I've been going or try to be going at the scale of this web site.
It says at the age of 70 I should be at a MHR of 158. For the last 2 days I can only get up to 148 and I'm really trying pretty hard. I breathing heavy and my legs are getting a little heavy near the end of my ride up this hill that I've been trying to get the most out of the ride.
Do you think I should use the 148 as my max rather than the 158 that the scale shows?
Maybe I'm not in good enough shape to get it any higher than 148.
I've been riding almost 4 years now and I thought I would be in better shape. When I started riding, I use to hit this one hill and my MHR use to go to above 162. Maybe I'm getting in better shape, but it didn't feel like it this morning. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Max HR is very individual, any chart will be unreliable, it is better to use a tested value. Max HR generally decreases with age, and it does not increase with increased fitness, so it doesn't matter if you are in shape or not. One of my strongest friends has a max hr about 30 bpm below my own, but he can ride circles around me.
When trying to find your own personal max HR, use the highest number you can achieve when you are working absolutely as hard as you can. You should be about to pass out or throw up, and you won't be able to sustain your max for very long. You won't just be breathing heavy, you'll be gasping desperately.
Test when you are well rested, not after several days of training.
You might want to check with a doctor to make sure it's safe to exert yourself that hard. Or just figure your max HR is a few bpm higher than what you're seeing when you're working 'pretty hard' and call that good enough to figure your zones.
Don't worry about it George. The biggest factor is your on the bike, getting healthy & your heart is benefitting. I would worry more about keeping your bodyweight/fat% at reasonable healthy levels & sticking at it.
Thanks for the replies, Sick, your absolutely right, I enjoy being on the bike very much. I do have to much body fat, but I'm working on it.
Thanks Valygrl. I know I did get in better shape, but you always try and get better. After I posted this, I forgot about my log. I just started keeping track of my heart rate a few months ago. I've been wearing a HRM for some time now, but I never logged it. Anyhow, after just looking at it I did have a few recordings of 153 and 155, so maybe they are close to my MHR. I've read about the way your talking about and that's what I'll do from now on. Gives me something to do, besides trying to make perfect circles Thanks again for the replies and ride safe.
George, work on the bodyfat. While cycling you will be increasing your bodyweight/power ratio & relative strength which inturn should increase your speeds which inturn should/could see you hit the heart rate you desire.
Originally Posted by George
Just to be clear, your max heart rate is not accurately predicted by any (existing) formula. Especially age based ones. Individuals' max HRs vary widely. My max is 192 and my threshold is around 170. But I know racers who are a lot faster than I am who have thresholds 20 beats lower.
Your max is your max. Being in better shape won't change it significantly. But if you go from being very out of shape to being very fit, you may find that you suffer less, or are more willing to suffer, at the higher heart rates. So you may be willing to go higher than you were before. You could have done it when you were unfit, you just wern't willing to suffer that hard.
That was my experience anyhow, going from very unfit at age 40 to pretty fit at 49.
Conversely, my average HR on endurance rides has gone down quite a bit, and the rides are faster and longer. A fitter heart pumps more blood per beat, so fewer beats are required. The same reason that resting HR goes down when you get fitter.
Originally Posted by ericm979
Thanks for the reply. That pretty much answers my question.