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Is it possible for my Max HR to increase over time?

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Is it possible for my Max HR to increase over time?

Old 07-02-08, 09:37 PM
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chrisvu05
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Is it possible for my Max HR to increase over time?

I posted this in the Road forum as well but I thought the racers might have better insight.

So before this season, my max heart rate in a race was 197. During tonight's crit I felt spectacular but analyzing the data there are 4 data points where my HR went over 200. Now if these points were together they would be an anomaly and I still think one possibly might be.

I hit:

- 202 bpm at the end of the first lap (very conceivable and might not be an anomaly)
- 216 bpm at 2 miles in (this is the most suspicious as 216 is ridiculous for me but it also occured at a point where I was sprinting to grab onto the last wheel that passed me after being lapped)
-198 at 4.1 miles after being lapped again
- 202 bpm at 5 miles after sprinting to try to close the final gap between me and the last wheel.

I really think the 202, 198, and 202 bpm are possible...216 not so much?

Any feedback? I'm 25 yrs old, have been into competitive sports my whole life (baseball, basketball, and now cycling) so I'd say I have the ability to be very fit (my current RHR is 42 bpm) but at the moment I'm just coming into some fitness for the first time this year.

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Old 07-02-08, 09:43 PM
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Once you know what your real MHR is it is my understanding that you cannot increase that number.
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Old 07-02-08, 09:47 PM
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I think you should throw away your heart rate monitor.

-bullseye
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Old 07-02-08, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo View Post
Once you know what your real MHR is it is my understanding that you cannot increase that number.
Yeah i figured my real max might be higher than the 197 I hit last year (which was my first season of racing) so the 202s are feasible.
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Old 07-02-08, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
I think you should throw away your heart rate monitor.

-bullseye
It is the garmin 305 and it has been great for almost 2 years for me. I think I'll keep it thank you. I never look at it though until after the ride. If I had seen 216 on the screen I think i would have fallen over thinking I was having a heart attack.
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Old 07-03-08, 12:56 AM
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216 and 220 seem to be common "rubbish" numbers for HRMs - electrical interference or something else. Does the high value look like a spike on motionbased (or whatever you used)?

As to the general question - I have seen my max increase in the last year (as I have become fitter) so yes, it can happen. The actual maximum rate your heart can pump at should (probably?) not increase, but your ability to get to that level of exertion can.
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Old 07-03-08, 12:59 AM
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Yeah, whenever my HRM has issues with interference or contact it gives me a HR of 220 or so. The ones around 200 sounds consistent enough to be real though.
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Old 07-03-08, 04:49 AM
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you can decrease it over time.
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Old 07-03-08, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by roshea View Post
216 and 220 seem to be common "rubbish" numbers for HRMs - electrical interference or something else. Does the high value look like a spike on motionbased (or whatever you used)?
+1

I get these kinda of reading quite a bit with my Polar 725. It easy enough to figure out what the real max numbers are when looking at the charts in WKO.
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Old 07-03-08, 06:32 AM
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The 216 is BS. The 202 sounds realistic.

FWIW, my lab-tested max-hr is 205. I usually max out around 198 in races but have hit 204 a few times this year.

The problem with finding your real max hr is in order to hit your real max you have to dig really deep into the pain cave, and most people stare into that pit of darkness and shy away.
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Old 07-03-08, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
The 216 is BS. The 202 sounds realistic.

FWIW, my lab-tested max-hr is 205. I usually max out around 198 in races but have hit 204 a few times this year.

The problem with finding your real max hr is in order to hit your real max you have to dig really deep into the pain cave, and most people stare into that pit of darkness and shy away.
i must find the pain cave this weekend.

later.
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Old 07-03-08, 07:08 AM
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My experience has been not so much pain or fitness, but if my leg strength is low I can't hit my "real" max. Need to be capable of high power/short duration efforts to max out my HR.
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Old 07-03-08, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
My experience has been not so much pain or fitness, but if my leg strength is low I can't hit my "real" max. Need to be capable of high power/short duration efforts to max out my HR.
Im am the same. I need to be fresh to be able to hit my max. A month ago i couldnt get out past 180. In the last week or so, i've been hitting it close to my max of 191 a couple of times. I changed up me training to get over the funk. I guess it worked.
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Old 07-03-08, 09:03 AM
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The more I look at the data the more I think the 216 is an actual peak. There is a period for almost 2 minutes where my heart rate is over 200 bpm and peaks at 219 bpm. Here's the data.

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Old 07-03-08, 09:26 AM
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I don't think so. I think you've got a misreading on that 219 spike. Look at the time, it's only over a 30 second period and it is a quick jump to the ceiling -- this just reeks of bogus hrm data.
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Old 07-03-08, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
I don't think so. I think you've got a misreading on that 219 spike. Look at the time, it's only over a 30 second period and it is a quick jump to the ceiling -- this just reeks of bogus hrm data.
um...it looks to me like my heart rate peaks over 200 at the 4:30 mark and stays over 200 until the 6:00 mark which would be a 1.5 minutes. This is exactly the point in the race where I had been lapped the first time and was picking up my pace to catch on to the back of the group when they came by. I think it is real.
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Old 07-03-08, 09:58 AM
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dude, it doesn't seem right.

