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Heart rate - is this right?

guillaumeguillaume Posts: 35
I've been using a turbo trainer & hrm for the first time recently, & am wondering about my max heart rate. I tried to determine it by gradually increasing speed / effort on a long flat stretch of road - it came to about 188 (i'm 46 & not overweight - if that's relevant). I think the nearst I can get to that on the turbo is about 180, or maybe184. But then on 2 separate road rides I recorded a 220 and 224 while trying to go fast up big hills. I can't get anywhere near those readings on the trainer, so I'm wondering if they might be errors of some sort...could my hrm be affected by the bike computer perhaps? re the trainer the most I can sustain over a 15 min period is about 175 max - so, assuming i'm reasonably fit, does that mean my max heart rate is likely to be nearer 188 than 220? bit confused...

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  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    The 220's are likely erroneous. Very unlikely to have a max 30beats above what you can otherwise get.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • In agreement with jibberjim - the 220's are way out and most likely errors. Not impossible but extremely unlikely.

    Your other figures seem much more reasonable!

    If they really were up at 220 at your age I would get a check up with your doc. And also depending on your fitness you should be a bit careful of extreme testing without somebody else being about.

    If you do a limit test in a lab you will have to fill in a form and sign a no liability form!

    It's actually quite hard to get a max HR without someone pushing you - I never come near mine even on steep hills and TT's.

    Tom
  • What is the correct calculation for max HR ?
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Gavin Cook wrote:
    What is the correct calculation for max HR ?

    there isn't one...
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • Guillaume, i'm the same age as you and have also just started using an HR monitor (which i got as a freebie) on my recent rides.
    I've not done anything specific in terms of finding my HR Max but i have so far recorded 190 on the road and 194 on the turbo and come close to them again on a few occasions. I know HR is an individual thing but your 220's are almost certainly rogue values.
    The standard usually quoted is 220 - age which supposedly can vary +/-15 and at least +20 for me.
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    scapaslow wrote:
    The standard usually quoted is 220 - age which supposedly can vary +/-15 and at least +20 for me.

    You aren't alone

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... e&start=20

    As you see in my highly unscientific survey more people were outside of 15bmp than any other category.
  • Once you do settle on your max HR input the value into this calculator that Alex posted for your training zones
    http://www.cyclecoach.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=118&Itemid=145

    I've seen various HR percentages quoted in different places for equating with training zones but for me these ones seem to work well and really tie in with the effort put in.
  • hmm - thanks for comments.i supose it makes sense that the 220+ readings are errors: that would explain why i cant get near them on the turbo, and why the trainer feels like such bloody hard work. but it's a bit odd that i only get the rogue results after working on big hills...maybe i'm going to have to return to toys hill & try and race up the top section again. gulp.
  • MastineoMastineo Posts: 182
    I'm 46 and 96Kg (was 143Kg once upon a time).I can easily get my HR over 200 and can sustain 184 ish for about half an hour. Ive tried two different HR straps paired to two different Garmin 705s with the same results. My Max ever was 235 and was steadily ramped up climbing Winnats Pass on my full suspension MTB with 2.35 tyres @ 25 psi but I was severely overheating and did not feel good at all.

    Ignore the generic 220-age formulas, thers mountains of research that show for most people they are wildly innacurate.
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Guillaume wrote:
    hmm - thanks for comments.i supose it makes sense that the 220+ readings are errors: that would explain why i cant get near them on the turbo, and why the trainer feels like such bloody hard work. but it's a bit odd that i only get the rogue results after working on big hills...maybe i'm going to have to return to toys hill & try and race up the top section again. gulp.

    Are they logging HR's? One of the easy way to get false readings is on fast descents. So it could be the max's actually come from the descent on the other side if not.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    What is the make/model of the HRM that you are using?

    If its a wireless computer it could be getting interference or losing signal along the ride..
  • Could also be the period of time that the monitor integrates over. Take the ridiculous example of an integration period of 12 hours - it would show aberage heartbeat - say 60. If the integration period is a second and during that second your heart beats twice - once at the beginning and once at the end of the second then that will show a rate of 120. If the integration is over three seconds then the beats preceeding and succeeding those two might be slightly out o the three second period and so the same two beats will present a rate of two beats in three seconds - 60 BPM. Short integration periods results in spurious effects. Long integration periods revert to the average.
  • i find telegraph poles make my polar go way wrong, maybe these hills you got the readings on have some kind of radio mast or such like near them?
  • i'm using a polar hrm (cant remember model, about £40) and a basic cat eye bike computer. now i think of it 1 reading could have been after a downhill stretch - but i'm not sure i understand why that wld result in an error? the other was at the top of toys hill

    technology aside, doesnt the fact that i cant approach those figures on a turbo mean that they must be rogue? or are there too many variables at play?
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Guillaume wrote:
    i'm using a polar hrm (cant remember model, about £40) and a basic cat eye bike computer. now i think of it 1 reading could have been after a downhill stretch - but i'm not sure i understand why that wld result in an error? the other was at the top of toys hill

    When descending the jersey flaps and produces static electricity... both of which can result. A tight base layer will negate this as will wetting the contacts.
    Guillaume wrote:
    technology aside, doesnt the fact that i cant approach those figures on a turbo mean that they must be rogue? or are there too many variables at play?

