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Heart Rate

Old 07-06-21, 12:04 PM
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Pratt
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Heart Rate

How does everyone do on heart rate (HR) vs age adjusted rates from various sources? I am an older, casual recreational rider, and occasional loaded tourer. My HR will regularly bury the age adjusted values if I am riding up a long hill.
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Old 07-06-21, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
How does everyone do on heart rate (HR) vs age adjusted rates from various sources? I am an older, casual recreational rider, and occasional loaded tourer. My HR will regularly bury the age adjusted values if I am riding up a long hill.
Well, the first thing to know is that "MaxHR = 220 - age" is useless. So, age adjusted rates are also nonsense. I'm 63, so my MaxHR would be 157, which isn't even my aerobic threshold, which is more like 160 or so - that's based on the old method of figuring out the point at which your breathing changes from regular fast, deep breathing to basically panting. There are newer method and thresholds and such, which I hope someone else will come along and explain.
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Old 07-06-21, 12:55 PM
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We are all very different. Heart rate, absent any other data is almost useless. Just go ride. Don't worry about your heart rate, breath rate or any other singular metric. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor. You doctor knows your medical history an can help you figure out whether or not the number means anything. People rode bikes up hills and mountains before HR monitors became pervasive, and I didn't hear of any dying in the saddle.
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Old 07-06-21, 12:57 PM
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Yeah, it doesn’t do well for me either; 220 - 51 = 169, which is only 4 bpm above my AnT, and well below my observed 187bpm max.

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Old 07-06-21, 01:01 PM
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As you'll notice (and be told) those age adjusted hear rate charts are not accurate. Particularly if you cycle (or run) more than average. Using your own data is the best way to set your own zones. Google an article at Training Peaks from Joe Friel on setting HR Zones (I'm unable to post links) and it will show you how to set your LTHR (Lactate Threshold Heart Rate) using a 30 minute test.

Using your LTHR is probably the best way to set your zones as your likely not going to be able to find your actual "Max" HR.

If you're not keen to do Friel's "test" then look at your own data and find the hardest 30 minute effort you've put in on the bike. The average HR for that 30 minute (or more) effort would be a good proximation for LTHR that you could plug into a calculator and get your own HR zones. If you don't want to fuss with Friel's zones, just get your LTHR number and use the cycling HR calculator at 2Peak dot com.



And you'll have a pretty good idea of your zones. This all might be overkill, or it could be a good way to measure your self and your riding.
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Old 07-06-21, 01:01 PM
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Pratt,

I would suggest first talking with your doctor and have the doctor determine what your maximum should be.

My max is 157 (220 minus my age) and is pretty close to what I can tolerate at my age. If it goes over that I generally slow down and recover before continuing.
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Old 07-06-21, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
We are all very different. Heart rate, absent any other data is almost useless. Just go ride. Don't worry about your heart rate, breath rate or any other singular metric. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor. You doctor knows your medical history an can help you figure out whether or not the number means anything. People rode bikes up hills and mountains before HR monitors became pervasive, and I didn't hear of any dying in the saddle.
Tom Simpson could not be reached for comment.

I don't know that the OP is worried, so much as trying to figure out HR training zones, which is actually worthwhile thing if you don't have a power meter. But it requires you to figure out your own zones first, because the ones you'll get from 220 - age are probably way, way off.

Oh, I suppose there may be some folks, just by random chance, for whom it works. Just not for most people.
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Old 07-06-21, 01:16 PM
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age adjusted heart rates are not useless as some might suggest. they are most often not accurate for those who exercise frequently like us.

it turns out that for me MaxHR = 220 - age = 166. my most frequently observed max heart rate is 164 and i push it nearly all the time (it is so hard to ride easy). once i saw 171. HR varies with other factors aside from age so the estimation (which is what it is) is just that, an estimation based only on age. it does not take temperature, emotions, food intake, effort, or any other related factor into account.

i never feel like i am about to croak while riding. never. i am always amazed that many posters here on BF have such high max heart rates. i sometimes wonder if the low rate keeps me down any.
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Old 07-06-21, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Tom Simpson could not be reached for comment.

