Need advice on HRM results

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by bone, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. bone

    bone New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gang,
    First a little history. I just started mountain bikig one month ago. I am fortunate enough to live right next to a trail head, and after a few years of watching bikers ride by, I decided to get off my rear. Today I took my eleventh ride; a 6.8 mile loop that begins with a steep 1 3/4 mile ascent, then a couple miles of flat and steep decent, ending with flat and a slow uphill grind. Since I started I have cut my time in half, to one hour. My sense is that I pushed myself pretty much the same each ride. I knew at the completion of each ride I had a good, strenuous (for me) workout. As my times have been leveling off, I thought it would be a good idea to pick up a Heart Rate Monitor to help set some new goals and keep my motivation high.
    Last night I found a site on the web and calculated my MHR and zones. I'm 47, 6'-0" and 160 lbs. That resulted in a MHR of 176. I realize this is just an approximation. Anyway,I was thinking, 'geeze, I wonder if I can keep my heart rate in zone 2(114-132) without falling on my face'.
    Here is where it gets interesting, at least for me. This morning I bought a HRM, straped on the transmitter, and headed out for my ride. I rode just like I have in the past and my time was consistant with my last few rides. The results:
    My max measured HR was 180 BPM
    My average HR for the hour was 158 BPM
    The first couple miles(uphill) I was averaging 160-175 BPM
    I was shocked to find my rates were that high. Had I strapped that thing on my first day I would have stopped as soon as it hit 150 for fear of an MI. But, knowing I had done it 10 times before with no ill effects I just kept right on going as I had before.
    Should I find an easier ride till I'm in better shape?? Or just keep at it and my rates will eventually come down?? I can't ride up the hill much slower or I would fall over. Also, an hour later(as I'm writing this) my HR is 91. It was 64 before I got on the bike. I felt fine, no longer breathing hard, within a few minutes of getting home. So I'm surprised to see my recovery is so slow. At any rate, I'm having a blast although I have a lot to learn. So, any and all training advice will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Bone
     
    Tags:


  2. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great start; get some really good goals set and keep varying your training (don't do the same 6.8 miles every day).
    Yep, the normal response to having a HRM on the first time is to think that its too high or something abnormal. Chances are if you are healthy and a good weight there will be little risk to your health even when you push to the limits.
    You'll never find it easier (at the same level of effort) and your HR's won't go down; you'll just get faster and recover from each ride/effort sooner. After exercise your HR will stay elivated for some time as your body returns to a resting state. You sound pretty normal to me.

    My only other advice is to find one set of Zones and stick to it!!!!
     
  3. dave602z

    dave602z New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2003
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi mate , welcome to the club.

    A good way to measure your fitness, with a HR monitor, is first thing in the morning when you wake up, and having relieved yourself, lie back down and after a couple of minutes, take your HR measurement. do this say over a week , so you get an average. Then after a month or two take the measurements again, the fitter you become the more your resting HR should come down.

    When I started, my resting HR was just over 60, a couple of months ago, it was just over 50.

    Dave
     
  4. bone

    bone New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Guys.
    Thanks for the info......I appreciate it. Bone
     
  5. Dellphinus

    Dellphinus New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bone,

    I'm 47, 173lbs. Started riding with the kids in August, weiged 219 then. No serious riding, mainly 20-30 mile bike trail or backroad jaunts.

    Once the winter winds kicked in, I started riding the trainers at the local health club. I start riding and HR is at 77. After a 10 min warmup, I'm at 130-135. I was doing a simulated hill climb, and would regularly get to 175, and keep it there for 3-4 minutes. Averages over an hour ride were in the upper 150s. I too, felt fine, and freaked out when I started reading up on HR, and found out my predicted HRmax was 173.

    Went in for a treadmill stress test, did fine, and my HRm was 182.

    Found it interesting that our ages, max, and measured avgs were so close.

    Cheers,
    DP
     
  6. bone

    bone New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2003
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    DP,
    Thanks for the info. Getting feedback from someone like yourself in a very similar situation and similar numbers is a great comfort.
    Thanks for the post, Bone
     
  7. JN8

    JN8 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I typed out a huge reply then lost it I think.

    Are any doctors reading this stuff that would recommend....we check with our own physicians first?

    I had cause to have a stess echo cardiogram and got a clean bill. Arthritus is being blamed.

    guy, 42 years, 5'11" and 200 lb. (was 225 when starting to ride, hard on wheels)

    stress test got me to 180 BPM last year I hit 186 on the bike. This year hit 196. Max heart rate can increase with fitness I'm told.
     
  8. cycleboy

    cycleboy Guest

    It sounds like you had a submaximal stress test. Safer protocol for determining risk factors. Ask your doctor. On a maximum stress protocol you will be continually urged to keep going as the incline increases until you think you'll die if you don't stop. Does this sound like what happened?
    This is usually done in a sports medicine clinic with a M.D. and a defibrillator handy.

