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Old 10-16-12, 05:34 PM   #1
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HRM And Age

Trying to decide if I should get an HRM. At 73 I won't be racing or training for tough goals. I just want to do sub six century summer 2014. Is there any medical value for older riders in having HRM?
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Old 10-16-12, 05:36 PM   #2
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It can help you target your workouts - so sure, some value. On the other hand, just riding may be sufficient.

(tip: a HR of 0 is a bad thing).
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Old 10-16-12, 05:59 PM   #3
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At your age of 73, I would recommend that you ask your cardiologist. If you don't have one, then ask your doctor. My opinion is that it can't hurt to have one and if anything it'll give you information that you may find helpful in training for your sub six century in the summer 2014.
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Old 10-16-12, 06:03 PM   #4
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At your age of 73, I would recommend that you ask your cardiologist. If you don't have one, then ask your doctor. My opinion is that it can't hurt to have one and if anything it'll give you information that you may find helpful in training for your sub six century in the summer 2014.

Ditto. I would recommend that you ask your cardiologist.
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Old 10-16-12, 06:05 PM   #5
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I have atrial fib pop up at the weirdest times. Wearing a HRM alerts me so I can take precaution. I wouldn't ride without one. I am 58 and in pretty decent shape. I just like knowing what is happening. I have an alarm for when my HR exceeds 170. I also have a printout that I can take to my cardiologist if something looks wacky.
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Old 10-16-12, 06:09 PM   #6
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I ride with a bunch of oldies, age range 65-79, at 16-19 mph, 3x 25-35 miles per week. (I'm 72) About half use HRMs, including myself. Three of us have intermittent a-fib, so it's useful to know when this occurs, so we ease off the pace. It happened to me this morning: my wife and I on our tandem were pulling the group at 18+mph, with my HR around 135, when it suddenly shot up to 185. We dropped off the paceline, and after a few minutes it was back to 135.

As mentioned above, a HRM is also very useful for training and for measuring performance improvement.
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Old 10-16-12, 06:12 PM   #7
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If HRM is useful for younger folks, why not for a 73 year old? Especially since you have a performance goal.

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Old 10-16-12, 06:24 PM   #8
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At your age of 73, I would recommend that you ask your cardiologist. If you don't have one, then ask your doctor. My opinion is that it can't hurt to have one and if anything it'll give you information that you may find helpful in training for your sub six century in the summer 2014.
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Ditto. I would recommend that you ask your cardiologist.
I really don't understand why, in the absence of known heart problems, someone 73 should ask one's cardiologist (that is if one has a cardiologist, which the above responders seem to think one would). How would a HRM be harmful?? If anything needs to be asked, it might be about strenuous activity. Having a HRM does not affect one's strenuous activity. In fact, it may be useful in measuring strenuous activity.

BTW, I don't have a cardiologist. What to do?? And, horror of horrors, I sometimes wear a HRM - well I used to, anyway.

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Old 10-16-12, 08:15 PM   #9
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I really don't understand why, in the absence of known heart problems, someone 73 should ask one's cardiologist (that is if one has a cardiologist, which the above responders seem to think one would). How would a HRM be harmful?? If anything needs to be asked, it might be about strenuous activity. Having a HRM does not affect one's strenuous activity. In fact, it may be useful in measuring strenuous activity.

BTW, I don't have a cardiologist. What to do?? And, horror of horrors, I sometimed wear a HRM - well I used to, anyway.
Yep... my sentiments exactly. Come to think of it, I don't think my doc knows I wear a HRM...oh, gosh!
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Old 10-16-12, 09:00 PM   #10
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I wear one because it can be an early warning for heat exhaustion. (As long as I haven't pushed so hard that I throw up I feel I haven't maxed out.) But if my heart rate goes up on a climb and doesn't come back down on the way downhill then I know I need to take it easy till it does. I short if it goes up on a climb and then returns to 120 to 130 in a few minutes I know I am fine. If it gets to 165 and ten minutes later it is still 155 in the flats I need to gear down and cool down. But that is just me. Some of my friends never get to 160 even on a climb.
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Old 10-16-12, 09:44 PM   #11
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I ride with a bunch of oldies, age range 65-79, at 16-19 mph, 3x 25-35 miles per week. (I'm 72) About half use HRMs, including myself. Three of us have intermittent a-fib, so it's useful to know when this occurs, so we ease off the pace. It happened to me this morning: my wife and I on our tandem were pulling the group at 18+mph, with my HR around 135, when it suddenly shot up to 185. We dropped off the paceline, and after a few minutes it was back to 135.

