ICA member Tara asks, “How would you describe how you should be feeling at 75%, 80%, 85%, and 90% of maximum heart rate?”
This is a great question, perhaps the best question of the year! I’m so glad you asked it, Tara, because it has gotten me thinking intently on how to compare using a percent of maximum heart rate with the method most widely used in endurance coaching, which is lactate threshold heart rate (or anaerobic threshold).
I’m sure if you know me by now, and you’ve been reading the heart rate training information available on ICA (see below for a list of related articles), you know that I, like many others in the fitness and endurance coaching industries, don’t particularly care for the maximum heart rate method of identifying or prescribing intensities. We know that maximum heart rate is poorly correlated with age and is only generally related to exercise intensity.
However, I also know why it is so prevalent. There are two things to consider.