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Heart Rate

Old 05-19-19, 05:19 PM
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Heart Rate

I managed to get out for a 36 mile ride today. It was actually warm today, and quite breezy, and my allergies have been giving me a hard time. Didn't expect much but it turned out to be a decent ride. 5 miles from home, there's the first good sized hill. Last year, my heart rate would hit 150, and I'd be blown. I guess thanks to some indoor training over the winter, first time I hit this hill in March, I was surprised to find my HR hit 158, and I eased off a bit but didnt feel bad. Today, I looked down and found I was at 158, and kept on going. Looked down again, it was 163 but I just powered over the top and recovered on the way down the other side. If you go by the fallacious adage of 220-age, my max should be 168. After quite a few years of not riding, I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that I'm not in my 20s and can't push my HR way up there. Or can I?
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Old 05-19-19, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CyclingFool95 View Post
I managed to get out for a 36 mile ride today. It was actually warm today, and quite breezy, and my allergies have been giving me a hard time. Didn't expect much but it turned out to be a decent ride. 5 miles from home, there's the first good sized hill. Last year, my heart rate would hit 150, and I'd be blown. I guess thanks to some indoor training over the winter, first time I hit this hill in March, I was surprised to find my HR hit 158, and I eased off a bit but didnt feel bad. Today, I looked down and found I was at 158, and kept on going. Looked down again, it was 163 but I just powered over the top and recovered on the way down the other side. If you go by the fallacious adage of 220-age, my max should be 168. After quite a few years of not riding, I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that I'm not in my 20s and can't push my HR way up there. Or can I?
That is the question?

Sometimes I'm happily riding along enjoying the scenery and staying ahead of the transit bus then suddenly out of nowhere it occurs to me that maybe I should slow down, even though I feel fine. Now where does that come from?
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Old 05-19-19, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CyclingFool95 View Post
I managed to get out for a 36 mile ride today. It was actually warm today, and quite breezy, and my allergies have been giving me a hard time. Didn't expect much but it turned out to be a decent ride. 5 miles from home, there's the first good sized hill. Last year, my heart rate would hit 150, and I'd be blown. I guess thanks to some indoor training over the winter, first time I hit this hill in March, I was surprised to find my HR hit 158, and I eased off a bit but didnt feel bad. Today, I looked down and found I was at 158, and kept on going. Looked down again, it was 163 but I just powered over the top and recovered on the way down the other side. If you go by the fallacious adage of 220-age, my max should be 168. After quite a few years of not riding, I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that I'm not in my 20s and can't push my HR way up there. Or can I?
i wear a heart rate monitor watch i can see where my heart rate is at all times.... u can push ur heart rate to max but dont sustain a max heart rate for long periods of time.. try to sustain ur heart rate at 10% of maximum if u want to push urself
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Old 05-19-19, 11:18 PM
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Everyone's different. Best is to do a lactate threshold heart rate test and base your effort level off that.
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Old 05-20-19, 07:05 AM
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As to max heart rate, it's what you can sustain for a period of just a few seconds-- perhaps 20-30. If you're holding it any longer than that, it's not your max.

In my experience, it's all but impossible to find your max heart rate out on the road by yourself. Try to catch someone much further up a hill than you are, or get away from the dog that's faster than you.

In thousands upon thousands of miles, I had never seen my HR above 179bpm. Then trying to catch a group I hit 185bpm, and just last year trying to take back a KOM I hit 188bpm. The 220-age is a ballpark figure for most. Pretty close, but not a concrete number.

Just dug through my activities to find the max I've hit this year, 183bpm. Yeah. I remember that day.
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Old 05-20-19, 10:06 AM
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If your doctor says your heart and cardiovascular system are healthy, you can run your HR as fast as it can get. If you are healthy, then your body regulates your HR to what your body is demanding from it.

Just learn to use it to judge how much effort you are putting into your ride at any one particular moment. You'll learn that you can only maintain a certain HR level for so long. And that will tell you if you need to back off for a while to rest up for another part of the ride where you'll have to exert yourself again.

What should trouble you about HR is when it doesn't go down soon after you reduce your effort. Or worse, IMO, it doesn't increase soon after you increase your effort.

