Running is a simple yet exhilarating sport that allows you to connect with nature and improve your overall well-being. While using advanced trackers and technology during your runs is a personal choice, there is one crucial measurement that every runner, from beginners to marathoners, should pay attention to—the resting heart rate (RHR). Monitoring your RHR provides valuable insights into your cardiovascular health and fitness levels. In this blog, we will explore the significance of resting heart rate for runners and its impact on your running performance and overall well-being.



Understanding Resting Heart Rate:


Resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute while you are at rest. It reflects how efficiently your heart circulates blood through your body. Generally, a lower resting heart rate indicates that your heart is functioning with ease, while a higher rate may suggest that your cardiovascular health and fitness levels need attention.


  • Factors Affecting Resting Heart Rate:


Various factors can influence your resting heart rate, including genetics, age, weight, medications, mood, sleep patterns, caffeine intake, diet, tobacco use, and hydration status. Additionally, your exercise habits and training intensity play a significant role. Regular runners, especially those engaged in intense workouts, may experience lower resting heart rates, even down to the 40s.


  • Measuring Resting Heart Rate:


Measuring your resting heart rate is a simple process that requires finding your pulse and using a timer or clock. For accuracy, measure your heart rate immediately upon waking, before sitting up in bed. Alternatively, you can measure it after resting for five minutes in a sitting or lying position. Locate your pulse in your wrist (radial artery) or neck (carotid artery), count the beats for 30 seconds, and then multiply the number by two. Repeat the process after one minute and average the two values.


  • The Significance of Resting Heart Rate for Runners:


Knowing your resting heart rate is essential for tracking your cardiovascular fitness journey. As you engage in a regular aerobic exercise like running, you may observe a decline in your resting heart rate over time, indicating improved cardiovascular efficiency. Typically, runners witness changes in their resting heart rate within three to four months of consistent training. Monitoring this change allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your workouts and overall fitness level.


  • Potential Impact of Overtraining on Resting Heart Rate:

Although regular aerobic exercise benefits cardiovascular health, overtraining can lead to temporary fluctuations in resting heart rate. Overtraining-induced stress and inflammation can initially cause an increase in your resting heart rate. If overtraining progresses to a state known as overtraining syndrome, runners may experience a slowed or increased resting heart rate, depending on their primary training focus. Recognizing these signs can help you adjust your training regimen to avoid potential burnout and optimise performance.


  • Seeking Medical Attention:


If you experience unusual spikes in your resting heart rate, accompanied by symptoms like dizziness, chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, or nausea, consult a physician promptly. It's essential to prioritise your health and seek professional guidance if any concerning symptoms arise during your running journey.





Resting heart rate is a vital metric for runners, providing valuable insights into cardiovascular health and overall fitness levels. By consistently monitoring your resting heart rate, you can track your progress, optimise training, and ensure a safe and enjoyable running experience. Remember, while technology and trackers can be beneficial, the simple act of measuring your resting heart rate with basic tools can significantly contribute to your overall well-being as a runner