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HRM shocker

cwmcwm Posts: 177
bought a hrm a couple of years ago and only used it on turbo just to ensure i wasnt wimping out whilst pedalling in the shed,checked various online heart rate calculators and got my hr max at 178 bpm,inputting my age of 44 and being a male. ... c_bcf.html

Wore the hrm for a ride today for the first time (albeit a bit of a thrash,by my standards,to get a time around a set route for future reference,wind rain etc...) and ended up with the following results :-

time - 3hr 32mins
hr high - 185bpm
hr avg - 160bpm
hr low - 88bpm

trying to get a grip on these figures but it seems to me that my average hr rate being 160bpm (zone 5) is a bit mental considering it should/supposed to be in zone 3 @ 133-145bpm.

1st climb out of Glynneath to Rhigos village, 177bpm when i glanced at the hrm half way up,after that i just rode as best i could until i got home,did end up blowing out me backside by the end of it but still happy with the time all things considered.

How do you calm yourself down enough to stay within those zones when going up hills or even on the flat? as it seems to me you would run out of gears.
now sharing my plods on


  • PseudonymPseudonym Posts: 1,032
    forget online calculators - do a proper 'real' max test (loads of info if you search) and then re-calculate your levels...

    If you are hitting 185, then clearly 178 is not your max...
  • It's not something i've ever been able to manage properly. I can run and stay around 160 odd beats rising to 170's up inclines in training but any time i do a race it's out the window. My last duathlon, my pulse averaged 189 for a whole hour. I planned on it being 160's.

    Heart rate calcs such as 220 - age are ball park anyway. I hit over 200 sometimes and i'm 28. If you're at vo2 max (can't breath any harder, close to passing out) and you measure your pulse then, that is more likely to be max hr. Base the percentages off that figure.

    Everyones different and have different resting heartrates etc. My other half is at 72 and i'm at 48 for example.
  • 160 is only 86% of 185, your max observed HR on this one ride.
    Even if 185 is you max HR, and it almost certainly isn't, then that still only makes your average high zone 2 or zone 3, no one can ride zone 5 for 3+ hours, otherwise it wouldn't be zone 5!

    If you want to do LSD then you won't be getting blown out by people during rides, you'll be choosing to go v slowly up any significant gradient to try to keep your heart rate down. I have an alarm set in my Garmin for when I do LSD rides, but it gets pretty difficult when a hill is over 6% and I find it impossible on the 12% climb at the end of my few hour ride.
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