What Is Good Heart Rate When Running

When it comes to running, one of the key factors to consider is your heart rate. Understanding what constitutes a good heart rate while running can help you monitor your fitness levels and optimize your training. As a passionate runner myself, I have spent years researching and experimenting with heart rate training. In this article, I will share my insights and personal experiences to help you determine what a good heart rate is when running.

Understanding Heart Rate Zones

Before we dive into specific numbers, it’s important to understand the concept of heart rate zones. Heart rate zones are predetermined ranges based on percentages of your maximum heart rate (MHR). These zones correlate to different levels of intensity during exercise:

  1. Zone 1: Easy – 50-60% MHR: This is a light effort zone, often used for warm-ups and cooldowns.
  2. Zone 2: Aerobic – 60-70% MHR: This zone improves endurance and promotes fat burning.
  3. Zone 3: Threshold – 70-80% MHR: This zone enhances aerobic capacity and helps increase lactate threshold.
  4. Zone 4: Anaerobic – 80-90% MHR: This zone improves speed, power, and anaerobic endurance.
  5. Zone 5: Maximum – 90-100% MHR: This is the highest intensity zone, typically reserved for short bursts of effort.

Determining Your Maximum Heart Rate

Before you can gauge your heart rate while running, you need to determine your maximum heart rate. While there are various formulas to estimate your MHR, the most common one is subtracting your age from 220. However, it’s important to note that this estimation may not be entirely accurate for everyone.

To get a more personalized MHR estimate, you can undergo a maximal exercise stress test under the supervision of a healthcare professional. This test involves gradually increasing your exertion level while your heart rate is monitored. It provides a more accurate reflection of your individual MHR.

The Ideal Heart Rate Range for Running

Now that we have covered heart rate zones and determining your MHR, let’s explore what constitutes a good heart rate range when running.

For most recreational runners, maintaining a heart rate within the aerobic zone (Zone 2) is considered ideal for building endurance and burning fat. This means your heart rate should generally be around 60-70% of your MHR.

However, it’s important to note that the ideal heart rate range can vary depending on factors such as age, fitness level, and training goals. For example, elite runners may perform high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions in Zone 4 to improve speed and performance.

Monitoring Your Heart Rate

In order to monitor your heart rate while running, you will need a heart rate monitor. There are several types available, including chest strap monitors, wrist-based monitors, and smartphone apps with built-in sensors.

Once you have a heart rate monitor, you can track your heart rate in real-time during your runs. This allows you to adjust your pace and effort level to stay within your desired heart rate zones. It’s important to listen to your body and find a balance that challenges you without pushing you to the point of exhaustion.


Understanding and monitoring your heart rate while running is essential for optimizing your training and achieving your fitness goals. By knowing your heart rate zones and staying within the appropriate range, you can effectively build endurance, improve performance, and prevent overexertion.

Remember, everyone is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a certified running coach to tailor your training program based on your individual needs and abilities. So lace up your shoes, listen to your heart, and enjoy the exhilarating journey of running!