    Yep, pretty much, unless you can get to within 10 beats pretty easily, it's unlikely to be genuine max.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • A ramp test on a turbo should give you good results, but as someone else said you should/would need help to do it properly.

    I spent all this year thinking my max HR was 183 BPM (same approach as you looking at max on hills), setting training zones accordingly.

    I did a proper assisted ramp test last month, found my max was actually 188 BPM, short selling my zones. Doesn't sound much but it took me at least 2 weeks to get used the change in zones that it caused!
  • stonehouse wrote:
    A ramp test on a turbo should give you good results, but as someone else said you should/would need help to do it properly.

    I spent all this year thinking my max HR was 183 BPM (same approach as you looking at max on hills), setting training zones accordingly.

    I did a proper assisted ramp test last month, found my max was actually 188 BPM, short selling my zones. Doesn't sound much but it took me at least 2 weeks to get used the change in zones that it caused!

    i think training in heart rate zones is a bad idea, i think it is best to ride on feel, sure look at your heart rate after, and never road race to your heart rate as it will only be super hard for a certain amount of time and then there will be a lull in the race in which you can recover in
  • i think training in heart rate zones is a bad idea
    I think that's a bad piece of advice!

    If you want to train properly you can't do it on feel alone very well. There is a delay in a HRM which makes Power the best method but then most people can't afford to work with power.

    Having been properly tested this year and now training using exact heart rate zones and importantly paying attention to them when riding (not just looking at an avergae result on finishing) my training rides are currently very different to what I had been doing before.
  • Most training is about motivation!

    Motivation, Motivation, Motivation.

    Whether you use tools like, training programmes or high tech methods, or rewards (buying bike gear like Power Meters) or competition.

    Any method that gets you out on the bike will have some measure of success.

    HR Zones, Power and Feel have all managed to train successful TdF winners. There is no clear evidence that one method is better than another. And there is no real way to scientifically test it, as you can't do a blind study. For example, - those using say 'Power Meter's' know they are using Power Meters and will get a placebo effect because everyone is saying that Power Meters are the way to go. Where there are studies they are very low statistical power - They are usually on very small groups (<20) and can not be predictive, even if they find a statistical difference.

    If, for example, you are just trying to complete the Etape or get a better time, then you just need to gradually get your fitness strength and power up. Any technique which targets this will do.

    Power on the road is a bit random as most British roads can have some dramatic little ascents (all be it very short). It is almost impossible to just keep a uniform power. Also when competing with the traffic you are often forced to apply more power just to keep a safe road position - This is also True for HR Zones. Try staying calm or using less Power when you trying to hold a position in bit of road which stops some Truck stupidly trying to overtake at that point. Whoops I have to overtake a tractor - oops my HR just went up.

    Training is really about being on the bike and making varying degrees of effort and then ensuring you have some recovery time - I once read a lovely article that argued the case to use a dice to decide if they should go hard and fast, hard, steady, relaxed, or easy or have day off. What ever motivates you - Use.

    Pro rider cover ten's of thousands of miles on the bike each year - It's pretty basic - just put more hours in and make sure some are hard.

    Some people (sales – my whizzo equipment, coaches- my whizzo training plan, sports experts - my whizzo academic career) would have you believe if you use their magic plan or equipment it will transform your riding - just ask? Is this going to motivate me? Am I just spending money? Or is spending money and buying into it motivating me?

    My experience tells me that you only know how bad or good you are when you are forced to ride with other riders and keep up! Just joining a club can help or riding with friends (as long as they are much stronger!). Although I did enjoy a Performance Test with Dr Garry Palmer to see how I was doing as he was a good external observer and could really compare my performance with other riders - Garry was very motivating and suggested I go a bit easier – which I did – for a while.

    I have trained with HRZ, Power and feeling.- now I just use feeling - it's just so much easier - and last year I knocked 2 minutes of my time trial best – my goal. I used any method and all to get me out on the bike - now I just look out of the window and hope it doesn't rain too much....

    However you train enjoy it and I am not sure their can be any 'bad advice' . All advice should be considered in context. Everybody is different what works for one person does not necessarily work for another.....

    For example - Personally I cant's stand a written plan but my friend has every day written out - I have managed to beat him quite a few times.....

    Finally - what are you trying to achieve? To back extrapolate from what the pro's are doing to an average rider who's trying to ride the Etape- is a bit as they say 'Random'

    Foe me the key is to enjoy being out on the bike.

