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  1. #1
    Senior Member tallmantim's Avatar
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    Fitness/heart rate

    Hello all,

    Just a quick question as I rode out with a HRM for the first time on the weekend.

    I remember reading somewhere that your heart rate drop after an effort was a sign of fitness but could not find the reference again - I think it was 50+ beats a minute over a 2 minute period showed you were fit.

    I did that (172 bpm down to 117 bpm) within the short time frame, however my heart then just stayed there for like 40-50 minutes (after my shower and everything). Full resting heart rate is normally down at 50 or just under.

    Just not sure what the elevated heartrate means long after a ride - is it normal?

    I was pushing myself on the ride if it matters - about 3 1/2 hours of ride and sitting at 85-90% max heart rate (calculated) for 50-60% of that time (100km).

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Yes it is normal to have an elevated HR after a ride.

    BTW, calculated max HR is useless for training purposes. You are better served to go with the highest observed HR, or better, do a field test.

  3. #3
    Senior Member garethzbarker's Avatar
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    I also just got a heart rate monitor for biking. I'm a little confused about max heart rate. What does Max heart rate mean anyway? Does it mean the max SAFE heartrate or max attainable HR? Today I climbed a short steep hill and hit 192. I wasn't in any crazy pain or anything, in fact I felt pretty good. I was just out of breath and didn't feel like I could do much more. So does that count as a field test? This number is kind of on the high side for my age.

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    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    MaxHR is the max you can do. It'll be a bit different for different sports- most people can get a little higher running or xc skiiing than on a bike because more muscles are used.
    One way to find your max is to go hard up a hill for 3-4 minutes, then go really hard, then sprint. HR takes a while to respond to effort, so you have to ramp it up over some minutes. A sprint from a rested condition will put out more watts but won't get your HR that close to max.

    No one knows what a max safe heart rate is. For almost everyone almost all the time its whatever you can get yourself to do. The body/brain has many safeguards to the point where you can't make yourself go so hard that you cause damage. A very few unlucky people have heart attacks when they're exercising, but that is often not when they are going hard. For them on that day a max safe HR might have been 100.

    Basing your training off max HR is not very accurate. Different riders have their LT at different percentages of max hr. With more fitness, your LT HR goes up while your max does not. Training plans that say to ride at X% of maxhr are basing that percentage off studies (which may be of unfit people, or grad students). Their LTHR as a function of MaxHR may be higher or lower than yours. Intervals at even a few beats over LTHR are going to be physiologically different (and a lot harder!) from ones at a few beats under LTHR.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Speedskater's Avatar
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    I don't think that this is a max heart rate question.
    I think it's "How fast should the heart rate drop (or return to normal) after the exercise ends.

  6. #6
    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post
    I don't think that this is a max heart rate question.
    I think it's "How fast should the heart rate drop (or return to normal) after the exercise ends.
    It was, but the thread took a turn:

    Quote Originally Posted by garethzbarker View Post
    I'm a little confused about max heart rate. What does Max heart rate mean anyway?
    I agree with ericm. MHR doesn't mean anything in and of itself. You just have to know what it is if you're going to base training zones off of it. This involves some sort of testing (whether formal or informal) as age related "formulas" are worthless and can be way off for any particular individual. Your LTHR will change (MHR won't) with training, so you do have to reassess as you get fitter

    As ericm said, it's probably more useful to know LTHR than MHR. Most of the standard books contain tests to determine LTHR. It's basically the highest HR you can sustain without going into oxygen debt. You should be able to sustain LTHR for a substantial period of time, but once you cross the line and exceed it, you'll be forced to back off within a short time.
    Last edited by chinarider; 05-09-10 at 11:05 AM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member garethzbarker's Avatar
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    Thanks and yeah I changed the thread direction. Ok, I see now. When I tried to talk heart rate with my doctor (because I have a family history of heart problems) he said the numbers weren't as important as if I were having chest pains or other signs of heart problems. My father saw my numbers and got really worried so I 2nd guessed myself. But what you say makes sense. It especially makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. If there were a max safe heart rate think of how many of our ancestors would have died chasing animals without heart rate monitors? One time, I was mountain biking right after I started biking and I pushed myself so hard my vision blurred and I almost puked. I didn't have a heart rate monitor but I shudder to think how high it was if I hit 190s without much effort.

  8. #8
    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garethzbarker View Post
    One time, I was mountain biking right after I started biking and I pushed myself so hard my vision blurred and I almost puked.
    That's a good sign you hit your MHR. For some history on age related MHR formulas and their weaknesses see:http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/24/he...ea9017&ei=5070 (you may have to register with the NYT to read, but it's free & worth it).
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  9. #9
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    Dehydration after a ride will elevate your HR after a ride.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tallmantim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinarider View Post
    That's a good sign you hit your MHR. For some history on age related MHR formulas and their weaknesses see:http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/24/he...ea9017&ei=5070 (you may have to register with the NYT to read, but it's free & worth it).
    Thanks for that article.

    Very interesting to see the following:

    Heart rate is an indicator of heart disease, said Dr. Michael Lauer, a cardiologist and the director of clinical research in cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. But, he added, it is not the maximum that matters: it is how quickly the heart rate falls when exercise is stopped.

    An average healthy person's heart rate drops about 20 beats in a minute and the rates of athletes "nose dive by 50 beats in a minute," Dr. Lauer said.

    In three recent studies, Dr. Lauer and his colleagues found that people whose rates fell less than 12 beats within a minute after they stopped exercising vigorously had a fourfold increased risk of dying in the next six years compared with those whose heart rates dropped by 13 or more beats.

    Dr. Lauer pays no attention to the standard formula when he gives treadmill tests. More than 40 percent of patients, he said, can get their heart rates to more than 100 percent of their predicted maximum. "That tells you that that wasn't their maximum heart rate," Dr. Lauer said.

    So - max heart rates are not particularly important. It's how quickly you drop - for me I drop quickly and then hover - which I guess is fine (or perhaps could be that I didn't drink enough as EricM said).

    Cheers

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