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Heart Rate and Training Zones for Old Farts

Old 05-03-22, 06:35 PM
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Biker395 
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Heart Rate and Training Zones for Old Farts

Do any of you have a HR monitor? What is your HR and how does it vary on a typical ride?

I recently received an Apple Watch from my kids ... the primary reason was for the "I've fallen and I can't get up feature." They figured it was a good idea since I am now semi-retired and riding alone in the hills more often. Then there was that nasty crash a couple of years ago. lol

One of the side benefits (or curses) is that it keeps track of where I go, how fast I am going, now much climbing I've done, and most importantly for this missive ... my heart rate.

I'm not a data slave and I've never really bothered keeping track of it. I've always just ridden to a perceived level of effort and let it go at that. I'm not an elite athlete. I don't do this for a living. And with few exceptions, I don't really compete or care to. I ride hard when I feel like it and ride easy when I don't.

I recently read someone's report that they try to keep their HR below 130 on rides. I was surprised because while my HR is lower than that on flat ground, it goes way above that on extended climbs. It regularly goes into the 160s, and the highest I have seen so far has been a peak in the low 180s. During those times, my perceived level of effort is typically zone 3 on a long time and occasionally zone 4, but pretty much never zone 5.

Is that safe? Well, supposedly it depends on how that relates to my maximum heart rate. There are different methods for calculating maximum heart rate. There is the old 200-age number. There is another (HR max = 208.609-0.716 x age for males and 209.273-0.804 x age for females ... se below) that results in a higher number, at least for me. But those max heart rate estimates are the result of curve-fitting a population, and not necessarily any individualís true max heart rate. If the calculation says my max heart rate should be 155, but I ride for long intervals at 160+ without breathing difficulty, doesnít that mean that the calculation, at least as it applies to me, is off by quite a bit?

Iím obviously going to have a chat with a cardiologist about this, so no ... I am not asking for medical advice here. What I am asking is ... in this group of 50+ers who keep track of such things, what does your HR do on a typical ride, and what is your typical ride like?

Heart Rate Zones: Calculating Them and Using Them Correctly (greatist.com)
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Old 05-03-22, 07:27 PM
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here are two rides, yesterday and today. yesterday was on zwift (about 3 hrs), i beat myself up pretty good but my heart rate never when that high. today i took it easy and still pretty low (just over an hour). low compared to some rates i have read here. pretty sure tickers are quite personal, i rarely ever see anyting above 160, even when i push it. my legs/lungs generally give out before my heart rate climbs too high, what ever too high is.

my typical is pretty representative of the two below, heart rate wise.



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Old 05-03-22, 07:32 PM
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No, no, no, no cardiologist. They'll give give you pills and make you worry. Instead, use the GB search function and turn up probably a good 100 threads on riding with heart rate or HR or HRM.
The short form: formulas for MHR are useless. Ignore everyone else's numbers and find your own. In time, you'll find quite consistent HR numbers for climbing hard, endurance riding on the flat, taking it easy, etc.

So I'll answer your question, but it's meaningless for you. Plus I'm 76. Today I did an hour of endurance on my rollers, riding just below VT1, so just below where respiration rate starts to increase. My HR was a steady 110 once I warmed up. Last Sunday, I did a 4 hour hilly ride with our fast group on my single, had a MHR of 148 and an average HR of 119. It'd been a long time since I'd ridden with the Rabbits and amazingly I set a couple of all-time power/duration records and dozen heart rate and power duration 1sts, 2nds, or 3rds for this year, so not an average ride.

This past Sunday, I did a 4 hour hilly ride on our tandem with my wife, with a MHR of 141 and an average of 120. My resting HR was 47 this morning and my standing-resting was 54. My lactate threshold HR is 133. I'm one of those riders who gives it everything I have on the weekly group ride. An average of 88%-90% of threshold HR on a 4 hour hard ride is very normal for me and always has been, it's just lower HRs now.

