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  1. #1
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    Age 42 and a max heart rate of 210?

    I have been riding for a while but not very regularly.

    Usually some morning rides (road bike, flat terrain) in the 16 to 24 miles range at about 16 to 21mph. two or three times a week.

    I just purchased my first heart rate monitor and I have been reading a lot on the subject but my values have me very confused.

    My resting heart rate is about 60 but my maximum heart rate is at 210 (measured, all out on trainer).
    According to my age, (42) I should be in the 177 to 180 range.

    At first I was really happy about it.
    Then I noticed that when I ride at my usual pace,
    my HR stays at about 185-190 when riding at about 20 mph.
    Actually it never goes below 175 while riding, even at slow pace.

    It's like the lower zones didn't even exist for me.
    As soon as the wheels start moving I am shooting up to 80-90%.
    Is this because I am out of shape?

    My heart is acting like a small engine,
    at much higher rpm to deliver the same power.

    by table:
    60 - 70% 126 - 147bpm Fat burning (this is my heart rate when coasting)
    70 - 80% 147 - 168bpm Aerobic Improvement (I can barely stay there, I always shoot over 170)

    My concern is: at what range should I train for fat burning and aerobic?

    Could my high max heart rate be a symptom more than a blessing?

    I hope this thread is useful for others as well.

  2. #2
    Rocking the roads of Bama
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    I'm 44, and my max heart rate is 176. What I've found is when I hit a good hill (mini-hills to some), my heart rate hits 100% - maybe 105%. The more I ride, the less this happens. I've done about 500 miles or so the past month, and back in June my average heart rate was around 155, now its around 140.

    I also started shooting for 100 rpm cadence, seems to make everything better.

    Wish I could give you more info, but I'm tired. 38 miles for me today - and some climbing on my old body, knees, lungs, and old Trek 1000. (I need a new bike).

    Down 13 lbs though, so I'm going to keep pedaling.

  3. #3
    randomness inc. HDTVKSS's Avatar
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    if your max heart rate is 176, and you are hitting 105% of that, then by very definition, your max heart rate isnt 176....

    unless you have done a field test, or had it tested in lab, there is very little way to know what your max HR is beyond pure speculation.
    You don't need proof when you have instinct.
    Im on the Floyd Landis Jack Daniels training program.

  4. #4
    Rocking the roads of Bama
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    Sorry, I'm using the max heart rate formula, not the actual. Polar uses the formula, so that's how I hit 105%.

  5. #5
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    I gotta friend who hums along at 180 and talks in full sentences at that HR. He's 37 and I asked him if he ever got his MHR tested he said nope. My guess is he's in the 200's for MHR. You're not the only one with that high a MHR.

  6. #6
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    Thank you for all your comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by kuan
    I gotta friend who hums along at 180 and talks in full sentences at that HR. He's 37 and I asked him if he ever got his MHR tested he said nope. My guess is he's in the 200's for MHR. You're not the only one with that high a MHR.
    Good to know I am not a freak of nature...

    Now I would like to know how to create my HR zones so that I can train properly.

    If I use the numbers I have (60bpm min and 210bpm max) and create my Zone table from there,
    I feel everything too soft, except for zones 4 or 5. Everything happens above 175.

    I have been using this calculator: http://www.sarkproducts.com/targetzonecalculator.htm


    Should I define my HR zones by perceived effort instead of by table, or just stick to the tables.
    (There is a third choice: dump the HR monitor and just keep riding )


    I am very confused with this.

  7. #7
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    Assuming the monitor is working correctly?

    Something that not all people realise is that the MHR is maximum NORMAL heart rate. No abnormal beats. But an incredibally fit person will have a higher MHR than not so fit. Just like their resting HR will be much lower than others'.

    Like somebody said, there's no way to know what your true MHR is unless you spend the money and time with trainers that do this sort of thing all the time. You said you measured it on a trainer yourself, but really you didn't know if your heart was at max or not. YOU felt maxed out, but was your heart? Or did your heart reach maximum NORMAL effort earlier than you realised?

    Does that make sense?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by smellygary
    Assuming the monitor is working correctly?

    Something that not all people realise is that the MHR is maximum NORMAL heart rate. No abnormal beats. But an incredibally fit person will have a higher MHR than not so fit. Just like their resting HR will be much lower than others'.

    Like somebody said, there's no way to know what your true MHR is unless you spend the money and time with trainers that do this sort of thing all the time. You said you measured it on a trainer yourself, but really you didn't know if your heart was at max or not. YOU felt maxed out, but was your heart? Or did your heart reach maximum NORMAL effort earlier than you realised?

    Does that make sense?
    The HR monitor seems fine, I get the same rates when counting beats with a watch.

    The way I figured my Max was by using a stationary trainer, ride for a while and then give it all out, several times, The monitor recorded 209 and I rounded to 210.

    If I go out for a ride, I get averages of 185 and max of 197-200 in a not too hard a ride.

    I believe Max HR is the highest value you can reach, sometimes you cannot find out on your own, except by being pushed real hard in a stress test.

    Rest assured I am NOT an incredibly fit person.

  9. #9
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    Max HR that is discussed in fitness/sports/etc is max NORMAL (without arhythmias) HR. A person's HR can go to 250 or even 300, but it won't be a normal rhythm. Meaning it won't be efficient. A "beat" is an electrical jolt that is generated by and goes through the heart, one after another, creating a rhythm. One aspect of that rhythm is the rate. Another is the regularity. When the regularity is disrupted, efficiency goes out the window. Then there's different kinds of beats, where they originate, how the heart muscle responds to the impulses, etc.

    But that's all crap that doesn't need to waste your time. Just follow the tables for a few months, then adjust your training according to how you feel about your progress. Don't over-think the thing, or you'll suck the fun out of it!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by smellygary
    But that's all crap that doesn't need to waste your time. Just follow the tables for a few months, then adjust your training according to how you feel about your progress. Don't over-think the thing, or you'll suck the fun out of it!
    Perhaps that is the best. I have found myself riding less since I got that little monitor.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  11. #11
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    Strap it on and take off for a walk with decent shoes on...after a couple blocks warm up, see where you're at, if it's high, back off and watch for it to come down. If it's down, pick up the pace and watch it come up. You should be able to sustain a given HR by perception after working with the monitor for awhile. Establish your 'zones' from the walking, jogging, running...then carry them over onto the bike. If you're hitting max just riding, then slow way down to see your HR fall, it has to eventually. Wear it to work during the day (don't wear a white shirt, the black band shows thru and appears to be a bra to the uninitiated, don't ask...) and monitor your heart rate during different levels of daily activitites, climbing stairs, walking, lifting, sitting, taking a whizz. Get a feel for how your body reacts to different stimulii...work with the HRM to know what is going on inside the 'engine'...

  12. #12
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    And just wear it on training rides, not on joy rides. You'll be frustrated by "not being in your target zone" when you're just out for a nice ride or easy spin.

  13. #13
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    Sorry for the delay. My alloted bicycle time was being used in OLN watching "Le Tour"

    I have started using the monitor in what they call "basic mode" instead of the zones feature.

    I have been wearing it and getting to know what happens while riding.

    My guess is that the zones by table are OK but I am so out of shape now that my HR climbs too fast.

    Actually, I have been riding daily for a week and things are looking better.

    I'll do what you guys advise: ride more and think about the target zones less.

    Thanks for the advise.

  14. #14
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    Any time you can get your heart rate up just by having fun, you're doing something right!

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