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Heart Rates

philakphilak Posts: 144
I wore a HRM for the first time yesterday whilst on my afternoon "training " run which consist of 7 miles to the local 10 start point, the 10 itself and then 7 miles home.

On the ride out my HR was between 150-160 most of the time and according to a website i saw this is about 90 percent of my max HR(174). More worrying though was that throughout the 10 portion of the ride i was at 180-190bpm which exceeded my max HR of 174bpm for the whole time.

The question is this: is exceeding your max HR like this bad,very bad or potentially damaging? I rode the same way i've always ridden a 10 since restarting earlier this year and my times are gradually coming down to about 26 mins on a flattish 10 but if i rode to keep within my max HR it would be more like a 32 i'm guessing.
I don't feel any bad after effects of dizziness whilst riding like this so does everybody ride above their max HR whilst going for it in a TT?

Thx
Phil
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Posts

  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,779
    174 is probably not your maximum heart rate is the simple answer.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • PagemPagem Posts: 244
    you need to read up on hr's, mhr's and their general calculation. they are notoriously diificult to calculate and massively inaccurate unless you are prepared to visit a lab and nearly kill yourself with some fairly unpleasant physical exertion tests.

    how old are you?
    Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive.
  • eheh Posts: 4,854
    Your maximum heart rate is exactly that, the highest heart rate your body can put out. Hence assuming your HRM is working correctly and from those numbers it looks like yours is, then your max heart rate you've recorded so far is approx 190, however, I'd suggest this maybe a little shy of your true max heart rate. Thus, I'd suggest you do a proper max heart rate test, to give you a "proper" max HR value to work from. NOT some number based on a dodgy calculation or estimation.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    If you worked out your MHR from the "220 minus your age" formula, it can give results that are up to 15% above or below your actual maximum heart rate. To accurately find out your MHR, you'll need to do a maximal test - as Pagem says, the most accurate way is to get it checked in a lab test, but you can do a diy version to give you an idea.

    The other possibility is that your HRM is not accurate, but that is easy to check by measuring your pulse manually with a stopwatch.

    Your ride to the start of a 10TT should be a gradual warmup - sounds to me like you are setting off a bit too quick for a decent warmup. However, if you are not feeling any ill-effects, it's not likely to be doing you harm - your body has a knack of letting you know when you are overdoing it.
  • terongiterongi Posts: 318
    Bronzie wrote:
    . . . the most accurate way is to get it checked in a lab test, but you can do a diy version to give you an idea..

    Could you talk me through the DIY version, please?
  • philakphilak Posts: 144
    Yes , i was using the 220 minus age formula to work out my max HR . I'm 46 so it gives me a figure of 174.

    The website never said this figure could be wildly inaccurate so i took it as read. It seems, hopefully, from your replies that i'm probably not about to drop dead from doing this. Labtest would probably be overkill for the stage i'm at but thanks for all the replies and suggestions.

    As far as the accuracy of the monitor goes, it shows my resting HR as about 55 bpm which ties in with what i measure of my pulse so hopefully all good there.

    Cheers
  • philakphilak Posts: 144
    Terongi , i'm guessing you run up and down a mountain until you faint at which point someone checks the monitor! :D
  • eheh Posts: 4,854
    i'm guessing you run up and down a mountain until you faint at which point someone checks the monitor!

    Pretty much, although worth noting that you will have different "max" heart rates for different sports, so if you want your MHR cycling then do the test on your bike etc.
  • philak wrote:
    Yes , i was using the 220 minus age formula to work out my max HR . I'm 46 so it gives me a figure of 174.

    The website never said this figure could be wildly inaccurate so i took it as read. It seems, hopefully, from your replies that i'm probably not about to drop dead from doing this. Labtest would probably be overkill for the stage i'm at but thanks for all the replies and suggestions.

    As far as the accuracy of the monitor goes, it shows my resting HR as about 55 bpm which ties in with what i measure of my pulse so hopefully all good there.

