What’s The Ideal Running Heart Rate?

The ideal running heart rate

We’ll help you determine the ideal running heart rate

Depending on our age and level of fitness, the ideal running heart rate is different for each person. Other factors that affect the ideal rate include the temperature of the air, any use of medications (beta blockers, thyroid medications), and even stress.

How do we figure out the ideal running heart rate? One simple way to do it is by using a formula based on our age and maximum heart rate. It’s suggested that we should train at 50 to 85 percent of our max heart rate when running. The max rate is then determined by deducting our age from 220.

“However, this should be used with caution, because heart rate can vary widely between individuals,” said Todd Buckingham, PhD, lead exercise physiologist at Mary Free Bed Sports Rehabilitation Performance Lab. “This might be what an average 40-year-old maximum heart rate is, but there are also outliers on both sides that balance that out.”

To improve the effectiveness of the exercise, it’s advised that we may increase our workload if our heart rate falls below this target level. A heart rate monitor is very useful in heart rate training as it allows us to keep track of our ideal running heart rate and slow down if it ever reaches its peak.

The usual heart rate training range for runners between the ages of 20 and 45 is between 100 and 160 beats per minute (bpm). Our current max heart rate and level of fitness, amongst other factors, affect that average. For beginners, the American Heart Association advises exercising at a heart rate of 50 to 75 percent of your max heart rate. Take a look at the chart below to determine the ideal running heart rate.

Age Target Heart Rate (BPM) Max Heart Rate (BPM)
20 100–170 200
30 95–162 190
35 93–157 185
40 93–153 180
45 88–149 175
50 88–145 170
60 80–136 160
70 75–128 150

Keep in mind that forcing the body to run too hard can be detrimental. Those with existing heart conditions should first consult with a doctor to determine their best course for heart rate training. If you ever feel dizzy, chest pain or tightness, or a fluttering heart beat, please stop the exercise and seek medical attention.


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