Since I like a challenge and want to get fit, 3 or 4 times a week I push myself on club touring rides by trying to keep up with experienced "B Speed Group" (17-20 mph) cyclers. I was concerned at first when my heart rate monitor kept beeping with a sustained heart rate well over 139 BPM. I turned off the alarm, took the advice on proper hydration given me on the forum and after a few months I feel comfortable keeping my BPM between 145-155 for an hour or so. I'm exerting myself, in a good sweat but not dripping or overheated, and I can almost carry on a conversation, at least short sentences. At 165 BPM, I'm breathing hard and start to feel tightness in my chest that stops the minute I reduce my heart rate. If it means anything on a number of occasions I've taken my heart rate up to 173 climbing a steep hill - while panting and my heart is pounding, I'm able to dismount without assistance and stand without falling over...! My heart rate drops quickly.
Using the standard formulas my "target" heart rate should be 140 BPM with a "max" of 164 (220-56 & 220-56x85%).
I started to cycle in April after years of vigorous walking and so far this summer I've logged over 1200 miles.
Am I on the right path at this level of effort or just putting myself at increased risk of "a cardiac event" (like sudden cardiac arrest)? I want to try my first "Century Ride", a 100 miler, in a couple of weeks.
Also other than hydration, any advice on doing the Century Ride?