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Quick HR Question

meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
Finally got my Garmin working again and measured my HR etc over my 15 mile ride in (it's a commute but in the hilly Highlands so banish all ideas of traffic lights and buses).

I'm 46.
RHR is 57
Max recorded HR (cycling) is 181

My average HR this morning was 165 for the 53 minutes

According to the Karvonen method my 85% level is 157bpm so I'm well up there at 165bpm avg..

Is this a bad thing? Given that this is a route I do at least 3 times a week, what adaptations am I going to develop? Could my Max HR really be higher - I just haven't pushed it enough?

Thanks!
ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
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  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Sounds pretty high unless you were really pushing it.

    I suspect either:
    a) your max HR is higher than you think
    b) your HR reading is suffering interference (search "flapping jersey syndrome") which is giving an artificially high reading
  • Bronzie wrote:
    Sounds pretty high unless you were really pushing it.

    I suspect either:
    a) your max HR is higher than you think
    b) your HR reading is suffering interference (search "flapping jersey syndrome") which is giving an artificially high reading

    I do tend to push reasonably hard (it's not saying much on my commute but I've yet to be passed in a year of doing the 30-mile RT).

    I think it's likely to be a) as my HR hit 181 today at the top of the steepest climb (see below for the route). I wasn't totally blowing my breakfast up. Mind you, I don't think there's much room beyond that.

    I've had the "FJS" type of issue when my HRM recorded 220bpm in the first 500 metres but I'm confident the reading is steady and consistent today.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    What is the actual question?, what is it you are trying to achieve?, if its base miles, then you are pushing too hard and need to reign it in a bit.
  • danowat wrote:
    What is the actual question?, what is it you are trying to achieve?, if its base miles, then you are pushing too hard and need to reign it in a bit.

    Just want to get faster at my commute and lose a bit of weight. I kinda assumed that the weight bit will take care of itself if I work hard enough (and eat less).

    If I need to reign it in, what HR should I target?
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    So you are just commuting?, no racing/TT/sportives etc?, you just want to train purely for the commute and to lose weight?.

    Well, losing weight is easy, just eat less, diet has much more of an effect on weight than exercise does.

    If you JUST want to lose weight, then forget the "fat burning zone", its a myth, you would be better off blitzing the commute as fast as you can, or failing that, do some hard intervals, this will burn more calories than riding slower, also, the best way to get faster is too ride faster.

    I personally use my commute as base training, and try to keep within the 70-80% zone, however my "goals" are very different, and these base miles aren't the only training I do.
  • Yeah - weight loss isn't my main goal of the ride just helps my weight loss effort. The eating bit is by far the best way - I lost 2.5 stone about 3 years ago that way. Been struggling a bit recently on that with son with cancer (though very treatable), close friend just died of cancer and one of my team at work in his last few days due to cancer - been comfort eating so weight loss, whilst happening, is very slow. Need to focus as the (car) racing season is fast-approaching.

    The main aim is just to get fit/healthy whilst I'm riding. Challenging myself to get quicker just keeps it interesting. There is a "fun" race later in the year (in aid of cancer charities you won't be surprised to hear) that I want to do - just 60 miles - but that's in August - I'll worry about that later. I'm just not sure that blitzing my ride every time is my best plan but, if I'm honest, I struggle to not push. If I thought it would help my speed to go slower now and again that would probably be motivation enough to do it.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    I'm just not sure that blitzing my ride every time is my best plan but, if I'm honest, I struggle to not push. If I thought it would help my speed to go slower now and again that would probably be motivation enough to do it.

    15 miles isn't really long enough, if thats the only riding you are doing, you really want some nice long 3-4hr rides to benifit from it.
  • danowat wrote:
    I'm just not sure that blitzing my ride every time is my best plan but, if I'm honest, I struggle to not push. If I thought it would help my speed to go slower now and again that would probably be motivation enough to do it.

    15 miles isn't really long enough, if thats the only riding you are doing, you really want some nice long 3-4hr rides to benifit from it.