    Cheers

    220 - age has a SEM of +/- 15 b/min. You need to test to determine it, either by yourself or in a lab, where you can get further info which is more interesting!

    I'm 38 my HRmax is 199 b/min

    Ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    terongi wrote:
    Could you talk me through the DIY version, please?

    Pretty much what Philak suggests - see this link:
    http://www.timetrialtraining.co.uk/S6Ma ... eTests.htm
  • hamboneshambones Posts: 407
    A better calculation (although still not accurate!!) is the 210 minus half your age formula. It's only 2-3bpm out for me, only 8 out for Ric above and would be much closer for you too.
    Still breathing.....
  • philakphilak Posts: 144
    Thanks for the input again chaps.

    So 210 minus 23 would give me 187 which is pretty much my rate for most of the 10 TT period.

    Assuming that was close to a true max HR is it safe to assume someone riding a TT would normally give maximum effort and would therefore be close to ,or at , max HR? Or is that oversimplifying things.
    I guess what i'm really asking would be is it safe to ride at maximum HR for any lengh of time? eg the duration of a 10.
  • philak wrote:
    Thanks for the input again chaps.

    So 210 minus 23 would give me 187 which is pretty much my rate for most of the 10 TT period.

    Assuming that was close to a true max HR is it safe to assume someone riding a TT would normally give maximum effort and would therefore be close to ,or at , max HR? Or is that oversimplifying things.
    I guess what i'm really asking would be is it safe to ride at maximum HR for any lengh of time? eg the duration of a 10.

    To give you an idea, the last time i rode a 10 with a HR monitor i averaged 180 b/min and my max was 200 b/min.

    You wouldn't be able to ride at HRmax for more than a few minutes

    ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • philakphilak Posts: 144
    Thanks Ric , i guess i'm not overdoing it too badly then.

    With more miles under my belt hopefully i can get it down some.
  • PhilBixbyPhilBixby Posts: 697
    "With more miles under my belt hopefully i can get it down some"

    Hmmm.... ....I'm not sure you've quite got this yet. Assuming you're training in order to be able to race or TT, you're looking to improve your ability to ride at a relatively high HR for a longer period (ideally the length of a TT) and/or to be able to sustain short bursts at a level even closer than this to your MaxHR. As your body's efficiency improves, you'd be able to maintain a higher speed at the same HR - but for most of us this is usually just a by-product as we're working on improving speed and reducing times.

    As has been said don't worry about "keeping within your MaxHR", as you can't do anything BUT that! Check the various threads on here aboit establishing your MaxHR and take on board the various health warnings that accompany them. Alternatively sidestep the whole business and use Joe Friel's method of calculating HR training zones in relation to your lactate threshold - again by searching on here or by buying his book.

    HRMs can be very useful or completely counterproductive depending on the way you use the data from them. Do some reading up on it - it's really really worth it.

    Phil B
    Clifton CC York
  • philakphilak Posts: 144
    "As your body's efficiency improves, you'd be able to maintain a higher speed at the same HR "

    OR the same speed at a lower heart rate ie get "fitter".Hence my reference to getting it down some. At this time of year i'm looking to work on my base fitness rather than outright speed, which according to what i have read is what people do over the next few months. Therefore the "miles under my belt" reference. Overall i was a bit surprised at a HR of 160bpm when riding at a fairly steady 18-20mph as that seemed a bit high, but if my true max HR is closer to 190 than 170 then maybe not quite so bad as i had thought.

    That's all i meant by it really, maybe i should have explained myself better.
  • If your heart rate for most of the ride was around 187 you can probably take this as around your aerobic threshold. when sprinting for the line what did you get your heart rate up to? Maximun heart rate is exactly that the maximun that you can possibly achieve when your lungs and legs are about to explode.

