Heart Rate and do I need to worry about it? - Couch to 5K

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Heart Rate and do I need to worry about it?


Obviously I need to make sure I have one or there could be trouble, but should I be concerned about what it is when running?

My Garmin came with a monitor but I haven't yet used it and was wondering if I should. I keep hearing about the fat burning zone and what your heart rate should be etc.

In all honesty though I'm wondering if knowing what my HR is, will it make much difference to how I run. I'm a slow runner, I accept that and I've learnt not to worry about it. Will knowing my HR make me worry that it's not beating fast enough and therefore I'll try harder and then possibly end up stopping earlier. Or even the reverse?

Today I ran to a track by audiofuel which was supposed to be in line with 160bpm. I have no idea if I was at 160bpm or not, I just ran and listened to the music without thinking about it. At the end of the run I'd done the same distance in the same time as the previous run.

Does it really matter if I'm running at 140bpm, 160bpm or 180bpm should I know, should I care? or should I just keep going out there and enjoy it and not worry about it?

7 Replies

Don't worry about it. Heart rate monitoring is very useful if you are following a specific plan that is based on heart zones, and can be interesting if you a re data-analysing spreadhseet junkie kind of a runner, but if neitehr of those apply, forget all about it.

Running and exercise can be as simple or as complicated as we want to make it. You can delve deep into the science of it or you can just run, and as long as you are comfortable doing so (although not TOO comfortable) then you need never even give a thought to the whys and wherefores of it all.

Sezza2uGraduate in reply to Rignold

Thank you for the reply. You've put my mind at ease and one less thing for me to worry about ta ;-)

AncientMumGraduate in reply to Rignold

Such great advice!


Have to agree with Rignold - I have no idea what my bpm are when I run, nor any desire to know! Prefer to go with how I 'feel' on each run. Not very scientific but I am getting faster (gradually) and much stronger and can run comfortably for so much further(10k), so I think the ol' ticker's doing just fine!😉😀

Sorry, that's not really very helpful is it?!


I just apply the rule that if you don't feel well, stop. My Garmin doesn't tell me all the complicated stuff, and that's fine by me :)

As for the bpm on Audio fuel: I'm not sure if you link it to your main question or not, but just in case, there's no link to heart beat as far as I know - it's the number of beats per minute in the music. I realised when I found that my pace fitted perfectly to a Gorillaz track, and made myself a playlist at that speed to keep my pace stable over time. From what you say, your natural pace fits with 160bpm ;) The faster you run, the faster the bpm. "Rock my run" do playlists that are based on different bpms and are very good .


I have an HR monitor which I use occasionally and over the couple of years I have had it, it has enabled me to see some reductions in my HR for the same runs, which is a satisfying endorsement of the improvements in my health through running...... unless it is just a reduction in my HR because of increasing age.

As Rigs says, it can be useful, interesting or just dull statistics, depending on your own personality. You certainly don't need to monitor your HR unless it starts to behave in an unusual way.


I have one but I thought the same as you. What does it tell me. I asked this before a short while ago as when confronted with the stats from my heart monitor my ( husband bought me) it didn't really mean anything

I still don't care and don't bother with it now. I suppose if you don't have any health concerns then why worry.

The stats get in the way of our enjoyment of running. They can be a tyranny and a distraction. Folks these days to seem to be addicted to running with a mountain of stuff.

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