Hi, I bought a cycle computer with heart rate monitor yesterday and have just got back from testing it out. I'm a bit confused.
My resting heart rate is 52, (in bed, watching TV it's 60), which suggests I'm quite fit. I wouldn't say I'm extremely fit, certainly not as fit as I was a few years back.
I'm 30 years old, so my maximum HR should be 190.
I strapped on my monitor and made my way to a long fairly gentle incline that I thought should last me 20 minutes. I went there off road, over some fields and through some woodland, I wasn't riding particularly hard but on a couple of occasions I noticed my monitor showing over 210, 220 was the highest I saw. How is this possible? Is it dangerous? I felt fine, I could have been cycling much harder / faster.
When I got to the road, I started cycling fairly hard, not as fast as I could, but breating hard and fast. I could have kept this up for well over 20 minutes, probably gradually getting a bit slower, but keeping the same level of exertion - heart rate and breathing. My heart rate throughout was steady at around 177. My booklet said that this meant I was burning glycogen, that I could only keep this up for short bursts - obviously wrong - and that spending too much time in this zone could even be dangerous. How dangerous is it? Simply inefficient for training, or bad for my health? I find it hard to beleive this really dangerous, I've only been cycling for about 3 years, but since my early teens I've gone running and trained this hard regularly without mishap.
After the 20 minutes, I cycled back home at a fairly leisurely pace - not dawdling but at a pace that would allow my to get my breath back, I could have easily held a conversation. My heat rate was 145 - supposedly right at the top of my aerobic range.
I checked my pulse manually at my wrist after the 20 minutes and after my ride home, and it agreed with the monitor, so I don't think it's malfunctioning.
What does all this mean? Am I about to drop dead? Or conversely, am I super-fit? Should I just throw the heart monitor away and ignore the training zone advice? Do I train too hard? and what effect will this have / has this had?
I don't compete in races, I just cycle for fun, but I'd like to think that it was also beneficial to my health and fitness.
Thanks for any advice,