I'm not a doctor but…
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
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your HR will drift up the longer you hold a high effort, and even more so if you restrict fluid intake. Less blood volume leads to higher HR as the heart tries to maintain adequate blood pressure.
My view on estimating HRmax is use your highest from the last month's worth of HR data, which includes maximal sprints longer than 30 seconds, and maximal efforts sustained for at least 15 minutes. And obviously, ensure you are adequately hydrated. Note you'll get a higher HR in warmer temps as well.
It does take a while. Cholesterol levels can be messed up during the process.
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Your maximal heart rate should plateau quite nicely (i.e. flat) rather than "drift up" if you're really at max chickens. You can average a few periods of high intensity if you like, but really all you need is to push yourself to maximal effort for a reasonable period (at least a few minutes and preferably for as long as 15 mins as mentioned above, if you can maintain it) and just check what your peak HR was. That's the number you're after. Find a decent continuous climb (I find Mt Stromlo handy for this) and climb as hard & fast as you possibly can for at least 5-10 mins.
Profound dehydration will lead to tachycardia to maintain a consistent cardiac output, but in an otherwise fit & healthy person not on certain medications, the primary response to maintain perfusion pressure is an increase in sympathetic tone (vasoconstriction) with very little change in HR.
Hit 184 max today, which is the highest so far since being back on a HRM ... felt totally empty all race so when I am feeling good it would probably go a fair bit higher.
Range Time in Zone Percent
Z1 - Endurance 0-112 08:40 8%
Z2 - Moderate 112-148 1:26:33 75%
Z3 - Tempo 148-166 18:04 16%
Z4 - Threshold 166-184 01:33 1%
Z5 - Anaerobic 184+ 00:00 0%
But boy my hr is really sluggish... such a diesel
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