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Hitting Maximum Heart Rate

reppohkcorreppohkcor Posts: 111
Do many cyclists actually realistically come close to their MAX HR in a ride? i.e within 1 or 2 BPM.

I'm asking because i manage to hit 190 a few times on ascents during a ride, but i'm unsure as to whether it is my max hr...
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  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    No. Not me, anyway.

    I once hit 224 on a trainer but I swear I could have gone way past that, as I wasn't going completely flat-out.

    When powering up a steep hill in hot weather, with my lungs collapsing and legs burning, going as hard as I could, I only got to 215. That was only a small peak though, the majority of the time it was around 210-212.

    I think being outdoors with factors like the cooling effect of wind must affect your ability to get to your max...
  • liversedgeliversedge Posts: 1,002
    Interesting question.

    Over the last 5 years the highest I have seen my HR go is 190, during an ascent of Hardknott in the lakes on a day when I had tapered and was determined to get round without walking.

    Since then I've never got higher than 187 and in the last 8 months I have spent a grand total of 18 minutes with a heartrate over 180. From a total ride time of 257 hours.

    Maybe I just need to try harder :-) (Or sleep less, or ride in hoit weather, or drink more caffeine etc etc)
    --
    Obsessed is just a word elephants use to describe the dedicated. http://markliversedge.blogspot.com
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    reppohkcor wrote:
    Do many cyclists actually realistically come close to their MAX HR in a ride? i.e within 1 or 2 BPM.

    I'm asking because i manage to hit 190 a few times on ascents during a ride, but i'm unsure as to whether it is my max hr...

    If it's the highest you've ever seen them it's your max., until you see something higher.
    :wink::wink:

    Dennis Noward
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Dennis makes an incredibly fair point...

    I consider my max to be the highest I've ever seen it at, not from some equation thingy or anything like that.
  • reppohkcorreppohkcor Posts: 111
    Cheers guys, i could do with knowing my absolute max to calculate the 5 zones.

    I've been reading up and treadmill running seems to be the best way, cycling will produce lower values due to the fact you are actually in a seated position and using muscle groups harder so muscle fatigue strikes before max hr.

    Its interesting to read that max hr actually has no affect on an athletes performance. Some world class athletes have low max hr some have high max hr, apparently what matters is lactate threshold heart rate training.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    What really matters is that you are at least 0.01mph faster than the guy in 2nd place ;)
  • reppohkcorreppohkcor Posts: 111
    NapoleonD wrote:
    What really matters is that you are at least 0.01mph faster than the guy in 2nd place ;)

    Exactly :lol:

    Impossible without serious training!
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    reppohkcor wrote:
    I've been reading up and treadmill running seems to be the best way, cycling will produce lower values due to the fact you are actually in a seated position and using muscle groups harder so muscle fatigue strikes before max hr.

    Except to get your "zones" you want the maximum HR at the sport you're doing, not your maximum HR at a completely different sport, since picking 90% of max hr and calling that your cucling threshold is not likely to work if you've used your running max heart-rate. Particularly if you're not adapted at all to running - generally people with little or no adaptation to the sport can get to Max HR a lot easier than people who are very fit in the sport.

    You'll probably do a lot better identifying a threshold value from your history data than your max - although for that you'll need a HR monitor that logs. do lots of hard even effort rides (flat ground or on a trainer), and see what your heart rate threshold is. You're unlikely to hit your max in general riding.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • blackhandsblackhands Posts: 950
    reppohkcor wrote:
    Do many cyclists actually realistically come close to their MAX HR in a ride? i.e within 1 or 2 BPM.

    I'm asking because i manage to hit 190 a few times on ascents during a ride, but i'm unsure as to whether it is my max hr...

    I can regularly hit may HRmax on a ride - and I know its my max as I've measured myself in the physiology lab doing a max test. My max is 180 (I'm 66).

    Dennis is wrong - the max you see is not necessarily the highest you can reach doing a structured test.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Bloody hell - how hard are your rides ? My max is only reached flat out on a turbo - and going so hard that i could barely see - let alone ride the bike properly. And then its a while to recover - if i maxxed out on a ride - then i am wrecked for a minute or so after. I dont think that max is something thats to be reached every week.

    And i think 224 is a spike - i get that sometimes with power lines or interference - so no surprise that you thought you could do more bhima.
  • blackhands wrote:
    reppohkcor wrote:
    Do many cyclists actually realistically come close to their MAX HR in a ride? i.e within 1 or 2 BPM.

    I'm asking because i manage to hit 190 a few times on ascents during a ride, but i'm unsure as to whether it is my max hr...

    I can regularly hit may HRmax on a ride - and I know its my max as I've measured myself in the physiology lab doing a max test. My max is 180 (I'm 66).

