105-106% of Max Heart Rate?



Britt

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Aug 11, 2003
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The last couple times riding - especially doing hill work - my heart rate is around 105-106%. Is that normal?

I'm returning to cycling at a long break and just not too sure that I've calculated my max heart rate correctly. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
-Bryan
 

skydive69

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Aug 23, 2004
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Everyone is different physiologically regarding maximum heart beat. I have been training aerobically for 30 years and my max heart beat is 19 plus % over my theoretical maxium (220 minus age).
 

markwill

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Britt said:
The last couple times riding - especially doing hill work - my heart rate is around 105-106%. Is that normal?

I'm returning to cycling at a long break and just not too sure that I've calculated my max heart rate correctly. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
-Bryan
If you are at 105-106%, then you can be more than "not too sure" that you have calculated it incorrectly - you can be cast iron, completely and totally sure about it :) What you can say is that your maximum heart rate is at least the 106% figure you have seen (possibly equal, I guess, if you were completely pushing it at the time).

I'm guessing you are using the (overly simplistic) 220-age estimate, yes? That has limited value - it's a statistical generalisation that does not allow your the various factors associated with your own situation.

Mark
 

Britt

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Aug 11, 2003
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Mark:

Thank you for the prompt reply. I did use the 220-age calculation, but also confirmed it with wind sprints (recommended by local running store where I bought the Polar).

Can your max increase? If so, should I do another test?

Thanks,
-Bryan


markwill said:
If you are at 105-106%, then you can be more than "not too sure" that you have calculated it incorrectly - you can be cast iron, completely and totally sure about it :) What you can say is that your maximum heart rate is at least the 106% figure you have seen (possibly equal, I guess, if you were completely pushing it at the time).

I'm guessing you are using the (overly simplistic) 220-age estimate, yes? That has limited value - it's a statistical generalisation that does not allow your the various factors associated with your own situation.

Mark
 

Britt

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Aug 11, 2003
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Skydive:

Do you change your Polar target zones to reflect this 19 beat difference? Or, is the heart monitor more of an overall workout evaluation?

Thanks,
-Bryan



skydive69 said:
Everyone is different physiologically regarding maximum heart beat. I have been training aerobically for 30 years and my max heart beat is 19 plus % over my theoretical maxium (220 minus age).
 

dhk

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Britt said:
Skydive:

Do you change your Polar target zones to reflect this 19 beat difference? Or, is the heart monitor more of an overall workout evaluation?

Thanks,
-Bryan
Believe the 220-age value predicts too low a HR for most fit individuals. My max from on-the-road experience is 20 bpm higher than the formula.

You want to base your training zones on the % of your actual max, not the formula.
 

markwill

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Britt said:
Mark:

Thank you for the prompt reply. I did use the 220-age calculation, but also confirmed it with wind sprints (recommended by local running store where I bought the Polar).

Can your max increase? If so, should I do another test?

Thanks,
-Bryan
I am told that the maximum heart rate DECREASES with better fitness, not increases (see http://www.cyclingforums.com/t165501.html). So, perhaps you can increase it but I'm reading that as to mean that you wouldn't want to... :)

Mark
 

skydive69

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Aug 23, 2004
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Britt said:
Skydive:

Do you change your Polar target zones to reflect this 19 beat difference? Or, is the heart monitor more of an overall workout evaluation?

Thanks,
-Bryan
I did in fact change my Polar S520 to reflect my actual maximum heart rate. I used to regularly hit over 200 during my intervals in my competitive running days, but the thing that really gave me insight into my max heart beat was taking the gold standard nuclear stress test. I was able to hit well above my theoretical maxium during the test and still converse with the technician indicating that I was no where near my max.
 

skydive69

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markwill said:
I am told that the maximum heart rate DECREASES with better fitness, not increases (see http://www.cyclingforums.com/t165501.html). So, perhaps you can increase it but I'm reading that as to mean that you wouldn't want to... :)

Mark
I'd have to disagree with that statement. The maxium heart rate will either increase or remain the same with aerobic exercise. Your resting pulse obviously is the measurement that decreases with increased aerobic fitness.
 

ric_stern/RST

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skydive69 said:
I'd have to disagree with that statement. The maxium heart rate will either increase or remain the same with aerobic exercise. Your resting pulse obviously is the measurement that decreases with increased aerobic fitness.

your HRmax tends to decrease with increasing fitness, due to changes in blood volume, which increase with training.

ric
 

skydive69

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ric_stern/RST said:
your HRmax tends to decrease with increasing fitness, due to changes in blood volume, which increase with training.

ric
According to Brian Mac writing in an ariticle in Runners World, a fit individual over 50 has a Max HR 4-5 beats faster than an unfit individual the same age. I wonder how that reconciles with your statement?
 

ric_stern/RST

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the brother

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Britt said:
The last couple times riding - especially doing hill work - my heart rate is around 105-106%. Is that normal?