P.S. Don't over look the drugs you might take regularly. They can affect your HR during hard exertion too and you need to read all the side effects and make certain your doctor understands how seriously you do or don't exert yourself while riding. I get the idea that many doctors that don't cycle, think of just casual bike riding in a very leisurely manner when I tell them I ride. But I don't do leisurely rides. For some of my short rides I stay anaerobic for a large percentage of that ride.

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Old 05-20-19, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Everyone's different. Best is to do a lactate threshold heart rate test and base your effort level off that.
Agreed. Warm up well, then do a 30 min TT. Take the highest 20 min. HR.
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Old 05-20-19, 11:22 AM
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Max rate 220-age is just a reference.
if you’ve been & are active,
you are probably able to exceed that number
& still feel good!
The “feel good” is the key
....
“use it or loose it” kinda applies
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Old 05-20-19, 11:37 AM
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My heart rate is all over the place so I don't use it as a metric for anything. Due to a thyroid problem my resting HR can vary between 60-90. Last year before thyroid cancer I was able to max out around 160-170 bpm on several indoor trainer sessions, probably about right for my age (61). This year I'm having trouble getting it above 150.

I can't even judge by my average speeds and times over familiar 20-30 mile training circuits. My speeds now are the same as last year before I got sick. But I'm wiped out for a day or so afterward, unlike last year.

Until my thyroid level is settled by meds I'm not paying much attention to heart rate. I just go by felt exertion and how I feel the next day.

A friend suggested a gym with a retired pro cyclist coach/trainer who does FTP tests, training with power, etc. But for me right now that's a waste of time and money. I'm pretty sure the guesstimation calculators from Strava and the Elevate extension are pretty accurate -- my average power over distance is around 160 watts, so it's a waste of money for me to buy a power meter or worry about it until my metabolism is stabilized.
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Old 05-20-19, 04:14 PM
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With a documented max HR of 194 that would put me at 26 years old. I don’t think so!!! I do know that I have a higher than average HR.

I haven’t researched it but I’m willing to bet that people who have been involved in aerobic exercises over a long period of time (since their 20s) have max heart rates more similar to what it was when they were younger.

I’m just hoping my body is somewhat equivalent to a 26 year old!!

In order to establish your max HR it really needs to be recorded under controlled conditions.
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Old 05-20-19, 05:47 PM
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Only a few times have I exerted an effort that resulted in a very short period of 180+bpm showing on my Garmin that was then immediately followed with an almost overwhelming feeling like I was going to puke. Those times were when my resting HR was routinely below 40bpm and I would be doing 3 rides/week of intense effort. There were then other efforts resulting in elevated HR (not 180+bpm) and most likely lactic acid release causing pain, weakness, shortness of breathe BUT NO HURLING feeling. Just anaerobic exercise effort I guess.
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Old 05-21-19, 05:58 AM
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You always need to consider your own resting pulse rate (mid-to-high 40s for me now; lower 40s when I was younger and more fit) in determining your personal max heart rate. I have always paid far more attention to recovery rate -- how long does it take me to get back below 90, then 70, then 60?
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Old 05-21-19, 06:59 AM
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I am 57 rest pulse is 40-42 been running and cycling all my life. I cannot get my heart rate about 155 that I can recall in the last few years. On a huge climb about 8% grade I got it to about 154 thought I was coming apart. Yesterday I ran 7 miles at 10:45 pace and HR was 124 average maxed at 141. If I sprint running I can get it close to 150. My heart rate recovery on garmin after 2 minutes of hard work is usually 48-62.

You must be able to put out a lot more power than I can.
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Old 05-21-19, 08:03 AM
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I am glad that I ran into this post this morning. I find that my heart rate normally averages at 85% (131) of my MHR.whether it is 1or 2 1/2 Hr ride. I generally feel fine after these rides. I am hoping to do a century at end of the summer for my 66 birthday. My question is should I build up my endurance at my present effort and HR or should I concentrate on riding easier at a lower HR. The harder pace seems more comfortable to me. Thanks for any insight that can be provided. FYI Never had any heart issues RHR is in the mid 50s.
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Old 05-21-19, 08:12 AM
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I would have to question how you arrived at your max HR number, because a person does not generally do 2.5 hours @ 85% effort and feel fine afterward.

