Pulse during jogging
Training according to heart rate More effective running through pulse control
Runners who monitor their pulse during exercise train healthier and more effectively. This is how training according to heart rate works.
If you want to train effectively, you have to address different training areas when running. Sometimes running fast, sometimes relaxing jogging, sometimes running for a long time – the more variable, the better. But how do you determine the ideal training area? Heart rate gives you a very good indication of how hard you're working when you run. We explain how to interpret your pulse value and present five different pulse zones that runners can use to train effectively.
In the video: Here's how training by heart rate works
Basic knowledge: Resting pulse and maximum heart rate
When we talk about heart rate, two pulse values play a decisive role: the resting pulse and the heart rate. the resting heart rate and the maximum heart rate; the latter is often also referred to as HFmax, the abbreviation for maximum heart rate. Heart rate as such is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. The heart rate stimulating part of this system is called sympathetic nervous system. Sympathetic activation, for example through exertion, leads to an increase in heart rate. The parasympathetic nervous system is the antagonist of the sympathetic nervous system. Causes a reduction in heart rate.
resting heart rate is the heart rate value measured in a state without any physical exertion. Resting heart rate can differ by up to 50 beats per minute in people of the same age, gender, height and weight. In contrast to the maximum heart rate, the resting heart rate gives a better indication of the endurance training status, but a low resting heart rate is not a reliable indication of a good endurance performance. As a rule of thumb, the more trained you are, the lower your resting heart rate will be. But even here there are exceptions, because for some world-class long-distance runners the resting heart rate does not drop below 50 beats per minute. For the majority of very well trained endurance athletes, however, a resting pulse of around 40 beats per minute is nothing unusual. For example, Jan Ullrich is said to have had a resting pulse of just over 30 beats during his active cycling career. In untrained people, the resting pulse is usually around 70 beats.
The best way to measure the resting pulse in the morning directly after waking up lying down, with a heart rate monitor or by hand either on the wrist on the thumb side or on the carotid artery next to the larynx (if the pulse is weak, the throbbing is easier to feel here): To do this, place the index, middle and ring fingers with light prere on the skin. The thumb is unsuitable for measuring, because it has its own perceptible pulse beat, which can falsify the result. The easiest way is to count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply the result by 4 to get the number of beats per minute. In order to detect changes, you should measure your resting heart rate at least once a week. Compare the results from week to week, and you will soon notice that something changes as the fitness level increases and the resting heart rate decreases over time. If the resting pulse rate is slightly elevated, this may be the result of overtraining, an upcoming infection or too little drinking.
The maximum heart rate is the number of heartbeats per minute that a person can achieve under the greatest possible physical stress. It depends very significantly on the age. The maximum heart rate cannot be trained, but it decreases in the course of life. To determine your maximum heart rate, there are three different accurate methods, which we explain here:
The best heart rate monitors for runners
Inexpensive entry-level model:
Polar Vantage M2 (to the test report)
Order here: Polar Vantage M2
The multisport watch is an absolute recommendation for runners, triathletes and also (almost) all other athletes who want to record their training and get guidance as well as feedback at the same time. No bells and whistles here, but all the easier to use.
Price-performance tip: Coros Pace 2 (to the test report)
Order here: Coros Pace 2
If you are a runner, cyclist or triathlete (from beginner to professional) and are looking for a solid watch to record your training with a long-lasting battery, the Coros Pace 2 is the right choice for you. The slim design fits even slender wrists and the light weight makes the watch extremely comfortable to wear and does not weigh you down.
Top multisport watch: Garmin Forerunner 945 (to the test report)
If you're looking for a new multisport watch, the Garmin Forerunner 945 is definitely a good buy, because it's the best multisport watch on the market. The running watch scores especially with the long battery life, accurate GPS, lightweight case, barometric altimeter, and a working software offers. In addition, there is a really very good navigation function including map display.
Train more effectively by monitoring your pulse
In our training plans, the pulse rate is the indicator that determines the intensity of training. We always talk about a certain percentage of the maximum heart rate, for example 60 minutes with 70 to 75 percent of the maximum heart rate. This means that your heart rate should be in the range of 70 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate during your 60-minute jogging session. If you're running on a graded course or in windy conditions, this may mean that your pace isn't constant because you have to run slower uphill or against the wind to stay in the desired heart rate range. But this is exactly the advantage of pulse-oriented running training: The load is constant during the training, which can be read from the heart rate and not from the speed.
