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new max heart rate

Old 09-16-23, 05:43 PM
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new max heart rate

today i hit a new max heart rate, not a goal, it just ahppened. never thought it would but as it turned out my usual climb was closed due to the road being used as a race track so i had to head up a much steeper climb. i managed to knock my max HR from 171 to 172. it is very rare that i even get in the 160 range. the climb was 15% which is twice the other climb. i am still amazed that some of you have MHRs in the 180 range at the ages i read about. but of course, we are all different.


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Old 09-17-23, 08:32 AM
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Could just be rounding up or down. Might have only been a 0.1 bpm difference! <grin>
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Old 09-17-23, 12:07 PM
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Yeah we are different and really I can only guess. When I run, my HR might be 160 for 30 or 40 minutes. So definitely max HR is not the 160 from the simpleminded 220 - age, or I wouldnít be running in relative comfort. I infer 185 from assuming 160 is in the vicinity of threshold. And Iíve seen higher. I kinda donít think there is a clearly defined max HR, but Iím no expert on that.

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Old 09-17-23, 12:28 PM
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yeah, i suspect if one tried to actually measure their actual maximum heart rate it could very well be the last few beats that heart ever does. i'm moving mine to 172 now regardless of what Iride01 says . its all anecdotal anyway.

i'll tackle that hill again in a few weeks once i develop some muscle in my chicken arms for the OOS effort.
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Old 09-17-23, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger
yeah, i suspect if one tried to actually measure their actual maximum heart rate it could very well be the last few beats that heart ever does. i'm moving mine to 172 now regardless of what Iride01 says . its all anecdotal anyway.

i'll tackle that hill again in a few weeks once i develop some muscle in my chicken arms for the OOS effort.
There was a method of measuring what your training max was, it was documented in a book by Sally Edwards back in the 90ís. I did this test, 15 minute session on a wind trainer riding as hard as you could to maintain a top of HR. Then you spin for 10 minutes, then repeat, spin for 10 again, then repeat a 3rd time. You avg. together the 3 HR numbers you were able to achieve and hold, mine was 192. I use that number now, 30 years later, to assume my max is 162.
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Old 09-17-23, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger
yeah, i suspect if one tried to actually measure their actual maximum heart rate it could very well be the last few beats that heart ever does.
Thatís very unlikely otherwise I would be dead pretty much every week! I can hit my limiter fairly easily during a full gas effort and often do. Iím always amazed how consistent max HR is too.
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Old 09-17-23, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Thatís very unlikely otherwise I would be dead pretty much every week! I can hit my limiter fairly easily during a full gas effort and often do. Iím always amazed how consistent max HR is too.
ah, those were the days....
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Old 09-17-23, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
There was a method of measuring what your training max was, it was documented in a book by Sally Edwards back in the 90ís. I did this test, 15 minute session on a wind trainer riding as hard as you could to maintain a top of HR. Then you spin for 10 minutes, then repeat, spin for 10 again, then repeat a 3rd time. You avg. together the 3 HR numbers you were able to achieve and hold, mine was 192. I use that number now, 30 years later, to assume my max is 162.
For those who run, there was something like this I followed back in the 90s using a track. A bunch of 400s or something like that. Came up with a max of ?? I think like 196 or 197. Based all the zones off of that. But that was then.
I seem to recall reading something about that max h/r is genetic in a sense (you're max h/r is what your heart/internal pacemaker can fire). But that could be old news.
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Old 09-17-23, 07:50 PM
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It seems to me that max. heart rate is just a curiosity with no practical use.

Threshold heart rate is a different story.
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Old 09-17-23, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by BobsPoprad
For those who run, there was something like this I followed back in the 90s using a track. A bunch of 400s or something like that. Came up with a max of ?? I think like 196 or 197. Based all the zones off of that. But that was then.
I seem to recall reading something about that max h/r is genetic in a sense (you're max h/r is what your heart/internal pacemaker can fire). But that could be old news.
This is correct. I might have a max of 180 while a fellow triathleteís would be 172 or so. Itís irrelevant how high or low, it only gives you an individual target for training zones, 75%, 85% etcÖ..

Iíve no idea if any of the methods for determining and using these numbers are still considered valid. I should ask my cardiologist next time I see him.
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Old 09-17-23, 09:33 PM
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When my heart starts pounding like a rock concert I back off the pressure as there is no point to pushing to the limit.
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Old 09-18-23, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger
today i hit a new max heart rate, not a goal, it just ahppened. never thought it would but as it turned out my usual climb was closed due to the road being used as a race track so i had to head up a much steeper climb. i managed to knock my max HR from 171 to 172. it is very rare that i even get in the 160 range. the climb was 15% which is twice the other climb. i am still amazed that some of you have MHRs in the 180 range at the ages i read about. but of course, we are all different.