So first order of business, if you're interested, is to establish your lactate threshold HR and your VT1 HR. Don't bother trying to find your MHR - it's a useless number. If you want to go so far as setting training zones, set them of your lactate threshold HR.
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Old 05-03-22, 07:41 PM
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Heart-rate based training (and even racing for ultra-distance events) was all the rage in triathlon starting in the late 1980s. I started racing triathlons in 1985 at age 24 and had some success at the local and regional level by the late 1980s. Since many triathlon pros at that time were advocates of heart rate monitors, I bought one. It didn't help me. I never raced any faster than I did without using a heart rate monitor.

I'm 60 now and haven't used a heart rate monitor for about 25 years. So I have no idea what my heart rate does during a typical ride. OK, that's not quite true. I know when it's near maximum and I know when it's in "zone 1". It's just that I don't know what the precise BPM for those zones are for me :^)
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Old 05-03-22, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Do any of you have a HR monitor? What is your HR and how does it vary on a typical ride?

I recently received an Apple Watch from my kids ... the primary reason was for the "I've fallen and I can't get up feature." They figured it was a good idea since I am now semi-retired and riding alone in the hills more often. Then there was that nasty crash a couple of years ago. lol

One of the side benefits (or curses) is that it keeps track of where I go, how fast I am going, now much climbing I've done, and most importantly for this missive ... my heart rate.

I'm not a data slave and I've never really bothered keeping track of it. I've always just ridden to a perceived level of effort and let it go at that. I'm not an elite athlete. I don't do this for a living. And with few exceptions, I don't really compete or care to. I ride hard when I feel like it and ride easy when I don't.

I recently read someone's report that they try to keep their HR below 130 on rides. I was surprised because while my HR is lower than that on flat ground, it goes way above that on extended climbs. It regularly goes into the 160s, and the highest I have seen so far has been a peak in the low 180s. During those times, my perceived level of effort is typically zone 3 on a long time and occasionally zone 4, but pretty much never zone 5.

Is that safe? Well, supposedly it depends on how that relates to my maximum heart rate. There are different methods for calculating maximum heart rate. There is the old 200-age number. There is another (HR max = 208.609-0.716 x age for males and 209.273-0.804 x age for females ... se below) that results in a higher number, at least for me. But those max heart rate estimates are the result of curve-fitting a population, and not necessarily any individualís true max heart rate. If the calculation says my max heart rate should be 155, but I ride for long intervals at 160+ without breathing difficulty, doesnít that mean that the calculation, at least as it applies to me, is off by quite a bit?

Iím obviously going to have a chat with a cardiologist about this, so no ... I am not asking for medical advice here. What I am asking is ... in this group of 50+ers who keep track of such things, what does your HR do on a typical ride, and what is your typical ride like?

Heart Rate Zones: Calculating Them and Using Them Correctly (greatist.com)
The 220-age thing has been debunked many times. HR is a very personal thing. If you are hitting 180-183, your max HR could be close to 190. My HR is similar to yours, a typical ride for me will have an average HR of ~140-160 and a max of 170-180.
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Old 05-03-22, 07:55 PM
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As you become more aerobically fit, you will make more power at a lower heart rate due to increased cardiac stroke volume and if you keep at it long enough, better economy due to metabolic changes in the" muscles".

I did 126 miles in 6:30 moving and just under 7 hours total the other day and my average HR was a littler higher than usual, some due to lack of fitness and some because I overheated and decoupled badly. I did 205 watts and 128 BPM.

Today, I did an easier zone 2 ride for 2 hours and 30 miles with 1500 feet of climbing. 171 watts and 106 BPM HR.

My Max HR is 172 on the bike and 183 running. I can ride at about 153 bpm for approximately an hour but very, very rarely ride that hard. Most of my riding is under 120 bpm. I'm not quite 64 yet. I really do not use max HR at all although it is interesting theoretically to assess how close to one's potential one can get but that is too complex to write here. It has to due with fractional utilization of VO2 max at lactate threshold.

HR and aerobic power should be linearly related in the steady state aerobic power levels and should not change meaning the HR should not creep up and up over the course of the ride at the same power or effort level. That could mean dehydration, it could mean you are getting very cold, or more likely it means it is time to end the training ride soon. This is one way I use a HRM.