    Yeah - 30 miles a day, 4 days a week on average (5 some, 3 others).

    I might try some sub-70% rides alternating with some faster rides (as suggested in my HRM book I found) just to see what happens. Dawdling in will take some will-power though - might even do it on my MTB.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    How did you work out your Karvonen zones?

    I make it 162bpm.

    It's HRV (heart rate reserve) * Zone boundary + Resting Heart Rate (RHR)
    HRV = maximum heart rate (MHR) - RHR

    In your example of an 85% zone boundary I make it:

    181-57 = 124 * 0.85 + 57 = 162.4bpm
  • doyler78 wrote:
    How did you work out your Karvonen zones?

    I make it 162bpm.

    It's HRV (heart rate reserve) * Zone boundary + Resting Heart Rate (RHR)
    HRV = maximum heart rate (MHR) - RHR

    In your example of an 85% zone boundary I make it:

    181-57 = 124 * 0.85 + 57 = 162.4bpm

    You're right :oops: What can I say - I was worn out :wink: :oops:

    It doesn't change the question as I'm still, on average, in the >85% range it just shows what being there does to my brain functions...
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    It puts you about 85% given that even you would concede that 181bpm is probably too low for you and I would agree with that. I can get near my max on really hard efforts however I have yet to hit that number without actually testing for it.

    It's certainly tough working at that level however for under one hour of riding it is certainly possible to do that fairly frequently and not suffer unduly. Indeed there are many a time a deprived nutter who do not much else but 2x20 (and variations thereoff) day in day out.

    If your goal is to ride your commute faster then longer rides will help greatly but only if they are decent efforts (no dawdling) because then when you come to do the commute it feels comparatively easy or at least that's what I always found.
  • Another quick question as I've been reading around this topic.

    One measure of fitness is how fast your HR settles after exertion. Is there a test for this (reduction of X to Y% after z minutes - type of thing)?

    A colleague (whose RHR is 40bpm BTW and he's 50yo) suggests it ought to be below 80bpm after 5 mins. Even he says he can't achieve that and he's supremely fit - so it's a useless target as far as I'm concerned.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,276
    IME they never work properly until you get a sweat on if you don't use conductivity gel, that could skew readings on a short ride, especially maximums.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    antfly wrote:
    IME they never work properly until you get a sweat on if you don't use conductivity gel, that could skew readings on a short ride, especially maximums.

    IME with a quick dab of saliva on the electrodes they've always worked perfectly from the off.
    More problems but still living....
  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    Another quick question as I've been reading around this topic.

    One measure of fitness is how fast your HR settles after exertion. Is there a test for this (reduction of X to Y% after z minutes - type of thing)?

    A colleague (whose RHR is 40bpm BTW and he's 50yo) suggests it ought to be below 80bpm after 5 mins. Even he says he can't achieve that and he's supremely fit - so it's a useless target as far as I'm concerned.

    I've asked the same question numerous times over many years and never got a straight answer so I've stopped worrying about it.
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    doyler78 wrote:
    Indeed there are many a time a deprived nutter who do not much else but 2x20 (and variations thereoff) day in day out.

    They work for me, cant argue with a long 22 minute 10TT :)
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,276
    amaferanga wrote:
    antfly wrote:
    IME they never work properly until you get a sweat on if you don't use conductivity gel, that could skew readings on a short ride, especially maximums.

    IME with a quick dab of saliva on the electrodes they've always worked perfectly from the off.

    Spit never worked for me.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • doyler78 wrote:
    Another quick question as I've been reading around this topic.

    One measure of fitness is how fast your HR settles after exertion. Is there a test for this (reduction of X to Y% after z minutes - type of thing)?

    A colleague (whose RHR is 40bpm BTW and he's 50yo) suggests it ought to be below 80bpm after 5 mins. Even he says he can't achieve that and he's supremely fit - so it's a useless target as far as I'm concerned.

    I've asked the same question numerous times over many years and never got a straight answer so I've stopped worrying about it.

