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  1. #1
    Fanatic peterjcb's Avatar
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    Well after many years of running & biking I just realized that I've been exceeding my maximum heartrate. According to the formula my maximum heart rate should be somewhere around 167 BPM. After my last hard 5K run I did a quick unofficial check and it was at least 180 BPM.
    I've been doing some research and found that if you want to optimize your workouts your should not exceed your MHR. So I just picked up a Sigma Sport PC 15 heart rate monitor on Ebay for $46.00. I can't wait to try it out. It cam be used for all sport and traing not only running & biking.
    Does anyone else use a heart rate monitor?
    Peter

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    peterjcb,
    Keep in mind that the formula 220-age is somewhat controversial. There are other formulas out there and some argue that it is also very dependent on the condition of the person involved. I have a hrm but figure to use it only as a rough guide to determine relative fitness as I cycle through the year.

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    Spot, the cat BobL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterjcb
    Well after many years of running & biking I just realized that I've been exceeding my maximum heartrate. According to the formula my maximum heart rate should be somewhere around 167 BPM. After my last hard 5K run I did a quick unofficial check and it was at least 180 BPM.
    I've been doing some research and found that if you want to optimize your workouts your should not exceed your MHR. So I just picked up a Sigma Sport PC 15 heart rate monitor on Ebay for $46.00. I can't wait to try it out. It cam be used for all sport and traing not only running & biking.
    Does anyone else use a heart rate monitor?
    Personally, I have one and tend to use it more on my trainer than while riding outside. Any HRM is pretty meaningless without knowing your maximum and your zones. 220-age is a pretty loose guess. If you've been running and cycling all your adult life (and you "belong" in the 50+ group), your max is probably not that number. You can find articles on how to measure your own max, but basically you ride (or run) for a while until fully warmed up, then keep notching up the effort until you pass out. When you wake up, read the maximum recorded by your HRM. That's probably your maximum.

    Ok, I was kidding about the passing out part. But if you read 180 and weren't so tapped out you were on verge of passing out, your max is probably higher than that.

    Here's another reasonable guess for max HR for men (women seem to differ on this). Take 220 minus age up to age 30, then subtract 1 beat for every 2 years. A 50 year old's Max HR then becomes 180 instead of 170.


    Hope this helps,
    BobL
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    Senior Member strider's Avatar
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    There's a number of formulas to out there to try. The one that is most accurate for me based on my observed results during hard exercise is: 205- half my age. For those under 40 try 208- half your age.

    Had a cardio stress test two years ago. The cardiologist took me to 99% of my theoretical max heart rate and I was conversing with him all the time just starting to huff and puff at 99%. He seemed surpised at my enduarnce and kept asking me during the test if I exercised this intensely as they increased the speed and grade on the treadmill and I answered yes. I'm a distance runner. When I asked him what formula was used to determine max heart rate. He said 220-age and that formula is recommended for the general population by the American Cardiologists Association based on statistics. I suggested to him that the formula was probably invalid for endurance athletes. He gave me a glowing report but as far as I was concerned, the test was a waste of time and money.
    Olmo Millenium.

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    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    Peter,
    I have a couple of HRM, my max heart rate using the 220 calculation is 166, however I have got to 172 before. The 220 is just an average calculation and your max heart rate is whatever it is. You can not exceed your maximum heart rate because whatever your highest heart rate you can reach is you MAX heart rate. My polar S725 has a fitness test and it calculates what your max heart rate is and it says it is 180 but 172 is the highest I have been able to achive so 172 is my max heart rate so far. It's good to monitor your heart rate but go by your actual results instead of the 220 calculation.

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    Fanatic peterjcb's Avatar
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    Obviously, all the formulas out there are just a guide and cannot apply to everyone. What I'm hoping to accomplish with a HRM is to establish a target zone for myself.
    From what I'm reading it is best not to constantly be working out at your MHR which is something that I tend to push myself to do all the time. I want to see if working in a target zone helps me feel less depleted after workouts therefore I'll be able to work out more often rather that feeling too tired the next day....Besides, I love new toys.
    BTW, how do you feel about wearing that strap across your chest?
    Peter