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Old 05-03-22, 08:13 PM
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I'm 66 and still use a heart rate monitor when I ride. I use a Wahoo which pairs with Zwift and my Garmin 830 quite nicely.
I also use a power meter. I just started using a Favero Assiamo Uno power pedals.
I use my hrm to see how my body is feeling when I ride. I recently had a bout of UTI, urinary tract infection. Maybe 5 weeks ago...it was no f'ing joke. I don't get sick, hardly ever, and when I do it is usually a cold for a day or so. The UTI left me feeling like I was going to die for a day or two before the antibiotics took hold and started killing off the infection. The reason for this tale is my hrm has been higher than normal when riding. I also felt I had far less energy and strength...no surprise. I would be cruising at a speed, on a usual ride I do all the time, and my hrm was 10-20 beats higher than normal...say 18mph pace on flat road, my hrm is usually below 120, 115ish, and little effort required. After the UTI the same pace/effort saw my hrm at 140ish and it felt much harder. 5 weeks later, today's ride in fact, my pace/effort and hrm is nearly back to normal...whew.
The moral of this story is hrm can tell you how your body is doing physically perhaps more than watts.
So I see the value of both and use both. When I'm pushing a specific wattage for a period of time...say zone 2 or 3 and a certain hrm I can see how my body is responding to the training when for the same power my hrm is dropping...I can go harder for longer periods of time at the same physical effort my body is putting out.
While not a slave to data I find it very useful to measure performance improvement as well as the well being of my body.
I find the hrm a valuable tool to tell you if you are overtraining or perhaps fighting off a small illness, allergies, etc. As I stated above if my warm up pace 10-20 bpm over my normal bpm my body may be telling me it is in recovery mode and I may want to postpone my intervals workout for a few days.
My current max bpm is 182 which I can hold for schmaybe 15 seconds. I can ride for a very long time at 160-165.
Heart Rates are also individual dependent. I've been in races with people that are at 140ish bpm and I'm at 160. Perhaps they are fitter than I but perhaps their bodies bpm is different than mine. There is no "Standard BPM" for all people. It is dependent on many factors.
Resting heart rate is also a good method of how your body is doing. My normal resting heart rate now is around 60 bpm. I'm 145lbs and 5'4". When I was a competitive 10k and marathoner at 120lbs my resting heart rate was 38bpm...back in the early 80's when I was in my 20's and before I switched over to racing bikes. It has changed over time as I have aged I presume...not just aging but the life I've lived, etc. I normally live a rather healthy life so I attribute it to the aging process. But I'm no doctor.
If your healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle you can push your body quite hard and for a long time...just be sure to care for it by eating properly and resting just as properly.
Good luck and ride hard...

Last edited by Kai Winters; 05-03-22 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 05-03-22, 08:17 PM
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I forgot to say I use the HRM to monitor heart rate variability (HRV) each morning to assess fatigue.
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Old 05-04-22, 05:28 AM
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Mountain Biker here. I like it as it gives me more of a HIIT effect with my heart rate varying all over the place depending on the terrain. Typical ride below. I did see a cardiologist a couple of years ago just to make sure I was good to punish my heart like this in my 60s and he said to go for it and judge more by how I feel than worrying about the actual numbers. If I overdid it my body would tell me. At 65 hitting the below pace, when I come out of the woods I feel just fantastic!
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Old 05-04-22, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
I recently read someone's report that they try to keep their HR below 130 on rides. I was surprised because while my HR is lower than that on flat ground, it goes way above that on extended climbs. It regularly goes into the 160s, and the highest I have seen so far has been a peak in the low 180s. During those times, my perceived level of effort is typically zone 3 on a long time and occasionally zone 4, but pretty much never zone 5.

