Heart Rate Running for Results

Heart Rate Running for Results

Published by Alfred on Aug 13th 2019

Allow me to put my coaching hat on for a moment. I promise I won’t get too geeky on y’all - maybe just a little - but hopefully this insight will provide some guidance to your running over the next couple months. We all love running, but this oppressive heat is making it a beat down out there right now. It doesn’t necessarily have to be if we have the right focus toward the big goals that lie ahead. Assuming most of us are training for a Fall / Winter long course (half / full) event, your training plan should be periodized so that this training period is focused on increasing functional capacity - or, call it your Base Phase (Vigil 1995). Training during the Base phase should be mostly at or below your aerobic training threshold (ATR). In his book Road to the Top (Vigil 1995) coach Joe Vigil provides a useful formula to determining your ATR. I’ve been using it over the last several weeks and like it better than any other formula I’ve used to guide my running by heart rate. The formula is this:

  1. Set max HR
  2. Set resting HR
  3. Subtract resting HR from max HR - then, figure two-thirds of that number
  4. Add result of two-thirds result to your resting HR and that is your training threshold (+/- 5bpm)


  1. Max HR = 185
  2. Resting HR = 47
  3. 185 - 47 = 138
  4. 138 * two-third = 91.9
  5. 91.9 + 47 = 138.9
  6. 138.9 (+/- 5bpm) is my training threshold

Let your aerobic training threshold HR guide your runs during this phase of training - be committed to the process and patient. This will make your runs more enjoyable - your recovery will be faster - your running volume should increase - and your aerobic capacity will increase. All this will prepare you for the next phase of your training where the intensity will increase - and you will be ready!

Have a good run - ao

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