Music, Goals and Max Heart Rate W12R3 - Bridge to 10K

Bridge to 10K
11,860 members15,637 posts

Music, Goals and Max Heart Rate W12R3


Week 12 Run 3 tomorrow. I've had various plans before and after graduation and decided to work on a music playlist. That took me into researching tempo. 'Laura' talks of a 160 to 165 bpm max tempo but some of my favourite music is 175 to 180 bpm tempo. I decided to do some research and 85% of (220 - 63) gives me a theoretical safe peak safe heart rate of only 133 bpm but I'm running quite happily at a peak heart beat rate of 161 bpm albeit finishing 4.02k in 29.26 mins with enough breath to hold a conversation so . . . the plan now is to reduce weight (I'm 3st overweight) and only increase speed or distance if I stay within peak heart rate of 160. So, my question is this - what is likely to bring my peak heart rate down fastest a) more runs doing the same thing b) speed work c) endurance work d) a mixture? Thanks everyone who even made it to the end of the question. (My screenshot of Sunday's run excludes approx 1km and 10 mins of warm up and down). p.s. Blood pressure is fine at 123 over 72 and a resting heart rate of 59 bpm and no health issues.

13 Replies

You could build your aerobic base by keeping your HR below 65% of your MHR. When your HR crosses the target walk until your HR has dropped 10 bpm and then jog again. At the start, I would only be able to run the count of 4 breaths before my HR shot above 140 bpm but I found that after about 1km each run it settled down. After about 8 weeks my HR would edge up steadily to 125 bpm (my target) and I then found that I could pick up speed without my HR surging. I now feel like I could run all day at 125 bpm.

That was something I hadn't considered - the interval training approach as the best means. Thank you so much.


Hi GBBK. I have a Fitbit too and your screenshot could be my post-run stats! I run at a very similar pace, am the same age as you and have the same resting heart rate. My heart rate stats always shows pretty much 100% in the peak zone, though I run steadily and never feel distressed or very out of breath. I recover quickly after a run too.

I wonder about the accuracy of the “zones” and have decided to take the stats with a pinch of salt!

I’ve never felt better than in the last year when I started running, so I can’t think we’re doing ourselves any harm!

Keep on keeping on....! 🏃

GibsonBBKing in reply to Cazza26

That is a great comfort, thank you kindly. Do you listen to music? If so, would you mind sharing, please?

Cazza26Graduate10 in reply to GibsonBBKing

I listened to music on every run when I started C25k - just a shuffle of all my favourite songs which are absolutely all up-tempo! I still do that sometimes, but since I started doing longer runs as I was getting to 10K, I began listening to podcasts. I find the time flies by when I’m listening to them!

I’ve tended to just find my own pace - which is around 7 mins 30s per km. Slow and steady, but it suits me fine! I’m not trying to beat any records, just keep fit and enjoy running. 😊


The problem is the 220 minus age formula. It is of no practical use and should not be used for training.

Why not?

It’s based on an old set of data where max heart rate was measured across a wide range of ages. What the original data shows is a huge range of deviation from the average. So the formula plots a fairly straight line to show the average but most of the datum points are nowhere near it.

In any case it is nothing to do with a safe limit but a literal maximum rate.

Yours is at least 161 and probably a fair bit higher. Do some hill repeats and you’ll soon find a more useful figure to set as max.

(This is why the Maffetone formula is also nonsense. That’s going to upset a few people!)

Many thanks. Good of you to reply. Intuitively, I know you're right.

Old posts lead me to a report grandly entitled (so it must be right!) 'Age-predicted maximal heart rate in healthy subjects: The HUNT fitness study' in which HRmax was explained by the formula 211 less 64% of age which is more generous to me than 220 less age although why we all crave an official OK, including me, remains a mystery to me.

SlowLorisGraduate10 in reply to GibsonBBKing

If you want to use heart rate as a training aid you need a figure for MHR as well as resting heart rate. The only generic formula is the age related average so all devices use some form of this.

Resting rate is easy to measure, just make sure it is a rate when awake not sleeping.

Max rate is harder to measure but you can get close to it. Hard work though!


Hi GibsonBBKing, was wondering how you were getting on, I’ve started the stepping stones podcast with Laura, don’t like the music much, but I was glad to know that I was able to run to the specified beats, I don’t want to get faster particularly, but want to build up my stamina. I really would like to do 10 k one day how about you?

I has already 'liked' your post about Laura's stepping stones - great stuff and heartwarming to read about not only your progress but also the delightful sights and sounds you experience. I've looked at a 2 yr old post from irishprincess about music and she recommended - I looked at it, put in my desired pace, narrowed my search by chosen beats per minute and got pages of music that fits the bill. Going through the list and picking out the numbers I already owned took me a while but it would have taken much longer to go though my vast 50 Gb catalogue of music. I've given Laura's 'Stamina' a go and I'll be giving the other two podcasts a go in my next two runs. Then I'll make up my own playlists. Sound editing is a hobby of mine so I'll be volume equalising, cutting, splicing and cross fading to my heart's content to create interval training tracks that really motivate me. 10k? I doubt it. I was offered a double hip replacement due to the state of my osteoarthritis. My aim is to reduce weight and build muscle around the joints to give greater support so I may decide to improve over the years from a pace of 5k rather than 4k in 30 mins. If I ever get there, then I'll work on distance. Many thanks and kind regards - ps it has yet to rain on me - it cannot last!


🤔 I found my HR reduced as my runs got longer (unless I'm pushing hard).

Obviously further weight loss will help.

I believe the calculation of MHR really doesn't fit everyone. I've adjusted my Garmin higher as otherwise I'm probably supposed to have exploded already! 🤣 I use it just as a guide.


With a name like yours you are bound to be well up with the music.! I must confess I enjoy running to my own music, it’s amazing how some songs just lift me up and encourage me to keep going, I’m certainly not a fan of the stepping stones music. It will be a long time before I reach 10 k if ever, but I’m so glad I started C25K . All the best to you, keep moving!

You may also like...