As mentioned above, a HRM is also very useful for training and for measuring performance improvement.
Off topic, but I am continually amazed at the levels of performance shown by the contributors to this forum... its both impressive and inspiring...
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Old 10-17-12, 04:26 AM   #12
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I wear one because it can be an early warning for heat exhaustion. (As long as I haven't pushed so hard that I throw up I feel I haven't maxed out.) But if my heart rate goes up on a climb and doesn't come back down on the way downhill then I know I need to take it easy till it does. I short if it goes up on a climb and then returns to 120 to 130 in a few minutes I know I am fine. If it gets to 165 and ten minutes later it is still 155 in the flats I need to gear down and cool down. But that is just me. Some of my friends never get to 160 even on a climb.
I find a HRM is useful as a governor. Once you use one, you quickly figure out at what HR you can continue for a good while, and that right above it you'll "pop" (tire REALLY quickly). If you want to do a sub-six hour century, you'll need to pace yourself, and the HRM is the easiest way to do that.
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Old 10-17-12, 07:24 AM   #13
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I really don't understand why, in the absence of known heart problems, someone 73 should ask one's cardiologist (that is if one has a cardiologist, which the above responders seem to think one would). How would a HRM be harmful?? If anything needs to be asked, it might be about strenuous activity. Having a HRM does not affect one's strenuous activity. In fact, it may be useful in measuring strenuous activity.

BTW, I don't have a cardiologist. What to do?? And, horror of horrors, I sometimes wear a HRM - well I used to, anyway.
Because on this forum, not every poster is as upfront with their health situation nor is everyone aware of the OP's health current health though there are some that may be. Either way, that is why I clarified by saying he should check with his Doctor should he not have a Cardiologist because he should really check with someone more familiar with his health history and not an open forum even though there is nothing wrong with seeing what others do.

By the way, congratulations on not needing a Cardiologist at your age, some of us are not as fortunate and some even through no fault of their own because of genetics.
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Old 10-17-12, 08:13 AM   #14
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I use an HRM but really, it's mostly for entertainment. Since I'm 62 the max on my HRM is 160 bpm (guess Garmin calculates this when I entered my age?) but I've recently done sustained efforts in the 170's and up to a 187 max (sprinting on a long/steep climb).

So when the thing starts beeping and someone I'm riding with asks "Why does your Garmin keep beeping?" I reply, "It's telling me I'm over my max heart rate . . . just ignore it!"

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Old 10-17-12, 09:23 AM   #15
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Because on this forum, not every poster is as upfront with their health situation nor is everyone aware of the OP's health current health though there are some that may be. Either way, that is why I clarified by saying he should check with his Doctor should he not have a Cardiologist because he should really check with someone more familiar with his health history and not an open forum even though there is nothing wrong with seeing what others do.

By the way, congratulations on not needing a Cardiologist at your age, some of us are not as fortunate and some even through no fault of their own because of genetics.
Sorry, I still don't get it. The original question was:

"Trying to decide if I should get an HRM."

A HRM simply takes your pulse. Would you ask your cardio if you should take your pulse? If you should wear a watch? A HRM is a passive device and does not give any electricity to your body, it only measures the rate of electricity emanating from your body (heart). A HRM can physically do you no harm, perhaps unless the chest strap is too tight!!

An appropriate question for a cardiologist might be, "I am going to start training, and want to use zone training as measured by a HRM. What suggestions do you have for appropriate training as measured by my HRM, considering my physical condition."

And, he probably would not have a clue, and to limit his liability, would tell you to not go over 100bpm, unless he was a sports cardio.

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Old 10-17-12, 09:38 AM   #16
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An appropriate question for a cardiologist might be, "I am going to start training, and want to use zone training as measured by a HRM. What suggestions do you have for appropriate training as measured by my HRM, considering my physical condition."

And, he probably would not have a clue, and to limit his liability, would tell you to not go over 100bpm, unless he was a sports cardio.
I tried having this discussion with my cardiologist, who I was referred to when I fainted from orthostatic hypotension. I should have videotaped it for youtube, as it was worthy of a Monty Python skit. One would one think a cardiologist would have at least passing familiarity with HR zones and be able to provide reasoned advice about how hard to push, etc. Very very few do - mostly only those who work specifically with athletes, or are athletes themselves. I'll likely be switching to one of the latter - someone who is a cyclist.
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Old 10-17-12, 10:03 AM   #17
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Trying to decide if I should get an HRM. At 73 I won't be racing or training for tough goals. I just want to do sub six century summer 2014. Is there any medical value for older riders in having HRM?
IMO, a 6 hour century (riding time) is a tough goal. That translates to 16.7 mph. And of course, the degree of difficulty can be increased by wind, road conditions, heat and climbing. Is there any medical value for older riders to monitor HR? I would have no idea.

