Heart Rate – Training Intensity For a Running Programme Posted on February 6, 2018

By Rameshon


Picture 1 – Heart Rate

In the past, I have spoken about breathlessness. When one is in a state of rest, there is no breathing difficulty. When one starts running from slow to moderate pace, there is work rate increase and a corresponding increase in oxygen consumption by the body. However, due to individual differences in the status of fitness, it is easy for a fit person to breath easily at a given easy intensity, especially in an easy run, as compared to an unfit athlete. On the other hand, it is important for a person to run with ease, especially the unfit athlete, if he or she wants to exercise at a given time, rather than stopping short during an exercise bout, for example, about 20-30minute of exercise.

A fit runner will find it easy to breath and has the capability to run from a jog to an easy run. There is also the ability to do moderate (80% effort of maximum speed) and steady run (90% effort of maximum speed). Breathless for a fit runner comes when a runner goes to from moderate to a steady state intensity run or an interval run of 90% effort nature. 

As for lactic acid, when a fit athlete is running from a moderate intensity nature to a hard intensity, there is more accumulation of lactic acid in the blood and there is a limitation to slow down the speed. Pain sets in and it can be intolerable and discomfort sets in. It is only when one goes to a blood millimole of 2, one will find that they are running at a  near maximum. In a maximum intensity bout, of 100% effort, one can last about 1min only, for an exercise intensity.


Picture 2 – Training Heart Rate

After about one minute, the blood lactate millimole levels will cross the threshold of 2.0, and goes to 2.3 blood millimole etc. This is where the lactic acid accumulation will be exponential after crossing around 2.3 blood millimole, in the blood, such that the athlete will not be able to cope with the lactic acid excessive accumulation, in the cellular level, as the pain in the body will become such that it may rise rapidly to a very high blood millimole of about 16, which is a sharp increase, an athlete will find the legs not having the ability to move. It is noted that a long distance runner in a race can only run between 1.8 to 2.2 blood millimole, or lower, not higher than 2.3.  

At this point, there is a corresponding increase in Heart Rate and lactic acid accumulation etc. The ventilatory threshold will witness a break point and this can be seen by one going through a state of breathlessness. The breathlessness cannot last long as one will inhale less oxygen as compared to the carbon dioxide being exhaled out of the body. One would want to gasp for air, rather than continuing.

Hence, let me discuss about easy training intensity here. In a easy training intensity, one should be able to talk with a person running alongside them of same standard in running. For a twenty year old athlete, the training heart rate is about 130-150heart rate per minute, depending on age and also on fitness level. This range develops aerobic capacity of the body. 

I shall discuss more in other blog post such that one gets a basic idea of how lactic acid, heart rate and ventilatory system works and one will be able to tailor one’s training programme. 

Edited By Tan Mariviv