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Heart rate 185 when running but don't feel tired at all.

I am 59 year old male who has started running again. My calculated max heart rate is 220-59 = 161.Which means my heart rate shouldn't exceed this number for safety reasons of age. I've been an avid runner years ago. Back in my 20's and 30's I used to run marathons and could run consistently at a 5:30 minute mile during 5 and 10k races. In my 40's and early 50's I didn't run at all but power walked almost everyday. But now I would like to run the 5 and 10k races again but I usually run 9-10 minute miles trying to get down to maybe 7 minute miles. My heart rate running at a 10 minute mile is about 175 which would be good if I was 30 years old. Now I'm twice that age and at a 10 minute mile my heart is 175 and I feel fine, no fatigue or out of breath or anything. Is this safe at my age ?....I would like to get back to 7 minute miles again. Even when it goes up to about 185 I feel fine. When I increase it to about 190 I feel a little tired. Can I train like this without harming my most valuable muscle ?
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Long races are never safe.  Running in today's world, where we spend most of our time sedentary then suddenly go out and do one burst of intense exercise and mostly run on pavement instead of barefoot on soft earth or grass, of course it isn't safe.  But most of what we do isn't safe.  Driving isn't safe.  If this is what you love, then do it.  Do it as safely as you can, but your body is your body -- some people crash early in life, some go go go until their 90s.  If you're one of the latter, just consider yourself lucky and enjoy it while it lasts.  Now, if safety is what you're after, running isn't ever safe -- forget about your heart, what about your knees and your plantar fascia and your hips etc. etc.  Now, as for the heart, there is research that shows marathon runners have a higher rate of cardiovascular disease than others.  But you're not running marathons.  The issue seems to be the stress point where the body is no longer running on nutrients but instead starts eating itself.  There's also the inflammation issue.  But again, if this is what you enjoy more than anything, do it but keep watch on your health as you do.
Avatar universal
Do you know your resting heart rate?
Do you have any health conditions and take any meds?
Exercising above 85 percent of your maximum heart rate could put you at risk for over-training. If you over-train that could cause your body to get weaker not stronger, that can lead to increased fatigue and decreased performance. You also are more prone to injury and illness when you over-train.

The Karvonen Formula is a mathematical formula that helps you determine your target heart rate zone. The formula involves using your maximum heart rate (MHR) minus your age to come up with a target heart rate range (which is a percentage of your MHR).  First thing in the morning before you get out of bed have a clock with a second hand and check your resting heart rate then figure your rate by the Karvonen Formula
I have a problem with testing heart rates, and it isn't related to their validity.  People can develop anxiety problems doing this, and people with anxiety can drive themselves to repeat visits to the ER.  It's more of an emotional thing that's only become prominent now that we have devices that do this easily.  
Avatar universal
If you are taking medication then proceed with caution, but if not take 800 milligram of magnesium daily to allow the heart the contract and relax properly. I also suggest you take liquid oxygen to prevent the heart from fighting to get air.
Taking magnesium is a good thing for people who need it but not for people who don't.  Most Americans are deficient to a degree in it because they eat too few green leafy vegetables and over-consume dairy, which is high in calcium but low in magnesium, causing an imbalance in two nutrients that are in balance in a healthy body.  But taking magnesium if you don't need it can do the same thing to calcium and other electrolytes.  There is no one dose that is right for everyone, and not everyone will benefit from taking it and some will be harmed.  Also make sure if you do take it you take a proper form, as the most commonly sold forms are not well-absorbed.  A good sign of a possible problem with it are muscle cramps, something the poster isn't complaining about.
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Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
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