## Maxiumum Heart Rate

DavidH
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### Maxiumum Heart Rate

Based on the guestimate method of 220 less age my max HR would be 180bpm. From experience I know that my max HR is higher than this and I've guessed it to be 184bpm.

I've had a cold for a few days and this has elevated my heart rate during training rides. This evening I took part in a C grade vets criterium and my max HR was measured at 189bpm.

Regardless of the general state of health the max HR is the max HR, yes? So would it be fair to say that my max HR is in fact 189?

sogood
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Your actual max HR is the highest HR you can induce under the most straining situation. Calculations using those tables are just an average and can often be way off the mark.

So in your case, your HRmax is at least 189 with the possibility that you still have not pushed yourself to the limit.
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Kalgrm
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So would it be fair to say that my max HR is in fact 189

.... so far ....

If you find a higher reading later, that will be your "new" Max HR.

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### Re: Maxiumum Heart Rate

DavidH wrote:Based on the guestimate method of 220 less age my max HR would be 180bpm. From experience I know that my max HR is higher than this and I've guessed it to be 184bpm.

I've had a cold for a few days and this has elevated my heart rate during training rides. This evening I took part in a C grade vets criterium and my max HR was measured at 189bpm.

Regardless of the general state of health the max HR is the max HR, yes? So would it be fair to say that my max HR is in fact 189?

sogood wrote:Your actual max HR is the highest HR you can induce under the most straining situation. Calculations using those tables are just an average and can often be way off the mark.

So in your case, your HRmax is at least 189 with the possibility that you still have not pushed yourself to the limit.

Kalgrm wrote:.... so far ....

If you find a higher reading later, that will be your "new" Max HR.

Cheers,
Graeme

Yes, provided that you are also sure that your HRM isn't providing false spike readings (very common with HRMs) or isn't picking up someone else's signal. I would go with what you know to be a repeatable number following high stress efforts.

As has been said, the generic age based formula is not particularly helpful and can be easily out by 15bpm.

Racing when you should be recovering from illness ain't particularly smart, unless it was a particularly important C grade Vets race.

DavidH
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Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Racing when you should be recovering from illness ain't particularly smart, unless it was a particularly important C grade Vets race.

Hi Alex. Of course you're right. No, not a particulary important race. The plan was to stick with the bunch for as long as possible and focus mainly on bike handling and awareness of the riders around me. Stuck to the plan nicely until I heard the bell for the final lap. Threw the plan away and decided to go for it. Haven't sprinted that hard in ages.

Actually I was expecting you to tell me that HR information is a waste of time. And maybe it is, but I find it interesting and use it as a rough indicator of how much effort I'm putting into races and training rides.

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DavidH wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Racing when you should be recovering from illness ain't particularly smart, unless it was a particularly important C grade Vets race.

Hi Alex. Of course you're right. No, not a particulary important race. The plan was to stick with the bunch for as long as possible and focus mainly on bike handling and awareness of the riders around me. Stuck to the plan nicely until I heard the bell for the final lap. Threw the plan away and decided to go for it. Haven't sprinted that hard in ages.

Actually I was expecting you to tell me that HR information is a waste of time. And maybe it is, but I find it interesting and use it as a rough indicator of how much effort I'm putting into races and training rides.

HR, used well, can be a helpful training aid.

It really helps to understand a few things about it, where it is helpful and especially what its limitations are.

I've always maintained that good training is good training, and crap training is crap training, no matter what bit of equipment is sitting on the handlebar.

Just with a power meter it's much easier to see which is which

Matt_Matt
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Didn't Aushiker start a Heart Rate thread a while back ..... ?

Matt

DavidH
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sogood wrote:So in your case, your HRmax is at least 189 with the possibility that you still have not pushed yourself to the limit.

Assuming that the HR monitor wasn't picking up readings from the guy next to me! But yes, I agree. For now I'm going to assume that my max HR is 189.

Kalgrm wrote:If you find a higher reading later, that will be your "new" Max HR

Sounds good to me.

Alex Simmons wrote:HR, used well, can be a helpful training aid

Fair enough, but I'm too lazy to try and make sense of the numbers anyway. I took a close look at your readings from the Brindabella Challenge, which was on the same track I raced on today (although not necessarily in the same direction) but while interesting I'm not sure what you do with that information. I enjoy riding, training, and racing but analysing the data seems like too much hard work. I guess that's why I'm a C grade rider and will always be a C grade rider.

Alex Simmons wrote:I've always maintained that good training is good training, and crap training is crap training, no matter what bit of equipment is sitting on the handlebar

I suspect that a lot of my training is crap training, but since I ultimately just ride for fun I don't lose any sleep over it.

BTW I came second in the criterium today by about half a wheel length. In hindsight if I'd picked a higher gear I could have won. And I feel guilty since I spent the entire race mid-pack and contributed nothing at the front. Racing is a strange thing some times. My penance will be to do more than my share of pace making next week (and most likely fade at the finish).

MichaelB
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Currently doing a spin class with a well known bike shop in Adelaide, and to determine the 'Predicted Max HR' (that is used for the rest of the sessions), they do a series of tests to get a reading - simulated hill climbing, 100% flat knackers effort and a simulated TT (3 min).

