Originally Posted by Bob_Chase
So I've recently picked up a HRM (Polar FS2) and begun using it in my training. In order to determine my max HR I've used a few calculators online that give you a "best guess" based on age. The results from each and every one tell me my max is 185.
This weekend I ran my first 5K and used the HRM. I set a modest goal for myself and knew I would have to run a bit harder than usual to achieve it. Up until the race the highest # I've seen has been 194. I'll hit it at the end of my weekly run when I'm working really hard down the home stretch. I've also hit it on the bike climbing some of the bigger hills on my routes. My stats at the end of the race were a max of 204 and an avg of 193. I'm now beginning to question the 185 # and was wondering if it is actually somewhere in between my max/avg I experienced during the race.
Could I use a race like this as a more accurate gauge of maxHR?
Thanks in advance.
As others have mentioned, the age-based formula doesn't mean much.
It's not atypical to have different maximum heart rates for different activities.
Finally, some training programs base their ranges on a field test 10 or 20 minutes long. Trained athletes are able to maintain a higher percentage of their maximum heart rate, so a range that is based on the maximum may be too high for an untrained person and too low for a trained one.
There's a sticky "field test" post in one of the forums.