Determining Max heart Rate on the road

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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby valkis » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:21 pm

There are a couple of ways to determine max HR i've tried, and they come out with numbers within a few bpm for me:

Find a long stretch of road or use a trainer, and after a good warmup, start to go faster and faster with the goal of increasing your HR by 5bpm every minute. Once your legs are screaming at your brain to stop, sprint as fast as you can. Then check your monitor - thats your max (that's from lance armstrong's 7 steps). If you have a power meter, your sustained power should peak around 85% of your max as well.

Alternatively, find a nice long constant climb in your area that'll take longer than half an hour - preferably longer - to ride up. tackle it as hard as you can - if you go to hard at the start, you'll slow down a bit later on. Your average at the end should be near 85% of your max.

Once you hit 85% of your max, you move into anaerobic territory - which you can't sustain for long periods of time. The formula 220-age works for the average person - if you're a cyclist looking into heart rates, etc, chances are you're reasonably fit - fitter than average - and the formula won't apply to you.
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by BNA » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:25 pm

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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby 1q2w3e4r » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:25 pm

As everyone had added everyone's max HR or TT heart rate will be different.

I've hit 210 at the end of a ramp test and out on the road once or twice. I regularly see 205-207 at the end of a crit sprint or an all out hill effort, but my threshold HR during a hard crit or time trial is 193 bpm. A mate of mine with a similar w/kg blows up at anything near 180 as his max is about 185, so his hard pace HR is about 175 from memory, everyones different.

A ramp test would give you your max hr, or a very hard hill climb of about 7-8 minutes where you went full gas at the end.

But I'm in the same boat as twizzle, I don't even look at mine or the data from it to be honest since using the powertap (never had a HR monitor before the one that came with it) its more of an interesting side note. But if it was all you had it'd be better to use it for knowing if you were on your sustainable limit than just guessing, just have to be careful of over cooking it in the first 5 minutes or so.
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:48 pm

Check out this girls average HR... 191 bpm for 39 minutes...hehe thats my little seen absolute max.
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:18 am

See here for tests (trainer and road) and setting basic training levels using HRmax:
http://www.cyclecoach.com/index.php?opt ... Itemid=145

But read this before doing any such effort:
http://cyclecoach.com/index.php?option= ... Itemid=112

HRmax estimation formula are just population averages with quite a large SD, such that it has very limited value as a mechanism to estimate an individual's HRmax (IOW - an individual should not use this method for the purposes of performance training). Testing is the best way to obtain a number (it may be that the test is part of a race), provided one is OK to place such stress on themselves (hence the disclaimer in above items). Also one needs to make sure that erroneous HRM data is ignored.

HR is a useful guide to general levels of intensity at aerobic power levels (which is most of what we do). Its utility as a measure of intensity declines with an increase in either of the effort level or the variability of effort and it is also influenced by many things other than how hard we are pushing on the pedals. If one understands these limitations, it can be and is still a helpful guide. Perceived exertion is also an excellent guide to effort level, and of course power is superior for reasons we won't bore everyone with here.

What HR isn't though, is a measure of fitness or in changes in fitness, beyond the very large and obvious ones that happen when you go from being unfit to reasonably fit (e.g. a drop in resting HR).

A faster reduction in HR after very hard efforts is also common with improved fitness, however this can still be misleading, as fitness improvement is actually about sustaining a higher power for a given duration (and if you don't know power, then the HR recovery may simply be because your power wasn't as high to begin with).
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby twizzle » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:46 pm

Now, which computer should I trust after the TT on Sunday? For those interested in the technique : after 18.8km of TT, the run to the finish is a 24 meter climb in 400m, taken at max effort as you have nothing to lose at that point.

Garmin says I hit 189 BPM, but with moving averaging in the report turned off it says 194 BPM.
PowerTap says 184 with averaging turned on.

Anyway - training zones based on max HR are going to be a bit of a miss when you aren't sure what your max HR is.
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby Parrott » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:21 pm

valkis wrote:Once you hit 85% of your max, you move into anaerobic territory - which you can't sustain for long periods of time.


How long a period of time are you talking? 85% of my max is less than I can sustain for about an hour so far, over 90% for me unless I have my max way out.
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:27 pm

Parrott wrote:
valkis wrote:Once you hit 85% of your max, you move into anaerobic territory - which you can't sustain for long periods of time.


How long a period of time are you talking? My max is about 203. If my HR drops below 180 in a TT I know my concentration is wandering and I need to go harder, works for anything up to a 40 k so far.


For me it is 90%...once I am sitting around 170-172 I know the next good attack will hurt.I haven't worn a HR strap for 3 or 4 months...but I will put one back on when I start racing (I won't look at it thou :shock: )...but it is of mild interest when looking at the power files after a race.Usually to see where it went wrong :lol: .
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby Parrott » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:39 pm

toolonglegs wrote:
Parrott wrote:
valkis wrote:Once you hit 85% of your max, you move into anaerobic territory - which you can't sustain for long periods of time.


How long a period of time are you talking? My max is about 203. If my HR drops below 180 in a TT I know my concentration is wandering and I need to go harder, works for anything up to a 40 k so far.


For me it is 90%...once I am sitting around 170-172 I know the next good attack will hurt.I haven't worn a HR strap for 3 or 4 months...but I will put one back on when I start racing (I won't look at it thou :shock: )...but it is of mild interest when looking at the power files after a race.Usually to see where it went wrong :lol: .


