Heart rate levels

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Heart rate levels

Postby TrekStar » Sat May 21, 2011 6:37 pm

Hi, I'm a mid 30s male, and on a normal ride averaging 23-25km/hr I would normally record a average heart rate of 150bpm and max of 185.

Are there any health professionals out there who can indicate whether this is within acceptable range, and the things I need to look out for? I know my heart rate goes down to 90-100 after 5-10 mins rest (those mid ride coffee breaks).

Thanks in advance.
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by BNA » Sat May 21, 2011 7:04 pm

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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby sogood » Sat May 21, 2011 7:04 pm

Your max was 185? How was that determined? You can't obtain a proper HRmax on regular rides. And if you are serious about entering into HR level based training, there's no point unless HRmax is correctly determined.

As for whether you are in the "acceptable range". That's a pretty meaningless question given HR response varies significantly with the individual. The only thing that can be said at present is that you are alive and your heart responds in the right direction to exercise/rest. :mrgreen:

There are many past threads that discussed how to implement HR based training and how to determine HRmax correctly. Otherwise Google is your friend here.
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby you cannot be sirrus » Sat May 21, 2011 7:28 pm

As sogood suggested "acceptable range" is a fairly loose measure. I was discussing this topic this morning with a 72yo who still races, his ave is 140 and max just over 160. I'm 50 and average 161 on all my rides this year with a max of 201.
My figures have always seemed high to me but my GP isn't concerned and all other medical checks are fine. As long as it keeps ticking I'm happy.
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby Oxford » Sat May 21, 2011 8:10 pm

see a professional who deals with sports people, HRs are individual to each person and will vary over the day, the week, the month, depending on many factors such as what you've recently eaten and drunk (caffeine, energy drinks etc). if you cannot spring for a doctor, there are many books that will assist with calculating max HR and zones. use the internet, but be a little more sceptical about WWW information (including forums).
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby TrekStar » Sat May 21, 2011 9:15 pm

you cannot be sirrus wrote:As sogood suggested "acceptable range" is a fairly loose measure. I was discussing this topic this morning with a 72yo who still races, his ave is 140 and max just over 160. I'm 50 and average 161 on all my rides this year with a max of 201.
My figures have always seemed high to me but my GP isn't concerned and all other medical checks are fine. As long as it keeps ticking I'm happy.



Reading was from my Garmin HRM during rides. The latest reading was this morning during my first time ever my climb up Mt Coo-tha, Brisbane - I think I pretty hit max there!

I know placement of the HRM can muck up readings - once I didn't fit it on properly and it slipped to my belly/waist level and my HRM was reading 250!
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Heart rate levels

Postby sogood » Sat May 21, 2011 10:24 pm

Oxford wrote:books that will assist with calculating max HR and zones.

HRmax isn't calculated unless one isn't serious about HR zone training.
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby gururug » Sat May 21, 2011 10:48 pm

looks fine to me.

under 175max or over 195max at your age i'd be wondering why.....
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby sogood » Sat May 21, 2011 11:24 pm

gururug wrote:under 175max or over 195max at your age i'd be wondering why.....

Why?
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby grantw » Sun May 22, 2011 11:55 am

I'm getting curious about Heart rate and watching my Garmin is becoming a strangely compelling and oddly disturbing part of my riding. My Garmin tells me that my average HR over the last few months is 156, however this morning my average HR was 170 over a 2 hour ride, I topped out at 197. I was putting in some effort and I've had a few weeks off the bike so fitness has dropped a bit but I thought it interesting all the same.

Based on the nominal Max HR calculation of 220 - age (44) my max HR should be 178 but if that's accurate I spent 2 hours anaerobically training this morning so clearly either the HR monitor isn't so accurate or the calculation isn't.

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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby David_G » Sun May 22, 2011 12:28 pm

I've consulted my GP and he gave me a formula that was a bit complex, when I said that I thought it was "220 beats per minute minus your age" he said that worked.
I'm 56 and I saw a cardiologist for the annual check up two weeks ago and said that my max HR was up around 178, he said no worries about that (I've got 3 stents in there and don't want any more). My average is 156 nearly every ride and my rides average out at 2hrs. He was also well pleased with that.