I think my last FTP test, including warm-up and cooldown (total moving time ~90 minutes,) only had a 0.79IF, and I was right knackered afterward.

Have you by chance done an LTHR test to determine your threshold, or are your zones set from the 220-age recommendation?
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Old 05-21-19, 08:33 AM
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My zone is set by the 220 method that I got off a chart. My HR is from my Garmin. I realize there could be somewhat inaccurate but when I check it’s accuracy manually it’s for the Hr most part it’s pretty accurate. I had a standard stress test a few yrs ago and everything was fine. I had only 1 ride of that length this yr, and that was the one I was pretty tired after(upper legs). Most rides so far are in the 1:15-1:30

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Old 05-21-19, 08:37 AM
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I'm just saying that it's very likely that your max HR is a good bit higher than 220-age. According to that formula, mine should be 174, but is in fact 189. My LTHR is 166, down from a recorded high of 172-- just two beats shy of the formula's guessed max. As you ride more and become better conditioned, your LTHR usually drops a bit.
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Old 05-21-19, 10:50 AM
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The doctor friend I ride with tells me that 220 - age is completely bogus. Also, there are a large number of publications that also say this. That's good, because my max heart rate (measured through an escalating effort time trial) is at least 167, whereas 220 - age tells me it should be 155.

Here's one of many papers on this:

Despite the acceptance of this formula, research spanning more than two decades reveals the large error inherent in the estimation of HRmax (Sxy=7-11 b/min). Ironically, inquiry into the history of this formula reveals that it was not developed from original research, but resulted from observation based on data from approximately 11 references consisting of published research or unpublished scientific compilations. Consequently, the formula HRmax=220-age has no scientific merit for use in exercise physiology and related fields. https://eprints.qut.edu.au/96880/
Supposedly, a better max HR formula is 208-(0.7 x age), but this is still way off for many fit people. This tells me that my max HR should be 163, but I can consistently get to 167, so it is at least 4 beats off.
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Old 05-21-19, 11:10 AM
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I've never understood this 220-age fallacy. I'm sure you could correlate foot length by height but would you buy shoes based on a chart? Or would you measure your actual foot?

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Old 05-21-19, 03:18 PM
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The 220 - age is a calculation, and like all averages works well enough for the majority. If you want/need to be more specific, you can always "measure" your exact MHR.
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Old 05-21-19, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
The 220 - age is a calculation, and like all averages works well enough for the majority. If you want/need to be more specific, you can always "measure" your exact MHR.
I disagree. I don't think it works for the majority well at all and its especially poor for older people because their max heart rate calculated by this method is far too low. This means that older people using this method would tend to not exercise at a high enough heart rate, which is not a good thing at all. There are plenty of publications that back up the idea that 22 - age is nonsense.
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Old 05-21-19, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
I disagree. I don't think it works for the majority well at all and its especially poor for older people because their max heart rate calculated by this method is far too low. This means that older people using this method would tend to not exercise at a high enough heart rate, which is not a good thing at all. There are plenty of publications that back up the idea that 22 - age is nonsense.
It's also based on regular old people, not athletes, and the more we learn about masters athletes the more there is to suggest that we don't age like normal people.
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Old 05-21-19, 07:29 PM
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I think the 220-age is bogus too and I'm just an average joe, not some elite athlete. I've ridden off and on over the years but nothing to the extent many here have. But last year when I decided to get in shape I quickly realized my max HR was way higher than the 157 the formula works out to be. When I started out power hiking up hill I was usually in the 172-174 range by the top of the hill. As I worked myself into shape just hitting the upper 160's was difficult even hiking up some pretty steep hills. Switching over to a bike a couple of months ago I can and do easily hit the upper 160's again while climbing but haven't broken into the 170's yet. Although I'm sure if I were trying to chase down someone ahead of me it would probably be pretty easy to do.
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Old 05-21-19, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I've never understood this 220-age fallacy. I'm sure you could correlate foot length by height but would you buy shoes based on a chart? Or would you measure your actual foot?
That's a great analogy and applicable to many of the things we argue here at BF.
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Old 05-22-19, 02:56 AM
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I think the only sure way to findyour individual maximum HR is to actually do it. Either outside or on a turbo/treadmill. Everyone is so so different and i think more so as we get older and the heart gets worn out so to speak.
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