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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bob_Chase's Avatar
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    Using a 5K to determine MaxHR?

    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.

  2. #2
    bac
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    Quote 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.
    The age-based formula is a joke. If it works for anyone, it's only by coincidence. Your max is the highest valid number you've seen on your HRM - perhaps even higher, but never lower. Base your HR ranges on that number.

    ... Brad

  3. #3
    grilled cheesus aham23's Avatar
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    your max is your max. if you hit 204 then that is your max.

    i suggest an afternoon at your local track for some Max HR testing. warm up, then run 400 meters at a fair pace. rest 2 minutes and go again but a bit faster. do this four times or so with the last being an all out effort. the highest HR reading should be close to your max.

    of course the only true way to determine you max is in a lab.

  4. #4
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    Quote 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.
    Eric

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