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Couch to 5K
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Peak heart rate zone

I’ve just completed run 2 of week 6. I wear a Fitbit and noticed that during my run today I was in my peak heart rate zone for 27 minutes. Looking back through my stats, I’ve been in my peak heart rate zone for over 20 minutes during most of my recent runs. Is this ok or am I exercising too hard?

I’m a 57 year old woman, with a resting heart rate of around 57-60 and was a regular walker before taking on this challenge. My heart rate zones have been calculated by subtracting my age from 220.

11 Replies

What is saying is that your heart rate is over 85% of your maximum.


Your max is calculated as 200 - 57 (your age) = 163

So, 85% of 163 = 139

It doesn't sound like getting over 139 bpm is anything to worry about :)




I always take the fitbit heart rate reading with a pinch of salt. So long as you are breathing and upright you shouldn't really worry.

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"So long as you are breathing and upright you shouldn't really worry."

I may make that my new running mantra :)

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I am not being responsible for the consequences of that!!


Heart rate zone calculated by the 220 - your age are a guide only. With that calculation my max heart rate should be 169 where as in fact it is 188. So all my zones would be out if I used that calculation. When I get near that max level for me my whole body changes and i cannot carry on, so I would assume if you can quite “happily” do 27 Min at your Max you are not at your max. When you reach it every fibre in your body screams for you to stop to protect you and you have to come down out of that zone or throw up/ pass out. Your natural instincts protect you staying in that zone for too long. We can train close to out max but you will feel exhausted after your run and recovery will be. Bit harder if you constantly train at that level. If you are recovering from your runs and your energy is ok it might be that you have a slightly higher heart rate than that calculation assumes.


As long as I am breathing I’m not bothered If i feel fine, that’s me.

I could sit at home worrying about it

Nah 💪😃👍✔️🏃‍♀️


Without knowing your actual maximum heart rate, the figures are only a rough guide.

We all have differing resting and maximum heart rates and so consequently differing ranges, even if we are the same age.

If you feel okay in that range, I would not worry about it.


I get a peak reading for over 2 hours when I did a HM, it always shoots right up even on a brisk walk but it comes back down quite swiftly so I don't really bother about it. I feel okay and wouldn't know if I didn't have the fitbit on!!


According to my Garmin mine is regularly over maximum. I'm 70 so mine should be 150, but it's often in the 160s when I run (usually uphill). It comes down again to high 50s so I'm guessing I'm not going to keel over just yet.


Hi CAWF, I’m a similar age and yes my peak (also measured on Fitbit) is at peak for all my run time.

I haven’t worried about what stats say, I didn’t know it might be important so what I don’t know doesn’t bother me 😊

Well done on getting to week 6 👍


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