MAX HR?

Palladium
Palladium Posts: 81
First of all I'm an athlete looking for a new sport, I've only taken up cycling in the last month or so, and I appreciate it will take some time for cycling-specific muscles to build up, haven't even done an FTP test yet (PM next week), but strava estimates my ftp at about 232W which puts me at roughly ~3.5w/kg, so not great, but not a bad starting point.

I was commuting into work, until someone overtakes me, my competitive nature immediately kicks in and followed him until we hit some traffic, had a nice chat, and I ended up wheel-sucking him for a 3min stretch. Now here's the thing, I was watching my HR on my cycling cpu which started at ~180 and climbed up to 198, looks like it was still rising as we finished the segment :lol::lol::lol:

kMNrdab.png

Keep in mind I was wheel-sucking him at 40kph+, and was putting in a lot less effort in than him...

What should I make of this? Am I pushing myself very hard? Do some people just have much higher heart rates than others? i.e my max is definitely 200+, where his might be 180? Or should I just take it with a pinch of salt, and come to terms that my athleticism in other sports is non-compatible with cycling & I'll just have to put in some more training?
My avg HR was more than his max HR for the commute :lol:

Thanks all!

Comments

  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    We don't all have the same HR, so don't read anything into it. It's like comparing shoe sizes. Only less useful.
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    As above, everyone's heart is different. But what age are you? My max HR was something ridiculous like 220 when I was in my 20s and untrained, while nowadays aged 50 and having been cycling/training for years it's probably low 180s (but I still have a higher FTP and w/kg than you ;-)). Your heart is a muscle, it gets bigger as you train it so stroke volume increases and the HR needed for a given effort falls fairly dramatically. Max HR also seems to fall a little with training and rise again with detraining IME. Although the numbers are only relevant in comparison to yourself at different times / ages / levels of fitness.

    3.5 w/kg at FTP is pretty good incidentally for someone who's only been cycling for a month (although if you say you are an athlete already and have a history of endurance sports then you might expect it to be).
  • norvernrob
    norvernrob Posts: 1,448
    My mate struggles to get his HR over 170, whereas I can hold a conversation at 170, will average 185+ up a decent hill and max out at over 200. I'm 40 and he's 48.
  • Holding a wheel at 40kph takes a decent level of fitness. Your heart rate went up as you are new to cycling and not used to that kind of effort in all likelihood. Ride more, get fitter and you should eventually see HR lower for those kind of efforts and as Imposter says don't focus on other people's numbers it is pointless.
  • Palladium
    Palladium Posts: 81
    Thanks all for the replies :D

    @Imposter/NorvernRob/Midlands Grimpeur- Cheers, I did some strava-snooping and even in sprint finish-races, he only gets up to 169HRMax, whereas I can hold 190+ for 4+mins agrees with what you're saying that you cannot compare HR like-for-like.

    @neeb- Loved reading that post, thanks for the logical explanation. I'm 19 at the moment, what FTP&w/kg are you at? Sounds like my HRMax is about the same as you described when you were 20's :lol:
    &thanks, FTP was a strava estimate, but as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vG8Z906rPo&t=557s suggests, without any surges, it is pretty accurate +-10% or so. Very keen to see what PM says next week

    I'm very interested to see what happens to that HR when I get a bit fitter!
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    Palladium wrote:
    @neeb- Loved reading that post, thanks for the logical explanation. I'm 19 at the moment, what FTP&w/kg are you at?
    Actually not so much more than you.. :) About 3.9. But I doubt I'll ever get much better whereas I'm sure you will..
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    I'm 56 and my max HR is 173. My HR rises rapidly as soon as I start riding all thanks to having just the one subclavian artery. Left side is fed by taking blood from the artery to the circle of Willis diverting blood from the brain. In physical activity, the heart has to work much harder than normal. Riding with mates that are barely above 120 I'm in the high 150s.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • janzy77
    janzy77 Posts: 10
    What happened to good old "220 minus your age" formula? :)
  • Joshgav
    Joshgav Posts: 158
    janzy77 wrote:
    What happened to good old "220 minus your age" formula? :)

    We all realised that it's nonsense?
  • Palladium
    Palladium Posts: 81
    So this week I've been hitting zone3/zone4 for about an hour every day, mostly because of silly commuting racing, and hitting up strava segments on my commute.

    I wanted to see if my MHR was still around 200 today, and went full gas for 90 secs, but I couldn't get it over 190bpm anymore! Has my MHR changed so much in just a week, dodgy HR readings (brand new wahoo HRM, so I think not), or should I give my legs a few days off? (i.e maybe I can't perform as well due to lactic acid etc?)

    Thanks all, don't have a PM for at least another week so will have to make do with this for now. :(
  • janzy77
    janzy77 Posts: 10
    Joshgav wrote:
    janzy77 wrote:
    What happened to good old "220 minus your age" formula? :)

    We all realised that it's nonsense?

    If we're talking about exact science, sure. But a rule of thumb still applies, doesn't it?

    I did hear about pretty good alternate MAX HR measurement. Perhaps it is "bro science", I don't know. You need to be perfectly healthy for this though.
    15 minutes of jogging, followed by a 1 minute all out sprint uphill. At the peak of sprint read the current HR and add 5 on top of that. Relevant?
    Or, perhaps this heart rate tool can shed some light? It does some averaging based on several HR formulas... For me it says 180, which I believe is pretty near to my treshold. Or at least it used to be when I was in so-to-say-shape (2 years ago).