    Dennis is wrong - the max you see is not necessarily the highest you can reach doing a structured test.
    And the max you get in a structured test isn't always the max you might attain during a hard outdoor effort, such as after a long hard sprint at end of a very hard summer criterium. Not uncommon to be able to get higher number outdoors than indoors (even with a maximal effort ramp test).

    Indeed, HR response indoors often bears little resemblance to outdoors and again little resemblance to what happens when you race.

    But it's all a moot point really. If you've done a very hard/maximal effort, recorded a max value and know your HRM was giving a valid reading, then that will be close enough for the purpose of setting some training levels (which should be fairly broad anyway and are meant to be used along with perceived exertion).
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    cougie wrote:
    And i think 224 is a spike - i get that sometimes with power lines or interference - so no surprise that you thought you could do more bhima.

    224 is not an artificial spike - i've just gone out for a ride and was able to sustain 222 for 15 seconds solid when at about 95% of a flat-out effort. I'm borrowing the HRM off a doctor I know, it's supposed to be of incredible accuracy as it's used in hospitals. It's brilliant! I've been wearing it everywhere!

    I just managed to get a resting heart-rate of 45 before, after a cold shower! :shock: Not for long though! I got a big spike after drinking some milk and it went down massively when I held my breath for 5 seconds. It's quite fun! :D

    I wonder if your heart rate increases when there are nice female cyclists are out riding... :lol:
  • Bhima wrote:
    I wonder if your heart rate increases when there are nice female cyclists are out riding... :lol:
    HR is affected by many more things than how hard we are pushing on the pedals.
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    I got this blip on sunday, strange as I was on a descent at the time!

    blip.jpg
    Manchester wheelers

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  • guineaguinea Posts: 1,177
    Bhima wrote:
    I wonder if your heart rate increases when there are nice female cyclists are out riding... :lol:
    HR is affected by many more things than how hard we are pushing on the pedals.

    Yup.

    You can quite easily think your HR higher. I used to check it every morning and could move it up and down 10bpm just by thinking about it.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    a_n_t wrote:
    I got this blip on sunday, strange as I was on a descent at the time!

    Maybe it was the shock/stress of having to avoid unexpected potholes at high speed? That has got my heart racing a few times!
  • GavHGavH Posts: 933
    guinea wrote:
    You can quite easily think your HR higher. I used to check it every morning and could move it up and down 10bpm just by thinking about it.

    Very true. No matter how hard I try to remain calm and pedal easily, my HR starts to creep up as I APPROACH tough climbs, probably through a little bit of nervousnes that I know the next few minutes are going to smart a bit!!
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Bhima wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    And i think 224 is a spike - i get that sometimes with power lines or interference - so no surprise that you thought you could do more bhima.

    224 is not an artificial spike - i've just gone out for a ride and was able to sustain 222 for 15 seconds solid when at about 95% of a flat-out effort. I'm borrowing the HRM off a doctor I know, it's supposed to be of incredible accuracy as it's used in hospitals. It's brilliant! I've been wearing it everywhere!

    I just managed to get a resting heart-rate of 45 before, after a cold shower! :shock: Not for long though! I got a big spike after drinking some milk and it went down massively when I held my breath for 5 seconds. It's quite fun! :D

    I wonder if your heart rate increases when there are nice female cyclists are out riding... :lol:

    I think all the Polar HRMs are cardio accurate. I first got a polar 20 years back and whenever the max recording blew out on a ride it had always peaked at 224 bpm. Strange.

    Did your HR rise pretty gradually to 224 or did you see it jump a bit ?
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    It was a gradual rise.

    Going out in 5 minutes to try and get my absolute maximum (on the road). :)
  • blackhands wrote:
    reppohkcor wrote:
    Do many cyclists actually realistically come close to their MAX HR in a ride? i.e within 1 or 2 BPM.

    I'm asking because i manage to hit 190 a few times on ascents during a ride, but i'm unsure as to whether it is my max hr...

    I can regularly hit may HRmax on a ride - and I know its my max as I've measured myself in the physiology lab doing a max test. My max is 180 (I'm 66).

    Dennis is wrong - the max you see is not necessarily the highest you can reach doing a structured test.

    My tested max on two occaisions was 179 bpm (granted this was self administered intervals and hill sprints, but I was reeling after the effort!).
    A month after my first test I hit 181 on a club ride and then last week (about 2 months since my last test) I hit 186 tackling another hill. However in general my max HR over a ride is usually never over 179.

    What's interesting is that on a short commute through city centre I will frequently be up around 170. Also my perceived effort will usually be nowhere near % HR - I fell fab scooting across town in the morning and feel fairly fresh and upbeat when I arrive, despite my heart hammering in my chest!
    ________________________________
    Roadie: Focus Cayo - FCN 4
    Commuter hack: Fixed Langster - FCN 5
    Winter hack: Battered Sirrus - FCN 9
  • GavH wrote:
    guinea wrote:
    You can quite easily think your HR higher. I used to check it every morning and could move it up and down 10bpm just by thinking about it.

