Resting Heart Rate for Sprinters

Sprinters undergo endurance training to build the explosive speed and strength necessary to propel their body down the track at the highest possible speed. Endurance-trained athletes, including sprinters, typically experience lower resting heart rates than the general population. If you are a sprinter experiencing a reduced heart rate, there is usually no cause for concern. If you are a sprinter interested in decreasing your heart rate, the good news is that this typically occurs naturally as you train.


Your resting heart rate indicates the effort required for your heart to pump blood throughout your body. The resting heart rate for the average adult varies from 70 to 100 beats per minute. Exercising training is beneficial to your cardiovascular health. The hearts of sprinters and other athletes become more efficient at pumping oxygenated blood, thus requiring less effort. The result is a decrease in heart rate, which serves as a good indicator of your overall heart health.


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Your autonomic nervous system is a part of your central nervous system, which controls involuntary actions such as heart rate. Endurance training causes changes in this system that lower your resting heart rate, according to James B. Carter and his colleagues at the Simon Fraser University School of Kinesiology. Endurance training increases parasympathetic activity and decreases sympathetic activity in the heart, Carter explains. Parasympathetic activity stimulates rest, while the sympathetic system stimulates activity. It is the adaption that lowers resting heart rate in sprinters.


Although endurance training does lower overall resting heart rate, individual variations exist. Heart rate control is a complex process and influenced by a number of factors outside of athletic training, such as genetics. For this reason, resting heart rates will vary amongst sprinters. In general, well-trained athletes have a resting heart rate close to 40 beats per minute, according to


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Consult your physician if you are a sprinter and think your resting heart rate is abnormal. There are a number of reasons your heart rate might higher or lower than other sprinters training at your level. Many reasons are harmless, but some require medical attention. For example, if your red blood cells are lower than normal, it would require your heart to work harder to pump enough blood, even though you're a trained athlete.