Monitoring your heart rate after running a mile can help you to check your fitness level and measure your fitness progress. It can also help you to determine and adjust the intensity of your running routine.
This is because the higher your heart rate is after exercise, the more intense your running workout was. Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen, and if you have questions or concerns about your heart rate.
Target Heart Rate
Although you can purchase a heart rate monitor to check your pulse rate after running, you can also just place your finger over an artery to count the beats per minute. After running a mile, check to see that you heart is within 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, which is 220 minus your age, the American Heart Association advises. For example, a 25-year-old should have a heartbeat of 98 to 166 bpm after exercise.
Read more: Cardio Heart-Rate Zones
Heart Rate Zones
If you are just starting out with your running routine, aim for your heart rate to be around the 50-percent mark of your target heart rate zone for the first couple of weeks. Wear a heart rate monitor or use an app on your phone or wearable to track your heart rate. Use the talk test to measure your intensity according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
If you can talk but not sing, you're exercising at a moderate level. If you can't talk or you frequently stop to catch your breath while you are running, you are likely running too hard. Gradually increase your intensity over a period of six months until your heart rate is at about the 85-percent mark of the target zone during and after running.
Read more: What Is a Good Exercise Heart Rate?
Exercising Too Hard
You can experience heart palpitations or a high heart rate if you exercise excessively or too intensely. Palpitations are not usually serious according to Medline Plus. They can be mentally uncomfortable more than physically because it can be disconcerting to feel the sensation of your heart "turning over." A high heart rate can cause you to tire too quickly, preventing you from finishing your mile. Get emergency attention if a racing heart is accompanied by loss of consciousness, chest pain or shortness of breath.
How to Manage
Slow your pace or intensity while running if you notice any irregularities in your heart rate, such as pounding or skipping beats. Always warm up with a 10-minute brisk walk or light aerobic activity such as jumping jacks or burpees to gradually increase the speed of your heart and raise the temperature of your muscles. You can also march with high knees on the spot according to ACE Fitness. Cool down in the same fashion —slow down to a walk — after running a mile to slowly return your heart rate to its normal pace.