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  1. #1
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    High sustained heartrate = bad/dangerous???

    Hello,

    New to the forum and cycling as well. I just purchased a Garmin edge 305 with HRM and went on my first ride with it a couple days ago.

    I've been reading a lot about aerobic vs anaerobic workouts and thought I could benefit from toning down my workouts to get in the more 'effective' aerobic zone... However, for my first outing, I wanted to do a 'base ride' and push like I normally do before I change anything up.

    I knew I was probably working out in the anaerobic zone in all of my sessions, but the results I got from the unit were pretty staggering (see picture).



    My question then, is riding at such a high heartrate level dangerous? I've heard of marathoners who fall over dead from heart problems in the middle of races, and I don't have the greatest genealogical history for heart health either.

    My goal with the HRM training was to mix in some aerobic workouts in my routine, but I'd still like to do the all-out ones as well. Is it safe to push yourself so hard, or should I tone it down some even on the 'anaerobic days'???

    Thanks in advance for your comments!

    *edit*
    Oh, by the way, I'm 6'1, slightly muscular, 245lbs with a resting heartrate below 70bpm - the so called 'clydesdale' variety of endurance athletes
    Last edited by jwill01; 01-12-09 at 11:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    First off, relax.

    You can't ride at high-anaerobic for 3.5 hours. Rides of that length are always mostly aerobic.

    You may have a max heart rate that is higher than average, which is not uncommon. My advice:

    1) If you can talk reasonably well, you are in a reasonable aerobic zone.
    2) If you want to know more, read the field test sticky thread and take it. That will give you good zones that make sense for you.

    Generally, if you are doing intervals, you should do them all out, but for short periods. If you are doing long rides, you should be doing them so that you can talk easily for the majority of the time. Most people work out too hard for most of their workout and not hard enough for the hard part.
    Eric

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  3. #3
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    Did this workout feel hard? Zone 5 should feel hard - like you really want to slow down.

    By the way, Zone Five Software's SportTracks = shareware that is WAY better than the Garmin software.
    ...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericgu View Post
    You may have a max heart rate that is higher than average, which is not uncommon.
    Well of course its not. Exactly half of the population has a max heart rate that is higher than average.

  5. #5
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylejack View Post
    Well of course its not. Exactly half of the population has a max heart rate that is higher than the median.
    Fixed it for ya

  6. #6
    Pepperoni Power ROJA's Avatar
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    As others have hinted, I think the answer is that your zones are wrong. You can read whole books on this topic, but the basic answer is that zones are different for everyone. You probably spent most of your ride in high zone 3 or in zone 4 (just guessing). Start reading up online or grab a book about HR training. You can get a rough idea of your zones by figuring out your max and working backwards from there. Based on your chart, I would bet that your max HR is at least 210, meaning that 90% is ~190 and 80% is approx 170.

    And finally, based on what I've read, I would only tone down your workouts if you are riding more than 4-5 times per week. If you can only ride two or three times per week, you may as well work your hardest.

    Of course, I am not a physician and you should seek medical advice before starting any workout routine, especially if you have a history of heart problems. From what I've read, for those with no heart problems, working out as hard as you can (keeping in mind that max effort over 3 hours is much different than max effort over 3 minutes) is not a problem. Your body should tell you when to slow down or stop.

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone for all the great info and comments. I'm pretty convinced that the garmin has my MHR wrong.

    *UPDATE*
    Today I did almost the same ride (cut it 80% short to visit a friend) and tried to keep it around 160-165bpm. The ride felt very easy in comparison. I tend to judge the quality of my workouts by how I feel afterward (the more tired/sore the better!), and right now my body hardly feels like it worked out today. It seems this is a necessity to building a good aerobic base though, so I guess I'll just have to go further/longer to get that same pooped out feeling and satisfaction afterward

    Here's today's ride:


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