Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Max Heart Rate

markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
edited September 2008 in Training, fitness and health
Just got a Lidl heart rate monitor and I am pretty pleased with it but I have a question about my max heart rate.
I am 44 yo and been riding seriously since Xmas and have no problems with 60mile+ rides and can do a 26'58" 10TT. When I rode up a big hill yesterday I thought I would use it as an opportunity to measure my max heart rate. I put it in a gear higher than usual and pounded my way up the 3km to the top. According to what I have read my max should be around 176(220-age) but I registered no more than 165, why is this? My reasting heart rate was a respectable 50.
«1

Posts

  • virtuosovirtuoso Posts: 45
    Maybe because 220-age is nonsense, or maybe you didn't try hard enough, or maybe you're just lying about the whole thing?
  • Simon NotleySimon Notley Posts: 1,263
    The above answer may sound a little flippant (the author watched too many episodes of House recently??), but is actually pretty accurate. The formula is notoriously inaccurate and unless you were ready to collapse/vomit/both, you probably weren't at your maximum. A better method of using a HRM is to record your 10 mile TT HR and use that to estimate your lactate threshold heart rate. You can thne define 'zones' relative to that... that's the method recommended by Joe Friel - if you google you might find more details.
  • virtuosovirtuoso Posts: 45
    Ah censored I was trying to do Columbo, I feel like I've let myself down.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    The above answer may sound a little flippant (the author watched too many episodes of House recently??), but is actually pretty accurate. The formula is notoriously inaccurate and unless you were ready to collapse/vomit/both, you probably weren't at your maximum. A better method of using a HRM is to record your 10 mile TT HR and use that to estimate your lactate threshold heart rate. You can thne define 'zones' relative to that... that's the method recommended by Joe Friel - if you google you might find more details.

    I was ready to sell the bike to the first offer over the price of a bus ride home! I have never been so near to collapse. It was a bit stupid really as I had 10 miles left to get home.
  • milton50milton50 Posts: 3,856
    There's loads of different formulae around for estimating max HR but what you have to take into account is that they'll all have standard deviations for a given sample of people of at least 6 bpm.

    By the way there's a lag between heart rate and power and most max HR tests involve increasing the intensity of effort in steps over a 20 minute period. So going absolutely eyeballs out for 3km and measuring heart rate straight away may not be the most accurate method.
  • Age to Max heart rate is as weight to height. There *is* a correlation but if you told me your weight I could not deduce your height from this,
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Apollo748 wrote:
    Age to Max heart rate is as weight to height. There *is* a correlation but if you told me your weight I could not deduce your height from this,

    I'm 5'11" tall and 85kg
  • fuzzynavelfuzzynavel Posts: 718
    markos1963 wrote:
    Apollo748 wrote:
    Age to Max heart rate is as weight to height. There *is* a correlation but if you told me your weight I could not deduce your height from this,

    I'm 5'11" tall and 85kg

    I think that you missed the point slightly....
    17 Stone down to 12.5 now raring to get back on the bike!
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    fuzzynavel wrote:
    markos1963 wrote:
    Apollo748 wrote:
    Age to Max heart rate is as weight to height. There *is* a correlation but if you told me your weight I could not deduce your height from this,

    I'm 5'11" tall and 85kg

    I think that you missed the point slightly....

    :oops:
  • Dan777Dan777 Posts: 49
    im no expert here but a lot of heart rate monitors allow you to view average HR and max HR at the end fo whatever ride you have done. i recently did a cat 4 race and pished as hard as possible and got a HR of 190, even when busting a gut going up 20%+ gradient hills the best i got was 189. if you can view the max HR after the event, just record it, surely this way you will learn your MAX HR?
  • Dan777 wrote:
    im no expert here but a lot of heart rate monitors allow you to view average HR and max HR at the end fo whatever ride you have done. i recently did a cat 4 race and pished as hard as possible and got a HR of 190, even when busting a gut going up 20%+ gradient hills the best i got was 189. if you can view the max HR after the event, just record it, surely this way you will learn your MAX HR?

    Trying to find you Max HR is a bit of a thorny issue, not least because it can be quite a dangerous practise.
    The only accurate way is in a lab with a technician. HRM are all well and good but there's lots of other variables to take into account i.e if you are suitably rested, have you been feeling ill etc.
    'How can an opinion be bullsh1t?' High Fidelity
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Just discovered I have had a mild virus this week so this could explain the reading I got. My point is how do I set my training range if I cant make an accurate calculation of max HR?
  • MIsterGoofMIsterGoof Posts: 128
    I'm no expert but from my previous sport, where I trains a lot based upon heart rate and pretty much maxed it out (230), i were younger then

    the only real way to find your max it to get there (or very nearly there). If you have access to a turbo trainer try some 30secs -> 1minute sprint repeats, with say 1 or 2 minutes rest , keep going until you pass out, throw up or die. Your HRM will let you know what your max is.

    try http://www.brianmac.co.uk/maxhr.htm for several simple calculations
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,584
    Wait a second now. If no one knows of a "formula" for this maybe there isn't one.
    Why would there have to be one? :? :? I'm of the opinion that you can find it by
    riding for an hour or so to really warm up then doing an all out sprint for say 3
    minutes, soft pedal for 3 then hammer as hard as you can again, repeated a few more times, your heart rate will pretty much top out at whatever it's going to top out at.
    At this point you should be gasping and have no legs left. More or less.