    No scientific evidence I know of supports an increase in maximum heart rate. Pretty much genetics and goes down as we age. As we get more fit we can work at higher heart rates. Maximum heart rate does vary a lot by individual and the old MRH=220-age is not very accurate

    BTW, you don't have to be a physician to remind someone they should check with their doctor before beginning training after a long sedentary period. Just do it in a non-judgemental way and it'll be well received.
     
  9. toseley

    toseley New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    As you say the Max Heart Rate you got from the web site is just an approximation while your actual experience suggests that it's considerably higher. I have a similar problem in that I used Friel's recommendation from "The Cyclist's Training Bible" of doing an individual time trial to establish MHR. The results I got from that turned out to be considerably lower than what seemed like a strenuous effort when I was training. So I kept raising the MHR in my monitor until it got to what seemed like a more realistic level. It turned out to be about the same as the age-based (220 bpm - my age) HR that it sounds like you got from the web site. It's definitely an unscientific approach but short of going in for a real test at some sort of medical facility it seems like it will always be a little bit inexact.
     
  10. Randybaker99

    Randybaker99 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you misreading the CTB, the time trial test is used to determine your lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR). It is much lower than MHR but much more useful, according to Friel. Unfortunately HRMs are more oriented around MHR.

    You can just believe Friel, or you can read the next sentence and decide for yourself how useful MHR is. I rode my bike to work yesterday with my HRM, to get some base miles, I wasn't really pushing it, trying to stay within a RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion) of 13-16. When I finished the ride (27 miles) my MHR reading was 212!! Needless to say, I didn't rush to the hospital and I did survive the day to ride back home another 27 miles. With a strong tailwind the ride home was fast and easy and MHR was about 185. I would have suspected the accuracy of the monitor except that I have hit 200 on the trainer a couple times. Oh yeah, I am 41 years old. So much for 220 minus age!

    All this to say that MHR is interesting but not very useful for building a training plan. I know that LTHR and all the other details in CTB are complex and hard to establish, but hey, no one said it would be easy.
     
  11. toseley

    toseley New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0

    You're right that the CTB talks about LTHR but I just talked about MHR so as to not add any unnecessary confusion. And of course LTHR is a treshold prior to reaching MHR so they are equally difficult to establish.
     
  12. Randybaker99

    Randybaker99 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess my original point is that Friel was NOT telling you to do a time trial to establish MHR. He is adamant that MHR is not a useful measurement, but rather it is LTHR that is critically important. Further, I would assert that MHR is very easy to establish - just strap on an HRM and exercise to total exhaustion (AKA maximum stress test). Determining LTHR requires a bit more rigor (see CTB for more details than I can do justice to) but is an extremely useful measure to base a training plan on.

    I hope I am not adding confusion - my intention in both these posts is to try to clarify the whole issue of HR based training. However, it is not a simple issue.
     
  13. toseley

    toseley New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Point taken. My point was that even following Friel's guidelines for LTHR it was still off by a significant margin, requiring adjustments by on-the-road observation, something which I believe Friel advises as well.
     
  14. BarSteward

    BarSteward New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    This all comes at a good time for me, I'm 37 and have been training hard since last November with a view to 10 mile time trials. The age formula predicts 183. Out on my bike last weekend, I broke 200 half a dozen times and hit 208 bpm twice, holding for around 4 minutes at above 206. The fact that I was able to do this repeatedly would indicate that I'm probably still not at my anarobic threashold and that my max Hr is close to 220. I'm trying to talk to a sports specialist at my local university. Untill I've done this, I'll try to keep the rate down to 195. Before last NovemberI was quite unfit (Polar OwnIndex of 35). This has now increased to 51. I've only lost a couple of kilo (now 96Kg and 1.84 tall).
     
  15. Randybaker99

    Randybaker99 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is an interesting Q&A from VeloNews:

    Q: I am 37 years old and started bicycle racing about 18 months ago and for the first six months I believed my max heart rate to be 185bpm. I then moved to Colorado (elev. 5280) from Las Vegas (elev. 2250) and jumped right into a road criterium on a 94 degree day without altitude acclimation and reached a heart rate of 195 in a brutally fast paced race. My question is: Is max heart rate truly the max heart rate reached under absolutely any condition? Or should I use some other calculation?"-Steven

    A: For a given sport, max heart rate is max heart rate regardless of the altitude. It sounds like you merely pushed yourself harder in the Colorado race than you had done before--at least while observing your heart rate. But bear in mind that determining heart rate training zones is best done by using lactate threshold heart rate rather than max heart rate. Treat max heart rate as merely an "interesting number."-Joe Friel


    Also, I read somewhere else recently that after a long ride (2+ hours) your HR can shoot up pretty high. It is an indication that one's aerobic systems are not quite in peak form. That explains my MHR of 212, that I mentioned earlier in this thread.
     
Loading...
Loading...