    Maximum heart rate formulas are pretty useless if you are a "high beater" .At the age of 23 I could achieve 217 when formally tested now at the age of 38 the max I can attain is 206 but at this stage I generally have to stop or fall of the bike. Neither of these figures represent any indication of fitness as you should more or less be able to achieve the same maximum when fit or not.When you are fit however you simply will be going faster when you hit the max.

    If I can remember my physiology

    cardiac output = Stroke volume(amount of blood pumped out of the heart in a single beat)xheart rate.

    I have always assumed that "high beaters" genetically simply have low stroke volumes and have to make it up via their heart rate.
    Neil
  • philakphilak Posts: 144
    To be honest my legs were pretty dead crossing the line, the finish on my local course is slightly uphill for about 1/4 mile so i wasn't sprinting, just breathing very hard and holding on for the finish. I don't think the rate ever got much above 190 even at that point , definitely didn't go over 200 or i would have been very worried.

    I don't want to make too much out of the heart rate thing. I wore the monitor because my g/f had one from her athletics days many moons ago and i thought it would be interesting to see the results.I posted the question here because i thought i might be doing myself some damage but i'm reassured by the replies, i think.

    As a layman I think my biggest problem improving my TT times might be my lung capacity. I'm an ex smoker and that presumably has a siginificant impact on my lung capacity . i find myself breathing very hard /fast and my legs dying on uphill sections, although my recovery is fairly good when back on the flat. My heart is probably doing a little overtime trying to compensate maybe.

    Overall i've made a good start to my re introduction to TTs. I've knocked over 2 minutes off my best on my local course and also one i do at weekends in a 2 month period. Right now though my improvements have hit the proverbial wall but i recognise i'm doing nothing like the training i could or should be to get better. I only do the ride out to the local course 2 or 3 times max in one week so overall only about 75 miles/week and no specific interval training.
  • As Philbixby says, take a look at Joe Friels approach. I have the book, and use what he calls your lactate threshold as being the reference point for setting training "zones" rather than ones based off you max HR. Finding you max HR is difficult, and to do it properly needs a lab or at least some serious motivation. Ultimately, is it worth it? using Friels approach, you simply need to establish your steady state HR at your max continous racing speed, and the best way to do it is to measure your HR over the last 20 mins of a 30 minute ride at your 10 mile TT pace. The latter neds to be at you absolute maximum effort, it is going to hurt your legs and lungs, but its the average figure over this period that you are after.
  • PhilBixbyPhilBixby Posts: 697
    Ooops yes, bit of brain fade in my posting - I'd meant to say "As your body's efficiency improves, you'd be able to maintain the same speed at a lower HR " in relation to your comment about getting it down a bit. Apologies, just adds to the confusion!

    Not sure how much legacy the smoking will leave. At TT pace you'd *expect* to be breathing hard and fast, and the legs dying on hills will be about your relative inability to keep up the effort while above your lactate threshold. That'll improve with training, and helps point out where your LT is - at the heart rate just below where your legs died! As you've noted, specific intervals will make a difference, but sounds like you've made lots of progress and we can only fit so much into every week.

    Phil B
    Clifton CC York
  • PhilBixby wrote:
    Ooops yes, bit of brain fade in my posting - I'd meant to say "As your body's efficiency improves, you'd be able to maintain the same speed at a lower HR " in relation to your comment about getting it down a bit. Apologies, just adds to the confusion!
    OK, pedantic mode on.... :)

    While I think most will get what you are saying, it would be technically correct to say that "as your fitness improves..." rather than "as your efficiency improves...".

    A rider's efficiency (in the strict thermodynamic sense) is the ratio of energy used in propelling the rider forward (i.e. power over time reaching the rear wheel) vs total energy produced by the rider (including that used to propel the rider forward, but mostly heat generated/dissapated, as well as minor bits like sound, over coming friction losses etc).

