Yes, because there really aren’t that many details to take into account to lower your heart rate and, with a few tricks, the results are guaranteed.
And we start with the classic question all runners ask ourselves: “When I run I have an average heart rate of 170 beats per minute, how can I lower it?”
It is impossible to give an exact answer in a generic way, also because there is a physiological factor that makes each of us reach a different average number of beats per minute, depending on many factors. There are those that reach 145 BPM and those that easily reach 170 BPM.
The only way to get the right data is to understand the point at which our body starts producing lactic acid. However, there are some details that can help us. Let’s see how to lower your heart rate.
1. Listen to yourself
First of all, you need to listen to yourself: running without music or other distractions helps a lot. You need to feel your body’s reactions, which is much more helpful than looking at the small number on your heart rate monitor. Do you find it hard to breathe, or is your breathing too heavy? Is it impossible for you to talk while running? Do you feel muscle fatigue? Here are some signs that we are running too fast and that our training is not effective.
To reduce the average heart rate, it is necessary to include specific work that acts on the central aerobic components. In practice, the heart needs to get used to pumping more blood in shorter periods of time. How? The only possible work is sets and reps. This type of work teaches the heart that the body can go faster and must adapt.
Therefore, out of three workouts per week, one should be based on repetitions or changes of pace. Here are two examples of routines you could follow:
Intermittent running: after a good warm-up, run 1 minute fast and 1 minute slow, repeating the exercise 10 times. The minute of “fast running” should aim for the maximum heart rate.
Running uphill for 80m: 10 repetitions of stretches. After each uphill series, we will recover by running slowly to get back to the start.
3. Long workouts
When standing for long periods of time, due to sedentary work, the heart will tend to beat faster during physical activity. So, what should you do? First of all, you should find a workout that keeps your heart rate low. You can do this by maintaining a low speed for a long period of time. Completely the opposite of reps where your heart is firing on all cylinders.
What could be better than a long, slow run? Or even a long walk in search of a brisk pace? Once a week is a workout you can’t miss. But you really have to go slowly, very slowly.
4. Switch up sports
Other sports can help you lower your heart rate: cycling in particular. In this case, the heart beats more slowly and for longer periods of time, maintaining a regular level of effort. And this is precisely the aim of point 3. Swimming is also a very good option: the average heart rate is much lower than running, even though the workload is even higher. Here is more information.
Finally, it is essential to take care of your breathing. In fact, regular breathing will help regulate and slow the heart rate, because it will increase oxygenation.
Breathing also plays a very important role in improving performance and can be trained. We’ll talk more about this later…
6. The heart rate monitor
There were 5 tips, it’s true. How often do you look for your car keys and then have them in your pants pocket? Here, the last tip is to choose a heart rate monitor that works well, but more importantly, to use it equally well. Otherwise, recording unjustified spikes will be easier.