New max HR... what does it mean?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Shibumi, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

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    For the last few years, I thought that my max HR was 194. I've hit it a couple of times each year in tests. This year I have breached the figure 4 times, recording 198 at the end of a TT. My threshold, the HR I like to TT at, has also changed. Last few years it has been around 173, this year it is 180+. I've discovered all of this over the last couple of months, after a lay off over the winter, so I'm not at peak fitness for the season yet.


    Please can anyone suggest what is happening here - am I just unfit - so my heart is working harder, or has my latic acid tolerance improved. I know it would be easy to test if I had some data, eg power at certain HRs year on year, but general thoughts anyone please?
     
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  2. kjellquist

    kjellquist New Member

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    The difference between 194 & 198 is only about 2% so it's not that much of an increase. It's quiet possible in your past MHR tests you pushed yourself to 98% of your max and lately you have found your true MHR.

    I'm not exactly sure what to tell you about the threshold changes. It's still only a 10 bpm difference which can be attributed to many things. I large coffee or cold weather could cause such a change. I'd like to hear what others have to say.


     
  3. in.10.city

    in.10.city New Member

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    For many this being 'preseason', you will see higher LTHRs now than later. A high LT wattage is a sign of peak fitness, not a high HR at LT. Many will see the highest LTHRs when they are in the worst shape (though lower wattages) and lower LTHRs when peaked.
     
  4. ceri1111

    ceri1111 New Member

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    I've noticed a similar thing lately, although to a much greater extent. I started cycling last summer and reached what i thought was my max HR of 204bpm. Twice already in the last couple of months i've beaten that, the most obvious being the second time when being chased by a dog uphill, when i registered an astonishing 225 bpm!



     
  5. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    I just did a long hill last Saturday and when I got to the top I checked my heart rate I counted 57 beats in 15 seconds 228bpm! :eek: and I'm in my 40's.:eek:

     
  6. tanggoman

    tanggoman New Member

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    Are you sure its not interference from another HRM? I get it all the time, even when cars are just passing by! Just this weekend, I hit 225bpm 5 times!!! :eek:
     
  7. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    I don't use a heart rate monitor because I haven't found one accurate enough I checked my pulse at the carotid and counted 57 beats in 15 seconds. I don't doubt it considering how uncomfortable I was at the time.
    I was riding my mountain bike with semislicks and a road cassette I was searching for a lower gear but didn't have it I think I'll go back to my mountain gears.


     
  8. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    why don't you think that a decent (inexpensive) HR monitor is accurate?
     
  9. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    I tried two different Polar models and the best one was only accurate under 120 bpm as soon as I started working above that it would be off by more and more as my heart rate climbed. I think it said 160bpm when I was really 190bpm. If you know of an accurate brand/model I might give it another try as long as I can find it at a store in the USA so I can bring it back if it doesn't work. The two I tried were from Sears and they were nice about returned items. one was $69 and the other was $89.

     
  10. biker-linz

    biker-linz New Member

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    Max HR varies sometimes according to fitness. Some people report that it's slightly lower when they are fitter. The explanation for this would be that stroke volume has increased, in part due to an increase in plasma volume.

    As someone else has pointed out, sustainable power in a TT is what you want to worry about, actual HR is pretty much irrelevant.

    L.
     
  11. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    I would trust an inexpensive HRM before I'd trust the manual method. I think it highly unlikely that you've found two HRM's that are incorrect in such a short sample. Although pricey compared to some other brands, Polar makes a decent product. 228 BPM sounds absurdly high.


    Well, the down side to all of this is now you have to adjust all of your training zones upward. Other than that it's no big deal. You're probably just more comfortable with pushing yourself harder. When I first started I thought 185 was my max, then several months later I got it up to 191, even though I was more fit and had been training better. This year I'm going to see if I can get it higher. I'm 44 so obviously those "220 - X" formulas don't apply.
     
  12. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    the Polar models i've used from the very cheap to very expensive have been fine and ECG accurate (measured at the same time an ECG was done). Maybe you had a broken Polar, or the strap was fitted correctly or there wasn't enough conductivity on the skin / belt interface. i'd be exceptionally wary of manual calculation -- trying to count 57 beats in 15 secs (HR of 228 b/min) means that more than likely you were going absolutely flat out to achieve what is likely your HRmax. At that effort it's extremely difficult to do even somewhat basic tasks well.

    ric
     
  13. mitosis

    mitosis New Member

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    I'm assuming you are on a bike. As you get fitter (and stronger), the amount of muscle in your body putting demands on your cardiovascular system will increase. It is possible the extra few beats are the result of that.

    Unless you are an exceptional cyclist who is at his peak you would achieve an even higher heart rate if you take up running or rowing (or any other sport where muscles from all over your body are used at a high capacity).
     
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