I am a 38 year-old male beginner runner with a history of sport in my earlier years (but hated running by itself), I started the C25K program in mid-december to try to get some fitness back in after having 2 kids.
I got to Week 7 with no issues, and tried to find a comfortable pace that isn't pushing too hard (at least I thought) but without being too shuffle-along either. I felt comfortable, tried to follow the info I'd read about keeping at a pace that could still talk (though I wouldn't be giving long winded discussions probably). I'm not trying to kill myself, just find a rhythm that is comfortable. Certainly a challenge, but I never felt exhausted, always feeling like I could have kept going a bit more than the current program phase.
My resting heart rate measured first thing in the morning dropped from 62 at the start of the program to 49-50, blood pressure's gone down from 130/80 to 122/74 so that's good. Generally feeling really good about everything, I run 3 times per week and ensure I'm giving myself good rests between runs.
I'm 38, 6'8" but probably still 10kg over my ideal weight. My Max heart rate is ~182 according to the usual calculation methods. a 70-80% is 142-156. I didn't have a HR monitor earlier on so just tried to listen to my body and not stress it out but keep on running.
In Week 7 Run 2 I got my Wahoo Heart Rate Monitor (sort of as a present to myself). Week 7 is running starting 25 minutes non-stop, so it was my second non-stop run. During the initial warm up fast-walk, my HR was 130. Just After I started running my usual pace the HR monitor reported 164bpm. It remained steady near this until I went up a hill and went up to 170. This is in the 80-90% range. The peak for the entire run was 174 on the steepest spot. Average HR for the entire run, including a 5 minute warm up walk, and cool down is 158.
Heart rate recovery after 2 minutes was 150, and reduces steadily. Within the 2 minutes I'm breathing totally normally again.
I thought with this HR I was might be running too fast (not that I thought I was), so the next run, a 28 minute one, I tried to go as slow as I could. Practically no change in HR measurements. By the end of the run I was certainly a bit fresher than I had been and could easily pickup the pace near the end but no change in HR.
Obviously as a beginner runner, my body is going to have to adjust, and it's naturally going to be under some stress as the program develops, indeed it's the little bits of stress that is going to encourage it to improve. I don't know how to slow down much more than I'm going without just resorting to walking phases. My body feels totally fine, I'm enjoying the running, it's a good challenge without being crazy I feel.
Is my HR too high here? What can I do different? A friend of mine who does some long run's and has done a marathon just cautioned me not to run too hard, because it can train the heart 'the wrong way'.
With only 2 runs to go to complete the C25K I'm ready to keep going and go through the bridge program to 10k. I'm not after speed, just good exercise and some fresh air and some endurance building. I'm feeling good.
Here's my Runkeeper activity summary pic: http://imgur.com/u36qf (shown below) to show this last run in pictures.
I have a regular running route which is a nice series of left turns around the block which avoids crossing at traffic lights. It has some hills though, maybe the hills are where the major HR issue is, if I can find a flatter spot I'm pretty sure I could stay in the 164-169 range easily (though that is still 80-90%).
Any advice appreciated.