Whether that is any better, wjho knows.

From this, my predicted Max HR was 193, and by the age formula it is 179, and by a whole raft of other formulas (with studies behind them), the range was 182 to 184.

Meh, I just try hard ....

sogood
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MichaelB wrote:From this, my predicted Max HR was 193

Why was it still "predicted"? If it was obtained through a genuine test, then it should be actual.
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muggah
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Alex Simmons/RST wrote:HR, used well, can be a helpful training aid.

It really helps to understand a few things about it, where it is helpful and especially what its limitations are.

Hi Alex,

Any chance you could elaborate on where a HRM is helpful and what it's limitations are in terms of training?

I know a little bit about the HR training zones, but that is about as much as I know. At present I only really use mine as an indicator of whether I'm close to busting or able to sustain the effort.

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Alex Simmons/RST
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muggah wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:HR, used well, can be a helpful training aid.

It really helps to understand a few things about it, where it is helpful and especially what its limitations are.

Hi Alex,

Any chance you could elaborate on where a HRM is helpful and what it's limitations are in terms of training?

I know a little bit about the HR training zones, but that is about as much as I know. At present I only really use mine as an indicator of whether I'm close to busting or able to sustain the effort.

OK. Before I list below, I make the point that I am not against using HR as a guide to training intensity. Just it is a good idea to understand its limitations.

1. HR is is a response indicator.
Unfortunately, we don't know how to distinguish between the factors that contribute to create that response.

How hard we are pushing on the pedals is but one of them but there are many other factors that influence what our heart rate is on a day to day basis as well as during the ride. Drugs (e.g. caffeine), food intake, state of anxiety, stress, state of hydration, temperature, amount of sleep, fatigue, freshness, level of motivation, race v training etc etc all contribute and are reflected in the HR response.

So understanding why our heart is beating at a given rate is tricky.

2. HR is not an indicator of fitness.
Granted as we become fitter our resting rate tends to fall, but once it's done that, then what? The HRM can't be used to guage fitness.

3. HR is also a lag indicator
and as such its utility as a guide to intensity becomes less useful the shorter and more intense the effort or the more variable an effort is.

As an example, you push hard up a short hill and go easy on the other side. The HR however takes a while to catch up and once over the top, it also takes some time to fall back down (even though you have stopped working). This lag in response, cumulatively, can provide a false impression of how hard (or easy) one might actually be working.

4. HR doesn't stay stable, even though the actual effort may.
The corollary is, if you ride with a steady HR, over time your power output will fall. So it helps to realise this when training and that it is normal for the HR to drift higher if you maintain the effort level.

Its like trying to work out your threshold HR. There isn't one. There is typically a range in which the HR will be when riding at threshold though.

5. HR can be particularly misleading for pacing efforts.
esp time trials and when doing specific interval work. This can have two consequences:
- the intervals are not providing the desired stress /training effect on the body
- if pacing a time trial by picking a fixed HR to sit on, then pacing will definitely be sub-optimal from a speed/fastest time possible point of view.

6. HR has a maximal level, whereas effort does not.
HR max can be induced at significantly sub-maximal power/effort levels, hence HR provides no indication of, nor accounts for, such efforts in training and racing.

clack3rz
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Great insight.

I use a HR, but I don't tend to 'use it' during a ride, more ride to how I'm feeling, or to a specific intensity based on RPE.

As Alex says, many things influence a HR output, thus if you ride the same course multiple times on different days/time of the day etc you will find different readings during each repeat.

I use the data post ride and have a look, comparing to other days, noting different things like emotions, sleep, food intake prior/during.

This way I can see what factors work in my favour.....

Also you can still get an idea on where/how you can improve on certain parts of the course, or how warm-ups influence your overall performance etc.

But yes HR is a lag indicator, if I do a hill climb, I will see (& feel) the HR still hitting its max once I'm up and over the hill - esp when I'm looking at the data post-ride.

MichaelB
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sogood wrote:
MichaelB wrote:From this, my predicted Max HR was 193

Why was it still "predicted"? If it was obtained through a genuine test, then it should be actual.

Basically I think that it is based on the data that they have (from the three tests), and it seems that you never actually get there,(probably opposed to a 'proper' stress test where you go till you are stuffed) as they are a limited for time.

Not the ideal, but better than some methods. maybe.

sogood
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Understanding the limitations of HR based training was actually good for me up till now, as it meant that I never bothered with a HRM nor could I rationalise for the cost of a PM, saving me big bucks in the process. Effectively trapped b/n a rock and a hard place. And given that PE is the next best thing after a PM, I just had to believe in the FORCE and put my money on lighter components.
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I just wanted to post in response to this:

DavidH wrote:And I feel guilty since I spent the entire race mid-pack and contributed nothing at the front.

Sounds like you raced very smart and have nothing to feel guilty about!! I'm one of the idiots who rides at the front too much - I'm trying to become more of a slacker though!

DavidH
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dan612 wrote:Sounds like you raced very smart and have nothing to feel guilty about!!