    Dennis Noward
  • dennisn wrote:
    Wait a second now. If no one knows of a "formula" for this maybe there isn't one.
    Dennis Noward

    I agree with this Dennis. Why would you want to know what your MHR is anyway? 90% of my maximum theoretical heart rate is more than enough for me, thanks very much! Any more than that and I'm asking for trouble in the recovery stakes. :roll:
    'How can an opinion be bullsh1t?' High Fidelity
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    I have rhr of 42 and the max I have seen was 179 in a race. I have never done a mx test, I just record it during races and look back. I do not train using hr, just by feel and effort.
    The only time | ever take note of hr is on long hard sportives such as Marmotte, and ensure on the initial climbs I do not go over 160 on these so I don't blow up :D
    I did try to train using hr but in my experience 9 which seems odd and not like anyone elses lol ) mine is not linear. I can be putting in average effort and go to 145 hr, then put in big effort and still only get to 155 so it is not linnear so if I tried to train for example at 85% of the max I have seen I would be on 155 and I have been in very hard races where I only averaged 155 so could not train at that level for long :D
    The only other person I know with similar HR response to me is Popette off here and she hard heart problem, but don't think that caused the hr results tho :D
  • jp1985jp1985 Posts: 434
    As previously stated the formula is inaccurate, but further to this is an estimation of maximum heart rate for whole body exercise such as running. The major differance between running, cross-country skiing etc and cycling is the volume of muscle mass recruited during exercise which directly relates to the heart rate response. Therefore the formula will overpredict maximum heart rate for cycling. Throw in the +-/- 6-10 bpm in individual variatoion and its pretty meaningless for cyclists.

    If you have a turbo trainer you could work out your max Hr by starting off at a very easy spinning pace and increase your effort/gear/resistance in stages every 2 minutes, your HR will show a linear increase with effort up until HRmax at which point it will plateau (obviously). Try and estimate your increases in effort so that you reach your HRmax in 6-8 stages.

    Joe
  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    Living in Norfolk, you where lucky to find a 3k hill!!!
    You're obviously not close to my area. :wink:
    If you really want to get your max HR, then I would do several hill reps at max effort, then record your max reading.
    Warm up - Hit the hill hard as you can - Easy pedal back to start - Repeat!
    That seemed to work for me - I did 4 reps, each rep, my HR got higher.
    The hill crested right outside my front door, but, I was living in Spain at the time. 8)
    If you don't know your Max HR, how can you ride at 90%?? :?

    Paul
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • unless you were ready to collapse/vomit/both, you probably weren't at your maximum

    nail/head interface achieved
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    unless you were ready to collapse/vomit/both, you probably weren't at your maximum

    nail/head interface achieved

    Thats fine, next time I want to ask a question about a subject I am not sure about I won't ask on here then.
  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    You've lost me, now....

    I thought that there was a few positive responses on this.....

    I can't say that everyone engaged their brain first, though! :wink:
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • markos1963 wrote:
    unless you were ready to collapse/vomit/both, you probably weren't at your maximum

    nail/head interface achieved

    Thats fine, next time I want to ask a question about a subject I am not sure about I won't ask on here then.

    To get back to the other part of your thread (how do I set my training range), first ask 'What do I want to achieve?' Fitness, weight loss, improved 10/25 TT times? Further help can then be offered :)
    'How can an opinion be bullsh1t?' High Fidelity
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    hopper1 wrote:
    You've lost me, now....

    I thought that there was a few positive responses on this.....

    I can't say that everyone engaged their brain first, though! :wink:

    Sorry mate, not directed at you. There has been a lot of good help, but I put the post up to get some info over a subject I don't know much about, what I didn't need was clever arses trying to show everyone that I didn't know anything( I thought I had established that with my post). This just reinforses the elitest attitude that cycling is getting, hardly the way to attract newcomers to the sport.

    Why I posted is that if I am training(mainly for weight loss at the moment but racing,tt'ing and sportives later on) and I am not reaching max HR then is it a sign of a lack of fitness or is it a spurious number that nobody can reach. If so, then how do I calculate 75% of MHR for instance?
  • markos1963 wrote:
    hopper1 wrote:
    You've lost me, now....

    I thought that there was a few positive responses on this.....

