Forum home Mountain biking forum Health, fitness & training

heart rate too high too fast?

phelixphelix Posts: 7
edited September 2008 in Health, fitness & training
After a 3 year gap I've started mountain biking again. Too many years ago I was a very keen and fit cyclist but over the years have got a bit sedentary. My goals aren't going to be much of a surprise - better muscular and cardiovascular fitness and weight loss. I've now been riding about a dozen times since 30 July with a typical duration of 2 hours. My usual loop is about 15 miles, most of it off-road, with about 1200 feet of climbing spread out along the way and it takes me just under 2 hours. I tend to push myself pretty hard as that's what makes it interesting to me. As I spend most of my time in the saddle (see below) I try to keep my cadence up to what must be 70 or more. My heart rate quickly gets up to 175 or so and rarely drops below 160 while on the move unless on a longer descent. Once I stop it drops to 125 or so within a minute and then settles at 110. My resting pulse rate is 68. I'm 44 and my weight is 95kg.

My questions are:
    Is this heart rate too high? I feel great after a ride with no ill effects. During a ride I spend most of the climbing time in the saddle - my legs very quickly feel tired if I stand up on the pedals for very long. Yet after a ride and particualrly in the days following the first few sessions my legs were fine - I'm not sore nor do my legs feel weak. I'm surprised at this but don't understand it. Why don't they burn; is it because I'm not spending enough time out of the saddle?

Posts

  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    Just to give a comparrison.

    I am 43 (44 next month!) and weight a little less thanm you (80Kg). My resting heart rate has always been fast at around 80. My max heart rate which I can maintain for short bursts (few mins) is 199.

    From two example rides over the past week;

    11 Mile ride. Average Cadence 76. Average Heart Rate 163. Max HR 191. Av Speed 10.1 mph. Accent / decent 700 ft
    29 Mile ride. Average Cadence 78. Average HR 172. Max HR 190 (this was the Evans Event). Av Speed 9.1 mph. Accent / decent 2700 ft

    All of my rides look similar to this.

    Don't know if this helps or not but I have suffered no ill effects and my heart rate drops from zone 5 to zone 1 in about 2 mins whilst still cycling but resting.
    London to Paris Forum
    http://cjwoods.com/london2paris

    Scott Scale 10
    Focus Izalco Team
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    phelix - sounds like you are pretty fit to me so don't worry!
    68bpm isn't quite as low as it could be but it's still "safe."

    Oddly enough I took my resting pulse this morning (after hearing a thing on the radio about heart disease) and it's dropped to 52bpm - yikes!
  • Thanks for the replies to date. I wouldn't describe myself as terribly fit though, not when I'm 18-20 kg heavier than I was 16 years ago. :shock: And until I started mountain biking again I wasn't doing any regular aerobic exercise.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Phelix - no scientific basis to this but I'm convinced that if you have been fit, you retain a core fitness level for ages.

    I have a mate who has done naff all exercise for about two years (having been pretty fit) but can still hold his own on an MTB ride or run - he's nowhere near as fast as he was but still a lot better than many of those who currently ride/run a fair bit.
  • gandhigandhi Posts: 187
    Surf-Matt wrote:
    Phelix - no scientific basis to this but I'm convinced that if you have been fit, you retain a core fitness level for ages.

    I have a mate who has done naff all exercise for about two years (having been pretty fit) but can still hold his own on an MTB ride or run - he's nowhere near as fast as he was but still a lot better than many of those who currently ride/run a fair bit.
    I've thought about this quite a lot too. I think it's all mental - when you know how hard you can push yourself, and how much pain you can take, you don't forget.
  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    pbpic2426326.jpg

    Here's my trace from the weekend.
    London to Paris Forum
    http://cjwoods.com/london2paris

    Scott Scale 10
    Focus Izalco Team
  • Surf-Matt wrote:
    Phelix - no scientific basis to this but I'm convinced that if you have been fit, you retain a core fitness level for ages.

    I have a mate who has done naff all exercise for about two years (having been pretty fit) but can still hold his own on an MTB ride or run - he's nowhere near as fast as he was but still a lot better than many of those who currently ride/run a fair bit.

    Funny you mention that - we have a BUPA health MOT paid for by work once every three years (just to make sure they're not running us into the ground too quickly) and I always get a very high score on lung capacity which I attribute to being super fit in my teens and eary-mid twenties when I was an OK road racer.
    cjw wrote:
    Here's my trace from the weekend.

    CJW, what watch/computer are you using?
  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    Garmin Edge 305 with HR and Cadence sensors.
    London to Paris Forum
    http://cjwoods.com/london2paris

    Scott Scale 10
    Focus Izalco Team
Sign In or Register to comment.