Beginner runner, High heart rate

I am 44 years old and tend to run a slightly higher heart rate than my peers when I cycle indoor / outdoor but I think within an acceptable range. It is more consistently high rather than huge spikes.

I have recently started running here and there (just a few) but my pace despite being slow (10km/hr) results in a 175 average night rate over 5-10km (my max HR is 192 I think) Is this simply because I am new to running? I have never really ran distances other than impact sport (rugby) and am quite heavy at 94kg / 185cm. I intend to run more frequently / consistently so hopefully that will result in this tracking down. At present it makes training with zones near impossible. As my marathon pace is the same as my 5k pace (almost!). Or perhaps I am expecting too much of my running due to my cycling capacity rather than starting at a jog / walk. Any guidance would be appreciated.

Slow it down, 10km/h might seem slow but it is obviously still making you work. Do intervals, 0.5km at the 10km/h pace then as gentle a jog / fast walk as you can for the next 0.5km and repeat a few times. Add to either distance, pace or longer intervals one at a time to build yourself up.

You say marathon pace and 10km pace - if you are just starting running IMHO you should be doing 3 or so 5km slow runs a week with intervals at first to avoid injury.

The fitness from being a cyclist generally translates to being able to run fast and far due to the aerobic capacity, but that itself is where you can end up injuring yourself by using that fitness on muscles, ligaments and tendons that are not matched to the output.

When you say ‘175 average night rate’ do you mean after a run your HR is 175 overnight? If so I would see a medical professional straight away just for peace of mind. That sounds very unusual and I hope it is a typo!

If it is 175 heart rate over 5-10km you are going too hard too soon, assuming you want to train ‘base’. It is worth reading up on ‘Ventilatory Thresholds’, go out a do the mileage below VT1 - that’s a really great place to start. With a bit of experimentation and steady pacing you can find the VT1 and VT2 limits (especially if running on flat or a circuit). I would personally ignore the HR whilst running, if you are monitoring and focus on the breathing and other signs of effort - RPE is great here once you ‘know’.

https://www.acefitness.org/fitness-certifications/ace-answers/exam-preparation-blog/3139/what-is-the-difference-between-vt1-vt2-and-vo2-max/

(sorry that link is terrible - I am looking for a better one!)

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My advice here: slow down substantially. Lower your pace to 7-8 km/h. This will feel strange and too slow at first, but it will help you in establishing a base fitness, reducing injury-risk and let your muscles get used to the running-impact. Bear in mind that running poses a completely different stress on your body, and your body needs to get used to it. Especially since you may not be the lightest yet and the continuous pounding on your knees will otherwise take its toll.

I am a triathlete, with cycling as my main (source) sport. When I started running years ago, despite having a very good cycling base condition I also noticed that my heartrate went up quickly towards 180bpm, even at moderate pace.

Identical to your observation, I found running in Zone 1 or 2 impossible unless I would do a walk/jog pace.

However, I decided to take patience and just start that way. I started lowering my pace to 7-8 mins/km for a couple of months (running 2-4 times per week) which kept my heartrate in Zone2. After time, I noticed my speed increasing at the same heartrate, and I could run on a daily basis as the recovery time was low.

When your heartrate goes above Zone2: walk! When you go uphill or over a bridge: walk! Check YouTube on tips for Zone2 running.

You do need to put your ego aside though, being overtaken by grandma’s in the beginning is a mental challenge, but it will pay off!

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As mentioned slow your running down. It is more destructive than cycling. When I ran marathons (2:47 pb) even though I ran 60 odd miles/week - 80% would be easy at 7-7:30 miles and there would just be a tempo/interval session focusing on speed or marathon pace. I still got injured occasionally and I only weigh 61kg. If you are heavy it will take a toll on your joints. Also run on soft surfaces if possible. I did all my 21-22 mile long runs on trails with just a mid week 12-14 mile road run on the road to get me use to tarmac. That said my HR was higher as well. You use more muscle groups and it is weight bearing so expect the HR to be higher than for cycling even if you follow all this advice! :grinning:

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Thanks so much good advice. And yes the night rate was a typo that was average HR over the course of the run. It’s generally a RHR of low 60s

Yeah I think there could be some ego here or at least I think it should feel easier therefore it should! This clearly isn’t the case. I think I need to build slowly and be patient. Thanks very much for taking the time