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    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterjcb
    Obviously, all the formulas out there are just a guide and cannot apply to everyone. What I'm hoping to accomplish with a HRM is to establish a target zone for myself.
    From what I'm reading it is best not to constantly be working out at your MHR which is something that I tend to push myself to do all the time. I want to see if working in a target zone helps me feel less depleted after workouts therefore I'll be able to work out more often rather that feeling too tired the next day....Besides, I love new toys.
    BTW, how do you feel about wearing that strap across your chest?
    I have a Polar S725 and a Garmin 301. The Polar strap is more comfortable. My average hear rate is 140-144 for solo rides. When I ride with bike club in paceline, it is lower, usually around 118 average. It's not too hard for me to get up around 150-160 on some of the hills and can usually hit close to my max twice on a ride.

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    Here's a great article on estimating MHR. Turns out the 220-age algorithm is not very accurate, and predicting MHR from age alone appears to be a fool's game. There are just too many other factors to consider. BTW if your pulse rate exceeds your MHR, then you are using the wrong MHR.

    http://faculty.css.edu/tboone2/asep/Robergs2.pdf

    This seems to be a good reference article on heart rate.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate

    And here is a web page on target heart rate and zones. I'm trying to find out who determined the values for these zones, and why don't they use the MRR value instead of MHR.

    http://www.fitzones.com/members/Fitn...rate_zones.asp

    I'm just getting back on the bike (new one) after a 30 year absence (I'm 59). My, how everything has changed: bikes, traffic, my body. I figure at 50 lbs overweight, it's a good time to work on climbing. As I get lighter I'll go faster!

    I just found bikeforums the other day. I feel welcome. Thanks to all.

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    I think you may be getting this the wrong way round. Your max heart rate is the maximum YOUR heart beats under extreme exercise. This varies a lot person to person and obviously yours is higher than that given by the formula. That just means the formula is wrong in your case not that you are exceeding some sort of limit.
    Cheers
    Steve

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    Spot, the cat BobL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterjcb
    ......
    BTW, how do you feel about wearing that strap across your chest?
    I was out riding a few weeks ago and I guess the strap stopped making contact because my pulse suddenly read 00.

    My first reaction was, "da**, there I go dying again ... I hate dying in the middle of a ride".
    "Blessed are the tailwinds, for the weak shall inherit the earth ". 1st Cyclists 3:23
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    I know a good website where to buy heart rate montor.
    www.hypertension@hypertensionstore.com
    you can choose from there.

  12. #12
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    This may help with some of the confusion about the heart during endurance sports, the difference between max heart rate and peak heart rate, body position effects on heart rate, and training effects over time, just to name a few:

    http://home.hia.no/~stephens/

    .

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    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leucadian
    Here's a great article on estimating MHR. Turns out the 220-age algorithm is not very accurate, and predicting MHR from age alone appears to be a fool's game. There are just too many other factors to consider. BTW if your pulse rate exceeds your MHR, then you are using the wrong MHR.

    http://faculty.css.edu/tboone2/asep/Robergs2.pdf

    This seems to be a good reference article on heart rate.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate

    And here is a web page on target heart rate and zones. I'm trying to find out who determined the values for these zones, and why don't they use the MRR value instead of MHR.

    http://www.fitzones.com/members/Fitn...rate_zones.asp

    I'm just getting back on the bike (new one) after a 30 year absence (I'm 59). My, how everything has changed: bikes, traffic, my body. I figure at 50 lbs overweight, it's a good time to work on climbing. As I get lighter I'll go faster!

    I just found bikeforums the other day. I feel welcome. Thanks to all.
    I have also posted this reference (noted above) numerous times, but no one seems to EVER read the article, and we continuously go through this never-ending discussion.

    http://faculty.css.edu/tboone2/asep/Robergs2.pdf

    "Ironically, inquiry into the history of this formula reveals that it was not developed from original research, but resulted from observation based on data from approximately 11 references consisting of published research or unpublished scientific compilations."

    "Consequently, the formula HRmax=220-age has no scientific merit for use in exercise physiology and related fields."


    This is getting frustrating
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  14. #14
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Thanks DFox, why not also reflect the conclusion: there currently is NO valid formula for determining Max HR. Therefore, what's the alternative? The old listening to the body sometimes works and sometimes is off. So do you watch breathing rate, or what? I wouldn't expect a valid scientific answer to this problem in the next 5 years. For now, I`ve learned I don't need a HRM. Whee, get to save money.