– 12 weeks, 3 running sessions each – according to the most modern training methods – suitable for absolute beginners – technique, strength and stretching exercises – nutrition and equipment tips
Sport is nothing new for you. You play soccer or ride your bike regularly, but you don't have any running experience yet. With this training plan you will be able to run 5 kilometers at a stretch in just eight weeks – without taking breaks and getting out of breath. To do this, train three sessions a week with an alternation of running and walking. With each week, the amount of running increases, while the walking breaks become shorter. By the weekend of the eighth week, you are fit enough to jog 5 kilometers without pausing to walk – either just for yourself or perhaps even in your first 5-kilometer run as part of a running event. You run regularly. You already have competition experience. Now you want to tackle your first half marathon or top your previous time and run under 2:15 hours. With our training plan, you will train three, sometimes four times a week in varied units consisting of tempo units and steady endurance runs – and become fit for your half marathon in under 2:15 hours in 12 weeks.
– 12 weeks with 3 to 4 running units each – according to the most modern training methods – for advanced runners with first competition experience – with running technique, strength and stretching exercises – with nutrition and equipment tips – optimized for printout
– 12 weeks, 4 running sessions each – according to the most modern training methods
You run regularly and already have competition experience, perhaps you have already run your first half marathons. Now you want to run this distance for the first time under 2:00 hours. With our training plan, you will train four times a week with varied units of tempo units and steady endurance runs – and become fit for your half marathon in under 2:00 hours in 12 weeks.
– 12 weeks with 4 running units each – according to the most modern training methods – for advanced runners – with running technique, strength and stretching exercises – with nutrition and equipment tips – optimized for printout
The different heart rate zones
On the basis of your maximum pulse you can calculate the five most important pulse ranges, which are important for a meaningful training. These training areas are also found in our training plans for all runner goals from 5k to marathon.
1. Pulse range: the slow endurance run – 70 to 75 percent of the maximum heart rate
The first pulse range corresponds to a slow endurance run. This means in concrete terms: very low running pace. For most runners, the slow endurance run feels rather too slow at first, so stick closely to the values on your heart rate watch, especially the upper. Short slow runs of about 30 to 45 minutes serve for active regeneration, for example on the day after strenuous training sessions. In the half marathon and marathon preparation you train with the long run, the long jog, your long-term endurance and fat burning. The long, slow runs are the key training sessions for marathon success.
2. Pulse range: The quiet endurance run – 75 to 80 percent of the maximum heart rate
Calm endurance runs in the range between 75 and 80 percent of the HRmax should be combined with the relaxed endurance runs (3. Heart rate range) make up the bulk of any running workout. They develop basic aerobic endurance (aerobic: without oxygen debt, you don't get out of breath). During quiet runs at a feel-good pace, sociable conversation is always possible. The pulse control serves here as a pace control up and down, you run not too slow, but also not too fast.
3. Pulse range: The easy endurance run – 80 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate
The relaxed endurance run also feels like a comfortable pace for most runners, even if the pace is a bit faster than in the relaxed endurance run. During a relaxed endurance run, you often have the feeling that it is "rolling simply. Talking is still fine even in this heart rate range. In the second and third pulse range, most runners complete a large number of their runs, as this is usually the pace that is most comfortable for them personally. But be careful: don't make the mistake of doing all your runs in this range, otherwise you won't improve your performance!
4. Pulse range: The tempo endurance run – 85 to 88 percent of the maximum heart rate
A run in this heart rate range is a brisk endurance run, a so-called tempo endurance run. This means: high running speed, but without muscle overacidification. The pulse should remain stable. It is very important that you run in very slowly for five to ten minutes beforehand and then run out for the same length of time afterwards. The tempo endurance run can be found in every ambitious training plan. If you want to improve your best times in half marathons or marathons, you should intersperse it more often in your running training, but also 5- and 10-km runners benefit greatly from brisk endurance runs. At the upper limit of the fourth heart rate range is roughly your individual aerobic-anaerobic threshold. At this threshold, oxygen uptake through respiration is maintained. Oxygen consumption in the body cells just about the balance. Another term for the aerobic-anaerobic threshold is the lactate threshold, where lactate breakdown and lactate production are in balance. With time you will get a good feel for this threshold. Professionals can complete the full marathon in the tempo endurance running range. For well-trained recreational runners, the tempo endurance run is equivalent to half-marathon race pace. In training, you usually run 5 to 15 kilometers in this pace range.
