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Old 09-15-08, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
I am a 51 year old, 180 lb. 5'11" male. Never a problem with BP, cholesterol low. My max HR is ~170 according to most formulas. I consider myself to be in reasonably good health and average about 7 hours of exercise per week.

My problem is that I frequently exceed my max HR. When climbing hard my HR will usually hit 187-189 and I'm just starting to breath heavy. A lot of times I'll be clicking along at what I feel is a good sustainable pace and I'll see that my HR is 172. My perceived effort seems way off from my actual HR.

I guess my first question is am I killing myself? I don't feel like I'm pressing that hard, but I do take care to keep my HR down, just in case. If I just let myself go, my HR will average 160+ over a two hour ride (based on actual recorded results).

Second, if this is "normal", what do I consider as my max HR for training zones? Should I be basing exercise zones on theoritical max HR or my actual recorded max HR?

Just for the record, I am scheduled to see my family doc for an annual checkup and will discuss with him. I'd let to hear from people who specialize more in training, though.

Max HR is a fairly useless number from a training perspective. If you use it to set zones, they will be too high if you are less trained and too low if you are well trained.

It's far better to use the field test in this forum. That will give you zones that are based on your current level of fitness, and you can adjust it by retaking the test as you get more trained.

The big downside of field tests is that they hurt. A lot.

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