

Heart Rate Zones

In order to improve your performance, you have to run until your heart rate is above your average training heart rate. The aerobic heart rate zone is 70-80% of your max heart rate. It means that for a 30-year-old, the aerobic heart rate zone would be 190 x.70=133 and 190 x.80=152. Therefore, your heart rate should stay between 133 and 152 beats per minute for maximum results.

Daily Running Zone

The American Heart Association offers a comprehensive heart rate chart to help you calculate your workout zone, but it is usually effective for people who do not run in higher intensity zones. The chart also relies on the 220 minus age formula, but has a wider zone of 50-85% of your max heart rate. You can keep your heart rate in that range to get good health benefits.

Find Out What Works for You

You need to understand that every person has their own fitness variations, so what works for someone of your age may not be suitable for you. It is important to check your heart rate on a regular basis to help find the correct average. You should also consider your level of running, age, intensity, and overall health to determine the best average heart rate while running.

Factors That Influence Your Heart Rate During Running

After checking your heart rate regularly, you will realize that it changes from training to training. The same route that you found quite easy yesterday might suddenly become more demanding for no apparent reason. It is normal because so many things other than your level of aerobic fitness can affect how you feel during your workout session. Here are some common factors affecting your heart rate during your workout.

Different Heart Rate for Different Activities

Keep in mind that your heart rate is going to change with a change in activity, and that is mainly because different activities utilize different muscles. That is probably the reason why paddling and cycling are less intensive than running; in fact, these activities have maximum heart rates 10-15 beats slower than running.

Heart Rate and Humidity

Expect your heart rate to change with a change in climate. Your heart rate goes up when environment becomes hot and humid. Even if you continue to run at a set pace, your heart rate will still go up gradually. Sweating during a workout is your body's way to cool itself down, but humidity in the environment can affect this mechanism. Your body temperature goes up together with heart rate.

Heart Rate and Hydration

Your heart rate will increase when you are not properly hydrated. Everyone knows how important hydration is, yet too few people pay attention to this aspect during workouts. If you don’t drink enough water, it directly affects your blood volume. Your heart rate goes up with your blood volume decreasing. Keep in mind that you can become dehydrated even when you are working in cold environments, so be sure to increase your fluid intake if your heart rate continues to go up even when you have not changed pace and other variables.

Heart Rate and Your Altitude

Heart rate while running may depend a lot on your altitude. That is mainly because of the lower air pressure, which makes it difficult to supply more oxygen to your lungs. This makes your heart work harder, resulting in a higher heart rate even when there is no change in other variables. The good thing is that your body has the ability to adapt to higher altitude, but it is going to take several days or even weeks. Therefore, it is better to keep your intensity low in the beginning while your body is still getting used to the new working conditions.

Heart Rate and Carbs

If you do not provide your body with enough fuel, your heart rate will go up during a workout session. You can get energy from fats, carbs, and proteins. Your body starts burning carbs when you increase your intensity. If you start to run low on carbs, it will become difficult to maintain your pace at a given heart rate, which is going to change your subjective feeling. In other words, you are more likely to tell yourself that you will never run again. A simple remedy is to consume food high in carbs.


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