    Tom

    Oh sh*t.....it's raining....
  • the reason i aid it is a bad idea is we have a lad over here who's coach tells him to train in zones but to ride with us( we are all stronger than him) but as soon as he goes over his 'zone' he slows up and rides on his own, probably for not as long and definately not as hard as if he had stayed with us, there is another lad who comes out and spent all last winter trying to keep up with us and he made massive improvements whereas the lad training by heart rate got demotivated as he has not improved for the last two years
  • the reason i aid it is a bad idea is we have a lad over here who's coach tells him to train in zones but to ride with us( we are all stronger than him) but as soon as he goes over his 'zone' he slows up and rides on his own, probably for not as long and definately not as hard as if he had stayed with us, there is another lad who comes out and spent all last winter trying to keep up with us and he made massive improvements whereas the lad training by heart rate got demotivated as he has not improved for the last two years
  • the reason i aid it is a bad idea is we have a lad over here who's coach tells him to train in zones but to ride with us( we are all stronger than him) but as soon as he goes over his 'zone' he slows up and rides on his own, probably for not as long and definitely not as hard as if he had stayed with us, there is another lad who comes out and spent all last winter trying to keep up with us and he made massive improvements whereas the lad training by heart rate got demotivated as he has not improved for the last two years

    Blame the coach in that case (and the rider for sticking with a program that isn't working), not the science behind it.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • So how do you find your max heart rate ?
  • Hi Gavin,

    To get an estimate from various calculated methods see this page:

    http://www.brianmac.co.uk/maxhr.htm

    All the top methods are within 3 beats of my measured ramp test max (So just average them for a practical figure)!

    To get an actual measurement, as sometimes these calculations can be out a little, do a ramp test like this:

    http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2010/01/ ... ramp-test/

    or look at this

    http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/cycling-training

    Remember all measurements have uncertainties ie errors due to equipment used and methods - These errors are part of all scientific measurements - There is no perfect answer and it is unsurprising that theory and testing will not perfectly match!

    But the calculations and a ramp test will get you to a figure to work with.

    I hope this helps....

    Tom
  • Thanks very much Tom

    Gavin
  • but as soon as he goes over his 'zone' he slows up and rides on his own, probably for not as long and definitely not as hard as if he had stayed with us,

    Not all training is about going hard all the time. Building base is a recognised method of increasing your overall ability. Perhaps he wasn't coached properly, or wasn't following the coaching detail, diet, sleep, could be many reasons why he isn't making progress.
  • fred22fred22 Posts: 509
    Yes, thanks very much Tom
  • Regarding lack of progress – more ramblings.

    It would be very nice if when you trained you improved – and the more you trained and followed a training plan etc the faster you went and hills just sailed by. It would then just be a simple case of training. In the long term, as mentioned, if your are a pro and do tens of thousands of miles, travel to Mallorca and train for months (not days), this is probably true.

    However, when you train for under, say, 15 hours a week everybody is looking for the magic formula that will let you feel and see a real improvement for a little effort. But get real, even 15 hours (and who has that amount of time) is not much time in terms of a week (168 hours).

    For me I feel strongly that the main issue is motivation as previously mentioned. I have found numerous way's in the past to get myself motivated.

    The worst thing and most demotivating is the Dreaded Plateau. It can last weeks and months, it can sap your strength and motivation. Especially when somebody cycles clean past you and you're wheezing and puffing – especially when you look at them and they are 20 years older and flying past. Motivation then takes a deep dip, when for weeks your training efforts gets no measurable improvement.

    The thing is the plateau is 'normal' even pro's go through this and it's written about in cycling performance books. But the plateau is the period before the next rise and it will happen. Your performance will improve – you just have to look deep for the motivation.

    However, training and the response to training is not linear (for every hour of training you are not guaranteed 1 hours worth of improvement) and no matter how much research has been done nobody has the answer. A coach may be able to keep you motivated and sometimes the advice maybe to back off and not force it. And sometimes that will work. Ideally the coaches role is to guide and keep you motivated, looking for weak spots in the training.

    But if you get too pissed off, motivation may die and you may give up. If you have some good friends to ride with they will help you, pushing you and then letting you recover. If they are that good they can always top their own training with a few extra miles.

    However, some riders just like to drop people and there are lot's of technical ways to do that. For example, knowing the course and making a big effort when you know that you will get a recovery soon. Letting the person to be dropped make too big an effort before a bit where they can put the power on, just as the dropee's legs are empty. I've done it and had it done to me! I once creamed some riders going up a hill in Mallorca knowing I was going to turn off and not do the big climb – but they all hung on to me huffing and puffing and eventually I shook them off.

    You will get better – slowly your average speed will improve – your stamina will improve – you will go faster – hills will be shorter – sprints will be faster...........and the day will come when you are sailing past somebody who is huffing and puffing and you will know how they feel.

    Tom
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