Running heart rate

I kinda gave up on heart rate monitoring for various reasons years ago, but I noticed my cycling HR is much lower than it used to be out of curiousity Im wondering what the state of HR is in my running.

Im not really up for an all out thirty minutes to establish a baseline, can you work from training paces back to MaxHR or LTHr?

Not really I don’t think, as it all depends on your unique make up and response to max work.

I can live at a very high percentage of my max for example, others will train at much lower percentages.

Gotta get on the pain train I’m afraid!


Isnt LTHR like near your 10k effort?

that depends on how hard you do your 10k…but I assume you mean MLSS rather than LTHR

I dont know really I only brought it up because they are standard acronyms asked for when creating HR zones.

You need to think times not distances, a 27 minute 10km runner and a 80 minute 10km runner are not remotely in the same place of the HR zone theory

Personally I think keeping an eye on HR is realy useful. Pace and power are often seen as objective but HR might better describe how my body is doing whilst producing whatever pace or power I am at.

The last two episodes of Simon Ward’s podcast with Stephen Seiler cover estimating values so might be worth a listen.


absolutely, so prescribing both where available is useful


Okay so I guess Im thinking maybe Im not pushing hard enough on my half iron run and maybe my HR can inform that. And/or maybe my easy runs arent easy enough.

From recent runs with a little rounding:

Pace per km HR
6:30 145
6:00 150
5:30 155
5:00 160

I know time is also a factor but it doesnt seem to change all that much. My standalone halfs were 5:14/km at 160 HR, my last half iron run was 6:13/km at 148 HR.


Do you mean that because your HR is lower in the HIM run? If so, I would totally expect that to be the case.

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Well yes, I think I should be able to 6:00/km, rather than 6:13, and my HR indicates I wasnt trying as hard as I could.

ignore the HR for now…how hard did you think you were trying?

As per the thread I think I wasnt trying hard enough. Thats why Im looking at HR to support or decry that position.

Whether you could have gone faster or not I don’t know but you can’t expect the same HR for the run in a HIM as you would in a HM as you’re fatigued when you start.

If you were to do a 1.9km swim, 90km bike and then did your max HR test you couldn’t get as high a HR because you would start it fatigued.

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Whilst a standalone pace may act as a guide, if you got to the end of your HIM and were feked, then your s/b/r was to your maximum ability. If you were first to the bar, then perhaps you could have run harder.

Your run paced will always have to factor in the swim & bike plus weather & terrain etc…

It is possibly more usual to learn to set your pace for all three disciplines, but particularly bike and run, based on progressive brick sessions during training.

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True, but how much different is okay, how much a cause for concern?

The swim was nothing outrageous, and by the numbers I undercooked the bike, yet my run was still 20mins slower than my open half time. Im looking for ten minutes slower, most people talk about only running five minutes slower than their open time.

If 12bpm lower indicates a normal level or high level of fatigue for my half run, then my problem lies somwhere else.

If 12bpm lower indicates a lack of effort or a low level of fatigue, then the problem is in my run.

I found some peaks from traditional efforts;

Bike ramp test Aug 2020, HR peak 184
10k run race Nov 2018, HR peak 181

Monthly general HR always shows over 190 peak. Often just over 200 in the past two years but they look like anomolies rather than a graph that has steadily tracked up to that peak.

I find it a fairly slippery subject to get a grip on, but found
This an interesting read about using heart rate to guide run training intensity. Specifically about using HR to keep the intensity low, when trying to build an aerobic base and improve the aspects of fitness that go with that.

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I think the gap between your fresh run time and triathlon run time is down to overall swim, bike and run fitness rather than effort. Or at least that is the biggest factor. The fitter you are in all 3 the smaller that gap will be.

As @explorerJC asks, if you felt you went as hard as you could have, you probably did. A reduced HR in the HIM shows that centrally, your body found it less stressful to produce that speed.

ETA: [quote=“joex, post:16, topic:1951”]
If 12bpm lower indicates a normal level or high level of fatigue for my half run, then my problem lies somwhere else.

If 12bpm lower indicates a lack of effort or a low level of fatigue, then the problem is in my run.
Where the gap in fitness lies is difficult to assess with only run info. But the reduced HR is directly because of fatigue, assuming you’re trying which I’m sure you were. My first IM marathon, my avg. HR was 135, my 2nd it was 150 I was fitter and importantly the bike was cancelled. So I had a bit of fatigue from the swim but obviously not the cycling so my HR was nearer a fresh marathon avg HR.


But as above I said, the swim was fine and I undercooked the bike. TSS was only 130 something.

Was it? As above running 6:13/km at an HR 148 was like a normal training run - it fits into the pace/HR training chart I posted above.

I appreciate all the replies, guys.

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