Is running at a high heart rate a concern?

Welcome to the next edition of the Ask Coach Parry podcast, I’m Brad Brown and with me is Comrades Marathon coach, Lindsey Parry. Lindsey, welcome back onto the podcast, thank you so much for your time today. A very interesting question today that was submitted by Juanita and she said she’s not overly concerned about this. But she wants to get some feedback. She says it’s an issue and she’s got various opinions online about it and she’s not quite sure if you have a take on it.

Basically what she’s saying is that if you’re running with a heart rate monitor and you notice that your heart rate is on average about 20 beats faster than the runners around you, should you be concerned? She says she’s 40 years old, she weights 50kg and her heart rate is regularly high when compared to other runners. Her resting heart rate is between 50-60 beats per minute. But when she runs she’s averaging between 160 and 190 with her maximum heart rate peaking at about 200 beats per minute, during last weekend’s 10km that she did up in Gauteng. She doesn’t feel faint or tired or disorientated or in any pain. She just wants to know, should she be concerned?