Is that safe? Well, supposedly it depends on how that relates to my maximum heart rate. There are different methods for calculating maximum heart rate. There is the old 200-age number. There is another (HR max = 208.609-0.716 x age for males and 209.273-0.804 x age for females ... se below) that results in a higher number, at least for me. But those max heart rate estimates are the result of curve-fitting a population, and not necessarily any individualís true max heart rate. If the calculation says my max heart rate should be 155, but I ride for long intervals at 160+ without breathing difficulty, doesnít that mean that the calculation, at least as it applies to me, is off by quite a bit?

Iím obviously going to have a chat with a cardiologist about this, so no ... I am not asking for medical advice here. What I am asking is ... in this group of 50+ers who keep track of such things, what does your HR do on a typical ride, and what is your typical ride like?
I'll probably look like a one-person thread drift, but here goes.

See a cardiologist? Absolutely. Just make sure the cardiologist you see understands active seniors; a 50 year old cardiologist who rides bikes a lot would be ideal. Believe it or not, such a doctor would give you much different advice than a sedentary doc who's continuing ed involves reading all about bicyclists run over on the streets and roads. -) To @Carbonfiberboy's point, the default treatment for new cardiologist's patients is to treat them like they are known or suspected to have heart or circulatory problems. You'll want to make them understand your visit is prophylactic, to make sure you don't have such a problem (and if they find you do, you'll get it treated).

So why bother going to the doc? If you have undiagnosed atrial fibrillation, that could be dangerous, as in suddenly dies of a stroke dangerous. Riding along with a pulse of 160/minute isn't a problem, but if you're riding along with a pulse of 100 that suddenly spikes to 180, that could be a warning sign. Talk with your doctor about it. If you can print out a chart of pulse rate, especially if you can blow up the region around any spike, that would be ideal. (I know, paper, such a last millenium artefact!)

​​​​​​Note the "could be." I don't know how good the latest Apple watch is, but wrist pulse measurements aren't as good as chest sensors. And spurious readings are possible. I had a couple spikes on fast downhills, but with my cardiologist we decided those were almost certainly spurious. Exciting (can I hit 50 mph in traffic today?!), but hardly any effort, oh and polypro jersey flapping after the sweat near the electrodes had dried -- nothing to worry about. Watch it, yes; worry, no.
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Old 05-04-22, 08:23 AM
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I still use a HR monitor. However for many years I've been riding by perceived effort too and just occasionally look at my HR to see what it's doing. HR can be a confusing number if you look at it alone with out taking into consideration other data and what you are doing. It can also mislead you into just riding to a number and never trying to go for more. I'm not saying that you can train yourself to have a higher HR. But you can train yourself to perform at a higher HR for a longer time.

And stuff like that gets back to interval training or just simply going as fast as you can for as long as you can for certain segments of your ride and then slowing back to a pace that you can maintain and rest up for the next hard effort.

Or not! If you are satisfied with how you currently perform, you are under no obligation to find your peak.

As for cardiologist's... the two I've seen in the last 3 or 4 years seem to agree with everything I've ever thought about my heart. They both say that as long as I'm healthy, I can run my heart as fast as I want for as long as I possibly can. No drugs of course. If you take amphetamines for ADHD, then you might should be careful, read up on the cautions for that drug, and talk to your doctor about that. Maybe change your meds if something else will work.

As for other doctors and your heart, just don't ask them. All my other doctors gave non-answers or thought it was silly of me to even want to ride a bike so hard.

HR numbers between individuals your own age will vary greatly. What one perceives as a rate they work hard at, others might find it just a easy pace.
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Old 05-04-22, 08:35 AM
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I wear a HRM for trivia and almost never use HR as a real-time metric.

Mid 50's, resting HR of high 40s/low 50s. Jumps to 110+ just walking to the kitchen or getting dressed. I tend to average 180 on my rides (20 to 110km) with peaks well over 200. If I don't hit 200 on *any* ride I literally wonder why. No matter what my HR is at any moment while riding, I go up ~10 BPM any time I see traffic that I'm concerned about - like coming out of an intersection where we might occupy the same space at the same time.

Charts are for those who believe the average person is average.