5. Pulse range: tempo runs – 90 to 95 percent of maximum heart rate
These are tempo runs. This means: runs at almost maximum speed in interval form and with breaks in between. This training variation is important if you want to get faster. It is therefore in every ambitious training plan on the program. Shorter race distances (5 and 10 km) usually involve tempo runs between 200 and 800 meters, interval training in half marathon and marathon plans include tempo runs up to 2.000 or even 3.000 meters. As there is a fine line between highly effective training and overload, you should not experiment with this variant on the off chance, but stick strictly to your training plan. You can determine suitable tempos for interval training with our interval training calculator.
You can determine your individual pulse range with our Heart rate calculator can be calculated very easily:
Recovery speed: How quickly does the pulse rate drop after training??
As you become more fit, you will find that you recover more quickly after exertion. The faster the recovery after an exertion, the fitter you are. This progress is easy to measure: Warm up well. Run at full speed for two minutes. Then stop. Measure your pulse. As soon as the heart rate has dropped by one beat, start timing and note the value obtained after one minute. A value of 30 beats per minute less is considered good, 40 is excellent. The more beats less, the fitter you are.
How to train correctly with a heart rate monitor?
Current heart rate monitors such as the Polar Ignite 2 or the Polar Vantage M2 continuously measure your heart rate during training. They do this either classically and ECG-accurate with a chest strap or comfortably on the wrist, which is now also sufficiently accurate for most training needs with good watches. Your individual heart rate limits can often be programmed in so that you get a warning tone or vibration signal when you go out of the planned zone. Most watches allow you to choose whether the heart rate display shows your heart rate as a number in bpm (beats per minute) or as a percentage of your set HRmax. We regularly test current running and heart rate watches. You can find the results and all the important details about the watches' functions in this article:
The general conditions: What influences my heart rate?
The ability to view your heart rate in real time allows you as a runner to use your heart rate as a measure of exertion and to accurately dose your training load. But you have to know that the heart rate is very sensitive to external influences. Only those who know the general conditions are able to interpret their pulse measurements correctly.
Not only the dog on the track, but also other excitement such as waiting for the starting signal at competitions increases the heart rate. Close car traffic also increases the heart rate. It may even be that the pulse continues to rise because you are annoyed by rising pulse values. Under certain circumstances, this causes the heart rate not to drop at all over a longer period of time. By the way, the slower the running pace, the more sensitive the heart rate reacts to such influences.
Weather and dehydration
Nothing influences the heart rate more than the Body temperature. This means that during a long run in hot weather and with poor fluid intake, the heart rate will be 15 to 20 beats higher than under normal conditions. Heat, after all, leads to increased blood flow, among other things. On the one hand, because the muscles request blood from the heart in order to supply themselves with the necessary oxygen, and on the other hand, because the blood must transport the heat transported into the muscle to the surface of the skin so that the body does not overheat. Because of these multiple demands, the heart has to work harder in warm temperatures and the heart rate increases.
Another reason the heart doesn't cope as well with warm temperatures is because a lot of sweating decreases blood volume, and consequently there is less blood available, and thicker blood at that. Fortunately, the organism adapts to the warm temperatures over time, for example by releasing less fluid than usual through the urine. Or by increasing the blood volume from day to day and also sweating more effectively. The latter ensures that the skin remains cooler and less blood is needed. A loss of fluid (dehydration) can cause a drop in the heart's stroke volume. This must be compensated by an increase in heart rate.
Rain, on the other hand, has hardly any effect on body temperature and thus heart rate, cold only at very low temperatures. Strong headwind or tailwind can strongly influence the load of an endurance run. By measuring the heart rate, you are then able to keep the load constant regardless of the running speed.
Not only a fluid deficit leads to an increase in body temperature and heart rate. Especially Fever makes the heart rate go up. Even without a fever, an increase in heart rate at rest or under stress is the first alarm sign of an incipient disease. In such cases, a reduction in training or a break from training should be a matter of course. Also in the recovery period after infections, measuring heart rate can help prevent overload in training recovery by slowly increasing the load from the lowest heart rate zone.
If you are using your upper body excessively and changed movement coordination when the terrain is difficult to run on, there can be an increase in heart rate that cannot be explained by the increased intensity of exertion alone and must be taken into account when estimating heart rate. When running on a steep incline, the heart rate indicates the significantly higher cardiovascular load than when running on the flat.
