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A quick rule of thumb guide to monitor your training intensity

How to make sure you are not over or under doing it using your heart rate as a guide

This quick guide is not meant as an exhaustive resource but gives you a quick way to monitor your training intensity.

There are many ways to monitor your training intensity. Many people use a watch these days. My go to is my Garmin Forerunner 235.

But below is the formula that we like to use with our clients. 

The HeartRate Reserve (HRR) method.

Target heart rate (THR) = (max heart rate - resting rate ) x desired intensity + resting heart rate.

Max heart rate = 220-age. 


220-40 (age) = 180bpm

180-60 (resting heart rate) = 120bpm

120 x0.65 = 78 + 60 = 138bpm
120 x0.75 = 90 + 60 = 150bpm
120 x0.85 = 102 + 60 = 162bpm
120 x0.95 = 114 + 60 = 174bpm

Your training goal will dictate the intensity that you work at and remember recovery is important. An easy/steady pace run would be done at 60-65%.

You can also use a simple scale of 1-10 to monitor your rate of perceived exertion. Use your breathing, muscle fatigue, how hard you can feel your heartbeating and sweat rate to gauge how hard you are working.

1 = no effort, relaxing on the sofa

10 = max effort, sprinting up a mountain .

Eg If you want to work between 65-75% then you should be short of breath (still able to hold a conversation) and feeling warm.

If you want more help working out if you are under or over training then download our free guide with much more indepth information on this important topic.


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