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Max Heart Rate Test

Max heart rate test

What is a Max Heart Rate Test?

A max heart rate (HR) test is performed by running for 20 minutes at high intensity. Most people can run a 5K race to test their max HR. Competition from other runners can motivate you to run faster and reach your peak heart rate.

Another way to run for twenty minutes at a high heart rate is to run intervals. For example, I ran 3 x 1-mile intervals with a two-minute rest. In my upcoming race, Publix Coppperhead 5K, I aim to finish under 23:5. So I ran fast.

Warning – Not For Beginners

The max heart rate test is only for experienced runners. I recommend you have at least two years of consistent running before attempting this test. You must have a high endurance level to run hard for twenty minutes.

Furthermore, the stress on your heart and body can be severe. So, the test is only for healthy runners with no underlying medical issues.

Running a Max Heart Rate Test

First, you want to feel fresh. Take a rest day, and don’t run the day before the test. Get a good night’s sleep. You will need to record your heart rate. So, wear a watch and/or heart rate monitor.

Warm up before you run hard. I recommend running the first half mile in HR zone 1 and the second half mile in HR zone 2. Then run hard for twenty minutes. Finally, run a one-mile cooldown.

Training Peaks

During my test, I wear Garmin Forerunner 55 watch to record my heart rate. At home, my run automatically uploads to the Garmin Connect app on my iPhone. It also syncs with my Training Peaks app.

Max Heart Rate Test maximum HR

On March 9, 2023, at age 49, my run results:

  • Maximum heart rate is 168 bpm
  • 20-minute peak heart rate 153 bpm
  • 20-minute peak pace 7:51 per mile
Max Heart Rate Test 20 minute peak HR
maximum heart rate test 20 minute peak pace

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