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Target Heart Rate Zone Question
tammib posted:
I received a heart rate monitor for Christmas. Does anyone know if it is good or bad to be above your target heart rate zone for the majority of your workout?
deadmanwalking57 responded:
I am 61, and off my fitness a little, but it is still good.
The 80% Anaerobic Threshold is a myth. The AT varies with a person's fitness level. Very fit people have theirs at 90% or higher of their max heart rate. Last year, I was able to play basketball with my heart rate at 20 beats over my max heart rate for 30 minutes.

Warmup gradually for 6-10 minutes, then pick a comfortable pace. Your heart rate should be able to stay at a near constant rate for 20 - 30 minutes. Your heart begins to show fatigue before you feel it. This presents as your heart tate begins to rise even though you are not working harder. Fatigue is coming, and it is time to back off, and perhaps cool down and end your workout. This rise is called by some "cardiac drift". Depending how fast you are training, cardiac drift may come in 3 minutes, or 10 or 20 or only after an hour or more. The goal is to gradually be able to put in more and more effort, for longer periods, yet never tire.

I used this knowledge of cardiac drift in my cardiac rehabiitation after bypass surgery. I now can play volleyball for hours at a time, and not tire, or row on the water for an hour or more.

Your breathing also matters. You should rarely ever be panting or breathing hard during a cardio workout. That tells you your muscles, which include your heart are not getting enough oxygen, so you have excess CO2 circulating in your blood. It is corrosive to arteries, just like cigarette smoke. So let your breathing be your guide. You will enjoy training more, struggle less, have less fatigue, yet improve much.

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