    Typically riders range between being 22% - 26% efficient. It varies with cadence and can change a bit over time in an athlete but by no means anywhere near the level of change possible in terms of fitness (as defined by the maximal steady state power output or maximal aerobic power).

    pedantic mode off.... :)
  • PhilBixbyPhilBixby Posts: 697
    I stand, pedantically, corrected! :lol:
    Indeed, it was the less-specifically-defined ability to get more speed from a given level of effort that I was talking about - smoother pedalling, better fitness etc.

    Phil B
    Clifton CC York
  • There may well be a better way to establsih your pacing strategy for a TT and that relies on your Perceived Exertion rather than your HRM. In a race you may well overtake other riders or be overtaken and with experience you will know what your pacing should be.

    I'll give you an example. Earlier this year in May I rode a Club 10 TT and the fastest rider went off 30 seconds behind me. Within 2 miles he had overtaken me but then he never rode away. I had started within my limits and was building up to finish fast. he finished no more than 15 seconds ahead of me on the road. I like to think that on a fast day and with good health i could still turn out a good ride and I'm encouraged as the same rider got club record last month with 20.04.

    I'm not sure that a HRM would help you in this respect.
  • AngusDeAngusDe Posts: 25
    As a 49yo, 6'1" 23stone sack of lard I often wonder what my HR/BP stats actually mean as there are folk like my mum & dad always telling me I'm overdue a stroke/heart attack.

    My weight has been slowly, but steadily falling off since I got back on my bike and commuting to work, 6 miles a day, and with the odd longer run, 20 miles or so. The wife and I also usually have a 1 hr walk most evenings.

    As my wife has a chronic Lupus type condition we monitor her HR/BP/Temp on a daily basis as it gives us clues as to how things are going etc.

    My bike comp has a HR thingy but I seldom wear it, but I do check my HR/BP twice a week when I come in from the commute and "resting" on a leisurely Sat or Sun morning.

    So this is what I get, coming in off my commute, HR 80-90 (on the comp coming up last hill touching110 - 120) with BP of 140/90 ish, but at rest on w/end morning, HR 55, BP 110/65.

    To me the BPs seem reasonable from what I understand, but the HR seems surprisingly low?

    Any informed opinions or advice out there?

    Angus
  • PhilofCasPhilofCas Posts: 1,153
    AngusDe wrote:
    As a 49yo, 6'1" 23stone sack of lard I often wonder what my HR/BP stats actually mean as there are folk like my mum & dad always telling me I'm overdue a stroke/heart attack.

    My weight has been slowly, but steadily falling off since I got back on my bike and commuting to work, 6 miles a day, and with the odd longer run, 20 miles or so. The wife and I also usually have a 1 hr walk most evenings.

    As my wife has a chronic Lupus type condition we monitor her HR/BP/Temp on a daily basis as it gives us clues as to how things are going etc.

    My bike comp has a HR thingy but I seldom wear it, but I do check my HR/BP twice a week when I come in from the commute and "resting" on a leisurely Sat or Sun morning.

    So this is what I get, coming in off my commute, HR 80-90 (on the comp coming up last hill touching110 - 120) with BP of 140/90 ish, but at rest on w/end morning, HR 55, BP 110/65.

    To me the BPs seem reasonable from what I understand, but the HR seems surprisingly low?

    Any informed opinions or advice out there?

    Angus

    Angus - just ask yourself these basic questions, how much effort are you putting in ?, are you really trying, are you dawdling along ?, is your breathing steady and controlled or are you really panting hard, i suspect you're holding back and that you could push yourself harder and thence have higher HR figures
  • well at hois own admission at 23 stone he's hardly fit yet, so pushing harder might not be a sensible recommendation. I wouldnt worry about your resting HR at 55, thats pretty good. Just keep riding steadily and regularly, at 6'3" then I guess your target weight is under 16 stone (Im 6ft 1 ish and 15 stone which is still a stone overweight).
  • First thing to say is well done that you have decided to get back on your bike, to be honest at this point the heart rate monitor will be more useful for curiosity sake rather than a training tool however it may allow you compare levels of effort when repeating the same ride. Again on the positive side for a chap of 23 stone a resting BP of 110/65 is excellent. Please ignore you BP just after/during exercise it will tell you nothing and generally means very little.

