I am a 44 yr old female. I have been exercising regularly (3-4x/week) for 13 years and started running 3-4 times a week one year ago. My resting heart rate....well, while I was sitting on the chair last week watching tv..... was 50. I would imagine my real RHR would be in the 40's. I like to think of myself as being in good shape. Running is the hardest thing I've ever done but I'm keeping at it. I'm up to doing 4 miles in 40 minutes. I know, quite slow, but I feel it's the best workout. I'd say within 10 minutes of starting, my heart rate goes up to the 170's and pretty much stays there the whole time.......around 173. I'm starting to get concerned. I would think with my fitness level, it wouldn't be so high. On the other hand, I don't feel like I'm killing myself effort-wise......it just feels like a good workout. I can talk while running but it isn't totally easy. It also goes up this high while doing other work-outs.........a spin class or step class. I've been wearing a heart rate monitor for years and this has always been the case. Just wondering if this is something I should be concerned about. Thanks for any info.
From the info posted, it doesn't appear to be any problem regarding your aerobic exercise and resting heartbeat. Your aerobic exercise is effective, and HR 50 at rest is the expected value for a well conditioned heart.
The maximum heart rate ballpark for a 44 year old is about 180. (Miller Formula: MR = 217 - (.85 x age)
So your 173 puts you at 96% of capacity. You really needn't go over 145 for a good cardiac workout. Maybe something liike 5 miles in an hour (for 12 minute miles instead of 10 minute miles) might be a wiser idea.
But if the 170-173 range doesn't cause any discomfort, there's nothing wrong with pushing youself that hard.
For the heart, though, a longer and slightly less furious workout is better!
(I'm a bit surprised too that someone with a resting 50 BPM will shoot that high.)
I have the same exact problem. RHR in the low 50s at most, running puts me at 170+. I have heard about the "working" HR, which basically takes into account the difference between your max HR and the RHR. The theory basically says that people with low RHRs and high maximums can work at a much higher HR than most people, so it may not be such a bad thing. However, I have battled iron-deficiency anemia, and high exercise HR is a classic sign. You may want to check into that!
Intuitively, it seems over a period of time as the heart is subjected to a vigorous workout the consquence is an increase in the strength of the heart's muscle and the increase stroke/volume for each heartbeat so as a result a decrease of HR for a corresponding workload. The formula 220-age would be an appropriate rate of 176 in this instant case. To do anything less would involve some deconditioning, higher may not be beneficial!?
It is recommended, and I take my resting HR upon awakening from a good night's sleep. The HR is around 60, but up and around it hovers around the high seventies.