I tried riding home from work one time trying to stay in the "fat burning zone" for my age. Got so bored as it was taking almost as long to get home as walking that I gave that up.

The only other time I can remember focusing on a specific HR was a ~100km day with ~1900 meters of climbing on the fatbike... I set a goal of trying to stay under 150 for the whole ride just for giggles.
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Old 05-04-22, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
No, no, no, no cardiologist.
Yeah, I mean, why would you want to consult with a medical professional if you have questions about your heart?

Heart attack survivor here, 70 years old. My cardiologist (oh, heavens!) loves that I ride for exercise, but has recommended limits as to how hard I should push myself. BTW, I asked him specifically what I should be doing, and I have an alarm set on my Garmin that will sound to let me know if my HR gets too high. I try to get my HR into a zone where it will do me some good, but will back down immediately when I hear that alarm, as you can see by my statistics.

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Old 05-04-22, 10:19 AM
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I got an iWatch from my kids a year and a half ago. Elevation gain was my primary reason for wearing it, but I like the HR monitoring.

Over a period of time it becomes more of a post ride reference, except for those segments where I know I’ve really pushed myself; then I’ll glance at the reading. I don’t think there are wrong or right numbers, you just have to establish that range yourself.

A cardiologist and stress test can help to define where you want to be. Obviously if something pops up, you need to address that, but if you are clean and have good recovery, just ride how you normally do and note those times when you feel you really reached a limit.

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Old 05-04-22, 11:58 AM
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Thanks for the comments. I feel better knowing that others similarly inclined have HRs in the same range.

Originally Posted by vespasianus View Post
The 220-age thing has been debunked many times. HR is a very personal thing. If you are hitting 180-183, your max HR could be close to 190. My HR is similar to yours, a typical ride for me will have an average HR of ~140-160 and a max of 170-180.
This is pretty much it. I had someone caution me about exceeding a percentage of my max heart rate, as defined by the calculation. The problem is ... what sense does it make to suggest that my max heart rate is 155, when I regularly ride in the 150-160 range for an hour at a time? I don't think it does.

I'll see a cardiologist anyway for a looksee, but I will pick one that has a lot of athletes (and preferably older athletes) for patients ... or at least has a sub specialty that includes athletes.

This is what it was today. Not sure why there is a gap, but that ~hour space there is me sipping coffee before heading home. lol
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Old 05-04-22, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Thanks for the comments. I feel better knowing that others similarly inclined have HRs in the same range.



This is pretty much it. I had someone caution me about exceeding a percentage of my max heart rate, as defined by the calculation. The problem is ... what sense does it make to suggest that my max heart rate is 155, when I regularly ride in the 150-160 range for an hour at a time? I don't think it does.

I'll see a cardiologist anyway for a looksee, but I will pick one that has a lot of athletes (and preferably older athletes) for patients ... or at least has a sub specialty that includes athletes.
I have used a HRM for at least 20 years, but since I got a power meter (10 years ago?) I mostly use HR data for aerobic decoupling and to gauge fatigue. I never look at it in the moment.

Re the 220-age formula, I agree with you. It makes no sense. My understanding is that it originated out of a study of maximum heart rates of untrained persons. When they graphed the scattershot data of MaxHR against age, someone noticed you could fit a line that worked out to 220-age. Interesting enough for what it is: it shows a trend of decreasing MaxHR as people age. It has no predictive value for any one particular person. Even less so for athletes.

Somehow, it has gained this status of a medical truth, but it makes no sense to apply it to an individual. I mean you could probably draw a similar line of shoe size against height, but when you go to a shoe store, would you choose your size base on a chart? No! You'd measure your foot.

So, I've always just used my highest observed HR for the prior 12 months. In my case that's 191, which I saw at the end of sprint on the local Saturday group ride. on a hot day last summer. I'm 55, so that's 26 pts above (116%) what the formula would predict.
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Old 05-04-22, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Yeah, I mean, why would you want to consult with a medical professional if you have questions about your heart?