I don't know that the OP is worried, so much as trying to figure out HR training zones, which is actually worthwhile thing if you don't have a power meter. But it requires you to figure out your own zones first, because the ones you'll get from 220 - age are probably way, way off.

Oh, I suppose there may be some folks, just by random chance, for whom it works. Just not for most people.

i think that is where you are wrong, my understanding is that the formula is/was based on most people. now i also believe the formula is quite old and our diets have changed (far more processed foods and artificial crap) which might have an effect on what the new "most people" formula might be today.
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Old 07-06-21, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
Pratt,

I would suggest first talking with your doctor and have the doctor determine what your maximum should be.

My max is 157 (220 minus my age) and is pretty close to what I can tolerate at my age. If it goes over that I generally slow down and recover before continuing.
If you go over it, then by definition, it's not your MaxHR. Maybe your aerobic threshold?
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Old 07-06-21, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
i think that is where you are wrong, my understanding is that the formula is/was based on most people. now i also believe the formula is quite old and our diets have changed (far more processed foods and artificial crap) which might have an effect on what the new "most people" formula might be today.
Apparently not.

The estimation of maximal heart rate (HRmax) has been a feature of exercise physiology and related applied sciences since the late 1930's. The estimation of HRmax has been largely based on the formula; HRmax=220-age. This equation is often presented in textbooks without explanation or citation to original research. In addition, the formula and related concepts are included in most certification exams within sports medicine, exercise physiology, and fitness. 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.
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Old 07-06-21, 01:32 PM
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Also, I'll have you know my diet is not full of 'artificial crap'. It's full of REAL crap!
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Old 07-06-21, 01:47 PM
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Yea, my HR is generally lower than a lot of people. My resting is typically in the 35-40, sitting 50-55, my typical ride HR is around 120, and if I am really thumping it, maybe 140, and I am 56. My wife on the other hand, always seem high, but that is because I am basing it on my norms. I had to adjust the zones to account for my normal HR range. I have not seen 164 which is the 220-age formula in, well,....could not tell you as I don't every showing it above 150 in my ride database.
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Old 07-06-21, 01:49 PM
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My Cardiologist sent me for treadmill stress test with orders that I go full max as hard as possible.

I was running on the treadmill and the PA says, when we get to 130 BPM,we will be stopping the test (220-Age formula). I say, did you read Dr. XYX orders, he wants me to go to the max that I can. Three times back and forth. Eventually, after a lot of wrangling, he let me continue to 183 bpm and he *****ed the whole time that I was putting them behind schedule.

I tend to be more of a diesel. My HR on the bike rarely hits 160 bpm. I'll make around 250 watts at 125 bpm and threshold of around 310 watts is around 145 bpm when fit. Seems odd but it is what it is.
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Old 07-06-21, 01:54 PM
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What is "Heart Rate"?

220 minus age equals what? How does it relate to pulse (BPM)?

Thanks
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Old 07-06-21, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by WaveyGravey View Post
What is "Heart Rate"?

220 minus age equals what? How does it relate to pulse (BPM)?

Thanks
Each time blood is pumped out of your left ventricle, it is a pulse. How many pulses per minute is the rate that your heart beats. As we get older, out maximum heart rate slows. The formula often given for max HR is 220-age. So, 220-63 would say my max should be 157 beats per minute but that is not my max. The formula is crude.
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Old 07-06-21, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
age adjusted heart rates are not useless as some might suggest. they are most often not accurate for those who exercise frequently like us.

it turns out that for me MaxHR = 220 - age = 166. my most frequently observed max heart rate is 164 and i push it nearly all the time (it is so hard to ride easy). once i saw 171. HR varies with other factors aside from age so the estimation (which is what it is) is just that, an estimation based only on age. it does not take temperature, emotions, food intake, effort, or any other related factor into account.

i never feel like i am about to croak while riding. never. i am always amazed that many posters here on BF have such high max heart rates. i sometimes wonder if the low rate keeps me down any.
Perhaps it means you could push harder if you wanted to?

Also, as I understand it, HRmax is not a function of most of the factors you suggest. It is not something one can change with training, either. I do know that the HR I reach while putting out a particular power or speed is subject to all of those.

