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  1. #1
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    Heart Rate Problem

    So the highest I've ever seen my heart rate go was around 208 BPM. So 80% would be around 167. I have my HRM set to go off at 168. The problem is that when I do that, I seen to do worse than if I didn't have my HRM. If I just let myself go at a pace that I'm most comfortable with, it would be around 172 -175. I would be a little short of breath and feel a little strain on my chest but I can keep that up for at least an hour before my legs tire out and I have to go slower. When I was in better shape, I could keep it up for close to two hours. If I stay at 168 or below the ride just feels very laborious and just not fun. My body starts to ache pretty soon, even though my legs aren't that tired. Perhaps I lack the mental discipline to go slow.

    Should I go with what I calculated or just what I'm most comfortable with?

  2. #2
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Unless you were trying hard to attain your maximum heart rate, the highest you have seen on your HRM is almost certainly not your maximum.

    Aside from that, 80% of maxHR is not pushing things very much. This is a level that you might use for a ride of many hours, like a century. Depending what you are trying to achieve, you may need to ride at significantly higher than 80% of max.

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    Junior Member NASH4845's Avatar
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    Best way to determine THR is by using the Karvonen Formula. Simple to use and takes into consideration age and most importantly RHR (Resting Heart Rate).
    1. First determine age related MAX HR to do so use the following equation:
    220-age=MaxHR (ie 220-26=194bpm).
    2. Next determine your average RHR (ie 60bpm) the lower the better. Normal range 50-100bpm.
    3. Consider your approximate fit level. As part of the formula you work at a % of your max HR for example 60% for low fit levels 90% for well seasoned atheletes.

    Now for the equation which is as follows: (MaxHR-RHR)[60% to 90%]+RHR=THR
    Max HR=194
    RHR=60
    ie: 194-60=(134)[.85]+60=174bpm

    The entire goal is not to get your HR up as high as you can, in fact the goal should be working on conditioning your body (heart, lungs, muscle) to sustain maximal efforts while maintaining the lowest possible HR.

    Any other questions feel free to post them

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    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    Unless you were trying hard to attain your maximum heart rate, the highest you have seen on your HRM is almost certainly not your maximum.
    208!!! how old is he? that is pretty high

  5. #5
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    in lieu of 220-age as Nash said for the KF formula, you can use a known max HR.

  6. #6
    Aluminium Crusader :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comatose51
    So the highest I've ever seen my heart rate go was around 208 BPM. So 80% would be around 167. I have my HRM set to go off at 168. The problem is that when I do that, I seen to do worse than if I didn't have my HRM. If I just let myself go at a pace that I'm most comfortable with, it would be around 172 -175. I would be a little short of breath and feel a little strain on my chest but I can keep that up for at least an hour before my legs tire out and I have to go slower
    I assume you've read somewhere that 80% is about as hard as you should train?

    80% isn't hard for most of us when our legs are fresh. You may notice as you ride more that there are other days, when your legs are 'dead', that maintaining 80% is a bit harder.

    I'm no huge expert on training techniques using HR monitors and power meters, but 80% MHR is only one type of 'routine', and there are many other techniques working at higher and lower heart rates (intervals, endurance, sprints, hill sprints, etc).


    Here are some of Armstrong heart stats in bpm:

    MAX HR: 201
    Lactate Threshold: 178
    Time-Trial 'race pace': 188-192
    Ave HR during endurance rides (4 to 6hrs): 124 to 128

    http://www.lancearmstrong.com/ (click on "about Lance", then "ket stats")

    There's probably more stuff on Carmichael's site.

    As you can see, Lance's race pace for a time-trial, which may go for as
    long as ~1 hour and 15mins is 93.5 to 95.5%!!

    So, don't feel restricted to training at 80% all the time

  7. #7
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    I think the 208 figure could be electromagnetic interference.. When I go under high power lines my HR monitor spikes up to 220.. Actually getting your HR over 200 is pretty rare.

    When I was racing the basic guidelines only fit a few people.. I knew riders that could ride close to 200 for max and other that had 180 as there max.. These were well conditioned cat. 2 riders, so it varies for each person..

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NASH4845
    Best way to determine THR is by using the Karvonen Formula. Simple to use and takes into consideration age and most importantly RHR (Resting Heart Rate).
    1. First determine age related MAX HR to do so use the following equation:
    220-age=MaxHR (ie 220-26=194bpm).
    2. Next determine your average RHR (ie 60bpm) the lower the better. Normal range 50-100bpm.
    3. Consider your approximate fit level. As part of the formula you work at a % of your max HR for example 60% for low fit levels 90% for well seasoned atheletes.

    Now for the equation which is as follows: (MaxHR-RHR)[60% to 90%]+RHR=THR
    Max HR=194
    RHR=60
    ie: 194-60=(134)[.85]+60=174bpm

    The entire goal is not to get your HR up as high as you can, in fact the goal should be working on conditioning your body (heart, lungs, muscle) to sustain maximal efforts while maintaining the lowest possible HR.

    Any other questions feel free to post them
    THR stands for training heart rate? Using your formula, my THR is pretty close to what I feel comfortable training at. I got 175.6. It's a little high but only by about 3 BPM. I've been trying to lower my heart rate but trying to keep it below 168 is more difficult than trying to get it to stay around 172. I can keep 172 fairly constant but if I aim for 168 it just keeps fluctuating as I try to get it back down. Essentially, I basically just home in on 172 naturally.

    I think my heart rate is just genetically higher so it'll take me a while to work my way down.

    Thanks for the help.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mx_599
    208!!! how old is he? that is pretty high
    23. I'm probably genetically higher since my resting heart rate is also on the higher end of the scale or I'm doing this whole heart rate thing worng... I'm also a small person so my heart might not have the volume so has to beat more to make up for it Who knows. I'm hoping cycling will help me lower it over time.

  10. #10
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comatose51
    23. I'm probably genetically higher since my resting heart rate is also on the higher end of the scale or I'm doing this whole heart rate thing worng... I'm also a small person so my heart might not have the volume so has to beat more to make up for it Who knows. I'm hoping cycling will help me lower it over time.
    oh...you're only 23? i don't see why you couldn't have reached 208. i thought you were a senior member, cause like that's what it says

  11. #11
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comatose51
    If I just let myself go at a pace that I'm most comfortable with, it would be around 172 -175. I would be a little short of breath and feel a little strain on my chest but I can keep that up for at least an hour before my legs tire out and I have to go slower. When I was in better shape, I could keep it up for close to two hours.
    You've already done the hard work to determine your training zones by figuring out how hard you can go for an hour. That's your FT, or functional threshold. When you are doing "threshold" training of an hour or less, this is the heart rate range you want to shoot for. Here are all the training levels as they relate to FT:

    Level .... Name ............... % of FT
    1 ......... active recovery .. < 68
    2 ......... endurance ......... 69-83
    3 ......... tempo .............. 84-94
    4 ......... threshold .......... 95-105
    5 ......... VO2max ........... > 106

    If you still want to determine training levels off of your max HR, just pick a percentage number for your FT (88% is what I use). Then do the math to convert % of FT above to % of max HR.

    You need to mix up your workouts. If you do nothing but threshold rides, you'll burn out and risk overtraining. You also won't build much endurance, which may be why you don't like tempo or slower rides.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

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