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  1. #1
    Junior Member DaveMc's Avatar
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    Heart Rate question

    Hi eveyone. I'm new here and new to road biking. I am 53 years old.

    My question is what heart rate range should I be biking in? I'm in decent shape. I go to the gymn 3 or 4 times a week. I am currently riding 10 to 15 miles in an hour or under and I would like to work my way up to 30 to 40 mile rides or more.

    This has probably been asked several times before and I apologize for the newbie question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMc View Post
    Hi eveyone. I'm new here and new to road biking. I am 53 years old.

    My question is what heart rate range should I be biking in? I'm in decent shape. I go to the gymn 3 or 4 times a week. I am currently riding 10 to 15 miles in an hour or under and I would like to work my way up to 30 to 40 mile rides or more.

    This has probably been asked several times before and I apologize for the newbie question.
    do a search on BF, there is a ton of stuff....
    Bud

  3. #3
    Senior Member buddyp's Avatar
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    FYI Search seems to be busted.

  4. #4
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMc View Post
    Hi eveyone. I'm new here and new to road biking. I am 53 years old.

    My question is what heart rate range should I be biking in? I'm in decent shape. I go to the gymn 3 or 4 times a week. I am currently riding 10 to 15 miles in an hour or under and I would like to work my way up to 30 to 40 mile rides or more.

    This has probably been asked several times before and I apologize for the newbie question.
    What are you looking to do for training? Long rides, intervals? Heart rate depends on the type of training ride you want to do.

    The first thing you should do is get a heart rate monitor and figure out your max HR. The 220 minus your age formula is not very accurate. You can do an exertion test to get max HR, or do a calculation such as the Karvonnen formula.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    I think that while the 220-age formula is nearly always wrong, it does give you a starting point. Most of the other formulas predict similar numbers, so they're not much better. Even better than measuring MHR is to measure lactate threshold HR, and it's a lot easier. "Cycling past 50" by Joe Friel is a good guide to setting up a heart rate training framework.

  6. #6
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Start tracking your resting heart rate every day before you get out of bed. That's one piece of data that can be useful. And, you don't have to use a heart rate monitor for that.

  7. #7
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    It is a difficult question that is rider specific that takes some trial and error to determine. As others have stated, you can use the 220 minus your age as a maximum and then try 60 to 70% of your max. However, a key metric is the time it takes you to recover from the target heart rate you choose when you stop cycling. A good gage is that you are able to recover below 120 bpm within 2 minutes. If your HR stays up, then select a lower percentage of your max. By using this method, you are working hard for your level of fitness but not too hard so that you feel like road kill the next day.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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    There are a lot of very good cycle training books out there. There are also a few very good health books that deal with heart rate issue like Younger Next Year. It's not something that can be covered in a snippet comment on a forum. One needs first to have a defined objective for riding and worrying about heart rates.

    I typically cruise at 75% of my measured max heart rate and I deliberately spend some significant time above 80%: up to an hour and a half some times. I make sure that I spend some time above 85% every week to keep my lactate threshold up. Most of my riding is mountain biking and I ride for fun and fitness.

    If you don't ride all year around, then you might want to try periodization where the first step is to train your body to burn fats at higher heart rates, then higher for aerobics and then even higher rates for lactate training. Again, it depends on objectives.

    A good book on exercise physiology is worth it's weight in gold if one is interested in the health aspects. Two that I've been studying for about a year are Physical Activity and Health and Exercise Physiology; Energy, Nutrition, & Human performance, 6th edition.

    Formulas for maximum heart rate are not very useful. If I went that rout, my calculated max is 22 beats lower than my measured. My exercise thresholds would be meaningless and I'd often be over 100% calclated max.

    If one is not well exercised, use caution on raising heart rates. Strenuous activity for an insufficiently exercised individual thickens the blood and can lead to heart attacks. You read about it in the winter when folks die shovelling snow. Build up slowly. That may be a significant advantage of going the periodization rout.

    Al
    Last edited by alcanoe; 03-22-09 at 08:34 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    George

  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    The 220 - age rule is a starting point for your max HR.

    You don't state what you are getting to now but I have two rules before I start pushing to my max of 160 (ish)Make certain you are in full fitness and get warmed up well before pushing it. I do a gradual warm up of getting to 120- relax and recover my breathing. 130 and back to 110.140 and back to 120 and then 150 and fully recover. Then I can push to my max on a ride. Without the warm up I doubt that I would get to 135 for any length of time.

    Once I have done the warm up- I can ride at around 135 for the ride- push to 150 on the hills and for the final push get to 165 without falling off the bike.

    All people are different. Heart rates vary so you may get higher or not be able to get any where near your theoreticl max. Just something you have to find out.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  11. #11
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Another option is to just go out and ride, gradually increasing your distance until you get to your target distance. No heart rate monitor needed.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  12. #12
    Junior Member DaveMc's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for your help. With your help I now have several sites with great information and i've ordered a book. I'll be an expert on the topic in no time.

  13. #13
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    Personally I think that any rate over zero is good.

  14. #14
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I love to measure things obsessively, but I can't be bothered with a heart monitor. If your cardiologist says you should, then you should. Other than that, BluesDawg's approach should be fine. Not only can you improve distance, you can improve time if you want to build strength. Maybe work on distance on some days and on time on other days.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  15. #15
    The "now retired" Old Guy Ed in GA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMc View Post
    Hi eveyone. I'm new here and new to road biking. I am 53 years old.



    This has probably been asked several times before and I apologize for the newbie question.

    You might want to pick up a copy of a book that was recently recommended to me.

    "Cycling Past 50" by Joe Friel.

    There's a section in the book that answers your question, along with many others.
    "The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"

  16. #16
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    Yea. throw the computer and just ride your bike. Do you feel good? Is there a smile on your face and a song in your heart? You're ok then.

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