I edited that sorry TLL when you must have been posting as it was what I said on page 1 :oops:
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:43 pm

No biggie :lol:
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby valkis » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:01 pm

is the 203bpm accurate? That seems a pretty long time.

personally , after 10-15min (AT) 90% i crack. The 85% is supposed to be the level that you could keep going at for hours, so an hour is a good test. I presume everyone is different, but an hour is a very long time to stay anaerobic for. Unless you're recovering when your HR drops, allowing you to go higher again. I'm referring to the average rate over an hour.
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby Parrott » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:15 pm

The 203 bpm is the highest I have seen on my HRM and it is not something I can easily repeat, felt pretty awful and felt max to me. If its not my max I dont think I want to try and find it. I regularly average mid to high 180 average heart rates in time trials and my 40 k tt had an average of 186 or 187 I think. I don't think 85% is a hard and fast rule for going anaerobic and its possible for alot of people to run higher than that.
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:37 am

valkis wrote:but an hour is a very long time to stay anaerobic for.

and you would stay that way forever more if it happened (i.e. you'd be dead).

IOW, if you rode for an hour, no matter how hard or what your HR was, it is still aerobic.
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:24 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
valkis wrote:but an hour is a very long time to stay anaerobic for.

and you would stay that way forever more if it happened (i.e. you'd be dead).

IOW, if you rode for an hour, no matter how hard or what your HR was, it is still aerobic.

:lol:
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby valkis » Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:38 pm

That's my point :lol:
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby Parrott » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:12 am

You don't make it very well. According to you once your HR reaches 85% of your max you are anaerobic.

The AT is usually reached at 80-90% of your maximum heart rate, but in elite riders rises to 90-93% of their maximum heart rate.(See also Basic Exercise Physiology - measures of cardiovascular fitness.)

from here

Not saying I am elite rider, far from it :oops: . However 85% of your max HR is not necessarily the point at which exercise becomes anaerobic for all people.
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby valkis » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:41 pm

No problem, that makes more sense. I'm quoting from Chris Carmichael literature which puts it as 85% - looks like that figure is a bit of an average of the 80-90% you just cited.
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby Parrott » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:01 pm

I can't seem to hold the 180's HR when I'm out training by myself only when I'm racing or to a lesser extent going hard in a bunch :?
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:41 pm

Parrott wrote:I can't seem to hold the 180's HR when I'm out training by myself only when I'm racing or to a lesser extent going hard in a bunch :?

Heart rate response when racing is often different to that when training for same apparent effort.
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby twizzle » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:56 pm

Parrott wrote:I can't seem to hold the 180's HR when I'm out training by myself only when I'm racing or to a lesser extent going hard in a bunch :?


Fear factor. :)
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby Parrott » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:28 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Heart rate response when racing is often different to that when training for same apparent effort.


twizzle wrote:Fear factor. :)


Response to adrenaline release?

Are your power readings you see in training similar to what you achieve racing? It at least feels like I can always go a touch harder when racing. Adrenaline has other effects also,not just increase in heart rate :?
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby twizzle » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:03 pm

Parrott wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Heart rate response when racing is often different to that when training for same apparent effort.


twizzle wrote:Fear factor. :)


Response to adrenaline release?

Are your power readings you see in training similar to what you achieve racing? It at least feels like I can always go a touch harder when racing. Adrenaline has other effects also,not just increase in heart rate :?


The best laps times I've done at Stromlo when giving it 100% in training have been 1:41's, but I've done a 1:37 when going for the win.

Re. HR : comparing the same power level in a 2x20 against TT'ing off the front in a race - the HR sits around 170 the whole time in a race, but in a 2x20 it will start at 160 and take almost the full 20 minutes to get up to 170.
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby Parrott » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:42 pm

twizzle wrote:The best laps times I've done at Stromlo when giving it 100% in training have been 1:41's, but I've done a 1:37 when going for the win.

Re. HR : comparing the same power level in a 2x20 against TT'ing off the front in a race - the HR sits around 170 the whole time in a race, but in a 2x20 it will start at 160 and take almost the full 20 minutes to get up to 170.


Thanks, same thing here with my HR. Much faster rise in a race and stays higher.
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby allanp » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:26 pm

Interesting subject, i am 38 and used the 220 calculation also, which puts me at 182.
After asking my LBS in regards to training a noted comment was that you will not reach max HR if you are constantly training, The body requires a few days rest prior to the stress test.
3 days off over this weekend and my first commute to work i peaked at 195 bpm on a climb with effort. (normally i max at 184 when i am riding 5 days a week even blowing up on OBR)
This will change my effort training schedule with more effort to get to zone 4 and above :oops: A simple rest surprised me
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby trailgumby » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:10 pm

The highest ever figure I've recorded for a momentary max that's not accounted for by errors is 180, recorded in March when I wasn't very fit and nearly threw up! Since then I think I've peaked at about 178. I'm 48.

At the off-road race I did in Parkes weekend before last, I averaged 90% of my HR for the first 25km loop: 160bpm with a max of 174 for roughly an hour 16 minutes.

http://connect.garmin.com/splits/50543348

So I guess I now know what my threshhold HR is. :lol:
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Re: Determining Max heart Rate on the road

Postby Nix » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:08 am

I got a little worried when I first got my HRM too - it said my max heart rate should be 191, but I was reaching 201-202 on max effort...
After using it for the last couple of months, I've started to use the data to get to know my body a lot more which is helping with my riding..
Now I know that I average 174-175 on a ride, Max is usually in the high 190's.. but more importantly, I know that if I get up to 192-193, I blow up soon after. So as I get to high 180's, I back off slightly (or suck some wheel for a bit)..
Moral of the story - get to know what your HRM means in terms of your performance and worry about that... :)
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