heart rates - where should it be

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heart rates - where should it be

Postby riles » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:31 pm

so i set myself the goal of cracking the 100km barrier for 2012 - and did well just :D got given a heartrate monitor / sigma computer for christmas and was keeping an eye on it while i was riding yesterday and noticed that for the majority of the ride my heart rate was between 150-165bpm and got upto about 175 during some climbs..while the lowest i noticed it got to was 130 bpm...

heres a link to the ride i went on yesterday - http://app.strava.com/activities/34620421

what should the heart rate be, and is it something to really keep an eye on - or is curiosity getting the better of me?
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by BNA » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:10 pm

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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby ozzymac » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:10 pm

Hi,
Heart rates are different for everyone.

A lot of variables affect heart rates eg: age, fitness levels, weight etc.

I am 52 95kg and my heart rate does around the same numbers as yours.

Some days it's lower some days higher.

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Sent from my thingimy chig using that other thing:-)
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby richbee » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:37 pm

As a basic rule of thumb you can use the 220 less age theory to get your theoretical max heartrate, then using the bumph you got with your new HRM you can work out training zones based on percentage of max. Bear in mind that formula has no scientific backing and is fairly conservative in it's results.
The only sure fire way of working out your actual max HR is to do a VO2 Max test which involves coughing up lots of money to a bike training centre with the appropriate equipment, and probably coughing up a lot of blood too.
There are cheaper but no less painfull ways of working it out yourself, generally involving max effort sprints on an incline, but I'll let you google/wicki that for yourself to make up your own mind.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby RonK » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:55 pm

According to Sally Edwards:

210 minus 50% of your age minus 5% of your body weight (pounds) + 4 if male and 0 if female = Estimated Maximum heart rate.


Perhaps a better measure of your fitness is your heart rate recovery, i.e. how quickly your heart rate drops when you stop.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby sogood » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:11 pm

richbee wrote:As a basic rule of thumb you can use the 220 less age theory to get your theoretical max heartrate, then using the bumph you got with your new HRM you can work out training zones based on percentage of max. Bear in mind that formula has no scientific backing and is fairly conservative in it's results.

Actually, the formula has scientific backing. It's a formula that was derived from a lot of population data and there's nothing unscientific about it. The only problem is in its use on an individual.
The only sure fire way of working out your actual max HR is to do a VO2 Max test which involves coughing up lots of money to a bike training centre with the appropriate equipment, and probably coughing up a lot of blood too.
There are cheaper but no less painfull ways of working it out yourself...

Yes, there are expensive and inexpensive ways to extract HRmax. There's no need to do a VO2max in a lab. A true "sure fire" and easy way to obtain HRmax is not listed. It involves a small injection of adrenaline or similar. ;)
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby ft_critical » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:59 pm

RonK wrote:According to Sally Edwards:

210 minus 50% of your age minus 5% of your body weight (pounds) + 4 if male and 0 if female = Estimated Maximum heart rate.




Home this formula is pretty much bang on for me.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby RonK » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:18 pm

sogood wrote:
richbee wrote:As a basic rule of thumb you can use the 220 less age theory to get your theoretical max heartrate, then using the bumph you got with your new HRM you can work out training zones based on percentage of max. Bear in mind that formula has no scientific backing and is fairly conservative in it's results.

Actually, the formula has scientific backing. It's a formula that was derived from a lot of population data and there's nothing unscientific about it. The only problem is in its use on an individual.
The only sure fire way of working out your actual max HR is to do a VO2 Max test which involves coughing up lots of money to a bike training centre with the appropriate equipment, and probably coughing up a lot of blood too.
There are cheaper but no less painfull ways of working it out yourself...

Yes, there are expensive and inexpensive ways to extract HRmax. There's no need to do a VO2max in a lab. A true "sure fire" and easy way to obtain HRmax is not listed. It involves a small injection of adrenaline or similar. ;)

The easy way is to ask your GP to send you for an exercise stress test. It would be a very sensible approach if you are beginning a fitness regime.
This test will determine your maximum heart rate and at the same time monitor your heart function for any abnormal signs. And in the presence of medical assistance if needed.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby Cossie Phil » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:22 pm

ft_critical wrote:
RonK wrote:According to Sally Edwards:

210 minus 50% of your age minus 5% of your body weight (pounds) + 4 if male and 0 if female = Estimated Maximum heart rate.




Home this formula is pretty much bang on for me.


Pretty much perfect for me too:)
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby RonK » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:36 pm

ft_critical wrote:
RonK wrote:According to Sally Edwards:

210 minus 50% of your age minus 5% of your body weight (pounds) + 4 if male and 0 if female = Estimated Maximum heart rate.




Home this formula is pretty much bang on for me.