    Also as someone has already mentioned initially a little caution having attained a weight of 23 stone I suspect you have been sedentary for a long time. It would pay to be a little cautious when you push yourself initially as there is always the possibility of revealing latent heart disease. The purpose of you riding again is to avoid a heart attack not bring one on. Ask your self the question do you have any other risk factors for heart disease, are you a smoker? Is there a family history? What is your cholesterol? All these things do not mean you should not exercise. But for example if you are a 49yr old 23stone man who has smoked 50 a day for the last 30 years whose cholesterol is 7 and father had a heart attack at the age of 50 a little caution may be advisable. (Then stopping smoking and a visit to you GP would be in order)

    Initially instead of trying to ride hard and fast I would suggest concentrate in getting the mileage up. The commuting is a great idea but try and add in a run on the way home once a week where the mileage is built up making the20 mile runs more common and possibly building them up to 30 miles again low intensity fat burning is the idea here.

    Rather than using a heart rate monitor I would essentially suggest using perceived effort a as gauge of intensity of exercise, in your case this would be inducing some shortness of breath whist riding.

    Hope this is of use
    Neil
  • PhilofCasPhilofCas Posts: 1,153
    Steve/Neil - no recommendation was given by my good self to push harder, i mearly stated that taking it easy may be the answer for low HR figures whilst riding.

    I suspect you're reasonably fit Angus and it sounds as though your're going about increasing fitness and weightloss in a sensible manner (i.e. HR/BP monitoring and reading up on here!), all the best in your future riding.
  • AngusDeAngusDe Posts: 25
    More or less what I was thinking myself, I tend to think I'm fitter than the scales suggest.... I have tried asking the GP and his advice was "don't over do it" which didn't really help. Most folk don't think I look "that fat/overweight!", heavy build anyways and nowadays a 44" waist and a 50" chest. Ther's 2" off the waist and 6" of the chest since a year ago.

    Historically, there was a time when I'd cycle 100's of miles in a day, albeit 20-30 years ago. Much of the most recent weight gain has been over the last 5 years, working away from home, staying in hotels, eating a lot of KFC and washing it down with beer.....

    Now things are much more settled and I'm trying to undo the damage. First thoughts were get on the bike and be fit in no time, but now I reckon my weight and age are rather more against me, and it is taking a lot longer. Family wise my dad is 84 and fitter than me I suspect, mum died last year of cancer and I've never smoked. Last time my Cholestoral was checked, about 5 years ago, it was "top end of ok". Some folk would say my coffee consumption is alarming, 8-10 cups a day probably, and the odd night of 5-8 beers twice a month are the worst aspects of my lifestyle these days.

    The thing with the HR is it always seems "low", and when I push myself I seem to "top out" pretty low too, after 7 months I'd have thought I'd have been able to widen the gap a bit, if you know what I mean, but I suppose pushing 23st up a hill is still hard work however way you look at it..

    Anyway, I love being back on the bike, and feel 20 years younger when I'm having a good ride! lol...

    Cheers for the encouragements,

    Angus
  • There is a bigger spread of MHR's than there are RHR's when comparing a group of people. Your RHR will tend to drop when you get fitter, whereas your MHR doesnt improve, it usually decreases with age. I have a "low" MHR of 165 (which is based upon a highest ever seen all out sprint on the track at 161 BPM). My RHR is about 47-50 BPM and never got below 45 when I was very fit years ago.

    The real issue is whether your heart is strong enough to safely run at or very close to its max. In your case sounds like your reasonably fit so maybe the answer is yes. most people who fit your weight / height profile are very unfit hence the words of caution!
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