    Again, DFox, thanks for the clear post.
    Hi 'o Silver away

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    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leucadian
    I'm just getting back on the bike (new one) after a 30 year absence (I'm 59). My, how everything has changed: bikes, traffic, my body. I figure at 50 lbs overweight, it's a good time to work on climbing. As I get lighter I'll go faster!
    WELCOME

    I returned last year after a 35 year absence. It took me a long time to catch up with everything that has changed. I also was overweight. I didn't ride that much and weight loss has been small as rebuilding muscles. You'll definitely go faster with time. Again, welcome.

    BTW, what bike did you get?
    Hi 'o Silver away

  16. #16
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Thanks DFox, why not also reflect the conclusion: there currently is NO valid formula for determining Max HR. Therefore, what's the alternative? The old listening to the body sometimes works and sometimes is off. So do you watch breathing rate, or what? I wouldn't expect a valid scientific answer to this problem in the next 5 years. For now, I`ve learned I don't need a HRM. Whee, get to save money.

    Again, DFox, thanks for the clear post.
    I used the HRM to rate exertion between different exercises - not as an absolute, but as a relative measure.

    Because of my atrial fibrillation, I have not been able to use it for a year, but am starting to again.

    Also, a simple "rating of perceived exertion" will work quite nicely. I.e., can you talk at a conversational level while exercising?
    Gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for fun new group of 50+ folks

  17. #17
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Thanks DFox, why not also reflect the conclusion: there currently is NO valid formula for determining Max HR. Therefore, what's the alternative? The old listening to the body sometimes works and sometimes is off. So do you watch breathing rate, or what? I wouldn't expect a valid scientific answer to this problem in the next 5 years. For now, I`ve learned I don't need a HRM. Whee, get to save money.

    Again, DFox, thanks for the clear post.

    The answer is not to use any type of calculation to discover max heart rate. One needs to self-test or have a physician supervised graded stress test for the mode (i.e., cycling, running, rowing,...)

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    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Also, a simple "rating of perceived exertion" will work quite nicely. I.e., can you talk at a conversational level while exercising?
    I tried RPE while wearing a heart rate monitor. I find that I can be over lactate threshold and still feel comfortable. This is why I don't trust RPE as an exclusive method of determining intensity. For me, most of the time it's off.

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    Heart rates are something you can't control. The only important thing in an athlete is that he doesn't get tachycardia (run away heart rate).

    Otherwise don't pay a lot of attention to your heart rate because new athletes don't have sufficient blood vessels in their legs as a rule and so their hearts have to beat faster than normal to deliver enough blood and scavanage enough byproducts of exercise.

    As you mature as an athlete your body grows in sufficient capillaries and other vessels and over time your heart rate will tend to reflect the "ideal".

    However, all over-50 people who are just beginning to do serious exercise should have a stress test performed in a hospital by trained personnel. You have no idea what condition your heart and valves may be in and this test can settle your nerves as well as perhaps save your life.

  20. #20
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    Heart rates are something you can't control.
    This is not true. You control it by exercising at a level of intensity that places you at your target heart rate.

    For instance, 70 percent of max is an easy aerobic level of intensity. A new cyclist may achieve this heart rate at 10 MPH, while an experienced racer may achieve the same heart rate (70% of max) at 20 MPH. What changes is the ability to go faster the longer you train your aerobic energy system, which is what you eluded to later in your response. Both parties will be at the same relative comfort level at 70% of max.

  21. #21
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Heart rate monitors are only a guide to how you are working, and Maximum heart rates will vary from person to person. At 58, I like to treat my max as 165, and do attain this during rides, but the way I like to use the monitor is to gauge how shatterred I am at a particular heart rate.

    At the start of a ride, before the legs and lungs are in, I will get myself up to 130 HR. This is within 5 minutes of starting and at this I am tired, So get to 130, relax on the pedals until I feel OK again. Then push hard and get to 140. At 130 I feel fine, but at 140- I am tired again so relax again. Then I push myself to 150. At this I have had enough, but get there all the same. Then completely relax, get the HR down to 120, and when the legs and lungs are OK, I am ready to start the ride. Obviously this is done on the ride, and normally covers the first 5 miles or so of a ride. This is a basic warm- up, perhaps a bit more strenuous than most would do, but it is the pattern I have got into.

