Your maximum Heart Rate and training zone lets you know if your training pace is correct.
Figure your target heart rate:
Method #1 Find your Target Heart Rate (thr) by subtract your age from 220 (226 for women) to calculate your Maximum Heart Rate (mhr). Find your training zone below and multiply that number times your maximum rate.
Method #2 The Karvonen Formula is a more accurate method. You must know your resting heart rate to use this method and insert your training zone from below. The correlation here is more directly linear: 60% to 80% of your Heart Rate Reserve, HRR, equals 60% to 80% of your functional capacity. To figure out your target training zone your must do this:
Take your resting pulse three mornings in a row, just after waking up. Add all of them together, and divide by 3, to get the average.
Let's say your average is 60 beats per minute.
(220) - (your age) = MaxHR < /EM >
(MaxHR) - (resting heart rate) = HRR < /EM >
(HRR) x (60% to 80%) = training range %< /EM >
(training range %) + (resting heart rate) = (your target training zone) < /EM >
220 - 35 = 185 (MaxHR) < /EM >
185 - 60 = 125 (HRR) < /EM >
125 x .6 = 75 (60% training percentage) < /EM >
125 x .8 = 100 (80% training percentage)< /EM >
75 + 60 = 135 (target training zone, in beats per minute) < /EM >
100 + 60 = 160 (target training zone, in beats per minute) < /EM >
So, your target training zone, in beats per minute is 135 to 160. Of course, to get a 15 second target simply divide each number by 4. That would be 34 to 40 beats over 15 seconds. When counting beats, start with the first beat as zero: ie. 0-1-2-3-4...38-39-40.
The most accurate method is a treadmill stress test administered by a professional. Clinical testing is recommended if you are over the age of 35, overweight, have been sedentary for several years, or have a history of heart disease in your family.
Measuring your Heart Rate:
1. Place your index finger on the side of your neck (carotid artery) between the middle of your collar bone and your jaw line. (You may also use the radial artery on the under side of your wrist.)
2. Count the beats for a full 60 seconds or count for 6 seconds and add a zero at the end. If you felt your heart beat 14 times in 6 seconds the number would be 140 for a full 60 seconds. Counting for only six seconds is a convenient method, of course it is more accurate to count for the full 60 seconds. You can use several varieties of this method (30 seconds x 2, 15 seconds x 4, etc.). The longer you count the more accurate your reading.
Healthy Heart Zone (Warm up) --- 50 - 60% of maximum heart rate: The easiest zone and probably the best zone for people just starting a fitness program. It can also be used as a warm up for more serious walkers. This zone has been shown to help decrease body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol. It also decreases the risk of degenerative diseases and has a low risk of injury. 85% of calories burned in this zone are fats!
Fitness Zone (Fat Burning) --- 60 - 70% of maximum heart rate: This zone provides the same benefits as the healthy heart zone, but is more intense and burns more total calories. The percent of fat calories is still 85%.
Aerobic Zone (Endurance Training) --- 70 - 80% of maximum heart rate: The aerobic zone will improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system AND increase the size and strength of your heart. This is the preferred zone if you are training for an endurance event. More calories are burned with 50% from fat.
Anaerobic Zone (Performance Training) --- 80 - 90% of maximum heart rate: Benefits of this zone include an improved VO2 maximum (the highest amount of oxygen one can consume during exercise) and thus an improved cardiorespiratory system, and a higher lactate tolerance ability which means your endurance will improve and you'll be able to fight fatigue better. This is a high intensity zone burning more calories, 15 % from fat.
Red Line (Maximum Effort) --- 90 - 100% of maximum heart rate: This zone is very intense and burns the most calories. You should be cleared by a physician before training in this zone. Only train in this zone for short periods of time and if you are in very good shape.