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I got this new program, that tells me to keep my heart rate in a specific zone.

For example, i should have kept my maximum heart rate at 135 bpm, for about forty five minutes. But i couldn't even manage to keep it around 140 bpm. I was running at least with 150 bpm the whole time.

I tried to lower my pace, but at some stages i couldn't do it anymore i was at my lowest speed ever about 6.50.

Is there anything that i can do to adopt my self to the program ? or i need to pick up my comfort zone just by myself ?

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  • That's a really interesting question, but what makes you think it's controllable by other means than regulating your speed? The main purpose of increasing BPM is to transfer oxygen to the muscles that need it. So the only way of making the heart slow down, is to make your muscles require less oxygen. – Alec Apr 7 '18 at 19:47
  • @Alec, Indeed, the oxygen consumption related to the movement i can't imagine what can possibly help me out. I use the sensor on my wrist so i suspected that maybe lowering down my arms up to a bit can help, but this just an assumption. – Sam Farjamirad Apr 8 '18 at 18:11
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    @SamFarjamirad Some other factors which might have a (small) negative impact on your HR might include: lack of sleep/fatigue, A meal you just consumed,stress, too much coffee, ... There are a lot of articles on the web surrounding this topic, which might be worth reading. I , for instance, know I can't remain in Zone1 if I had a meal 1-2 hours prior to the run. – User999999 Apr 16 '18 at 6:53
  • @User999999, Indeed, coffee, energy drinks, cola's all have negative impact, caffein containers can increase heart rate. There are many useful things in your comment, thanks. – Sam Farjamirad Apr 16 '18 at 10:14
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The primary way to reduce your heart rate is to reduce the pace. The other way is to improve the technique, which will increase the efficiency, however this is not easy and the result is not likely to be dramatic.

I am convinced your problem is different, though.

Recommendations for running heart rate zones are often misleading for a particular individual, as they are based on statistical averages, but individual zones differ a lot. Zones based on % of max vary a lot in particular, what is much more reliable are zones based on % of lactate threshold.

There are two articles dealing with the subject I have found quite useful:

  • Heart Rate Training Zones at 3-Fitness & Wellness

    The zones are set based on percentages of generally one of three values:

    • Lactate Threshold
    • VO2 Max
    • Maximum Heart Rate

    Of these, Lactate Threshold has been shown to be one of the best predictors of endurance performance.

  • Introduction to Heart Rate Training at Endurance Factor

    These formulas are estimates and can be up to 30 to 40 beats off for an individual.

    A much more precise method for establishing training zones is to base the zones around the lactate threshold.

Another article about settings the zones can be found at Training Peaks blog, with less explanation than the two articles quoted above, but with easy to follow instructions.

Both me and a friend of mine had the same experience, as our LT is way above average and we were mostly unable to use any HR zone based training advice until we switched to LT based zones.

The most common way for a hobby athlete to determine the Lactate Threshold is so called "field test" (following quote is from the Training Peaks blog article):

To find your LTHR do a 30-minute time trial all by yourself (no training partners and not in a race). Again, it should be done as if it was a race for the entire 30 minutes. But at 10 minutes into the test, click the lap button on your heart rate monitor. When done, look to see what your average heart rate was for the last 20 minutes. That number is an approximation of your LTHR.

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