    Once I have got to 150, relaxed and recovered, I can enjoy the ride, take the ride at 140/145 constantly, see 150 on the hills, and when it gets tough, get up to 160 for spurts, and will see 165 or over sometime on the ride. Once I have done the warm up, If I find that I am tired at 140ish, then I know that the warm up has not been done properly- or that I am shattered, and it is going to be a slow ride. In the reverse, If I am feeling fine and constantly start getting up into the higher ranges of my HR, then I slow down a bit as I am pushing myself a bit too hard, and may pay for it later in the ride.

    All heart rate monitors are good for, is as a guide to how hard or gentle you are pushing yourself now, but as an aide to peace of mind for anyone that may have a heart problem, or think they have a heart problem- They are invaluable.

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    You are under the assumption that you and I are talking about the same thing and obviously (at least to me) we aren't.

    OF COURSE you can control your heart rate by the amount of effort that you put out. But in order to do that intelligently you have to know what your Max Heart Rate is. And before you're a mature athlete that number can be wildly different from the supposed "standard" 220 - age.

    So running at 70% isn't meaningful if you have a heart rate monitor and don't know what your MHR is.

    The other point is that people don't ride to their heart rate monitors. They ride with a group and if at all possible they make every effort to stay with the group. And that means that few of the trailing edge of the group will be able to maintain a 70% effort.

    Bicyclists tend to be pretty stupid in the way they approach training and so very few people to it correctly.

  23. #23
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    OF COURSE you can control your heart rate by the amount of effort that you put out. But in order to do that intelligently you have to know what your Max Heart Rate is. And before you're a mature athlete that number can be wildly different from the supposed "standard" 220 - age.

    So running at 70% isn't meaningful if you have a heart rate monitor and don't know what your MHR is.

    The other point is that people don't ride to their heart rate monitors. They ride with a group and if at all possible they make every effort to stay with the group. And that means that few of the trailing edge of the group will be able to maintain a 70% effort.

    Bicyclists tend to be pretty stupid in the way they approach training and so very few people to it correctly.

    The only way I know of having your maximum HR measured is by a sports Training facility. They can and do put you through a series of tests, that will determine what your maximum HR is and can be.
    I had mine Done 5 years ago a year after a bypass, and I can tell you, that the physical test hurts. They will take you to the limit, and after I had mine done they came up with the simple formula of a modified 220- your age. In my case it was 222- your age, Then you have your resting heart rate to take into consideration

    To find 70% take your max HR, as determined, minus your resting HR This will give you a figure so 70% of that and add back on your resting HR

    ie
    My resting HR = 70
    My max is 165
    165-70 =95
    95x70%=66

    66 + resting HR of 70 = 136

    For me to ride at 136, would be at the bottom end of my range, and I would not even be puffing at that, so I ride at what I am comfortable and working at, which is 140/145, and generally take hills at 150ish.
    What I will not do is push myself to a constant HR that is uncomfortable, just to stay with a group. I do ride with the monitor in mind, because I do want to complete that ride with comfort. That will not be done by overexerting myself too soon

  24. #24
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    The other point is that people don't ride to their heart rate monitors. They ride with a group and if at all possible they make every effort to stay with the group.
    Speak for yourself. How in the world would you know with whom or how I ride (I ride solo, BTW)?
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-22-05 at 07:20 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    I have also posted this reference (noted above) numerous times, but no one seems to EVER read the article, and we continuously go through this never-ending discussion.
    ...
    This is getting frustrating
    Were you wearing your HRM... I actually found the article before I found bike forums, and didnt do enough lurking here to see what was common knowledge. Sorry to be redundant.

    At the risk of doing it again, can you give me some background of the different zones (percentages], and how they were arrived at. Do you use MHR or HRR to calculate the THR. (my kbd is misbehaving and wont do question marks and several other characters.]

    I use my HRM to pace myself as I do laps around our industrial park, so I can compare my times at the same heart rate, and gauge my fitness that way, without having to go all out in a TT type lap. And a local hill used to kill me at 165 HR, but now I can take it at 135. Thats progress!

    Basically, I like to measure things, and I like to understand what Im measuring.

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