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Can you increase your MHR with training?

Escher303Escher303 Posts: 342
My max HR is about 186. My anaerobic limit was about 175-177, if I did much over that I'd go into the red and blow up. Just in the last week my HR has been going up to 180-183 when going for it on a climb and I can sustain it for several minutes.

Is that my VO2 max increasing? I assume that your MHR must increase a bit as I wouldn't think you could push your anaerobic threshold so close to your MHR?

BTW I think 186 is my max HR as its what it was right at the top of Honister and I really couldn't do any more, I was at absolute maximum just keeping going forward.

Cheers

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  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    From what I've read, your MHR should decrease with training.
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  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
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  • Escher303Escher303 Posts: 342
    Thank you that's interesting. I can only assume that my MHR is actually higher than 186 as it doesn't seem right that i can sustain 4 or 5 beats under it for several minutes. More research needed! Thanks for your reply.
  • indjkeindjke Posts: 85
    I hope OP will excuse me for posting here, but I have a similar question and didn't want to open another topic :D

    Last season I tested my HRmax and hit a 204 mark. btw any time my HR was higher than 200 I felt really bad, gasping the air with the heart pumping somewhere in the neck :)

    This season I rode a long time w/o HRM, rode some TT's w/o it and recently bought again.

    Two days before Saturday's race I was doing a chaingang with some fellas and after 1,5 hours of aerobic/tempo racing made a really hard effort up-hill (actually bridge, increasing from zero to 3-4% slope) seated. Even during a hardest moments I did feel like I could stand up and add a bit (maybe a really tiny amount but anyway a bit more) power :roll: And definitely I was not in "gonna die" condition :mrgreen: Just very-very hard with burning legs, but, I'd said, "controlled" effort. So based on the prev expirience I though my HR about 195 but I was trully amazed when I looked on the Garmin watch with a "202" number on it, and even more when log-files said that my max HR hit a 206!

    But thats not only a point. I always thought my LT to be at 180-183 area (87-88% max) and this new "record" not conflicted with it...

    But on saturday's race I averaged 187 bpm for 1h50m... (40 miles group race)
    Is it possible to ride almost 2 hours on 4-7 beats higher that LT? I can hardly believe it. Strava says my best 1hr effort from this race (in the first half of it) was performed at 195 average bpm with up to 7 minutes periods with HR stable near 200... Maybe my real LT is near 195 then? But can it be so high as 95% of max??? Or max is even higher?

    I'm seriously thinking about sports-medical research and testing to clarify things atm, because I cant explain those curious numbers.

    Any comments appreciated :roll:

    http://app.strava.com/rides/10944484
    Boardman Team C / 105 / Fulcrum Racing 3
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,678
    indjke, short answer...

    what the numbers are telling you is that you don't know your mhr and you don't know your lt

    :-)

    longer answer...

    as you get fitter you can operate closer to your actual mhr for longer without feeling as bad

    sounds like your fitness has improved, hence the ability to operate comfortably at higher hr, and with training your lactate threshold should also occur at a higher % of vo2max

    testing for actual mhr is brutal, not something i'd want to do on a bike, to accurately determine your lt requires a lab test, although you can estimate it other ways (see interweb), but forget trying to estimate from an unstructured ride
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    Fact: most cyclists who pay attention to their heart rate would be better off ignoring their heart rate.
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • XtotheZXtotheZ Posts: 24
    The rough formula is 220 minus your age. but it does increase with fitness.
    Eg: My max after my first race this year was 211 and im 16.

    It is true though you would be better off not paying attention too it, especially when racing :O
  • I'm lost..............

    Surely MHR is genetically determined and cannot be affected in any way, except to reduce as you age.

    Surely it is RHR that training affects by making the heart more efficient as an engine it pumps more blood per stroke so needs to pump fewer times.
  • ric/rstsportric/rstsport Posts: 681
    Escher303 wrote:
    My max HR is about 186. My anaerobic limit was about 175-177, if I did much over that I'd go into the red and blow up. Just in the last week my HR has been going up to 180-183 when going for it on a climb and I can sustain it for several minutes.

    Is that my VO2 max increasing? I assume that your MHR must increase a bit as I wouldn't think you could push your anaerobic threshold so close to your MHR?

    BTW I think 186 is my max HR as its what it was right at the top of Honister and I really couldn't do any more, I was at absolute maximum just keeping going forward.

    Cheers

    How do you know your max Hr is 186 b/min?

    Your anaerobic limit... not entirely sure what you mean by that, but anaerobic work can't really be measured by HR. We're aerobic up to VO2max, so in general anaerobic work occurs at a greater intensity where HR would exceed >HRmax (which it can't do).

    If you mean some sort of measure of time trial intensity (e.g. the effort you could maximally sustain for 1 hour) then work above this is still aerobic (so long as it doesn't exceed VO2max).

