Heart Rate Zones for More Experienced Runners

by Steve

I'm 57, weight 67.5 kg and I've been running middle distance runs now for about ten years.

From 2003 to 2008 I was running about 27 miles a week (8, 7, 12 being my weekly runs) and ran a marathon in 3:58 and a number of half marathons.

I then reduced my running but was still averaging 20-22 miles per week (6, 7, 8) At time I was running the 8 mile in avg 62 mins.

Due to a knee injury Sept 2009 I didn't run again until the start of this year but have now been running consistently for four months, I try to run every two or three days for one hour and normally do about 7 miles per run.

My speed is pretty constant. Although I used to do fartlek training (up until 2009), I don't at the moment.

Although I've always used a GPS device for my runs, I never used a heart rate monitor (although I've got a Forerunner 305), but have now started to use it.

I'm really surprised that about 50% of the run is in zone 4 and the other 50% in zone 5.

My average heart beat is 162 and max is 176.

Some of the stuff you read on the internet talk about training in zone 2 or 3, but to do this I'm literally going to have to crawl or walk a fair distance.

From what I've told you do you think it is normal to be in zone 4 and zone 5 so much?

It may be that much of the stuff I've read is aimed at more inexperienced runners.

I'd be interested to see what you think about my current runs and their level of intensity. Is this healthy or not?


running tips

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Steve,
Thanks for your question and the information provided.

The general heart rate information you find on the net is as useful for experienced as it is for inexperienced runners. You can find my version of it here:

Heart Rate Monitor Training

Your heart rate looks to be quite high. It's not necessarily a bad sign. It may indicate that you are pushing yourself too hard though.

You have quite a few years of running experience under your belt, but you have not been running for a longer time due to your injury.

It does take time to get back into your previous shape and the older you get the longer this will take.

I have had the same experience. After a long injury I have started running again since November/December. In the beginning months my heart rate was off the charts. It's only very recently that heart rate has come down to more normal levels.

I did notice though that I overestimated my abilities. I ran too fast in the beginning. Not much too fast, but enough to make the heart rate jump.

For now I would mostly go by feel. Make sure you do those runs at an easy conversational pace. You may find that if you slow down a little bit your heart rate drops more than a little bit. Worked for me.

Hope this helps.

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Heart Rate Monitor Training Questions.

Like this page:

Share this page:

Like this site:

[?] Subscribe To This Site

follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!


  • Beginner Running Tips

    Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.

  • Running for Weight Loss

    Aiming to lose a few pounds? Get into the Running for Weight Loss section for tips and advice.

  • Running Training

    The Running Training section of the site has got the most articles. It is constantly getting updated with new tips and information. A must-visit if you are serious about improving your running performance.

  • 5k Running Tips

    The 5k is a great distance to run and train for. The great thing is that you can do it quite often and see big improvements.

  • 10k Running Tips

    The 10k is a real challenge. You need to run fast for an uncomfortably long time! Check out this section if you are strong of mind and legs!

  • Marathon Running Tips

    The marathon is a massive challenge. Proper training is so important! Make sure to check out this section if you have got your mind set on the marathon!

What's New?

  1. 8 Essential Distance Running Tips for Beginners

    New to distance running and looking for guidance? Look no further! On this page I have compiled 8 essential distance running tips for beginners that will get you off to a flying start!

    Read more

  2. Best Running Tips :: 10k Running Program for Beginners - A 12 Week Training Program for Your First 10k

    Check out the perfect 12-week 10k running program for beginners. This training program is guaranteed to get you ready for your first 10 k race!

    Read more

  3. What is the Right Running Technique?

    I have started using your Beginner Running Program 3 and I have a question about my running technique. I've never run before. I read on many running

    Read more

  4. 70 Years Old - Want to Start Running

    I am 70 years of age. Started on one of your beginner programs am now in Week 2. Really excited at the prospect of getting to run a 5k. I play golf

    Read more

  5. Five Tips for Running the Mile

    Want to improve your mile time? Here are some tips for running the mile that should help make you faster.

    Read more