Running Questions - Answers
How Do You Find Your Max Heart Rate?
Avatar Carl Evans
11 November 2017

I am quite new to running and have decided to try another set of race training in 2 weeks. I went online the other to look for ways to identify the Max heart rate and have found nothing. Would anyone have advice on how to find your max heart rate?

Answer :
Richard Haberkost
12 November 2017


Training based upon heart rate allows a runner to perform at a personal level of intensity for the purpose of achieving training aims.

This means that you train at your bodies personal performance levels "smartly" rather than constantly training at a level which might be overly hard for you.

Identifying ( HR-Maximum ) means identifying the highest number at which your heart beats during each minute when you are subjected to your own personal level of performance stress.

There is the option of going to a private health clinic and paying them to run a series of test/physical activities, often on a running machine while hooked up to heart rate monitoring equipment.

Or you can do what is called a field test. Here's  what you do:

Do this field test and bring a training partner with you. Use a good trusted brand heart rate monitor and " note your own highest personal heart rate you can reach". This is going to be your maximum heart rate.

Familiarise yourself with heart rate monitors and terminologies used through research/reading the following: 

Heart Rate Zones what you need to know.

Heart Rate Monitors For you, all you need to know.

1. Do a set of warm-up routines on a flat surface, use a gym mat for more secure comfort. Be near to where you will do your run.
2. Select a hill which will take over twenty minutes for you to run up it, run up the ascent and push yourself up to the best running pace you can achieve and maintain, you need to keep that pace for 20 minutes.
3. Afterwards, return to the start of your run at the base of the hill/slope.
4. Repeat the run again, get your heart working and maintain the momentum for 3km, keep your eyes on your heart rate monitor, you will see that your heart beats are around ten beats higher than the value you noted.
5. Next, run down the hill/slope while allowing your heart rate to reduce the level of beats per minute where it was to a lower rate of 30--40 beats each minute.
6. Next, again start a run up the hill/slope for one minute at a high pace for which you know you can only maintain for one minute. Keep observing your heart rate performance on your monitor, now try to run half the full distance up the slope/hill while observing your heart rate. This will bring you close/to your maximum heart rate and you use this value to establish your maximum heart rate to set your personal sports zones.
7. After this self-test ensure that you cool down for a good amount of time 15-20 minutes.

You will now be able to train at a personal level of intensity which will benefit you the most for your personal training aims.

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