Recording morning pulse – immediately upon waking

  1. As soon as you are conscious, but before you have thought much about anything count your pulse rate for a minute. Record it before you forget it. If you don’t have your journal by your bed, then keep a piece of paper handy with a pen.
  2. It is natural for there to be some fluctuations based upon the time you wake up, how long you have been awake, etc. But after several weeks and months, these will balance themselves out. The ideal would be to catch the pulse the instant that you are awake before the shock of an alarm clock thoughts of work stress, etc.
  3. After two weeks or so of readings, you can establish a baseline morning pulse. Remove the top high and low readings and then average the others.
  4. The average is your guide. If, on a given day, the rate is 5% higher than your average, take an easy day. When the rate is 10% higher, and there is no reason for this (you woke up from an exciting dream, medication, infection, etc.) then your muscles may be tired indeed. Take the day off if you have a walk-run scheduled for that day.
  5. If your pulse stays high for more than a week, call your doctor to see if there is a reason for this) medication, hormones, metabolic changes, infection, etc.). This could be due to overtraining.


Learn more about keeping a journal in Jeff’s book Mental Training for Runners. You will find the book at:


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