VO₂ max, a person’s maximum oxygen consumption, also affects his average heart rate in a marathon. Learn more about the average marathon running heart rate.
The average athlete’s heart rate running a marathon is 160 beats per minute. It is based on a person in their 20s who has a resting heart rate of 55 bpm and a maximum heart rate (MHR) of 200 bpm. Her age determines a person’s maximum heart rate – your MHR decreases as you get older – and her genetics.
Take a deep breath
Running six mph takes 36 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight. With very high VO2 max, you can train faster while still getting enough oxygen to stay in the aerobic zone.