    But then again I agree, its really up to genetics and no fixed formula will ever be accurate.
  • Mad_Malx
    Mad_Malx Posts: 5,105
    edited July 2017
    janzy77 wrote:
    Joshgav wrote:
    janzy77 wrote:
    What happened to good old "220 minus your age" formula? :)

    We all realised that it's nonsense?

    If we're talking about exact science, sure. But a rule of thumb still applies, doesn't it?

    I did hear about pretty good alternate MAX HR measurement. Perhaps it is "bro science", I don't know. You need to be perfectly healthy for this though.
    15 minutes of jogging, followed by a 1 minute all out sprint uphill. At the peak of sprint read the current HR and add 5 on top of that. Relevant?
    Or, perhaps this heart rate tool can shed some light? It does some averaging based on several HR formulas... For me it says 180, which I believe is pretty near to my treshold. Or at least it used to be when I was in so-to-say-shape (2 years ago).

    But then again I agree, its really up to genetics and no fixed formula will ever be accurate.

    220 minus age (and many other formulae) are reasonable estimates for the mean value of a large sample, but there is big variation in either direction. They just tell you were most people are.
    [Edit - mean and deviation tell you where most people are, the formula just gives you a reasonable estimate of the population average].
    You on the other hand are a very small sample. If you want to know your max HR you need to actually test yourself under maximum stress. Your bro science will give you a much closer estimate.

    Your max does not necessarily mean you are fit or unfit - what's important is what exercise level you can sustain at your submaximal HR. This is what will change as fitness improves, not your max.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    janzy77 wrote:
    Joshgav wrote:
    janzy77 wrote:
    What happened to good old "220 minus your age" formula? :)

    We all realised that it's nonsense?

    If we're talking about exact science, sure. But a rule of thumb still applies, doesn't it?

    No. It's not a rule of anything. It belongs in the same bin as flat earth believers and creationists.
  • janzy77
    janzy77 Posts: 10
    Imposter wrote:
    janzy77 wrote:
    Joshgav wrote:
    janzy77 wrote:
    What happened to good old "220 minus your age" formula? :)

    We all realised that it's nonsense?

    If we're talking about exact science, sure. But a rule of thumb still applies, doesn't it?

    No. It's not a rule of anything. It belongs in the same bin as flat earth believers and creationists.

    Ok then. I didn't mean to misinform or share wrong theories. It's just that whenever I hear "max heart rate" this formula immediately pops into my head. Probably my gym teacher in high school used this formulae too...

    p.s. Did you hear that flat earth believers are now so many that they come from all around the globe?
    :)
  • CptKernow
    CptKernow Posts: 467
    Palladium wrote:
    I wanted to see if my MHR was still around 200 today, and went full gas for 90 secs, but I couldn't get it over 190bpm anymore!

    I find the only way to get up to (what I think is) my MHR is on a long steep hill. Anything else doesn't seem to quite do it.
  • robertpb
    robertpb Posts: 1,866
    Just to show how 220 minus age is a load of rubbish, my max should be 154 using that formula, but is actually 186.

    154 would be in the middle of zone 3 on my Polar m450 setup.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    robertpb wrote:
    Just to show how 220 minus age is a load of rubbish, my max should be 154 using that formula, but is actually 186.

    154 would be in the middle of zone 3 on my Polar m450 setup.
    Just as a matter of interest, has your max always been much higher than 220 minus age would predict, or has it just remained more or less constant as you have got older?
  • N0bodyOfTheGoat
    N0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 5,994
    Since January, on my middle age crisis quest to try and get fit again at the age of 43, until very recently the highest recorded heart rate my Polar H7 recorded was 180 (I typically average 150-155 and max 175+). But having done a handful of cat4 hill sessions recently, I'm tackling my local modest inclines with a bit more gusto, which has resulted in max HR figures increasing to 183 and then 188 the other night...
    https://www.strava.com/activities/1082047812/analysis (sadly dodgy Lidl {re-badged Wahoo} cadence recording)

    Is it reasonable to increase my max HR value on cycling app/gadgets to this one-off value of 185, or should I wait to see it crop up a few more times before re-calibrating?
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • janzy77
    janzy77 Posts: 10
    robertpb wrote:
    Just to show how 220 minus age is a load of rubbish, my max should be 154 using that formula, but is actually 186.

    154 would be in the middle of zone 3 on my Polar m450 setup.


    With those stats at your age (66) it seems that you are in great shape and the formula doesn't apply to you. It is meant for average Joe with no athletic predispositions or training history. Of course genetics play a role, too. That "might" be more accurate.
    But I think the more important "factor" than Max heart rate is the time needed for the heart rate to drop after hard exercise. The lower the better.
    I wonder where did this 220 minus age formula even come from in the first place...
  • robertpb
    robertpb Posts: 1,866
    neeb wrote:
    robertpb wrote:
    Just to show how 220 minus age is a load of rubbish, my max should be 154 using that formula, but is actually 186.

    154 would be in the middle of zone 3 on my Polar m450 setup.
    Just as a matter of interest, has your max always been much higher than 220 minus age would predict, or has it just remained more or less constant as you have got older?

    Over the last 8 years it hasn't changed, before that I have no idea.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"