Heart Rate Part 2: Heart Rate Reserve

Yesterday we broke down traditional heart rate zones.  They are typically calculated using percentages of 220 minus an athlete’s age (go here to read more). An excellent place to start, but it can be a little too general of a number.

Today we’re going to step up our game and include some data that considers the athlete’s current fitness level and recovery status.

One way is the Karvonen method. This method uses your ‘resting heart rate’ (RHR) to create a Heart Rate Reserve (HRR), which will then help us refine our training zones. 
Heart Rate Reserve is the athlete’s max hr rate minus their resting heart rate.
Measure your heart rate when you wake three days in a row. Use the average for your calculations
So a 45-year-old with an average resting HR of 53 bpm would have a Heart Rate Reserserve of 122 bpm (175 – 53 = 122 HRR.)
Training zones are then calculated by multiplying the HRR by the level of intensity of the zone and then adding resting heart rate back to that number. 
((HRR) × %Intensity) + resting HR = Target Heart Rate Intensity Zone
((122) × .6) + 53 = 126 bpm or the beginning of ‘zone 2’.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about a simple formula you can use to improve your aerobic base and burn more fat.