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Find Your Target Heart Rate

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Updated June 25, 2014

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How to Find the Low End of Your Target Heart Rate Zone
In step one, you found your resting heart rate (RHR). You'll use this number to find your target heart rate zones using the Karvonen formula, a measure of your heart rate reserve. Using this formula, we'll calculate a THR zone between 50% and 85% of your heart rate reserve.

Next Page: Finding the high end of your target heart rate

To calculate the low end of your THR zone, 50% of your heart rate reserve, you'll use the following formula:

206.9 - (0.67 x age) = Max Heart Rate (MaxHR)
MaxHR - (resting heart rate) = Heart Rate Reserve (HRR)
HRR x 50% = training range %
training range % + resting heart rate = low end of THR zone

The following example shows the low end of a THR for a 35-year-old person with a resting heart rate of 60 bpm:

206.9 - (0.67 x 35) = 183.45
183.45 - 60 = 123.45
123.45 x 50%= 62
62 + 60 = 122 beats per minute

For this person, the low end THR starts at 122 bpm, which would be a light, warm up pace. Keep in mind that these numbers are often underestimated, meaning a heart rate of 122 bpm may feel too easy to our sample exerciser. He may need to adjust that number a bit higher, something I'll discuss in later steps.

Make a note of your own heart rate and go on to the next step: calculating the high end (85%) of your THR zone.

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