Yes, Sally knows her stuff and for anyone interested in heart rate training her books are well worth a read.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby clackers » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:14 pm

Looks like you were working hard, Riley. Well done!
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby sogood » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:23 pm

RonK wrote:The easy way is to ask your GP to send you for an exercise stress test. It would be a very sensible approach if you are beginning a fitness regime.
This test will determine your maximum heart rate and at the same time monitor your heart function for any abnormal signs. And in the presence of medical assistance if needed.

Medical cardiac stress tests don't usually aim to determine HRmax. It's a graded protocol test to detect evidence of ischaemia, starting from low intensity. It would stop once evidence is shown. As for healthy fit people, the top stress stage may or may not hit HRmax for the individual.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby am50em » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:27 pm

RonK wrote:According to Sally Edwards:

210 minus 50% of your age minus 5% of your body weight (pounds) + 4 if male and 0 if female = Estimated Maximum heart rate.



Interesting - that formula is spot on with my highest heart rate I have seen and I doubt I could go any harder.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby RonK » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:35 pm

sogood wrote:
RonK wrote:The easy way is to ask your GP to send you for an exercise stress test. It would be a very sensible approach if you are beginning a fitness regime.
This test will determine your maximum heart rate and at the same time monitor your heart function for any abnormal signs. And in the presence of medical assistance if needed.

Medical cardiac stress tests don't usually aim to determine HRmax. It's a graded protocol test to detect evidence of ischaemia, starting from low intensity. It would stop once evidence is shown. As for healthy fit people, the top stress stage may or may not hit HRmax for the individual.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. My GP advised me wrongly again. :roll;
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby sogood » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:54 pm

RonK wrote:Tsk, tsk, tsk. My GP advised me wrongly again. :roll;

Well, yes and no I suspect. The stress test report certainly will indicate the maximum HR reached in the test but that may or may not be HRmax. For some it may be but for others it'll still be less than HRmax. But if your ECG shows anything odd, the test may be terminated early and you'll be off to see a cardiologist. ;)
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby RonK » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:46 am

sogood wrote:
RonK wrote:Tsk, tsk, tsk. My GP advised me wrongly again. :roll;

Well, yes and no I suspect. The stress test report certainly will indicate the maximum HR reached in the test but that may or may not be HRmax. For some it may be but for others it'll still be less than HRmax. But if your ECG shows anything odd, the test may be terminated early and you'll be off to see a cardiologist. ;)

When I first acquired a HRM bike computer, I wanted to ask the very same question as did the OP. I choose to ask my GP rather rely on formulas.

He recommended the exercise stress test, and made it clear on the referral the reason for the test. The two guys who attended me during the test were right into it, and told me they regularly took it themselves as a fitness measure. They also mentioned that it was unlikely I'd actually be able complete the entire test. It was conducted on a treadmill, with the pace and incline increasing at intervals. They pushed me until I could go no further, and I had call a halt about 30 seconds short (you can't just stop running on a treadmill at high speed). They were both surprised that I'd got that far, but agreed that I'd obviously benefitted from my cycling.

Result: Heart function normal, blood pressure a little elevated at the end of the test, HRMax = 193. Could it have gone higher? Possibly, but a few BPM are inconsequential for training purposes.

I think the GP got it pretty right...
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby ft_critical » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:09 am

RonK wrote: HRMax = 193. Could it have gone higher? Possibly, but a few BPM are inconsequential for training purposes.


Interesting. I am reminded of what I consider the most informative comment I have read on this forum, from Alex. With regard to precision, of Powermeters in this case, he said often we are only training for an extra 10% gain in performance. That is the most we can ring out of our bodies - assuming you are a well trained athlete not just starting out in cycling. That means that accuracy is far more important. As is a consistent recording system. For me, without a power meter, I use my trainer, set tests with the same conditions (tyre pressure for example) and use HR, Cadence and Speed. I try to remove as many of the possible sources of variation as possible.

For training, I use a TT test to get my 5min speed, cadence and HR. I set and reset all training after each test - I will test at least quarterly, more frequently during the build phase. I read somewhere that leaving all the variables the same for long periods, e.g., what 90% or V02 Max is or what 85% or MHRR could see you over or under training.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby RonK » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:27 am

ft_critical wrote:
RonK wrote: HRMax = 193. Could it have gone higher? Possibly, but a few BPM are inconsequential for training purposes.


Interesting. I am reminded of what I consider the most informative comment I have read on this forum, from Alex. With regard to precision, of Powermeters in this case, he said often we are only training for an extra 10% gain in performance. That is the most we can ring out of our bodies - assuming you are a well trained athlete not just starting out in cycling. That means that accuracy is far more important. As is a consistent recording system. For me, without a power meter, I use my trainer, set tests with the same conditions (tyre pressure for example) and use HR, Cadence and Speed. I try to remove as many of the possible sources of variation as possible.

For training, I use a TT test to get my 5min speed, cadence and HR. I set and reset all training after each test - I will test at least quarterly, more frequently during the build phase. I read somewhere that leaving all the variables the same for long periods, e.g., what 90% or V02 Max is or what 85% or MHRR could see you over or under training.