All that is what is the go for me, my tip is go and see a GP or Cardiologist and get some advice specific to you. It doesn't cost much and you'll be riding with a little more knowledge which is always a good thing.
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sun May 22, 2011 12:38 pm

grantw wrote:Based on the nominal Max HR calculation of 220 - age (44) my max HR should be 178 but if that's accurate I spent 2 hours anaerobically training this morning so clearly either the HR monitor isn't so accurate or the calculation isn't.

1. Generic age based formula are only applied to populations, not individuals. It has a standard deviation of about 15 bpm.
Anyone giving specific HR range advice to an individual based on a formula doesn't know what they are on about.

2. Your HRmax is what it is. No formula will ever tell you what it is.

3. Your HR can never tell you that you are training "anaerobically".

4. HRMs are also often susceptible to invalid maximum readings due to a range of reasons. An inspection of a HR plot v time should make it easier to detect anomalous data.
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby greyhoundtom » Sun May 22, 2011 2:04 pm

I now no longer wear my heart rate monitor because it simply is unable to measure my heart rate accurately.

The problem being that at 67 years of age I suffer ectopic heart beats during strenuous exercise, and this completely throws the heart rate monitor readings out of kilter.

It kind of makes you worry when your monitor shows you that your maximum heart rate was 220. :shock:
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Heart rate levels

Postby sogood » Sun May 22, 2011 2:27 pm

greyhoundtom wrote:The problem being that at 67 years of age I suffer ectopic heart beats during strenuous exercise...

Be thankful you only have ectopics! ;)

Go by perceived effort or a PM if you want to dent your CC.
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby grantw » Sun May 22, 2011 3:47 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
grantw wrote:Based on the nominal Max HR calculation of 220 - age (44) my max HR should be 178 but if that's accurate I spent 2 hours anaerobically training this morning so clearly either the HR monitor isn't so accurate or the calculation isn't.

1. Generic age based formula are only applied to populations, not individuals. It has a standard deviation of about 15 bpm.
Anyone giving specific HR range advice to an individual based on a formula doesn't know what they are on about.

2. Your HRmax is what it is. No formula will ever tell you what it is.

3. Your HR can never tell you that you are training "anaerobically".

4. HRMs are also often susceptible to invalid maximum readings due to a range of reasons. An inspection of a HR plot v time should make it easier to detect anomalous data.


Fair enough. I was only trying to illustrate the problem with using the calculated maximum from my own experience this morning.

Moving on then, is there actually a purpose of knowing your maximum Heart Rate, especially if you are like me, reasonably active recreational cyclist? And really any point in wearing the HR monitor?

cheers

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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sun May 22, 2011 4:51 pm

grantw wrote:Moving on then, is there actually a purpose of knowing your maximum Heart Rate?

The primary purpose for knowing MHR (through actually performing an effort to elicit MHR) is for setting of training levels, which are HR ranges based on a various %'s of MHR.
e.g.
< 70% - recovery rides
75-78% - quality endurance rides
78-85% - core endurance / high tempo
85-93% - time trial efforts / long hill climbs
92-100% - maximal aerobic / short hill climbs (< 5-min)

One can also do a similar thing using a "threshold" HR, which is the average HR from a well paced maximal effort lasting about 30-60 minutes. HR training level % ranges are adjusted accordingly using threshold HR as the anchor point.

grantw wrote:especially if you are like me, reasonably active recreational cyclist? And really any point in wearing the HR monitor?

Only reasons for knowing your HR are if:

1. you have a medical reason for keeping an eye on it

2. you want to use it (along with perceived exertion) to help guide the intensity of effort during sub-maximal / relatively steady state riding (based on the training levels as calculated and based on your individual HR response). This then is only of interest if you are riding with the specific purpose of improving fitness (i.e. want to make sure you are riding at an appropriate effort level in order to elicit the desired physiological adaptations).

Whether or not either apply to you, I can't really say. I'm a recreational cyclist too, but my recreation involves racing up to and including at world/international level.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby TrekStar » Sun May 22, 2011 5:31 pm

.[/quote]

Fair enough. I was only trying to illustrate the problem with using the calculated maximum from my own experience this morning.

