Abnormal run training heart rates


Hi Edith. Yes definitely, if you are running on Keto, add 15-20 beats to your normal “non-Keto” heart rate. This also applies to your LTHR or Anaerobic threshold. My LTHR before Keto was 165 bpm, now I have added 15 beats to it and have it set at 180 bpm. The effort and RPE is exactly the same. If you run to your “non-Keto” HR you will undertrain.

(Tor Christian Stamnes) #42

That’s exactly my experience too. Before Keto I would get my heart rate up to about 180 on treshold intervals. On keto more closely to 190. My HRmax is 200 (non-Keto).

I did alot of 2-hour workouts averaging araound 80% of HRmax on keto without any problems. I was as strict keto as possible eating 10-15grams of CHO. So after my 1-2 times weekly VO2max interval sessions with such little CHO I was struggling to “come down” the following days. It could take up to 3 days before I could feel my body was in a “homrone balance”. I learned it the “hard way” too. Now I eat the amount of CHO which I estimate I would burn during my intervals, and that’s the way I think.
Its pure biochemistry as I know now :slight_smile: Anarobic work needs anarobic fuel…

(Alec) #43

I am getting this as well. My average HR is definitely higher on keto than pre keto. What’s super interesting is that my maxHR has increased by at least 5 bpm. Theoretically this is not possible, your max is your max. But conditions the same, test the same, equipment the same, higher max. Not just a one off, but consistently.

Body needs more oxygen to burn fat? Really? Is that biochemically true?

(Mario) #44

your maxHR is not MAX by definition! you can force it to rise (a little bit), or it will go down by aging.

(Rodney Rosario) #45

I really enjoyed reading all of the conversation in this topic. How is everyone doing nowadays. Still on the keto diet? Something that felt incomplete while analyzing everyone’s results with keto and running. Have you all tested your highest heart rate limits and resting heart rate limits while off the diet and on the diet? I ask because depending where these numbers fall your zones may alter. Some of us have 191 max heart rate others have 220 or 180.

Enjoy 2020

(Sarah) #46

I wish I’d found this thread before I saw a cardiologist! The upside is I know my heart is healthy :wink: I have been on again/off again Keto since April of 2016. I initially lost 65lbs and began running for the first time ever. I wasn’t ever fast, but completed my first half-marathon fasted at 2 hours and 10 minutes. My second one was two hours and seven minutes. I had a few months of non-keto (I struggle with sugar) and then began training for my fourth half but I noticed that as the weather warmed up I really struggled. More so than ever before. My heart rate had been higher than other people I ran with, but I used to handle long runs at about 159. Now it’s more like 175 unless I hit a hill or speed up and then it can go up to 189. And when it’s in the 180’s I start to feel really hot and get a not-great feeling in my ears and up the sides of my head. Plus, it just feels like a huge slog.

So, is the consensus that more salt (I’ve been adding about 1.5 to 2 tsp per day for the last month or so) will help? And possibly MCT oil? I don’t need to break any records, but I’d like to keep up with my running group and I certainly want to be able to complete regular training runs. Is there anything else I can do?


I am very happy to have found this thread. I am an experienced runner and am 3 weeks into the keto diet experiment. I have been observing almost the same symptoms as yours and have been quite puzzled. I wonder how the last couple of years has been for you. Assuming that you continued with keto, did your heart rate eventually went back to pre-keto levels or did it remain high and you just accepted it. It does not sound right to me that heart beats more even at rest. It means you are basically putting continuous stress on you heart and in a way may be shortening the life span. It might even cause heart enlargement in the long term. My HRV has also dropped since starting keto so it is also an indication of stress.

(Edith) #48

Did salt help @sjabennett?

(Edith) #49

The initial weeks of keto are challenging because you cells have to transition from sugar burning to fat burning machines. Exercise is really an effort during that transition. Muscles feel like lead. Around the six to eight week mark, you will notice that exercise is getting easier, but it is gradual.

When I first started keto, my heart raced and pounded. I needed to supplement with salt. On keto, you need about two teaspoons a day, but that can go up not down depending upon activity level.

If you haven’t read up on electrolytes, search through the forum. There is a ton, I mean ton, of information about them.


Thanks @VirginiaEdie . Increasing salt (sodium) intake seems to be highly recommended. However, the issue regarding overall elevated HR (not palpitations) that @Kiwiness experienced seemed to remain despite extra sodium and eventually he accepted this reality as far as I can tell. Lower resting HR is always considered to be healthier for a healthy heart. That is where I have concerns.

(Edith) #51

Earlier in this thread someone mentioned fat burning needing more oxygen. I am at a good weight and no longer losing weight. Does that bring the RHR down? Maybe a person who is in the early stages of keto and is dropping tons of weight has a higher heart rate? They are using more oxygen? I have no idea.

I’ve been keto for three years. Once I got my electrolytes under control, my RHR has stayed pretty steady and even gone down a few points.

It really was electrolytes for me. I went through a phase of heart palpitations because my magnesium became depleted, I believe from eating too many high oxalate foods.

I can tell when my sodium goes too low because my blood pressure goes down and my heart feels like it beats harder. Also, my sodium needs went up this summer due to sweating and exercising in the heat.

Just my rambling thoughts.

(Min Young Choe) #52

Hi @Kiwiness, I really appreciate your post.

I have the same concern with high HR for my running.

Also, I do have a question for Marathon. Is that okay if I send you email?