True to a degree, but if you repeat this tactic week after week you can quickly become an unpopular rider. Or worse still, be elevated to a higher grade and then be made to truly suffer .

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DavidH wrote:
dan612 wrote:Sounds like you raced very smart and have nothing to feel guilty about!!

True to a degree, but if you repeat this tactic week after week you can quickly become an unpopular rider. Or worse still, be elevated to a higher grade and then be made to truly suffer .

The only time to put your nose into the wind is if you have a really good reason to. Staying "popular" ain't a good reason. It's racing, not a Sunday coffee run.

Good reasons might be:
- you are attacking
- you are going hard in the gutter with a strong cross wind
- you are chasing down a break
- it's a handicap format race
- you are leading out a team mate
- you are controlling the pace for your team mate who's up the road
- you are in the last 50m of a sprint

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I just wanted to post in response to this:

DavidH wrote:And I feel guilty since I spent the entire race mid-pack and contributed nothing at the front.

Sounds like you raced very smart and have nothing to feel guilty about!! I'm one of the idiots who rides at the front too much - I'm trying to become more of a slacker though!

You know I have just this problem I hang up the front of the pack it just feels too slow to hang back and let everyone else do the work, the legs are just itching to take off so you give in and naturally it leads to your downfall, but saying this its only my 5th race and I am only in E grade so naturally some of the other riders arent every day riders like myself so the general pace is quite slow. My fitness is pretty good Resting HR is 57-62BPM and when exerted to 170+ falls down pretty quick so whats holding me in the lower grade is my racing technique I need to learn to let the other riders do the work and need to practice holding onto the sprints.

I sprinted off the lights today on the flat..... Max Speed was 57kmph and Heart Rate hit 202BPM, now I'm only 22 so naturally using the 220-age method my max HR is 198 which isnt far off it but I didnt feel like my heart was gonna jump outta my chest so obviously i've got a bit more left in the tank. I know this method isnt very acurate based on other riders in this thread and the massive difference they find in actual MAX HR could I be looking at 210+?
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DavidH
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Alex Simmons wrote:The only time to put your nose into the wind is if you have a really good reason to. Staying "popular" ain't a good reason. It's racing, not a Sunday coffee run.

I think there is a small possibility that you might take your racing a little more seriously than others . I can tell you right now that there a lot of vets riders that show up more for the post-race coffee than the race itself. And there are a lot of riders that are brilliant in a road race, but know that they will rarely (if ever) win a criterium.

But I do get your sentiment, and I do appreciate your racing tips.

Avanti22 wrote:Max Speed was 57kmph and Heart Rate hit 202BPM, now I'm only 22

Damn. Wish I was 22 again. Except this time round I wouldn't take up smoking and drink less beer. Good top speed!

Avanti22
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DavidH wrote:
Alex Simmons wrote:The only time to put your nose into the wind is if you have a really good reason to. Staying "popular" ain't a good reason. It's racing, not a Sunday coffee run.

I think there is a small possibility that you might take your racing a little more seriously than others . I can tell you right now that there a lot of vets riders that show up more for the post-race coffee than the race itself. And there are a lot of riders that are brilliant in a road race, but know that they will rarely (if ever) win a criterium.

But I do get your sentiment, and I do appreciate your racing tips.

Avanti22 wrote:Max Speed was 57kmph and Heart Rate hit 202BPM, now I'm only 22

Damn. Wish I was 22 again. Except this time round I wouldn't take up smoking and drink less beer. Good top speed!

Thanks! but age is only a number If you are serious about it you can maintain a physical age of 20 till your old and grey (function wise that is) I nipped my bad habits in the butt earlier this year, quit smoking, seriously cut down my alcohol intake from drinking to excess 2-3 times a week (maybe 10+ per session) to 1-3 beers a week, cant give it up completely it tastes too good. but still with the more active lifestyle I dont find I'm saving any money haha all the extra money goes towards food and cycling gear.
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Avanti22 wrote:If you are serious about it you can maintain a physical age of 20 till your old and grey (function wise that is)

That's a physiological impossibility with present level of medical know-how.
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Avanti22
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sogood wrote:
Avanti22 wrote:If you are serious about it you can maintain a physical age of 20 till your old and grey (function wise that is)

That's a physiological impossibility with present level of medical know-how.

By that I mean If you maintain your fitness efforts eat healthy and look after your body you can maintain similar function.... I have a friend who is 57 his resting HR is 66 and his blood pressure is 115/80 and his lung capacity is well over the average. Another example is Maurice that owns the cycle shop in adamstown I think he's almost 70 or even older and he's still absolutely wooping guys in their 20's.
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sogood
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Avanti22 wrote:By that I mean If you maintain your fitness efforts eat healthy and look after your body you can maintain similar function.... I have a friend who is 57 his resting HR is 66 and his blood pressure is 115/80 and his lung capacity is well over the average. Another example is Maurice that owns the cycle shop in adamstown I think he's almost 70 or even older and he's still absolutely wooping guys in their 20's.

The base parameters you supplied may be kept similar, but the dynamic range would be very different to someone 30+ years younger. And for functions eg. In bed or on bike, it's that dynamic range that counts. So no, it won't function the same.
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