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Maximum Heart Rate

wine9555wine9555 Posts: 97
What is the best way to determine your maximum heart rate?I feel like the guides used using age dont apply to me.I am 51 years old but work out and ride my bicycle almost daily for at least an hour.The rates at the health club suggest a maximum rate at what seems like a crawl to me.I have recently purchase a heart rate monitor and want to use it correctly in my training.


  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,084
    warm up

    find a big hill and start slowly and get faster and faster untill you see Angels and the light fantastic and hear ethereal music and you cannot pedal any more (if you don't see elvis, try harder)

    check HRM, = Max heart rate

    If you re not in a good physical condition, have yourself checked first, or you can pay some sports thing to get all your body data

    If you re in Lincolnshire, ive got to do one too so we can do it together (the HRM test i mean)
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • from Cycling Performance Tips
    Warm up thoroughly. On a long, steady hill increase effort every minute for at least 5 minutes until you can't go any faster. Then sprint for 15 seconds. Check your heart rate at its maximum for a full 30 seconds and double the number. Similar results can be obtained on a stationary trainer.
    I read somewhere that you should add 5-10% of you're recorded max HR. The assumption is that you never really hit your max, unless in a competition for example.
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    I'd go with the big hill too. You need one just long enough that you die at the top, not worth dieing at near the top, cos you'll have to walk the rest, coffin or not ! :lol:

    I used to test mine out on a climb out of Adlington towards Potts Shrigley (cheshire/derbs) as the hill get's steaper towards the top and you usually max out here, followed once recovered, by the infamous Brickworks !

    Sometimes you get an involuntary max hr, like training with a friend up a long straight road with a slight incline, and you are hanging on for dear life, hr going straight up to the max, head saying I'm going to die if I keep this up.........then pop, you die (well not exactly - the legs just stop going round).
  • liversedgeliversedge Posts: 1,002
    I'd add that it helps to be racing someone up that hill too, especially if you really want to win... helps to motivate you to give it everything...
    Obsessed is just a word elephants use to describe the dedicated.
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    At your age - the best way is carefully! (my hubby is 52 - I wouldn't want him to max test just like that and he's reasonably fit already!)

    A real max is another planet compared to a brisk hour.

    There are some who advocate using heart rate results from a 20 minute time trial like effort as a basis for training and this might be better for you - at least until you are certain nothing is going to go POP!

    And ask yourself why you want to know... are you going to race or tour... both worth getting fit for but potentially different roads if you'll pardon the pun!
  • ut_och_cykla raises a fair point.

    If you're not gonna be racing, you can still get a lot of benefit by training at less than what your true max might be. If you're not gonna be racing do you really need to know your true max!

    It was only at the beginning of the week that I changed my max HR from 210 to 200. I was supposed to be doing 20-30 min tempo rides at 75-83%. After a couple of mins above 81% I would start to see white and black stars before my eyes and become light headed. I didn't do a max hr test, I was using a 12 month old max. It was clearly wrong for me now.

    I've dropped it to 200 and I can quite happily sustain 83% without seeing the stars. I know I'm getting fitter cos my avg power has gone up and it's more consistent during the tempo than it was previously.

    At the end of my 7 week training programme I'll do a max hr test and see what it really is!
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    For a controlled test, try and borrow a turbo trainer. Google for 'ramp test' and you'll find plenty of structured rides to 'hurt' yourself. It's important to do a proper 20 minute warm up and then increase your load progressively to about 80% before making any all-out efforts.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
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