Here's my situation:
I'm 25 years old and 5'10" 160lbs. I started riding in August, averaging 200 miles/week. In an effort to attempt to finish some cat 5 road races next spring/summer, I've decided to add some structure to my riding. I purchased a heart rate monitor (polar) and will be starting the Carmichael/Lance 7 week program this week.
I completed the Max Sustainable HR test provided in the book, and determined my MSHR to be 198 (avg over course of 3 mile tt) and my monitor showed my max during the effort to be 214 bpm. I've seen it spike this high during the course of intervals and some longer hill sprints, as well. I "believe" I'm at a reasonable level of fitness (certainly not outstanding), as I've always been physically active, I ride a lot, and I'm capable of hanging on during most hammerfests. However, the numbers scare me a bit. I'm completely new to the HR Monitor world, and would love to receive any explanation/cause for such high numbers. Please help me to understand. Thank you!