    Your VO2max is likely to increase when you train within 5 to 10 b/min of max for ~several minutes

    Your HRmax is likely to decrease as you get fitter

    HRmax differs between different exercise modalities

    Ric
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
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  • ric/rstsportric/rstsport Posts: 681
    Escher303 wrote:
    Thank you that's interesting. I can only assume that my MHR is actually higher than 186 as it doesn't seem right that i can sustain 4 or 5 beats under it for several minutes. More research needed! Thanks for your reply.

    back when i used to do VO2max tests for 'fun' - i noted that when i was feeling fit i could frequently sustain my max for a couple of minutes (with an increasing work rate). Not that it was actually fun... ;-)
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
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  • ric/rstsportric/rstsport Posts: 681
    XtotheZ wrote:
    The rough formula is 220 minus your age. but it does increase with fitness.
    Eg: My max after my first race this year was 211 and im 16.

    It is true though you would be better off not paying attention too it, especially when racing :O

    220 minus age gives a group mean max HR, it's of no use to an actual individual as it has a high standard error of the mean (about +/- 15 b/min)

    It tends to decrease with fitness.

    ric
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
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  • Team4LukeTeam4Luke Posts: 597
    depends whether you can attain any higher fitness than current, if your not fit you won't be strong enough to get near your max HR, but there is some balance as you get fit and older it comes down too. Not so sure whether you would hit your true max on a climb like Honister as it is severely steep and you will be working the legs more than the heart and going fairly slow particulary if you don't have compact or low gears. I only use a 25 on whatever climbs I ride and I can get up Honister and did last year on 39x25 fairly easily but not so fast, using a lower gear that you can rev would allow you to go more into oxygen debt and push it harder. Use a long less steep climb to find your approx max HR.
    Further for example, a Pro rider would spend more training time around threshold and can ride much closer to their max HR than us mere mortals.
    Team4Luke supports Cardiac Risk in the Young
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    I wish people would stop repeating that 220-age bollocks as if it means anything in the real world
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    I'm lost..............

    Surely MHR is genetically determined and cannot be affected in any way, except to reduce as you age.

    Surely it is RHR that training affects by making the heart more efficient as an engine it pumps more blood per stroke so needs to pump fewer times.
    Why 'surely'?
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • cyco2cyco2 Posts: 593
    I think it's possible that MHR are nearly correct at the time of doing a test because it takes several attempts at the test to gain a statistically correct value. Say, you were to do a ramp test on a trainer and the air temperature was different for each test, then you would get a different answer. You can also get a different MHR for a running test as opposed to cycling. I also think that a very much stronger pair of legs would stress the heart more than a weak pair of legs. This could be after a period of training. I do believe it's possible to train the heart at a different rate to the legs so as the heart gets stronger it beats more slowly i.e. it has got bigger and can pump more blood per stroke. I would say that MHR are a bit like MOT's on cars.....they are correct at the time of the test and unless under lab conditions impossible to replicate. The MHR you get is good enough for a guide to use for percentages of levels of effort and if you see a higher level due to some other effort, say in a race, then use that. Of course it would mean your training is going to get harder too.
    ...................................................................................................

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  • Escher303Escher303 Posts: 342
    Thanks for everyone's input, I need to do some more research for sure! I think I'm pretty fit, my RHR is 38 and I think my MHR is somewhere close to 186 but probably a bit higher. When I went up Honister I was on 34-28 and spinning pretty fast, I really couldn't have done any more and I'm fairly fast uphill. I think where I'd got hung up on anaerobic threshold was I considered that it related to a certain HR range and before I could not go above 175 without quickly blowing up, then it was 177 as I got fitter and now it's above 180 that I can sustain. I pondered whether my MHR shifted upwards by the same amount but when I googled I found nothing and it is now obvious why.

    What I'm interested in is performance jumps. I've found that I've had some sudden improvements a few times, after a fair bit of training then some rest, has happened about 3 times. I could turn a bigger gear than a week previously, and take time off known routes. Each one was quite noticeable and happened in teh space of a couple of days, rather than continuous, gradual improvement. So I wondered if the ability to sustain a higher heart rate were indications of jumps in performance too. Anyway lots of food for thought, so thanks.
  • ric/rstsportric/rstsport Posts: 681
    heart rate, is immaterial. it does *not* tell you how fit you are. It is *simply* telling you how fast your heart is beating. This is not massively interesting info: to wit, cardiac output is the physiological measure you need (HR x stroke volume). However, in terms of knowing how fit you are this can only be done with power output (cycling).

    Ric
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • indjkeindjke Posts: 85
    sungod, thanks!
    Herbsman wrote:
    Fact: most cyclists who pay attention to their heart rate would be better off ignoring their heart rate.
    totally agree btw.
    Boardman Team C / 105 / Fulcrum Racing 3
  • Escher303Escher303 Posts: 342
    heart rate, is immaterial. it does *not* tell you how fit you are. It is *simply* telling you how fast your heart is beating. This is not massively interesting info: to wit, cardiac output is the physiological measure you need (HR x stroke volume). However, in terms of knowing how fit you are this can only be done with power output (cycling).

    Ric

    Thanks Ric, that certainly answers it! Time to start saving up for a power meter then... Any comment on jumps in fitness? Do sudden increases in power happen? (obviously after a lot of training), do you expect to see a steady increase or are there sudden gains along the way? Cheers
  • ric/rstsportric/rstsport Posts: 681
    fitness can jump in spurts. some people may seen a (semi) uniform increase (up to a point), or maybe more "jumpy".
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • Escher303Escher303 Posts: 342
    Thanks Ric
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