How to Calculate Heart Your Heart Rate

Just like running at your happy pace, your heart likes to beat at a happy pace, too.  A runner needs to stay within a healthy heart range.  For moderately intense activity, you should shoot for 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate.  For vigorously intense activity, 70% to 85% is the max.  To find these percentages, you will need to do a little math:

 

For 50% max heart rate: 220 – (your age in years) x 0.5 = beats per minute

Example: 220 – 25 years x 0.5 = 97.5 bpm

For 70% max heart rate (example): 220 – 25 years x 0.7 = 136.5 bpm

 

Or, to simplify things, the Mayo Clinic has a heart rate calculator on their website.  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/target-heart-rate/SM00083

 

Now that you know how to calculate your heart rate, here are a few tips for taking your pulse:

 

  • There is a pulse point on the inside of the wrist, just below the thumb, near the wrist creases.  This is your radial pulse.

  • There is a pulse point on the side of your neck, just under your jaw. This is your carotid pulse.

  • Use your index and middle finger to take your pulse, do not use your thumb.  Your thumb has a pulse of its own.

  • Count your pulse “beats” for 30 seconds, then multiply by 2.  This will give you your beats per minute.

 

You can use these helpful tips to stay within a healthy and happy heart pace while you train for your marathon. Find your happy pace.

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