Heart Rates - is it safe to be higher than 85% of max?

My Christmas present was a Garmin Forerunner 110 which I tested this morning on my week 7 run 3. This run was my local run on Epsom Downs and involves a long steady uphill climb - my heart rate according to the garmin hit 164 - according to the age formula, my max is 170 (I'm 50) so I was way over 85% - is this safe or should I find somewhere flat until I am fitter?!


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6 Replies

  • According to the age formula my max heart rate is around 170. I'm 42, not over weight and averagely fit, I cycle and run. I do proper heart rate tests on my turbo trainer periodically, my actual max HR is 197, so I wouldn't trust the calculation to much!

  • I've never monitored my heart rate, I prefer to listen to my body and stop if it conks out! Sorry I'm no help at all but well done on your running.....

  • hi - I wear my Polar FT7 heart rate monitor for all exercises classes, running and gym sessions. I'm also 50 and my heart rate is really high. I mentioned it to the doctor who said that as I'm fit and well not to worry about it and to listen to my body! So I just take note of the calories burned.

  • I am with juicyju. I listen to my body and how I am going. Sometimes I am too tense, other times away with the fairies, and I try to check out my body, Laura style. I used to have an HRM and it just worried me. TMI!

    Not much help either! Great place to run Epsom downs.

  • One thing to watch our for is a headaches an hour or two later, as that can be a sign that your bp has been pushed to high by your elevated heartrate. In that case you need to get your bp checked during or immediately after exercise. (Took me and my doctor years to make the link. Solution for me is to keep my heartrate below 140bpm.)

  • Thanks all! I think I'll take the listening to my body advice! It did feel a bit strenuous - probably due to overindulgence the day before - so I'll do a couple of flatter runs before venturing on the Downs again.

    Curious as to what happens if you hit your max HR - is it terminal?! I won't try!

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