Moving on then, is there actually a purpose of knowing your maximum Heart Rate, especially if you are like me, reasonably active recreational cyclist? And really any point in wearing the HR monitor?

cheers

grant[/quote]

I'm monitoring my heart rate to make sure I am riding within the zones where I can build endurance and also do intervals to increase VO2Max. I know I don't have fancy lab readings and I might be doing this recreationally, but I feel better that I am doing what I can to improve my fitness and conditioning.
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby sogood » Sun May 22, 2011 6:45 pm

TrekStar wrote:I'm monitoring my heart rate to make sure I am riding within the zones where I can build endurance and also do intervals to increase VO2Max. I know I don't have fancy lab readings and I might be doing this recreationally, but I feel better that I am doing what I can to improve my fitness and conditioning.

Unless you have an accurate HRmax, only God knows what zone you've been riding in. Then it becomes more of a motivator and gadget to keep you interested rather than a true training tool. One can feel better through placebo too.
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby you cannot be sirrus » Sun May 22, 2011 6:55 pm

Looking at my Garmin figures over the last 6 months or so, and ignoring obviously wild readings, I'm fairly confident my MHR is 199, I've had this figure +/- 1 many times. I've based my zones on this and it seems to be working for me.
My theory is to find true MHR one has to push ever further until one has a heart attack, then deduct 1 bpm. Not game to go to that extreme just yet.
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby WhoRoo » Sun May 22, 2011 6:58 pm

mmmmm...... (age 64) been thinking about getting one of these (as an add on to my Bryton 30) but after reading the threads on this I'll not bother and stick to the current option (when I max out on a hill I get off and walk). That said I'll leave a foot note on my Will (with ACF logon) for the bride to let you all know the HR at the time of passing.... wether she declares the activity at the time will be at her discretion. :D
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby sogood » Sun May 22, 2011 7:21 pm

you cannot be sirrus wrote:My theory is to find true MHR one has to push ever further until one has a heart attack, then deduct 1 bpm. Not game to go to that extreme just yet.

That's not correct for a heathy individual. You may not feel comfortable at HRmax, but the heart can and will keep pumping at HRmax without complaint. It's the rest of the body that'll eventually stop you through pain or fatigue. The heart does not fatigue as long as there's a normal supply of O2 and glucose.
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sun May 22, 2011 7:34 pm

sogood wrote:
you cannot be sirrus wrote:My theory is to find true MHR one has to push ever further until one has a heart attack, then deduct 1 bpm. Not game to go to that extreme just yet.

That's not correct for a heathy individual. You may not feel comfortable at HRmax, but the heart can and will keep pumping at HRmax without complaint. It's the rest of the body that'll eventually stop you through pain or fatigue. The heart does not fatigue as long as there's a normal supply of O2 and glucose.

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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby you cannot be sirrus » Sun May 22, 2011 7:50 pm

That's good to know. :D Might push on bit more next week in a sprint finish after my 120km ride at the BikeSA Grand Slam
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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby grantw » Mon May 23, 2011 5:51 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
Hope that helps!


Yes, that does clear up quite a bit. Thanks

Cheers

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Re: Heart rate levels

Postby Sweeper59 » Mon May 23, 2011 1:41 pm

I gave up trying to find a formula to work out my max HR. Most are just estimates covering 'the average' person, and don't cater for weight, fitness etc.

So, like others have suggested, I went hard doing a few reps of a steep hill near my place (Lighthouse Beach, Pt Macquarie) and checked my maximum. I now use 190 bpm as my max - not too bad for a 51 y.o. :D

I also wore my HRM when I went out for a morning of paintball recently. One of the exercises involved setting an ambush for our opponents, who had to get at least 1 member of their group to the end of a 400m bush track. I noticed that even though I was lying as still as possible in long grass for a couple of minutes, waiting for the opposing group, my heart rate was over 140 bpm - so obviously adrenalin has a big impact on your heart rate! :D
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Heart rate levels

Postby sogood » Mon May 23, 2011 2:51 pm

Absolutely. Even more dramatic when you inject a bolus of adrenaline. ;)
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