Whether on a mountain vacation or in targeted altitude training: Already at 2.At altitudes of up to 1000 meters, the maximum possible oxygen uptake decreases by about 15 percent due to the lower oxygen content of the breathing air. This decrease is partially compensated for by an increase in heart rate during running. Especially during the first few days of an altitude stay, you will find an overly clear response of the heart rate to this situation. This increase in heart rate should be taken into account in any case when designing your training, even if this means that the usual long run should become a leisurely stroll.
Do different pulse ranges apply to women when running?
Women tend to have a slightly higher maximum heart rate than men. The training ranges calculated from this for the different endurance runs will therefore also be higher on average for women than for men (in absolute values, in percentages of HRmax the same limits apply). However, rules of thumb for heart rate quickly reach their limits, the individual deviations are too great. Basically, serious female runners (applies to male runners as well) should always undergo an individual heart rate or lactate test to determine their training zones.
Why is the heart rate higher in hot or cold weather?
In high temperatures in summer or freezing cold in winter, you get out of breath more easily and legs get tired faster? Also the pulse is higher than you are used to at the same pace? There is a very simple explanation for this: the external conditions, be it heat or cold, have a strong effect on our heart rate behavior. The body has to adapt to the external conditions: this costs it energy. The more extreme the temperatures – this applies to both heat and cold – the more force it takes to get used to them. This shows up clearly on the pulse watch. Therefore, the best times in races in extremely hot and extremely cold areas are also significantly lower than those completed at ideal temperatures.
What to consider when training in the heat or cold?
Very simple: run slower. Don't say that you can't do it, because many people have said that until we told them (e.g., that you can't do it). B. in our running seminars) have shown that it can be done. Just slow down in the summer when it's hot and in the winter when it's cold. In summer, you can also switch to the cool morning hours. In winter, experienced runners should generally cut back on training and run less than in spring, summer, and fall. Professionals often even take a winter break of several weeks.
What to do if your heart rate is too high while running?
Many newcomers to running with a sporting background wonder why their pulse rate rises much higher when jogging than in other sports. If you immediately enter a red zone while running, are out of breath and quickly have tired legs, you are making a typical beginner's mistake: you are running too fast. The solution is quite simple: Run slower! And slow enough to stay within the heart rate limits of the planned workout, for example, for a slow run, up to a maximum of 75 percent of HRmax. For this, a heart rate monitor can be helpful in the beginning, which gives control over the pulse. However, despite the heart rate monitor, you should not lose confidence in your heart rate. Losing feeling in your body. Therefore, simply leave the heart rate monitor at home.
The correct running pace can sometimes even be so slow that you can't run at all do not walk faster than when you are walking are. This is perfectly fine. The difference to walking is the higher training effect and energy consumption. When you run, you lift your entire body weight into the air with every step, whereas when you walk, one foot is always in contact with the ground and supports your body. By the higher training effect your efficiency develops with the jogging clearly faster than with the Walking or Nordic Walking. Therefore, you will be able to run at a much faster pace after just a few weeks of running, without your pulse rate immediately increasing.
So be patient with yourself, it will pay off. Because if you start running gently, you will soon be able to prepare for your first competition – without suffering from loss of motivation, excessive demands, fatigue and injuries. All these are side effects of a too fast start, the most common mistake beginners make.
If you are already an advanced walker but still have a constantly high pulse, you belong to the so-called High pulsers. Make sure that you feel comfortable with a high heart rate, that you do not experience a significant increase in breathing, and that you are able to cover longer distances without suffering any damage.
Heart rate jumps and sudden pulse increases
Are heart rate jumps at constant load harmless or signs of a cardiac arrhythmia?? During tempo sessions, changes in training heart rate are normal and desirable. But what if the heart suddenly beats 20 to 30 beats more frequently under constant load – usually at the end of an endurance run? For the heart rate increase under constant load. Constant outdoor conditions, different reasons are discussed. One of the decisive causes is the increase in body temperature under stress. This leads, among other things, to increased blood flow, which is necessary for cooling the body and which is accompanied by an increase in heart rate. The associated increase in heart rate can be five to ten percent, based on an effort of one to two hours. In addition to external factors such as heat, the increase in body temperature is one of the reasons for the loss of fluid during exercise (sog. dehydration). This can lead to a decrease in the stroke volume of the heart. This must be compensated for by an increase in heart rate.Another reason for the increase in HR is a decrease in muscle efficiency, especially during prolonged exercise. Here you will also find a clear dependence on performance. In well-trained people, the increase is smaller; poorly trained people show a more pronounced increase.