    Very true. No matter how hard I try to remain calm and pedal easily, my HR starts to creep up as I APPROACH tough climbs, probably through a little bit of nervousnes that I know the next few minutes are going to smart a bit!!

    On the turbo training all I have to do is imagine i'm turning into the finishing straight of my local circuit, about to launch a massive sprint and my HR can jump from about 120 to 150 bpm.

    Also if I have a cup of tea/coffee before a recovery ride on the turbo my HR is usually 10+ bpm above what is usually is.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    Did tests last night and my max on the road is 229 and 239 on a trainer.

    When doing training in the different heart rate zones, which figure should I use as the max when I'm out on the road? Don't have a trainer so would the 239 figure be irrelevant when out on the road?
  • eheh Posts: 4,854
    my max on the road is 229 and 239 on a trainer.

    Those numbers look on the high side, either your measurements are wrong or you are a freak. :shock:

    Surely it isn't a surprise people can change HR with thought after all it is only a muscle and we know we can move arms, legs, eyes, ears etc with thought.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Bhima - what did you do first ? The turbo and then the road ?
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    I did the trainer test first and then waited an hour before going out on the road.

    On the road, there's no way in hell I was going to get a higher reading than that, so I think i'll use the different readings as my max depending on weather i'm on the road or at the gym on an excersise bike.
    eh wrote:
    Those numbers look on the high side, either your measurements are wrong or you are a freak. :shock:

    I don't think it means i'm a freak. Max heart rate and fitness have nothing to do with each other. I know someone who goes all the way up to 247 and he's 15!
  • I've been told that 'maximum heart rate' isn't the same as the maximum number of bpm you can register on your HRM following some short blast of all out effort, as you are bound to get spikes in the data. Max HR could only be calculated accurately from a lengthy data series during sustained effort.

    I was told the best way to find my Max HR was a lab test but you could do the same 'at home' by doing a 10 mile TT and then taking your Average HR and dividing it by 0.88 & 0.92.

    Your max HR will be between those two figures and from continual assessment you should be able to tie it down very accurately.

    BTW I was also told that Max HR was only useful for training purposes & wasn't a guide to fitness, apparently that's resting HR.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    According to the Pete Read Turbo Blue book - you shouldnt retest your max every few days - certainly not within an hour of the first one - so that could be why you didnt max out the second time. Its a bloody hard test - not to be underestimated - so you cant do it again and again.

    And I'd struggle on the road to max out as all my efforts are going into speed - so no effort left to balance or look for cars etc - so I think the turbo is the best place to do it.

    Your figures dont look to be especially high - the 220-age thing only works for most people - not everyone.

    Cant see that the 10mile TT would work for you - some people cruise their 10s.

    The Lab test isnt radically different from doing it on a turbo, nice long warm up, then a decent effort increasing in intensity with resistance being added until you really cant do any more. Its probably 15-20 mins or so building to that.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    blackhands wrote:
    reppohkcor wrote:
    Do many cyclists actually realistically come close to their MAX HR in a ride? i.e within 1 or 2 BPM.

    I'm asking because i manage to hit 190 a few times on ascents during a ride, but i'm unsure as to whether it is my max hr...

    I can regularly hit may HRmax on a ride - and I know its my max as I've measured myself in the physiology lab doing a max test. My max is 180 (I'm 66).

    Dennis is wrong - the max you see is not necessarily the highest you can reach doing a structured test.

    Not sure what you are saying. Whether it's a structured test or a reading you saw on the road one day it's still the MAX. you can do(until you see it go higher). Or are you refering to some sort of calculated MAX?

    Dennis Noward
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    cougie wrote:
    According to the Pete Read Turbo Blue book - you shouldnt retest your max every few days - certainly not within an hour of the first one - so that could be why you didnt max out the second time. Its a bloody hard test - not to be underestimated - so you cant do it again and again.

    And I'd struggle on the road to max out as all my efforts are going into speed - so no effort left to balance or look for cars etc - so I think the turbo is the best place to do it.

    Your figures dont look to be especially high - the 220-age thing only works for most people - not everyone.

    Cant see that the 10mile TT would work for you - some people cruise their 10s.

    The Lab test isnt radically different from doing it on a turbo, nice long warm up, then a decent effort increasing in intensity with resistance being added until you really cant do any more. Its probably 15-20 mins or so building to that.

    The 220 - your age method is about as useful as a chocolate fireguard and can be out by as much as 11 or 12 bpm either side. Only to be used as a very very rough guide and I wouldn't use it at all if you are serious about your training.
  • eheh Posts: 4,854
    Even the original authors admit that 220-age is dodgy.

    However, Bhima is suggesting his HRmax is 19 beats ABOVE 220, which just looks a bit odd to me. The only people (not ill) I've known record above 220 have found that the measurements weren't true. Not saying that Bhima's isn't, but I think it is worth checking the measurement with another HRM.
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