The first time I hit my HRmax, about 20 years ago,I was riding in a fast group ride going about 30, and felt so good that I pulled out of the group and sprinted ahead of them, uphill, into the wind. I just blew past them, pushing as hard as I could and suddenly it was like I hit a wall and my legs turned to jelly, and I couldn't do it anymore. 193 bpm at about 43 years old. I hit 191 5 years later - felt exactly the same. So, not only far off of 220 - age, but also the linear 1bpm/year doesn't work, either.
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Old 07-06-21, 02:07 PM
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Here's a recent study, looking at real world data, and comparing that to a number of different age-based predictive formulas for HRmax. The basic conclusion is they all lack useful predictive value.
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Old 07-06-21, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I tend to be more of a diesel. My HR on the bike rarely hits 160 bpm. I'll make around 250 watts at 125 bpm and threshold of around 310 watts is around 145 bpm when fit. Seems odd but it is what it is.
Wow! 310ftp at 145bpm is phenomenal!

And you can hold that pace for how long?
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Old 07-06-21, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by WaveyGravey View Post
What is "Heart Rate"?

220 minus age equals what? How does it relate to pulse (BPM)?

Thanks
Heart Rate = Pulse.
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Old 07-06-21, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ChamoisDavisJr View Post
Wow! 310ftp at 145bpm is phenomenal!

And you can hold that pace for how long?
I think the definition per Coggan is about an hour. Most of the tests were 40 minutes and GC extrapolated off them. I did a 3+ hour Zwift race and averaged 278 watts in the Fall last year. I am not fit right now, so, I have no idea what it would be today.

I think it is weird that I peak out at 145 bpm and the fitter I get the lower the HR goes. I just accept I am a diesel
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Old 07-06-21, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Apparently not.

The estimation of maximal heart rate (HRmax) has been a feature of exercise physiology and related applied sciences since the late 1930's. The estimation of HRmax has been largely based on the formula; HRmax=220-age. This equation is often presented in textbooks without explanation or citation to original research. In addition, the formula and related concepts are included in most certification exams within sports medicine, exercise physiology, and fitness. 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.
Reminds me of the "older women have humongous risks with pregnancy" thing. Apparently all the "data" that supports that is based on early 19th century French peasant women who probably had a lot of other things contributing to their pregnancy complications. My understanding is that more recent research suggests that the risks are not nearly so severe (not non-existent, but perhaps overstated.)
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Old 07-06-21, 02:20 PM
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I like the Dr. Maffetone formula for figuring out the most effective efforts to gain the biggest engine or really stroke volume. Most of my miles go like that.


https://philmaffetone.com/180-formula/
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Old 07-06-21, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by drlogik View Post
What's your point?

The OP asked how other folks figure out their max heart rate. People are replying with how they do that. What's your problem? Is it that you feel compelled to prove their opinion is wrong?

Not everyone is the physiological marvel that you are at 43 years old and hitting 193 beats per minute. Some of us are mere mortals that used to compete at high levels in multiple sports and have aged out.
Geez, dude, relax! Who peed in your Cheerios?

The point is that the old formula of 220 - age is pretty much useless, and that what most people call 'HRmax' really isn't HRmax, so if you base your zones on something well below HRmax, your zones will be off. That may or may not matter to you, but I think it's worth knowing.

As far as I can tell, there isn't an accurate way of predicting or calculating your HRmax, which means the only thing you can do is determine it - and there are plenty of suggestions online, generally something like doing a climb, hard enough and long enough to go anearobic, then sprinting as hard as you can till you can't. There are other methods for determining HR zones that don't involve figuring out HRmax, which might be safer for older codgers like me and others.

And as far as I can tell, HRmax is NOT a function of condition, so having a HRmax of 193 at that age is not being any kind of physiological marvel. It's just a data point.
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Old 07-06-21, 02:25 PM
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The HR formula is more about diagnostic tests that doctors do on you. Why it got into the cycling community is understandable, but the fact that people ever lent it credence for the cycling community is a mystery.

Your HR compared to another person means nothing. Your max HR means nothing. What means something is the most HR that you can maintain without bonking or taking too long to recover to do the next hill or sprint.

Like others, I recommend setting your zones by LTHR or FTHR. If you have a power meter, forget HR and use FTP.

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