Couch to 5K
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Week 3 for the third time!

I am getting a little despondent. I am eager to move on to week 4 but I have been using a heart rate monitor and find that I am working way out of my comfort zone. However, if I jog much slower I may as well go back to walking! I am 60 and although my head and legs are in it full-time, my heart is not keeping up. Finding it very frustrating but I do not wish to give up.

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Ok, do you have an existing heart problem? If so, have you spoken to your doctor about doing C25K?

When you say you are outside your comfort zone what do you mean? You heart rate is going really high and if that's the case, what's high?

Please don't get despondent, there may still be a way around this.

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I am taking blood pressure medication, but an extremely mild dose. I am peaking at 162/166 but I am probably stressing a little when I see these numbers which doesn't help!

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How do you know you are working outside your appropriate zones?

Do you know what your actual, as opposed to theoretical, maximum heart rate is?

Without knowing your true max HR, all the zones on your HRM are pretty meaningless. We are all different. I have a resting HR below 50bpm and I can run happily for an hour with my HR at about 160bpm, which for a 61 year old should be impossible according to standard calculations. I have never managed to ascertain my max HR, so have concluded that while the HRM provides loads of fascinating stats, without the essential baseline figure of an accurately measured max HR, it is not much use as a training tool.

If you feel okay, you probably are.

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Hi, I thought the calculation of 220 minus age was the way to go (in my case 159) and that one shouldn't be working at that rate. I have had a physical and ECG stress test and there are no irregularities with my heart. However, my doctor said to work at 140ish only a couple of times a week and for the rest of the time at about 125ish. My current numbers just sound a little scary to me!

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That's a rather generic calculation, it doesn't take into account fitness, weight and a lot of other factors.

Ian's age should been that his max heart rate should be around 159bpm MAX but due to his level of fitness he can run for an hour at around 160.

Seriously, if you are concerned, ask your doctor for a check up and get their advice, if they say it's ok then move onto week 4.

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Following on from what Ian said, first off, if you are worried about your heart rate see your doctor, explain what you are doing and ask for their advice.

Heart rate can be affected by a few things and as Ian said, it varies from person to person.

Don't get me wrong, I started wearing my HRM to placate my wife, I'm really fat and she worries about my heart giving in even though I've never had any previous heart trouble, etc, but it comes in handy for calories burned, etc.

If you have completed W3, please speak to your doctor though for reassurance is you wish, then move onto W4, just go slow and steady.

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Thanks so much for your support and good advice. It is lovely to know that there are others out there to talk to. I shall finish this third week again and then move on to Week 4 and carefully watch my HR. I have already seen an improvement, inasmuch as the HR drops back down faster than it did before I started the whole programme. I am just too impatient; now I have started I want to keep moving forward! Thanks again!

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If you are happy that all is well as far as your advice has indicated.. then take it.very simply, steadily and slowly.. and let us know how you fare:)

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I will, thanks again everyone.

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