Is a heart rate monitor a good training tool to assist an athlete in improving performance? Yes, and that is age independent. My advice is to get a heart rate monitor and learn how to use it to train for your sub 6 hour century. Good luck.
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Old 10-17-12, 10:45 AM   #18
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I use an HRM but really, it's mostly for entertainment...
Pretty much for me too. I always wear a HRM, but in my case, I usually use it to tell me when I'm slacking too much. Since, to me, body weight maintenance is important, and that some zones are better than others in this regard, I use a HRM reading to help me stay within a specific zone. I have my zones printed out and pasted to my top tube with packing tape. But yeah ... it's a "toy".
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Old 10-17-12, 11:54 AM   #19
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Sorry, I still don't get it. The original question was:

"Trying to decide if I should get an HRM."

You forgot to quote this part of the original post that precipitated the recommendation to check with his Cardiologist or Doctor.

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Is there any medical value for older riders in having HRM?

And here was my opinion on the matter "My opinion is that it can't hurt to have one and if anything it'll give you information that you may find helpful in training for your sub six century in the summer 2014" as well as checking with his health care provider(s).


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A HRM simply takes your pulse. Would you ask your cardio if you should take your pulse? If you should wear a watch? A HRM is a passive device and does not give any electricity to your body, it only measures the rate of electricity emanating from your body (heart). A HRM can physically do you no harm, perhaps unless the chest strap is too tight!!
Because his Cardiologist if he had one or his Doctor would know his health history better than I or most of the other posters responding to his original post. FWIW, nobody is suggesting he go to the Cardiologist to take a pulse. The suggestion is just pure silliness.



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An appropriate question for a cardiologist might be, "I am going to start training, and want to use zone training as measured by a HRM. What suggestions do you have for appropriate training as measured by my HRM, considering my physical condition."

And, he probably would not have a clue, and to limit his liability, would tell you to not go over 100bpm, unless he was a sports cardio.
That can very well be, but I can't speak for the Doctors since I am not one myself.

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Old 10-17-12, 03:56 PM   #20
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HI OP Here - Based on comments about runaway heartbeat, I decided that is a good medical reason to get one. Just shopped hard on ebay and amazon for garmin 500, premium hrm and cadence/speed from three US sellers for a total of $282.87 Might add barfly or fliploc later. Thanks for input to my decision.
P.S. Above cost more than my new bike!
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Old 10-17-12, 04:07 PM   #21
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I'm 73, soon to be 74 and I've been thinking of a heart rate monitor myself. As an asthmatic, I usually run out of O2 before being worried about HR. I push the pace to the best of my ability because I like to go fast. By the time I finally decide on the HR monitor I suspect I'll be too old to need one. I would goo for it - while you can.
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Old 10-17-12, 08:04 PM   #22
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Because on this forum, not every poster is as upfront with their health situation nor is everyone aware of the OP's health current health though there are some that may be. ......snip....
Is there any evidence at all of that? Why is "this forum" any different from all the others in that regard? Why anyone of any age would need to see a doctor, cardiologist or otherwise, just to use a HRM totally escapes me. Really. It's a passive device.
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Old 10-17-12, 09:44 PM   #23
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HI OP Here - Based on comments about runaway heartbeat, I decided that is a good medical reason to get one. Just shopped hard on ebay and amazon for garmin 500, premium hrm and cadence/speed from three US sellers for a total of $282.87 Might add barfly or fliploc later. Thanks for input to my decision.
P.S. Above cost more than my new bike!
I hope you didn't lay down your cash yet. The 500 is a good unit, but their "premium" hrm does not work as well as their "stardard" hrm. This is well known by users. If you haven't placed an order yet ... skip the "premium" one and get the less expensive one.

Myself? My Premium Garmin strap sits unused somewhere because of erratic readings. I've had good luck with a Bontrager HRM strap. It came with my DuoTrap sensor for my Madone, and works quite well with my 500 and 800. In fact, I wore out one Bontrager strap and just purchased a replacement this past weekend.
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Old 10-18-12, 03:39 AM   #24
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Is there any evidence at all of that? Why is "this forum" any different from all the others in that regard? Why anyone of any age would need to see a doctor, cardiologist or otherwise, just to use a HRM totally escapes me. Really. It's a passive device.
Go back and read the last sentence in the OP's original post. A senior member of BF has omitted this last sentence while quoting to make his point. The OP asked if there is any medical benefit to using an HRM and the answer is to seek advice from his doctors.

Apparently someone has twisted this around to say I have targeted all people of upper age brackets and you have taken hook line sinker when I have said no such thing. Go back and you will see my response is very black and white to what the OP was asking and not what someone else is trying to get you to believe. As a matter of fact it is saying exactly what post number 17 is saying.

As for evidence of not being upfront about health conditions, the OP's second post in this thread pretty much supports this so I don't know what your point is except to jump on the bandwagon to attack something someone else incorrectly accused me of writing.

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Old 10-18-12, 05:33 AM   #25
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I hope you didn't lay down your cash yet.
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