THR Question...

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by RobinfromBoston, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. RobinfromBoston

    RobinfromBoston New Member

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    Hey All,

    I'm just wondering whether training consistently at over 90% of your maximum heart rate (based on the 220-age formula) is dangerous. I am closing in on 45 years old and supposingly have a maximum heart rate of 170. When I wear my heart rate monitor, it seems that I have no problem getting my bpm to 165 but get nervous and slow down my cadence. At 165 bpm, I don't feel that I'm working all that hard; in fact, I would put my RPE at about a 14 or 15.

    I do have asthma and wonder whether the inhaled medications I take may make my heart rate faster than others. My lowest resting heart rate is considered 'high' at 63bpm considering I've been riding for over 20 years.

    Feedback, anyone?

    Thanks...Robin
     
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  2. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    My guess is that your max HR isn't 170, but more like 190-195. (220-age formula doesn't apply to fit people). E.G., I'm 57, and my max is 184.

    You can get a sports med or cardiac lab to do a max HR ramp test, or test yourself on the trainer to determine your true max HR. But if you're on asthma meds, would say talk to your doctor first to make sure you're not putting yourself at risk by going for an all-out effort.

    If your true max is 195, then 165 would be about 85%. That's harder than you need to train consistently, IMO. Believe 85% would be a "tempo" or race interval pace for most people; good for intervals of 5 minutes during a longer endurance sessions (around 75% HR), or maybe for a 20 minute tempo test every few weeks.
     
  3. Smartt/RST

    Smartt/RST New Member

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    Just to clarify, the variablity behind the formula, 200-age, has nothing to do with fitness, but has always had a single standard deviation of 10-15bpm. This means that in only about 70% of the population will this formula get you within 10-15 beats of your actual max HR. For the remaining 30%, it's off even further.
    The only effect fitness level has on max HR is to possibly lower it a beat or two.
     
  4. Smartt/RST

    Smartt/RST New Member

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    There are several simple testing procedures you could use to establish useful heart rate zones to guide your training. Here is the one that RST uses, which can be adapted to HR:
    http://www.cyclecoach.com/articles/?article=Power_Guidelines&ext=.htm
    Also, asthma is not associated with any increase of risk regarding high intensity exercise, aside from a possible specific asthmatic response. IOW, nothing cardiac related. In fact, I recall reading a study on elite/olympic athletes at one point that said upwards of 30% were on some kind of asthma medication (as I have been almost all of my life). The meds themselves may elevated resting HR, but their effect will be "overpowered" by the stimulus of exercise.
     
  5. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Inhalers shouldn't cause your working HR to be any higher than usual. I use them also. Three other things I know of will though. 1) Eating a meal shortly before exercise, 2) Summer heat (or heat from being indoors/inadequate cooling), and 3) dehydration will also cause cardiac drift toward a higher working heart rate while exercising.

    Follow DHK's and Mr. Smartt's adivce and ditch the 220 - AGE formula. If you're fit your ready for a real MaxHR test.
     
  6. RobinfromBoston

    RobinfromBoston New Member

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    Just want to say thanks to everyone for the great feedback. I am studying to be a fitness trainer and no where in my books does it mention how unreliable the 220-age formula is! I've learned so much from reading the posts and am so glad that I stumbled onto this website.

    Just for the hell of it, I think I will have a fitness test performed.

    Hope everyone is staying sane this cold and snowy winter. Groundhog day is just a week away...before we know it, we will all be out there on our beloved bikes again!

    Regards, Robin
     
  7. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Fitness test would be a great way to get a solid basis for your training. Lot's of different formulas are out there, but all are just approximations. Here's a different formula I found yesterday while searching:

    http://www.bodyforlife2.com/max_heart_rate.htm

    Tough storm for Boston last weekend. Down here, biking weather is back again this week, with highs in the 50's and sun. I can't seem to stay off the bike when the temp's are at least 40's and the sun is out at midday.
     
  8. NSM3

    NSM3 New Member

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    I'm 46 and not super fit, but on Sunday's ride during the first hour, I spent about 40 minutes at between 168 - 172 bpm without any ill effects.

    I think the cold air (+3 degrees C) was a lot to do with the high rate?
     
  9. bikeguy2004

    bikeguy2004 New Member

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    >I am studying to be a fitness trainer and no where in my books does it mention how unreliable the 220-age formula is!

    Search Google for "max heart rate" and you will get may web sites that discuss how unreliable 220-age is.

    >Hope everyone is staying sane this cold and snowy winter. Groundhog day is just a week away...before we know it, we will all be out there on our beloved bikes again!

    Who said you can't ride in the winter.... Sure I don't ride as much but I still ride outside. My limits are 28F, with no snow or ice on the roads.

    I'm 49. A few months ago I purchased a Polar 725 (prior to that I had a simple HRM) and since it records my HR during my rides I’ve learned that so far… 174 is my max. Prior to being able to see my HR data for the entire ride, I thought my max HR was about 165. And actually I'm not sure 174 is my max. My resting HR is about 58.
     
  10. JNFletcher

    JNFletcher New Member

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    FWIW: I'm 50, 6'2", 176 Lb, extremely fit, athlete all my adult life (soccer to 48 then MTB since), resting HR of 54 BPM. I have used a Polar s720i for the last 18 months and tracked every exercise and ride. My max. HR for mountain biking turns out to be 170 BPM (+/- 2 BPM) as predicted by the formula. This has been determined from from numerous tests (computrainer etc) and mtb race data. I'm not convinced that I would have the same max HR for other sports or activities (I know that it would be higher for running).

    It seems to me that you could take two individuals with the same physical size, weight, fitness, and muscle development and get two substantially different values for their max HR if the physiology of their hearts (and/or lungs ?) were different. For example, I'm pretty sure that two such similar people stressed to the same level would require ~ the same amount of blood flow and oxygen. The one with the smaller heart volume would require more beats per minute to produce the same output.
    I don't know if there are any studies along this line or what variances to found, but it seems that deviations from the 220-age fomula are to be expected.
     
  11. Smartt/RST

    Smartt/RST New Member

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    Cold temperatures will typically have the effect of lowering your heart rate (assuming you do not overcompensate by wearing an excessive amount of clothing). Point is, for the same workload, the hotter your body gets, the higher your heart rate. This is because one of the primary roles of your circulatory system is to regulate body temperature. It does this by circulating more or less blood to the skin...more blood to the skin means less blood for working muscles...which means a higher heart rate to accomodate the work load.
     
  12. NSM3

    NSM3 New Member

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    That's good news then, I only had 3 thin layers on - I must have been pushing harder than I thought!
     
  13. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Agree, my HR seems to run 5-10 bpm higher in the hot, humid, sunny days. Was surprised to see this occur last summer when I first started wearing the HRM on every ride. Now, if it's 95*F (35C) and 90% humidity, I just keep an eye on the HR and accept that my average speed will be down. Plus, have to stop more often to replenish the water and Gatorade; need about a liter an hour in these conditions.
     
  14. xbgs351

    xbgs351 New Member

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    Whilst riding on a rather hot day during the summer holidays I noticed my heart rate creeping up. Had a swim in a river at the half way mark and got back on the bike. My heart rate came way down when I was cool and gradually increased as I heated up.

    Now that I am better aclimitised to the heat, I don't see this happening anymore.
     
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