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Heart Rate and Exhaustion

by Evie
(Melbourne)

I am a fit 25 year old with a BMI of 22 who has now been running for 2 years. I have estimated my maximum heart rate at 205 bpm.

When I run at a pace generally 6 minute kilometers (talking pace) my heart rate sits between 175-185. Is this normal?






I run with my friends who are similar size & fitness and their heart rates sit between 140-150.


running tips

My concern is exhaustion. Previous half marathons I have competed in my heart rate sits over 180 the whole race and I generally finish my last 3 kilometers over 200 bpm even though my pace slows.

I want to work up to a full marathon but see this as impossible because I hit the runners wall by the 18km mark.

Is this because my heart rate is so high?

And if so what can I do to bring it down? I don't feel that I run fast therefore I don't want to drop my pace.

Thoughts would be appreciated.


Answer by Dominique:


Hi Evie,
Thanks for your question about heart rate and exhaustion.

Your heart rate during easy exercise seems to be pretty high, but you do have a higher maximum heart rate than many people your age.

Heart rate is so personal and so much subject to change based on factors like weather, stress levels, fitness etc. I wouldn't worry about it too much at this point.

I don't think your heart rate is a severely limiting factor.

What you are experiencing during your half marathons is pretty normal. Most people would have a heart rate just above their easy pace. And as you get to the end your heart rate will drift up towards the maximum.

For shorter races you would see the same things happening. Towards the end your heart rate will go towards your maximum. It's just a sign you have given it absolutely everything.

So, I would not assume that just because this happens you would not be able to run and finish a marathon.

As long as you do the appropriate training, you should be fine. Check out my Marathon Training Tips for the info you need.

May see you in the Melbourne marathon!

Hope this helps.
Kind regards,
Dominique

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