To present the initial data behind a running gait-determined training heart rate and the resulting 180-Formula as an exercise intensity guide.
In group 1, 223 male and female noninjured, experienced adult runners underwent extensive clinical evaluation and running gait analysis to determine the highest heart rate associated with an optimal running gait. Athletes were assigned training heart rates just below this and told to maintain their previous weekly mileage at or below their assigned heart rate. Pre- and post-study 5-km races were performed on certified courses. In group 2, 38 participants were assigned a training heart rate using the methods above, while 39 controls maintained their normal training schedule.
In group 1, 223 of 225 (99.1%) runners completed the program; 170 of 223 (76.2%; 95% confidence interval: 70.6–81.9%) runners improved their 5-km race times. In group 2, 42 of 42 completed the program. The monitor group had an injury rate of 2 of 21 runners (9.5%) and the control group had an injury rate of 13 of 21 (61.9%) (P = .001). The assigned heart rates of these 2 groups of athletes were used to create a formula, called the 180-Formula, for use as a training intensity guide.
The described training method and corresponding 180-Formula appear to be a safe and effective gauge of exercise intensity. The target heart rate training method studied here deserves further exploration in endurance athletics and rehabilitation.
© 2015 Published by Elsevier Inc.