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    Senior Member Raketmensch's Avatar
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    What's your maximum heart rate?

    Hi all: I'm curious about something. I have just recently started riding with a heart rate monitor. For those who haven't tried one, a HRM can be very interesting and informative. It's not for everyone... certainly not for people (like Ms. Raket, for instance) who like to just ride and not worry about numbers. But if you've got a bit of a scientific/technical bent, or if you simply like some quantitative feedback on your riding, i can pretty informative.

    Given that I'm about to start using heart rate as a training tool, one of the things I need to know is my maximum heart rate. So today I rode a short, fast time trial to see what my number is.

    The rough rule of thumb for maximum heart rate is supposed to be 220 minus your age. I've also heard, however, that there is a considerable amount of individual variation from this rough rule.

    So: My numbers are an age of 50 and a max heart rate of 182. For those of you who use heart rate monitors, what's your age and max heart rate?

    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    Max HR

    I've gotten mine up to 192 on, of all things, a Nordic Track skier. I don't wear a monitor when I ride, but I can tell when I'm approaching 185+, and I often get there riding trails around here (Philly). Personally, I don't hold much stock in the 220-age formula- I think max HR and resting HR are somewhatoverrated as a measure of fitness- there are a lot of variables (such as the resting-max differential (the 220 formula doesn't account for that). See this link to investigate alternative formulas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate#Karvonen_Method

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    Senior Member Raketmensch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBLover
    I've gotten mine up to 192 on, of all things, a Nordic Track skier. I don't wear a monitor when I ride, but I can tell when I'm approaching 185+, and I often get there riding trails around here (Philly). Personally, I don't hold much stock in the 220-age formula- I think max HR and resting HR are somewhatoverrated as a measure of fitness- there are a lot of variables (such as the resting-max differential (the 220 formula doesn't account for that). See this link to investigate alternative formulas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate#Karvonen_Method
    The clear shortcomings in the formula are exactly why I'm trying to "colllect some data" from BF50+ers. So you gave your max HR... do you mind if I ask your age?

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    53/182. That's age and maximum heart rate, no the other way around...

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    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    I began using a HRM back in July when the weather was a bit warmer. I'm 56 and female so I initially went with the 220 minus your age plus six theory, Every time I thought I hit the top of my range, I'd find a new max. Eventually I reached 184 while climbing a hill on a day when the temperature was in the mid 90s. Now that the temperature is a bit lower so is my average heart rate .

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    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    The 220-age formula is ballpark, and has been criticized by many professionals. Just from posters to this forum, you can see that there's a lot of variability to that number - and none of us should be independently trying to peg our heart rates. A better predictor of overall cardiovascular health is heart rate recovery. Dr. Lauer at the Cleveland Clinic published a study a few years ago indicating that the drop in HR 2 min after cessation of exercise is a very good predictor of cardiovascular problems. Less than 12 beats drop in 2 min means you've got big problems. Google "heart rate recovery" and "Lauer" and you will get a lot of results.

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    For a recent discussion

    I Just Blew the Theory!

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    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    By the way, the formula that is gaining acceptance is 208 - .7x(age). For a 55 yr old, gives you about 170 vs. 165 w/ old formula. (Tanaka, H., Monahan, K.D., & Seals, D.R. (2001). Age-predicted maximal heart rate revisited. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 37(1): 153-156.)

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    Old fart redden's Avatar
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    184 53y/o

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    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raketmensch
    So: My numbers are an age of 50 and a max heart rate of 182. For those of you who use heart rate monitors, what's your age and max heart rate?
    Mine is near yours. 49.5 / 180

    However, since the reason for knowing max is computing a training range, I just decided to ruin the numbers for 70% of MHR...

    170 * .7 = 119
    180 * .7 = 126

    Since my exertion isn't consistent enough to keep my heart beat at an exact number, I logically convert these to ranges of +/- 5 rounded to the nearest 5.

    If I am targeting 119, I would try to keep my HR between 115 and 125.

    If I am targeting 126 I would try to keep it between 120 and 130.

    Half of these two ranges overlap.

    I think that the real reason for heart rate training is to get close to the same benefit as the pros with their VO2 and Lactic threshold and other information, for those of us who can't afford it.

    Since percentage of MHR is probably also another "average" or guideline, and needs to be individualized somewhat, and difficult to measure without expensive equipment, I would say that for me, regardless of computed versus observed, these are similar enough that if I didn't know my real max, 220 - age would be just fine.

    While we are at it, I like the formulas that try to narrow it down even more... Has anyone seen them? They use weight, height, ring size, shoe size, age, mother's maiden name, astrological sign, favorite Beatle... and still come up with roughly the same number.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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    i am 54.5 and I ususally average 144-152 on a hard ride.
    I have hit 225 on a full out sprint up a hill and also trying to achieve over 40 mph on a flat sprint.

    So figuring my max is suppose to be @ 166, I would be in the upper norm for cardio fitness and hitting higher numbers really does not propose any significant health problems. that I know of.
    "Advantages Must Be Pressed, Disadvantages Must Be Overcome"

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    This is a weird issue for me. As an almost 57 year old retired runner, my max ought to be somewhere between 163 and 168, depending on which formula you use. There is another formula which uses resting HR, but it is still similar.

    My resting HR is in the low to mid 40's. Probably 44 is the most consistent number.

