Sports : Calculating your “Heart Rate Zones”

Recently I’ve picked up running again… After getting the right gear (shoes) to reduce the impact on knees and muscles and dust off my heart rate monitor, I went to check what my personal heart rate zones were.

Heart Rate Zones?
If you are not accustomed to the term “Heart Rate Zones”, then I would suggest reading the following article for more details. In basis there are four zones ;

  • Fitness Zone – 60 to 70% of your Maximum Heart Rate – Best area to burn fat (85% of the body fuel used).
  • Aerobic Zone – 70 to 80% of your Maximum Heart Rate – Best area when training for endurance. Increases heart & lung capacity.
  • Anaerobic Zone – 80 to 90% of your Maximum Heart Rate – Best area to increase the amount of oxygen you can consume.
  • Red-Line Zone – 90% to 100% of your Maxium Heart Rate – Only to be used in short bursts during interval. Should normally be avoided.

The concept of these zones is the “easy” part, next up is to determine your maximum heart rate…

What’s my maximum heart rate?
Determining your maxium heart rate is only a “best guess”. I suggest reading the following article to get a more detailled insight into the calculation methods.

Personal Example
I’m currently ~32 years old/young, so the combined calculations of Londeree, Moeschberger and Miller estimate my Maximum Heart Rate at 190 bpm (beats per minute). Using “Brian Mac’s Training Zone Heart Rate Calculator“, I came to the following results (Note : My “Resting Heart Rate” was 72 bpm.) ;

  • Fitness Zone – 143 to 154 bpm
  • Aerobic Zone – 154 to 166 bpm
  • Anaerobic Zone – 166 to 178 bpm
  • Red-Line Zone – 178 to 190 bpm