I don't think you can assume Alex' comments about accuracy of power output measures also apply to heart rate, but it would be interesting to have his view. For HRM training, you need to know your HRMax in order to establish appropriate training zones. These zones are approximations. A few BPM one way or the other is not important.

After several months of heart rate training using Sally Edwards as a guide, my HRMax (i.e. what I acheived out on the road) actually dropped a little. Did I need to adjust my HR training zones? No.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby ft_critical » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:59 am

RonK wrote:After several months of heart rate training using Sally Edwards as a guide, my HRMax (i.e. what I acheived out on the road) actually dropped a little. Did I need to adjust my HR training zones? No.


I am more meaning threshold tests. What your maximums are over 5min or 20min. I.e., LT and AT. As these change I would think you would need to.

For me what happens is if I am racing I can sustain a higher HR for say 5min. But if I have had a rest and move into base, I just can't sustain the higher HR. So I move all my HR bands down a level - i.e., recalibrate. My interval training sets are then based on either maintain a % of that 5min HR, speed or both. I can't say that it is right, just what I do.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby RonK » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:14 am

ft_critical wrote:
RonK wrote:After several months of heart rate training using Sally Edwards as a guide, my HRMax (i.e. what I acheived out on the road) actually dropped a little. Did I need to adjust my HR training zones? No.


I am more meaning threshold tests. What your maximums are over 5min or 20min. I.e., LT and AT. As these change I would think you would need to.

For me what happens is if I am racing I can sustain a higher HR for say 5min. But if I have had a rest and move into base, I just can't sustain the higher HR. So I move all my HR bands down a level - i.e., recalibrate. My interval training sets are then based on either maintain a % of that 5min HR, speed or both. I can't say that it is right, just what I do.

Yes, your explanation makes sense. You are obviously taking your training a degree or so higher that I ever did.

For recreational riders I think the value of heart rate training is in establishing a training regime that provides appropriate levels of intensity, and in particular, recovery. Before I started using a HRM I was not aware that I rarely did a proper recovery ride. I think a lot of inexperienced riders do this, thinking they need to smash themselves every ride.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby sogood » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:51 am

RonK wrote:Result: Heart function normal, blood pressure a little elevated at the end of the test, HRMax = 193. Could it have gone higher? Possibly, but a few BPM are inconsequential for training purposes.

Pretty good result. And +1 on the fact the "inconsequential" comment for us amateurs, unless one gets serious. At the same time, these indoor tests also suffers the same heat dissipation restrictions as an indoor bike and would typically result in a lower HRmax than an outdoor test with wind in the face.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:42 pm

sogood wrote:
RonK wrote:Result: Heart function normal, blood pressure a little elevated at the end of the test, HRMax = 193. Could it have gone higher? Possibly, but a few BPM are inconsequential for training purposes.

Pretty good result. And +1 on the fact the "inconsequential" comment for us amateurs, unless one gets serious. At the same time, these indoor tests also suffers the same heat dissipation restrictions as an indoor bike and would typically result in a lower HRmax than an outdoor test with wind in the face.

That and HR response is also exercise modality dependent.

Use of HR for guiding general training intensity is fine, but no need to over think the means of establishing a number upon which to base training levels. Provided one is fit and healthy enough to push hard enough, you can establish your own HRmax from a hard enough effort, or record average HR from a time trial effort of ~30-min and use either as a basis to establish training intensity levels. The use of a formal supervised stress test is to stop you if something anomalous shows up along the way, and is a good idea if in any doubt, especially if you are or have been ill, are or have been a smoker, have a family history of cardiac or related health issues, are overweight, not exercised for some time or vigorously before, are over 35 amongst other possible factors.

There's already enough slop in HR response that the levels really should be fairly broad in any case, and if a level feels easier/harder than it should, simply adjust the levels to suit. Having said that, HR training levels don't really change much, not in the way that power training levels might.

HR is only ever going to be a guide to intensity, not tell you about your fitness. For that you need a power measurement or a good power proxy such as indoor trainer speed on a suitable set up (e.g. a Lemond Revolution trainer which has a reliable speed-power relationship), or time up a steep hillclimb.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby alan_k » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:25 pm

I have no idea. Sometimes I see people who has max HR 170-180 but can maintain it for long period of time. While those with lower max HR say 150-160 can't maintain long. And it's not uncommon to see people with high HR winning races.
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Re: heart rates - where should it be

Postby sogood » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:14 pm

alan_k wrote:I have no idea. Sometimes I see people who has max HR 170-180 but can maintain it for long period of time. While those with lower max HR say 150-160 can't maintain long. And it's not uncommon to see people with high HR winning races.

The heart will never get "tired" and one's ability to sustain (i.e. Endurance) is more about the level of effort, muscles and the rest of the system. Don't focus on HR for your next sports bet or you'll likely to lose! :mrgreen:
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