    I just started riding a ride bike a month ago. I wear the HR monitor. My avg HR for most rides has been between 98 and 109. The highest I have recorded on the monitor is 136. My average speed for a typical ride of 15 miles is about 15.2 and my average speed for a 30 mile ride is about the same, although it can be slightly higher because there are fewer neighborhoods to go through. At least for five minutes or so, I can hang with the really fast groups of younger folks that pass me every Saturday morning and they are going between 19 and 21 mph typically. My 136 rate was probably when I was chasing one of them. I was fairly fit when I started on the road bike.

    The problem for me is I take a medication for an ocassional irregular heart beat called paroxsymal atrial fibrillation. The medication acts as a mild beta blocker, which slows your HR down. The med is in a slow release version, taken 12 hours apart. I plan my rides so that it is generally at the end of the 12 hours.
    The cardiologist doesn't seem to care what I do and just says I am in good shape. There are no restrictions on my activities, except for caffine and heavy alcohol use. With the meds, I have had 1 afib episode in the last year or so.

    60% of my formula HR is 98 to 100. 80% would be around 130 to 135.

    Where should I be trying to keep my HR to improve consistently?

    Thanks, John

  13. #13
    Old fart redden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAMMER MAN
    i am 54.5 and I ususally average 144-152 on a hard ride.
    I have hit 225 on a full out sprint up a hill and also trying to achieve over 40 mph on a flat sprint.

    So figuring my max is suppose to be @ 166, I would be in the upper norm for cardio fitness and hitting higher numbers really does not propose any significant health problems. that I know of.
    225!!
    I've seen high numbers like that on my polar but it always happens around large capacitors in the same areas and sometimes when the bike speed goes over 30. Pretty sure it's interference.

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    Age 52 max heartrate to date 172.
    On my daily exercise ride I average between 134 - 152

  15. #15
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    I'll never know.
    I got up to 185 last year in a stress test (I was 61 then), but I think I could have gone further and still lived, but there is no way I am going to get anywhere near that outside of the hospital.

    -a.

  16. #16
    Get A Life - Get A Bike cheeseflavor's Avatar
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    MHR I've hit so far is 172. I can average 150 on a club ride (an hour and a half hammerfest), and on a normal ride with Linda, I'll average 20 beats lower. Not sure about my max, as I've never really tested for it. I felt fine when I hit that 172.

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    Old fart redden's Avatar
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    This thread got me to thinking. What does MHR indicate? Does it say anything about fitness?

  18. #18
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redden
    225!!
    I've seen high numbers like that on my polar but it always happens around large capacitors in the same areas and sometimes when the bike speed goes over 30. Pretty sure it's interference.
    Not meaning to hijack the thread, but I notice that with my CatEye double wireless computer and a Polar F-6 HRM that I wear on my wrist, I seem to get similar wierd spikes. Yesterday, I was cranking up a really brutal hill in a century and I caught it jumping from 169 to 203 (my max is probably around 170). Is this common? On my other bike with a non-wireless computer and an HRM, I didn't seem to have these issues, but maybe its my heart

  19. #19
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    My max is 195bpm(I have hit this more than once) and I average about 160bpm, age =49.5
    Last edited by stonecrd; 09-19-06 at 07:54 AM.
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  20. #20
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I have not the slightest idea.

  21. #21
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    I have not the slightest idea.
    +1

    There are days when i don't appear to have any heartbeat.
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    Semper Fidelis
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    Quote Originally Posted by redden
    225!!
    I've seen high numbers like that on my polar but it always happens around large capacitors in the same areas and sometimes when the bike speed goes over 30. Pretty sure it's interference.

    I hope so, I use to worry about it, but do not anymore it seemed to keep me going slower than I wanted.

    I do take B/P meds, a calcium blocker and a diuretic to control my blood pressure and the times it has hit that high I am usually in oxygen debt, I suppose I should be concerned but I just blow it off.
    My B/P seems to average 120/65 or 130/65 so as long as the Doctor does not seem to concerned then I am not either.
    he just tells me to keep doing whatever I am doing.
    "Advantages Must Be Pressed, Disadvantages Must Be Overcome"

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    My understanding is that MHR is not really related to fitness although sometimes MHR actually decreases (a teeny bit) with increased fitness. Resting heart rate is a better indicator, I think.

    Age 56
    MHR 173 (a year ago, havent worn the HRM since)
    Resting HR 53

    My riding partner (who is quite a bit stronger than I am):
    Age 53
    MHR 163
    Wiggy wiggy scratch yo yo bang bang

  24. #24
    Old fart redden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAMMER MAN
    I hope so, I use to worry about it, but do not anymore it seemed to keep me going slower than I wanted.

    I do take B/P meds, a calcium blocker and a diuretic to control my blood pressure and the times it has hit that high I am usually in oxygen debt, I suppose I should be concerned but I just blow it off.
    My B/P seems to average 120/65 or 130/65 so as long as the Doctor does not seem to concerned then I am not either.
    he just tells me to keep doing whatever I am doing.
    while it's difficult to do a manual pulse at high rates I've done checks and it did seem to confirm false readings, especially when in the 120's or so and then a sudden jump to >200.

    If it were V tac the systoms would be difficult to ignore.

  25. #25
    Do I use too many commas?
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    The National Heart Association says that the 50 - 7% is merely a guideline. They say that fit people should be able to exercise at 85% of the max. They also give some general guidelines to tell if you are exercising too hart or too little.

    http://www.americanheart.org/present...dentifier=4736

    I just came back from a three mile walk averaging 3 mph. My heart rate at 1.5 miles was 120. At the end it was still 120. This is 70% of the MHR. I could comfortably go higher except for a recurring stress fracture in my toe that I am babying.

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