Ten percent increase is normal
Since all of the above mechanisms depend on individual conditions, the extent of the increase in heart rate cannot be calculated precisely, and there is no generally valid formula for this. A linearity of the increase is also not present. Rather, there is a rapid, almost linear increase at the beginning of the exercise, usually over the first five to 15 minutes, which then flattens out considerably and asymptotically approaches the maximum frequency at the end of the exercise. However, depending on individual conditions, running requirements and external conditions, the increase in heart rate at constant performance can be up to ten percent, in some cases even more.
What to do in case of bigger jumps?
If the changes in heart rate are even greater under constant stress (for example, from 154 beats to almost 200 beats), heart dysfunction cannot be ruled out. Sports physician Andreas Niess says: "A high pulse rate can be the result of a cardiac arrhythmia, most likely a tachycardia originating from the atrium. This does not necessarily manifest itself in symptoms at heart rates around 200/min and could also explain why you don't feel particularly stressed despite the high heart rate." If you observe such changes in your heart rate, you should undergo an exercise ECG on the treadmill. There you should then also be loaded up to the corresponding pulse values. "On the one hand, you could find indications of the occurrence of a rhythm disturbance and, on the other hand, you could also clarify how high the maximum heart rate is in your individual case.", summarizes Niess.
Is the energy consumption at the same pulse in different sports the same??
Energy consumption can be compared relatively well based on heart rate, because as heart rate increases, oxygen uptake also increases. This in turn is a good measure of energy expenditure. As a rule of thumb, the higher the heart rate and the greater the oxygen uptake, the higher the energy expenditure. It does not matter what kind of sport it is. Following this rule, it is easy to understand why, with a subjectively identical level of exertion, it takes significantly longer to train for the same energy expenditure on a bike than on a run: The heart rate and thus the energy consumption is usually significantly lower when cycling. On the bike, a smaller proportion of the entire musculature is used compared to running. As a result, you have a lower heart rate at the same level of exertion, take in less oxygen and thus also consume less energy. It is important to note that the comparison of heart rate and energy expenditure only works for one and the same person at low load intensity. If the load increases, the lactic acid concentration in the blood also increases and the organism uses another metabolic pathway for energy production. Thus, as the lactic acid concentration in the blood increases, the energy consumption increases faster than indicated by the heart rate.
What is the ideal heart rate for a marathon?
As you learned above with the different heart rate ranges, the aerobic-anaerobic threshold is about 88 percent of your individual maximum heart rate. You should not exceed this heart rate range during a marathon. The longer the competition distance, the slower the average running speed and the lower the heart rate. In a 10-kilometer race, you will naturally get closer to your maximum pulse than in a marathon. This is due to the fact that at fast running speeds with anaerobic energy supply (i.e. under oxygen debt) lactic acid (lactate) is formed in the muscle, which can no longer be broken down by the body after a while. Then it comes to the overacidification. The performance decreases rapidly.
The load intensity at which the degradation of lactate can no longer keep pace with the new formation is referred to as Aerobic-anaerobic threshold or lactate threshold. Very well trained runners are able to run close to this threshold and maintain this maximum sustained effort for an entire marathon. The aerobic-anaerobic threshold can only be determined more or less accurately in a sports medicine laboratory, but roughly speaking it is around 88 percent of the individual maximum heart rate.
Conclusion: Training according to heart rate is individual and therefore very effective
For training control Heart rate the parameter of choice. Because the pulse rate reliably shows exactly how intense the training is at that moment under the given circumstances such as distance profile, weather or exhaustion. Therefore, you can orientate yourself much better by your pulse than, for example, by your pace.
Address different tempo areas in a structured training session. Most of the training is done slowly (with 70 to 75 percent of the HFmax), calm (75 to 80 percent of the HFmax) and loose (80 to 85 percent of HRmax). In faster areas you are only running to a smaller extent. It is important for running training according to pulse that you know your very individual maximum heart rate, because it is the basis for precisely determining the ranges.
The Resting pulse is the second important pulse value that you should measure regularly. From your resting pulse you can see how your fitness is improving, but also whether an infection is approaching or you are training too much and risk overtraining.