Heart attack survivor here, 70 years old. My cardiologist (oh, heavens!) loves that I ride for exercise, but has recommended limits as to how hard I should push myself. BTW, I asked him specifically what I should be doing, and I have an alarm set on my Garmin that will sound to let me know if my HR gets too high. I try to get my HR into a zone where it will do me some good, but will back down immediately when I hear that alarm, as you can see by my statistics.

I like it. But, why, OH WHY, am I thinking of the "HemoGauge" that Jackie Gleason wore in Smokey and the Bandit?
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Old 05-04-22, 01:46 PM
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Biker395 You are one of the most gonzo, long distance riders/climbers I know of on BF. Furnace Creek 508???, centuries, and etc. You should be instructing on training for cycling.

I separate HR measurement for cycling from heart health and seeing a cardiologist. If your heart is healthy or there is pathology that is under control, cardiologists, who understand athletes, will green light activities that stress the heart. Example, in 2018, my wife and I entered a tandem race in Tahiti. The Tahitians decided that all foreigners should have a written authorization from a doctor on signed letterhead to compete. At age 69, I was wondering where I would get approval from a doc…in writing…. I called my cardiologist and he said, absolutely, I will give you an approval letter. I was sort of shocked not because I thought there was a problem but that he would actually sign a letter.

The day of the race in Tahiti it was hot and humid and my HR was 160 for about 2 hours.

Cardiologists have a lot tools such as stress tests, echo cardio grams, monitors that collect HR rhythm data, nuclear stress tests and etc. It is a great idea as one ages, to include a cardiologist in ones routine physical and in general, the EKGs taken by a regular doc are sent to a cardiologist to review. And, IMO, genetics plays a key role. My fathers side of the family had terrible luck with heart disease and circulation problems.

A healthy cyclist getting an iWatch, IMO, does not trigger a change of any kind other than hey this is pretty cool and how can I use it to improve the sport I love.

I do not use HR very much other than I use a coach that likes to see it as well as any other metrics I send him such as power, speed, climb times, Strava and etc.

At the track at high cadence my HR in the 500 meter time trial gets up to 185. In the pursuit, it is about 175 and in time trials 160 to 164. Also, there is about a 20 to 30 second lag from the time force is put on the pedals to HR catching up to power produced. So HR is BS for short intervals. After a hard day on the bike, my HR is usually lower the next day for the same level of effort and power production. I was with my coach last night at the velodrome and he did not ask me once what my HR was but we discussed lap times, perceived effort and speed numerous time.

I like to use perceived effort and glance at power as a guide. I find lap times, climb times and time over a measured distance much more interesting than HR data.

I wear my iWatch while sleeping and gather sleep and heart rate data that I find more interesting than on the bike.

Last edited by Hermes; 05-04-22 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 05-04-22, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I have used a HRM for at least 20 years, but since I got a power meter (10 years ago?) I mostly use HR data for aerobic decoupling and to gauge fatigue. I never look at it in the moment.

Re the 220-age formula, I agree with you. It makes no sense. My understanding is that it originated out of a study of maximum heart rates of untrained persons. When they graphed the scattershot data of MaxHR against age, someone noticed you could fit a line that worked out to 220-age. Interesting enough for what it is: it shows a trend of decreasing MaxHR as people age. It has no predictive value for any one particular person. Even less so for athletes.

Somehow, it has gained this status of a medical truth, but it makes no sense to apply it to an individual. I mean you could probably draw a similar line of shoe size against height, but when you go to a shoe store, would you choose your size base on a chart? No! You'd measure your foot.

So, I've always just used my highest observed HR for the prior 12 months. In my case that's 191, which I saw at the end of sprint on the local Saturday group ride. on a hot day last summer. I'm 55, so that's 26 pts above (116%) what the formula would predict.
I suspect it is like Body Mass Index (BMI): It works when talking about "cohorts" (In the original roman sense 480+ people) as a generality. Falls apart when talking about individuals.
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Old 05-04-22, 02:02 PM
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I actually took a rare lunch break today since working from home road the fatbike to town and back: roughly 20km ridden, 142 m gained, avg speed 21km/h, avg cadence 85 (max 114)

Hr was low, not sure why?

