Why is HR Important?


Training in the proper Heart Rate Zone will help your body develop the proper muscles in the proper way. You need slow runs to build the lungs and the blood pumping capillaries and you need the hard runs to build the heart and fast twitch muscles!

Long, Slow, Recovery, and Easy Runs 70-80%
Training in this zone improves the ability of your heart top pump blood and improves the muscles' ability to utilize oxygen.
The body becomes more efficient at feeding the working muscles and learns to metabolize fat as a source of fuel.
Decreased risk of injury.
aka Aerobic Zone
Most effective for overall cardiovascular fitness.
Increases your cardio-respiratory capacity--your ability to transport oxygenated blood to the muscle cells and carbon dioxide away from the cells.
Also effective for increasing overall muscle strength.

Garmin HR Check

Anaerobic Zone: 85%-95%
The  point at which the body cannot remove lactic acid as quickly as it is produced is called the Anaerobic threshold Zone. It generally occurs at about 80-88%.
Training in this zone helps increase the lactate threshold, which improves performance. Training in this zone is Hard.
Your muscles are tired and your breathing is heavy.
Not to be executed every day.

VO2Max/"Red Line"Zone:  95-100% "RACE PACE"
Things start to "burn".
You should only train in this zone if you are very fit, and only for very short periods of time. Lactic Acid develops quickly as your are operating in oxygen debt to the muscles. The value of training in this zone is you can increase your fast twitch muscle fibers which increases speed.
Monitoring your heart rate will help you control your efforts while training, and keep your body training safely!


"The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is a way of measuring physical activity intensity level. Perceived exertion is how hard you feel like your body is working. It is based on the physical sensations a person experiences during physical activity, including increased heart rate, increased respiration or breathing rate, increased sweating, and muscle fatigue. Although this is a subjective measure, a person's exertion rating may provide a fairly good estimate of the actual heart rate during physical activity* (Borg, 1998)."

#. = Work Intensity

0. Nothing at all
0.5. Very very weak
1. Very weak
2. Weak or light
3. Moderate
4. Somewhat strong
5. Strong or heavy
7. Very strong
10. Maximal effort

--> If you are not able to take and/or record an actual Heart Rate for a particular workout, record your "RPE" on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the absolute hardest. This will work as a fine substitute!


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Amy is a certified RRCA running coach and is the Training Program Coordinator for Fleet Feet Fort Mill. She began running almost seven years ago and quickly discovered her love of running and sharing that joy and knowledge with others! She is honored and grateful to have been given this opportunity to help others in our community reach their fitness goals through Fleet Feet’s Training Programs. There is great satisfaction and joy in helping someone else learn something new and achieve a dream. When not at Fleet Feet as a coach or Fit Specialist, Amy stays busy with her husband and five sons.

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