look at your elevation coninciding with the 219 max. you are telling me that you were at 180 at the top of the hill (where most people would be at their highest), hit your max heart rate at the bottom of the roller (where most people would be at a lower number), and then the number shot down again as you went over top of another roller? i understand that the elevation gain is small, but that is tough to believe.

furthermore, you went from 98 bpm to 210 in around a minute.

it's not like this is a pissing contest. max hr really doesn't mean much when it comes to performance. it is just tough for people to beleive that number, especially considering that it is more likely that your real max is 225-230 based on your ability to hit 219. you either have some weird genetics or you are in need of a better heart rate monitor.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by fly:yes/land:no View Post
dude, it doesn't seem right.

look at your elevation coninciding with the 219 max. you are telling me that you were at 180 at the top of the hill (where most people would be at their highest), hit your max heart rate at the bottom of the roller (where most people would be at a lower number), and then the number shot down again as you went over top of another roller? i understand that the elevation gain is small, but that is tough to believe.

furthermore, you went from 98 bpm to 210 in around a minute.

it's not like this is a pissing contest. max hr really doesn't mean much when it comes to performance. it is just tough for people to beleive that number, especially considering that it is more likely that your real max is 225-230 based on your ability to hit 219. you either have some weird genetics or you are in need of a better heart rate monitor.
But in this case the elevation gain is less than 10 ft so I think the peaks are actually coinciding with periods of exertion i.e. points at which I am having to drastically having to alter my effort so that I can hang on to the passing group that is going 5mph faster than me.

As far as the 98-210 in one minute. That was during the first lap of a crit. First lap is an all out sprint to jockey for position so I went from standing to going all out in less than a minute. I think that is very possible for my HR to do so. If you'd like to see other examples of this I can show every single crit race i've done where my HR goes from around 100 bpm to my max in the first lap or so.

I truly believe the 219 could be and probably is a freak reading however the original question was "Is it possible for my max HR to change over time?" I think however I've answered it for myself in the fact that my previous MHR was what I thought was my MHR and wasn't a true MHR. I'm assuming I've realized that I can suffer a little more pain and my MHR is probably a little over 200bpm which would make most of the peaks correct and that 219 is probably way off.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:09 AM
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Can a person's max heart rate increase over time: Lacking some medical issue that limits the heart, like an electrical abnormality, as fitness increases so can max heart rate. There is a theoretical maximum. But, that is what it is, theoretical.

Are the numbers given accurate: Maybe, maybe not. As the comments show they certainly are open to interpretation.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:20 AM
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^^^ I guess then the original question should have been "Was my originally perceived max HR actually 197 bpm when last night i hit 202 multiple times? Can in fact one's perception of max expenditure be changed over time with increased fitness to indeed allow a change in perceived MHR?"
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Old 07-03-08, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisvu05 View Post
But in this case the elevation gain is less than 10 ft so I think the peaks are actually coinciding with periods of exertion i.e. points at which I am having to drastically having to alter my effort so that I can hang on to the passing group that is going 5mph faster than me.

As far as the 98-210 in one minute. That was during the first lap of a crit. First lap is an all out sprint to jockey for position so I went from standing to going all out in less than a minute. I think that is very possible for my HR to do so. If you'd like to see other examples of this I can show every single crit race i've done where my HR goes from around 100 bpm to my max in the first lap or so.

I truly believe the 219 could be and probably is a freak reading however the original question was "Is it possible for my max HR to change over time?" I think however I've answered it for myself in the fact that my previous MHR was what I thought was my MHR and wasn't a true MHR. I'm assuming I've realized that I can suffer a little more pain and my MHR is probably a little over 200bpm which would make most of the peaks correct and that 219 is probably way off.

man, i thought that it was (m) not (ft). that would explain that a little more.

i have been in many crits with hrm and i understand the go from the gun atmosphere. maybe it is just me, but my heart rate does not shoot up from that low that quickly. oh well.

i don't at all think it is unreasonable to have a max of 202-215 for your age. mine is probably around the lower end of that spectrum and i am 24. but to see a reading of 219, i think you are correct in recognizing that number as a misreading. the fact that you got such a high number makes me somewhat skeptical of the other numbers. again, i am not trying to shoot you down and tell you your numbers are wrong, merely identifying what you seem to already see yourself, that the 219 number is whack.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:33 AM
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^^^word

as far as the HR shooting up at the beginning from 98 to so 200 plus so quickly. I had been standing there for 20 minutes so my HR unfortunately had been dropping so I went from almost completely relaxed to completely taxed in the first lap which is common for me. Usually however I get to the line with a HR around 130bpm and it jumps to about 190 bpm in the first lap.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:47 AM
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Do you have access to the raw data or just the graph? The reason I ask is that graph looks "smoothed". My HRM lets me export a file that shows my HR every 2 seconds. That data would tell you if there was one bogus point or if there were a number of samples leading up to the 216 number.
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Old 07-03-08, 12:53 PM
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Here is a graph from sport tracks that has the data sampled every 1 second and it still looks like my HR runs over 200bpm from about the 4:45 to about 6m

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Old 07-03-08, 08:45 PM
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Max HR is a theoretical number. It cannot be increased on decreased, unlike an mechnical engine than can be dyno'd until it pops - you don't want to try this.
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