Hills are fun-enjoy!
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Old 09-19-23, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
It seems to me that max. heart rate is just a curiosity with no practical use.

Threshold heart rate is a different story.
Max heartrate is how many (most?) of us figure out where the zones are including threshold. We start from max and calculate from there. Unfortunately many use a formula that is often way off to calculate their max.
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Old 09-19-23, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Max heartrate is how many (most?) of us figure out where the zones are including threshold. We start from max and calculate from there. Unfortunately many use a formula that is often way off to calculate their max.
Yeah I think most of the zone calculators use max heart rate as a parameter, even if they also may include a threshold and resting HR. Zones are nearly always stated as a percentage of max HR too.

There is no formula that can accurately predict an individualís max HR. The most commonly quoted 220-age formula is miles out for me. There is simply too much individual variation to make any generalised formula useful.
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Old 09-19-23, 06:41 AM
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I managed to hit 180 bpm this season in a race...while it was only for a few seconds I did hit it. My max last year, in a hard group ride on a climb, was 182.
My lactate threshold is 165.
Not bad for a 68 year old of 63.5k.
It is likely training, diet, rest and genetics...
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Old 09-19-23, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Yeah I think most of the zone calculators use max heart rate as a parameter, even if they also may include a threshold and resting HR. Zones are nearly always stated as a percentage of max HR too.
Many HR zone calculators work from threshold heart rate, with zones defined by Andy Coggan or Joe Friel.

Training Peaks calculator lists these options for threshold based zones:




It seems to me that for training purposes, zones based on threshold (or maybe VO2max) are more practical. It's also quite a bit easier to determine LT than max. heart rate.
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Old 09-19-23, 12:31 PM
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Iím impressed that so many of you monitor HR and take the time to make sense of it.

FWIW, here are my numbers over the last 6 months.

The low number is asleep, of course, and the high number on a particularly hot extended climb. No idea what it means.
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Old 09-19-23, 01:09 PM
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it means you have a huge HRR of ~150. i started reading up on that and found that a low resting HR was not as good a thing that i thought it once was. mine is just over 50. i don't pretend to really understand it all. heart is going to do what it is going to do. i may be capturing the data but it is captured on my phone and that is eitehr in my saddle bag or jersy pocket so not really knowing what is happening until the ride is over.
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Old 09-19-23, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
It's also quite a bit easier to determine LT than max. heart rate.
Really? How do you do it? I figured an accurate reading required stuff that was beyond what most of us had readily available with finger pricks and all that.

I think I know what it feels like and in the past have just siad it was where I could carry on a slightly breathless conversation or sing a line, but never tried to use that to assign a number.
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Old 09-19-23, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Really? How do you do it [determine lactate threshold heart rate]? I figured an accurate reading required stuff that was beyond what most of us had readily available with finger pricks and all that.
I just figure my highest 20 minute heart rate is my LT.
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Old 09-19-23, 04:07 PM
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Did you win the race?
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Old 09-19-23, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DonkeyShow
Did you win the race?
20 years ago, trying to win races (sometimes successfully), or training to win races, was when I would see my max HR. These days, I see my max HR when I'm at my absolute limit trying to hold on to the tail end of the group ride, going over a short climb. Survival has replaced victory as my measure of success. Sigh.
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Old 09-19-23, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I just figure my highest 20 minute heart rate is my LT.
Pretty much the same for me, too. It doesn't take long before that feeling becomes identifiable, and you can control being above/below that threshold. However, the threshold BPM may vary from day to day depending on fatigue, environment, etc. IMO, recognizing how your body is responding is the critical part.
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Old 09-20-23, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Many HR zone calculators work from threshold heart rate, with zones defined by Andy Coggan or Joe Friel.

Training Peaks calculator lists these options for threshold based zones:




It seems to me that for training purposes, zones based on threshold (or maybe VO2max) are more practical. It's also quite a bit easier to determine LT than max. heart rate.
I use both, but my LTHR is estimated, while my max HR is measured. Either way my training zones are pretty much the same so it doesnít really matter. I find it mildly useful to know what my estimated LTHR is as a percentage of my max HR.
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Old 09-20-23, 07:51 AM
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For those who hesitate to push to max hr to find it... I'd suggest that one could start with the formula and then fudge the settings to get reasonably accurate results by playing with the max hr number until they got % in zones that matched their actual efforts. If you are showing time in the red zone and know you weren't in the red you can assume that your max hr should be set higher. If the opposite is true it should be lower.

I think you could zero in way better than what any of the formulas do.

OTOH, you could just test for max hr
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