The Lilac Bloomsday Association presents the 41st running of the Lilac Bloomsday Run.

  • Sunday, May 6, 2018
  • 12 Kilometers (7.46 miles)
  • Spokane, Washington

Your Heart Rate

How To Take Your Pulse

Why learn about your pulse? Your heart rate (or pulse) is the key to training properly. You must learn how to take your pulse so you can adjust your exercise intensity to stay within your THR range.

Target Heart Rate

Your THR refers to a heart beat rate of 60-85% of your heart rate reserve. Memorize your minimal and maximal THR range! Ideally you should work toward the middle of the THR range depending on your fitness level. Refer to page 2 on intensity.

To obtain aerobic benefits, it is important that you exercise to keep your heart rate in this range. If you exceed your THR during exercise, you are no longer obtaining aerobic benefits! This is important to understand. "More is not better" in this instance.

Where To Find Your Pulse

There are two pulse points you may use to count your heart beats. Use whichever is easier for you to find:

  • Radial Pulse: This is on the thumb side of your wrist in the little groove beside the wrist tendons.
  • Carotid Pulse: This is the pulse on the side of your neck. Slide your fingers from your "Adam's apple" area toward the left side of your throat where there is a little groove. The carotid pulse is often the easiest to find after you have been exercising and your heart is beating stronger and faster.

How To Feel And Count Your Pulse

Rest your index and middle finger gently over the pulse point. Feel for the pulse beats. If you cannot find your pulse, adjust your position slightly and try again.

When you have found your pulse, start counting the first beat with "zero" and continue counting the number of beats over a six-second period. Add a zero to that number (i.e., multiply it by 10), and that will be your pulse rate. For example, if over six seconds you count 12 beats, that means your heart rate was 120 beats per minute. When you get better at counting, you will learn to recognize when you are between beats. For example, between 12 and 13 beats would mean a pulse rate of 125 beats per minute.

When To Take Your Pulse

  • Resting Pulse: Take your pulse for a full minute while you are sitting or lying down. It is best to do this before you get out of bed in the morning when you are truly resting.
  • Exercise Pulse: Take your pulse approximately three to four minutes after beginning your exercise program. If your pulse is above your THR, slow down. If it is lower than your THR, pick up your pace a little bit. Until you get the feel of the proper pace, take your pulse frequently during exercise (every five minutes).
  • Recovery: Check your pulse five minutes after exercise and again five minutes after cool- down. In five minutes, your pulse should be close to 100. In 10 minutes, it should be close to your resting pulse. If the numbers are higher, you may have pushed yourself too hard. As you become more fit, your recovery will be faster.

How to Calculate Your THR

To calculate your THR range, use the percentage guidelines on the Developing a Training Program page for your individual fitness level. Calculate an upper and lower percentage to find your range.

Target Heart Rate Ranges

THR (60-90%)

 

THR (60-90%)

Age At least Not more   Age At least Not more
20 120 180   46 104 157
21 119 179   47 104 156
22 119 178   48 103 155
23 118 177   49 103 154
24 118 176   50 102 153
25 117 175   51 101 152
26 116 175   52 101 151
27 116 174   53 100 150
28 115 174   54 100 149
29 115 172   55 99 149
30 114 171   56 98 148
31 113 170   57 98 147
32 113 169   58 97 146
33 112 168   59 97 145
34 112 167   60 96 144
35 111 166   61 95 143
36 110 166   62 95 142
37 110 165   63 94 141
38 109 164   64 94 140
39 109 163   65 93 139
40 108 162   66 92 139
41 107 161   67 92 138
42 107 160   68 91 137
43 106 159   69 91 136
44 105 158   70 90 135
45 105 157        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This information courtesy of health professionals at
Providence Holy Family Hospital & Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center