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recovery heart rate after running - credible factor?


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Hello. I've bought myself a garmin gps enabled watch for running. I went for a short run yesterday and tried not to "die"

After I've finished my run my watch displayed this "recovery heart rate" number, which apparently was 20 BMP. Now I've looked online a bit and I read that this might be a good indication of one's fitness level. As I intend to build my endurance with running, can I go with this number? Do you pay attention to this number yourself?

If not, what is your motivation / measurement that you can hold on to? Only total time / distance ratio?

Thanks for your replies.


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I personally pay a lot of attention to heart rate, especially my heart rate recovery times. Research studies have shown that your heart rate recovery is directly related to morality. I actually made a couple videos on heart rate recovery recently where I discuss resting heart rate, max heart rate and heart rate recovery times, one video shows me doing a heart rate recovery test on a bicycle ride. The one discussing heart rate recovery can be viewed on my video page on my website. I don't have the test one on the site yet but it can be viewed at my youtube channel.


As far as the number of 20 bmp.......i assume that meant to say 20 bpm or 20 beats per minute. That can not be an accurate reading, very few people even have a resting heart rate of 20, much less a recovery heart rate of 20. So I am assuming something is n't reading right with your watch. I use the type of heart rate monitors that strap around your chest, but even cheaper varieties of them sometimes can give wacky numbers or if the batteries start getting weak they could give bogus numbers.

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Thanks for replying.

First of all - that's a typo - it's not BMP, but BPM. And this is not resting heart rate. This is recovery heart rate. Apparently the watch measures it like this: after you press stop button on the watch (immediately after finishing the workout) the watch memorises your current heart rate and it does so again after 2 minutes. It then substracts second number from the first one and it displays you recovery heart rate. In my case that was 20 BPM. Which is kind of bad, but I'm a beginner so I don't worry that much now.

Baiscally this number tells you how fast can your heart return to "normal" operation. The faster, the better.

That's what I've read online

Is there anyone here that uses recovery heart rate as motivation?

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  • 1 month later...

The fitter you get the more that number will come down Bob ~ congrats on getting out the door and running !!!


I have a max HR of 192 and last time I hit that I dropped 50bpm within 3 or 4 minutes of recovery (so in that case my first reading after the two minute period would probably have been around 25bpm). I generally have a RHR in the mid-high 40's.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Bob,


Sorry, i just seen your response above from May 12th.


Ok, yes, a 20 bpm heart rate recovery rate makes more sense.


And yes, I use my heart rate recovery rate as motivation. I use it as a direct correlation to my cardiovasular shape at the time. The biggest factor I noticed when I had plaque buildup years ago, was a very slow heart rate recovery. As I stated above, research has shown a low heart rate recovery is directly related to morality(mainly heart attacks), i believe the research showed anyone with a heart rate recovery below 12 bpm within one minute of stopping exercise was at risk, if my memory is correct on this.


I don't know if you viewed the video I mentioned above, if not, check it out. I went into great detail about heart rate recovery test. Since May, I have done 2 more heart rate recovery test on video. My heart rate recovery currently is still not where it was at September when I was at my peak at the end of cycling season. I like to have my HRR at atleast a drop of 50 bpm within one minute. Also, keep in mind, that rather you are standing, sitting or laying down will effect your HRR, also any body movements as simple as moving your arms will effect it slightly. That is a problem when trying to video one on yourself if trying to show your heart rate watch in the video while laying down, because you are holding your arms up and moving them around.

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