    I can't say that everyone engaged their brain first, though! :wink:

    Sorry mate, not directed at you. There has been a lot of good help, but I put the post up to get some info over a subject I don't know much about, what I didn't need was clever arses trying to show everyone that I didn't know anything( I thought I had established that with my post). This just reinforses the elitest attitude that cycling is getting, hardly the way to attract newcomers to the sport.

    Why I posted is that if I am training(mainly for weight loss at the moment but racing,tt'ing and sportives later on) and I am not reaching max HR then is it a sign of a lack of fitness or is it a spurious number that nobody can reach. If so, then how do I calculate 75% of MHR for instance?

    Many HRM will calculate this from data you enter into the unit. Polar's e.g offer training zone alerts to ensure you're HR is not too high/low. It's age/weight/gender predicted but it's as good a rule as any for riders like us.

    Don't get too hung up MHR as I don't think you'll ever find this out safely.

    HR training has its sceptics in any case. There are lots of extermal and internal factors that effect it on a day to day basis. It's a good indication as to whether you're tired or not.
    'How can an opinion be bullsh1t?' High Fidelity
  • I have used an HRM for the last 15 years and have tried on many occasions to find my HR Max. The highest I have ever recorded is 163 bpm even whilst racing. My lowest recorded resting HR is 30bpm. Using the 220 - age formula my Max should be 180bpm.
  • I am a 52 year old reasonably fit and do 50 -100 miles per week depending on other stuff. I have a resting HR of 55 and regularly max out at 185 -187. according to the 220 - age I should be dead. So it seems to vary greatly from person to person. I do find it useful to keep a note of average HR as it is so easy to slip into a comfort zone where I am not working very hard. I also find it very handy to see how long I have been working in my target zone.
    tpmlogan
  • This has some interesting info and I find personally relevant as 220 minus age says for me 174 which is just rubbish, I easily manage 200 when I'm absolutely hammering it.

    http://www.howtobefit.com/determine-max ... t-rate.htm
    I used to play Hockey but now I ride.... one day like the wind :)
  • :? Another problem IMHO with HRMs is that people become too reliant on them. I have used a Polar for almost 17 years (I use Garmin now because of GPS) and found it useful in the early days. But as I got better (? :shock: ) at running and cycling I relied on it less and less.
    Now I use it at certain times of the month as comparison on turbo training/treadmill sessions and sometimes when I'm racing. But as I do mainly triathlons now I find them unreliable in the water (pool based).
    But in terms of finding a true MHR the data is inconclusive:-

    1. 167 bike
    2. 197 Run

    If you always train with a HRM you lose the ability to listen to your body...sorry to sound a bit nerdish :roll:
    'How can an opinion be bullsh1t?' High Fidelity
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    :? Another problem IMHO with HRMs is that people become too reliant on them. I have used a Polar for almost 17 years (I use Garmin now because of GPS) and found it useful in the early days. But as I got better (? :shock: ) at running and cycling I relied on it less and less.
    Now I use it at certain times of the month as comparison on turbo training/treadmill sessions and sometimes when I'm racing. But as I do mainly triathlons now I find them unreliable in the water (pool based).
    But in terms of finding a true MHR the data is inconclusive:-

    1. 167 bike
    2. 197 Run

    If you always train with a HRM you lose the ability to listen to your body...sorry to sound a bit nerdish :roll:

    Aren't you the clever boy and me the stupid idiot :D

    What's good for you may not be good for others and just because you experience something one way doesn't mean everybody else has the same experience. I got my HRM for the opposite reason. I regularly overtrained before I got my HRM and after my last overtraining session which was so bad that I was left unable to train at all for months, if you can imagine that, I bought the HRM and I haven't overtrained since. My fitness has risen significantly over that time and that is because I have spent more time actually training rather than constantly going the through the boom bust cycle of the past.

    I'm not obsessed by the numbers and rarely actually plan any training round. It is usually post ride analysis or if I know I am pushing along because I can see what the speedo is saying or if I am going uphill then I will look at the numbers just to make sure I am not overdoing it and perhaps back off a bit or else be a bit more conservative on the recovery once I go over the top however I find the ability to measure morning restingHR to be the most useful number of all. I can quickly tell if I am overtraining or getting ill because my restingHR will rise sharply from one day to the next by 5bpm or so and therefore I either take a rest or do a gentle ride or gym session.

    As a matter of interest to this thread my maxHR as measured by using a testing protocol I found online I get a maxHR of 198bpm and 35 according to that generalized formula my maxHr should be 185bpm. My polar s710i and CS600 both tell me that my maxHR should be 187bpm so it just shows how inaccurate both the formula and the HRM based systems can be.
  • doyler78 wrote:
    [quote="idaviesmoore
    What's good for you may not be good for others and just because you experience something one way doesn't mean everybody else has the same experience.

    Steady son, it's just an opinion :)
    'How can an opinion be bullsh1t?' High Fidelity
Sign In or Register to comment.