Avg 169, max 191. More than 1/2 the ride (33 minutes) I was between 156-175 and only 13 minutes 175-194. Normally that is the other way round.

Sitting here rested I'm at 51.

The only other thing of note from the ride is the video I will be sharing with the police about a driver that decided to pass me on a blind hill that caused the on-coming driver to raise a cloud of duct as they hit the shoulder I *never* ride without my video camera...
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Old 05-04-22, 02:07 PM
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I target under 130 on brevets where I remember to bring both my HRM and my 2nd GPS that shows HR. I really like to roll along at 120; I *think* those numbers correlate to a sustainable level of effort for long durations, for me at my current level of fitness. That's a lot of caveats and weasel words.

As you stated, on many climbs that HR level is generally not possible even with lower-than-typical road bike gearing. Sometimes, exceeding my sustainable level of effort happens, and I'm okay dealing with the consequences. Brevets are not races.

As far as I'm concerned, the heuristic calculation is an approximation of what an average sedentary person's maximum HR will be. Other than making those of us who are not sedentary or not average feel better about ourselves because we beat the heuristic, it's pretty useless.

My max observed lately is 167, which at 61 puts me at 8 points above the heuristic. Go me OTOH, that's lower than that claimed by a lot of my compatriots, so evidently I suck lol.
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Old 05-04-22, 04:13 PM
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I pretty much have to limit my HR to 130 on the first half of a ride, because if I don't, I have to limp home; that's lack of energy an conditioning that manifests itself in my HR. That's different from needing to limit myself to 130. I could always go out as fast as I can, HR be damned, and just jump on a train to get home.

I am 77, clinically obese, and have a pacemaker and atrial fibulation. There's a difference between an HR that climbs along with effort to 150 and an HR that's about 120 and jumps in a few seconds to 185 or more. My cardio is fine with no limits when the increase in HR matches increase in effort. He's also fine if I'm in a-fib as long as I feel fine. So far, I go into a-fib far more often than I feel the symptoms; I know I've gone into a-fib only if I'm riding my bike with my HRM. He warns that I'll probably want to slow down and maybe even rest if I feel symptoms, and he's absolutely correct on that. OTOH, I've ridden in the 150s for 15-20 minutes of a ride home.

More important by far: your limits aren't some else's. Someone else's limits aren't yours. It's a good idea to consult with a good cardio who knows about geezers who rid bikes more than a mile or 2 at a time.
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Old 05-04-22, 07:45 PM
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If you are going to use a formula as an initial guess you probably want to use the "active people" formula, 211 Ė 0.64 x Age. I am only about 8bpm above this formula. But as can be seen from the above posts, individual variation is very wide.

Like several others mentioned above I rely on the HR monitor to see if I am not overly stressed. If my HR is higher than it should be it means I might need food or water, am sick, etc.
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Old 05-04-22, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
If you are going to use a formula as an initial guess you probably want to use the "active people" formula, 211 Ė 0.64 x Age. I am only about 8bpm above this formula. But as can be seen from the above posts, individual variation is very wide.

Like several others mentioned above I rely on the HR monitor to see if I am not overly stressed. If my HR is higher than it should be it means I might need food or water, am sick, etc.
That's 14 beats too high for me. Formulae are useless. I know what my optimal HR should be in almost every situation and terrain and not 2 beats different from that either. One beat maybe. I watch my HR like a hawk. If I'm on a bike w/o power, I watch the road, HR and cadence, nothing else, other than checking distance for navigation purposes from time to time. I like to finish a hard ride pretty much exhausted, but not before the last mile. Ride enough, watch HR enough, and you get the hang of it. HR is actually a better gauge of that than power. You don't exhaust a number, you exhaust your body, so you want to know what's going on with it.
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Old 05-05-22, 05:27 AM
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Just tried the ' "active people" formula, 211 – 0.64 x Age ' thing and it comes up close to but less than my average.

Maybe I'm weird?
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