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Understanding Your Resting Heart Rate

Whether you're new to exercise or a seasoned athlete, you're likely familiar with your heart rate (HR). Especially if you have a smart watch.

Heart rate is one of the many factors we (coaches and clients) may refer to when training.

You'll likely spend most of your time wavering between HR Zones 2-4 during strength training, with short spurts of Zone 5, maybe.

We won't dive too much into Zones, as I've touched on this in a previous email + here's the link to my IG post.

What we will talk about is resting heart rate or RHR. RHR holds a lot of power and can be indicative of health.

A "normal" RHR for adults is 60-100 bpm, although elite athletes can have regular RHR of closer to 40 bpm.

When you first start your aerobic training outside of strength training, whether that be jogging, cycling, or other form of cardio, it's likely you'll experience a higher heart rate at lower-moderate training, as well as while at rest. BUT, just as your aerobic capacity will adapt over time, RHR will likely decrease as aerobic training enhances. (Yay conditioning!)

Resting heart rate is something you may want to keep an eye on both for general health and if you're training for an event.

RHR can be reflective of your recovery. Overtraining is often a word tossed around, but recently I've been thinking of it on the other end of the spectrum -- underrecovering. If you're training 3 days/week and see a significant uptick in your RHR after each of those sessions, I'd argue you're underrecovered.

Remember, exercise is a stressor. A good stressor, but a stressor nonetheless. There's a sweet spot for exercise to be a positive stressor, but it needs to be coincided with proper nutrition, sleep hygiene, and stress management.

If you're experiencing a significant and consistent uptick in your RHR, consult your physician.


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Katharine Moustakes
Hey, friend!

I'm Katharine.

I'm a personal trainer, running coaching, and nutrition coach who's stoked about lifting, the outdoors, summit snacks, and my dog.


I understand that fitness is not your whole life. Fitness is a PART of your life. I approach training in a way that adds value to your life and longevity, so you can enjoy being active whether you're romping around in the mountains, playing with your kids, or signing up for your first 10K race.

I'm here to meet you where you are, so you can train safely and effectively, and gain strength and confidence both in the gym and on the trails.

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