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Friday, August 31, 2012

Daily Target Heart Rate Calculator

As many of you probably read in the "Limitations of HR Training" post, there are limitations and inaccuracies related to heart rate training.  From day to day, RHR can change enough to throw off all of your target heart rates.  This means that you'll either painstakingly recalculate all of the zones OR train anyway knowing that the numbers are a little off.

To get around this problem, I posted a spreadsheet that can do all of the calculations for you!  After clicking the "Click to Edit" button above the spreadsheet, all you have to do is enter your age and resting heart rate into the yellow boxes. The heart rate ranges below should automatically update based on your information.  I would bookmark this page for quick and easy reference from your computer or mobile device.

WHY ARE THERE ONLY THREE ZONES?
I only use three zones because there are only three energy systems- the aerobic, lactic acid and ATP-PC system.  Using more than three zones over complicates things more than they need to be.  You're either going to be cruising (aerobic), working at your limit (lactic threshold) or going beyond your limit (anaerobic)... it's as simple as that!

Depending on your fitness level, the percentages may vary.  If you feel like you need to change the percentages, experiment with the LT zone first, then adjust the other zones around your new LT zone.  For example, my lab-measured ventilatory threshold was around 88-93% HRmax.  My new ANAERO zone would be 94-100% and my new AERO zone would be 73-83%.

The following percentages were taken from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  It's a great starting point for anyone just getting into heart rate training or people with low to moderate fitness.  If you would like me to create a post with individualized zones that you can bookmark and refer to, send me your new lactic threshold zone and your name.  The post will be titled "Daily THR Calculator - "Your Name."
  • Aerobic: 65-75%
  • Maximum Aerobic or Lactic Threshold: 80-85%
  • Anaerobic or ATP-PC or Power: 86-90%
***Remember to press "Click to Edit" to change the numbers***


***UPDATE 08.31.2012***
While I was posting information about my ride on Strava.com, I wanted to know what my average heart rate was in percentage form.  Calculating it was a bit time consuming, so I added the formula to the spreadsheet.  Enjoy!

Don't forget to join the Eat Sleep Train Smart Strava Club too!