    I found something that talks about the 1 minute recovery time. Take exercise HR and subtract HR after 1 minute of recovery and divide by 10. There's then a table of scores

    Recovery Rate Number Condition
    Less than 2 = Poor
    2 to 2.9 = Fair
    3 to 3.9 = Good
    4 to 5.9 = Excellent
    Above 6 = Outstanding

    So - grabbing some random data from my Garmin (based on stopping for a car)
    161-125 = 3.6 = good
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • Of course - what constitutes "Good" I have no idea. I guess you can monitor this test to see if you're improving or not.

    I was surprised to see that an RHR of 57 at 46 is "excellent" as indicated in several tables.

    One interesting tip I found is that a rise in RHR of more than 20bpm going to the standing position is an indication of being dehydrated. I have this from time-to-time when doing my morning HRV test and it could be dehydration (I'm poor at hydrating)
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Are you sure you're not getting just a little bit censored about numbers here?
  • danowat wrote:
    Are you sure you're not getting just a little bit censored about numbers here?

    Of course. I'm an engineer and like to measure things. Have too much time to think about these things on my rides. Sorry :oops: :wink:

    In all seriousness - it's motivating to see improvement.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    If you like to measure things get a power meter! Graphs galore!
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • a_n_t wrote:
    If you like to measure things get a power meter! Graphs galore!

    Don't temp me!!! My race car is bristling with instruments. Having a Garmin on my bike is quite enough - apart from that, I only paid 700 quid for my Cayo - seems silly to then spend that again to measure stuff. Besides, I'd just pi55 people off on here asking more stupid questions.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    I've found a power meter puts an end to all the questions tbh.

    Power IS power, regardless! no ifs, buts or maybes :)




    when you've figured out how to use it of course!
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    danowat wrote:
    Are you sure you're not getting just a little bit censored about numbers here?

    Of course. I'm an engineer and like to measure things. Have too much time to think about these things on my rides. Sorry :oops: :wink:

    In all seriousness - it's motivating to see improvement.

    I too am an engineer, and like you, like stats, however, I have found in the past that it is very easy to get caught up in "the numbers" and actually lose track of what makes cycling enjoyable, sometimes its nice just to ride without thinking about the stats
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    I'll think of that next time I'm breathing out of my censored on a 25TT :shock: :D
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    a_n_t wrote:
    I'll think of that next time I'm breathing out of my ars* on a 25TT :shock: :D

    It helps :wink:

    I am planning to try and make it help on todays 200k Audax!!
  • a_n_t wrote:
    I've found a power meter puts an end to all the questions tbh.

    Power IS power, regardless! no ifs, buts or maybes :)

    Yup - but when I measure something I want to improve it. I've had so much conflicting advice on here on how to do that. I still feel like there's a more effective way to get better than just jumping on whichever bike is appropriate for the weather and riding it as fast as I can. At least with the stuff I have on my car, I know what to do with it and it gives me direction on how to improve my driving and the car's performance.

    By the end of last summer, when my attentions got turned to more important things, my commute average speeds had plateaued for a couple of months and any gains seemed more linked to better cornering technique and being braver and more comfortable on the bike than to getting fitter. I'm having to rebuild my fitness now and whilst it's dark cold and wet, I'm not going to approach the times I get in the summer months. It just feels like there should be more structure to it - maybe not - but doing the same thing will just get the same result.

    Shifting the 5kg I've put on sitting around hospitals and being worried and stressed about the events around me will certainly help - I know what I need to do to make that happen.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,276
    Don't just ride flat out all the time, ride in fast bursts then slow. Gradually the fast bursts become longer and easier to maintain and your average speeds improve.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    a_n_t wrote:
    I've found a power meter puts an end to all the questions tbh.

    Power IS power, regardless! no ifs, buts or maybes :)

    Yup - but when I measure something I want to improve it.

    Exactly and power is the only 'non variable' if you like. If that goes up you're getting fitter.
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
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