I'm returning to cycling at a long break and just not too sure that I've calculated my max heart rate correctly. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
-Bryan
Max Heart rate will decrease as you get into the training again. Not sure if this continues adinfinitum but certainly over the first few weeks you will notice a drop.
If you regularly see a certain figure when you are maxing out at the top of a climb then your max HR will be at least this.
Recheck your max value after 3 or 4 weeks of regular training and then use this new figure for your zone calculations.
Personally, I have found that my max tends to drop from about 203 to 197 between when I have had a break from training and when I am training regularly.
Good luck with the trainng. You obviously aren't wimping out of pushing yourself hard!
 

skydive69

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ric_stern/RST said:
he hasn't read the research perhaps?

in a cursory search i came across http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=3747802

HRmax increased 9 b/min or 5% in 10 days of detraining

ric
I thought I had read recently that max HR increases with increased fitness, but I might have been mistaken. For one thing, using myself as an experiment of one, when I won the national masters cross country championship, my theoretical max HR was approximately 180. I was always, however, able to get my HR up over 200 in all of my track workouts when I was in raw, competitive condition with a resting HR in the mid 40's. That leads me to intuitively believe in my supposition. Having said that, people vary enormously - even world-class athletes. Amazingly, Jim Ryun's resting HR was in the mid 70's when he was the world record holder in the mile at 3.51.1.
 

ric_stern/RST

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skydive69 said:
I thought I had read recently that max HR increases with increased fitness, but I might have been mistaken. For one thing, using myself as an experiment of one, when I won the national masters cross country championship, my theoretical max HR was approximately 180. I was always, however, able to get my HR up over 200 in all of my track workouts when I was in raw, competitive condition with a resting HR in the mid 40's. That leads me to intuitively believe in my supposition. Having said that, people vary enormously - even world-class athletes. Amazingly, Jim Ryun's resting HR was in the mid 70's when he was the world record holder in the mile at 3.51.1.

your "theoretical" max, isn't a good indicator of HRmax, the standard deviation of that regression equation is +- 15 b/min. If you are a trained runner you may be able to register a higher HRmax running compared to cycling, as well as a higher VO2max. on the other hand, if you run about as frequently as me (basically never) you'll register higher values cycling (if you're a trained cyclist) compared to running.

ric
 

Polarteam

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The best way to find out what your max is, is to warm up for ten minutes and then go flat out until you can't anymore. Stop, recover and repeat going flat out two more times. Within those three sprints you will then get your maximum. From there work out your % to max heart rate.
 

Britt

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Thanks for everyone's responses. Sounds like I need to retest my Max and continue to test every month or so. Not too sure what to think about the Max increasing or decreasing with fitness level improvement, but at this point - I'm not sure that I'm going to worry about it.

-Bryan


Polarteam said:
The best way to find out what your max is, is to warm up for ten minutes and then go flat out until you can't anymore. Stop, recover and repeat going flat out two more times. Within those three sprints you will then get your maximum. From there work out your % to max heart rate.
 

skydive69

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Aug 23, 2004
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ric_stern/RST said:
your "theoretical" max, isn't a good indicator of HRmax, the standard deviation of that regression equation is +- 15 b/min. If you are a trained runner you may be able to register a higher HRmax running compared to cycling, as well as a higher VO2max. on the other hand, if you run about as frequently as me (basically never) you'll register higher values cycling (if you're a trained cyclist) compared to running.

ric
Ric:

I discovered something today that shoots down my premise and sustains yours. In the Polar fitness test, I had never paid much attention to the MHR figure that can be found with the results of the test. I noticed today that my theoretical MHR went down as I achieved a higher fitness score on the Polar. Interesting!
 

mitosis

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Britt said:
Thanks for everyone's responses. Sounds like I need to retest my Max and continue to test every month or so. Not too sure what to think about the Max increasing or decreasing with fitness level improvement, but at this point - I'm not sure that I'm going to worry about it.

-Bryan

To get a true maximum heart rate you can't rely on electronics - you have to measure it in a practical situation.
Read this:
http://www.brianmac.demon.co.uk/maxhr.htm
then try one of the methods in this:
http://www.brianmac.demon.co.uk/hrm2.htm

If you want a cycling specific max hr try the method here:
http://www.cptips.com/hrmntr.htm
or just take 5-10 beats off your running max.

For the majority of us the true max hr is found by running.
This is detailed on many sites, here is an example.
http://www.cptips.com/maxhrsc.htm

There is evidence that people who have trained regularly all their lives have a higher max hr than those who haven't. The evidence that max hr decreases with fitness is not compelling.

So go measure your heart rate and use your hrm to train smart. :)
 

velomanct

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Britt said:
The last couple times riding - especially doing hill work - my heart rate is around 105-106%. Is that normal?

I'm returning to cycling at a long break and just not too sure that I've calculated my max heart rate correctly. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
-Bryan
max heart rate is useless, why do so many people base their training on it?

base your zones on lactate threshold heart rate.