Higher than average max heart rate

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Higher than average max heart rate

Postby Nix » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:42 pm

I've been playing with my new HRM on my last couple of rides and have noticed that my HR seems to reach the calculated max and continue on beyond it, and it's made me wonder what this means...
I don't consider myself very fit.. 29 y/o, maybe 4-5kg overweight and have only been cycling for 6 months and on my most recent ride (just over 1 hour at high intensity), my stats were:
Average HR - 183bpm
Max HR - 199bpm

My Max HR according to the 220-age calculation is - 191bpm - which puts my 95% HR at 181...
Resting heart rate at last check was 62bpm..

So, question I have is this - is a higher than average max HR a sign good fitness or poor fitness (in the same way a low resting HR is a sign of good fitness)? And is there anything I should be worried about when my average HR through a ride is quite high (should I back off for a period through the ride)?

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Location: Canberra, Australia

Re: Higher than average max heart rate

Postby thelittlebattler » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:17 pm

There's nothing to worry about with your max heart rate. That calculation is based on averages from a few groups taking part in studies. Individuals can vary by up to 15 bpm from this prediction (higher or lower), it just gives a ball park, and not a sign of fitness. From this ball park you can estimate aerobic thresholds, but these vary for individuals as well.

Average heart rate on the other hand is a sign of fitness, if you compare yourself to other people riding at the same speed (what's yours by the way?) Resting heart rate also indicates how fit you are, and yours is pretty good ("normal" can range from maybe 70-100)

With your "new" or more accurate max HR at 199, an average of 183 becomes around 91% of HRmax = solid effort! But nothing to be concerned about if you've been pushing hard. It should come down again ok after stopping (it will come down quicker as you get fitter).

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