What is Heart Rate?
Your Heart Rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute (bpm).
Active populations usually have a resting heart rate (the number of times your heart beats per minute at complete rest) that is between 40 and 80 bpm. Because NURVV Run uses resting heart rate to calculate heart rate zones, it is good to regularly update your resting heart rate in the 'Your Details' section to ensure that your heart rate zones are as accurate as they can be. The best time to check your resting heart rate is just after you wake up in the morning.
Your maximum heart rate is the highest bpm that your heart is able to reach. A widely accepted estimate for maximum heart rate is "220-Age", but it is not uncommon for active individuals to exceed this estimate. If during high-intensity runs, you observe heart rates that are higher than the maximum value stored in 'Your details', you should consider updating this value. This will adjust your heart rate zones and ensure that you are training at the right intensity.
A popular way of using heart rate in running is to run at intensities that keep your heart rate in specific training zones. There are 5 heart rate training zones, each zone has specific training benefits. During exercise, your heart rate will increase sharply. In general, the higher the intensity of your running, the higher your heart rate will be. During steady-state running, heart rate will either plateau or continue to climb slowly throughout the run. If you are running an interval workout, your heart rate will drop as you move to the recovery section of the workout and increase again during the effort sections. A number of factors can affect your heart rate values on any given run, including environmental (heat, humidity, altitude), stress, and illness factors.
Monitoring Heart Rate
You can pair and connect to a Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor via the 'Heart rate monitors' option in the Settings screen of the NURVV Run app. With a successful connection to a heart rate monitor, you should see your current Heart Rate within this screen.
You can also connect to the Heart Rate being provided by a Garmin Watch and store your Heart Rate data within the NURVV Run app.
If you are running with the Apple Watch NURVV Run app, you can view the heart rate being provided by the Apple Watch during your workout, but these data will not be stored in the NURVV app for post-run analysis.
During an Outdoor Run, if you have connected a Bluetooth heart rate monitor or Garmin Watch to the NURVV Run app, you can view your real-time Heart Rate as a bpm value that displays just below the Pace metric in the main in-run screen. The colored band either side of the Heart Rate metric indicates the Heart Rate Zone you are currently exercising in. If you are receiving audio cues, then the NURVV Run app will notify you when your Heart Rate transitions between intensity zones.
If you are running an Indoor Run or a Pace Coach workout and have connected a heart rate monitor pre-run, you will not currently have a visual of your real-time Heart Rate during the run, but you will have access to the post-run analysis of Heart Rate for that run.
Following any run completed with NURVV Run and a connected heart rate monitor, you can dive into your Heart Rate metric via the Run Summary screen. The main Run Summary screen provides the Average Heart Rate value for the run in beats per minute (bpm).
Tapping on this metric takes you to more detailed analysis of your Heat Rate for the run, including a breakdown of the % time and duration spent in each heart rate zone and also the Heart Rate Profile graph, which displays the continuous evolution of your Heart Rate over the course of the run, which can be optionally plotted against the Pace Profile and also referenced against the Elevation Profile which is always in a letterbox graph below the main Heart Rate Profile graph.
Improving Heart Rate
As you run, not only are you training the muscles in your legs, trunk, and arms, you are also training your heart.
You can train to target Heart Rate improvements in several areas, including decreasing your average heart rate when running below your maximum effort, lowering your resting heart rate and improving your heart rate recovery.
Decreasing Your Average Heart Rate
One effective method to decrease your average heart rate is to spend your longer runs in an aerobic zone (Zone 3 is a good choice for these runs). This will improve your cardiovascular system overall, which will lead to a decrease in average heart rate.
Lower Your Resting Heart Rate
Training causes the heart to get stronger, meaning the same amount of blood can be pumped in fewer beats and resting heart rate is reduced. A mixture of high-intensity intervals and steady-state running in your training will help to lower resting heart rate. When resting heart rate is lowered, heart rate reserve (the range from resting to maximum heart rate) is increased. This provides you with an increased capacity to work before hitting your max heart rate. Other activities such as yoga are good to include on rest days, as these can also help to lower resting heart rate.
Improving Your Heart Rate Recovery
Heart rate recovery is the rate at which your heart rate falls after an intense run or climb. Your body can only work close to maximum intensity for a limited period. If your heart rate recovery is slow, the chances are that you will reach that time limit far quicker than somebody with a faster heart rate recovery. Interval sessions will help to train the heart to improve heart rate recovery.