Heart Rate Formula

by Ruben

Which heart rate formula is the most accurate :

" Marius, I checked my heart rates to see if they were accurate and I believe I found the problem. Your efforts suggest that effort one should be below 70% effort 2 70%-80% etc..

Well these are the percentages I have been using but with a formula that calculates my heart rates as such:

Heart rate Max minus resting (Morning Heart Rate)= my range:

Then I take my Range multiply it by percentage and add my Resting Heart Rate.

Such as:
Max Heart Rate 188
Reating Heart rate 46
Range 142

By using such formula, recommended by John L. Parker, my 70% heart rate effort should be 145.4.
(142 x .70 + 46).

By simply taking 70% of 188 it is 131.6. A huge difference when considering heart rate based workouts of effort 3 and above. And will leave me at a very slow pace on effort one.

Which Formula is correct?

Eventhough I would not consider myself to be an elite athlete, I do want to train correctly and the best of my capabilities. This will be my first marathon and I want to make sure I prepare myself to do the best that I can. Thanks for your help Marius,


Answer : Hi Ruben,

With the shape you are in (training for a marathon I strongly suggest you use a max HR test instead of the formula. You can read about it here Max HR

This is much, much more accurate vs. the formula ! I am aware of the resting heart rate type formula you refer to but my experience is that this is not very accurate, especially on well trained individuals.

So instead of analyzing the accuracy of different formulas, go out and test it. Take two days easy training before and after to ensure that your legs are fresh before and well rested after !

Kind regard,

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