Home Forum Bike Forum Max Heart Rate (again)

Viewing 33 posts - 1 through 33 (of 33 total)
• Max Heart Rate (again)
• There was a useful thread the other day which I now can’t find and I wanted some info on Heart Rate Max. My theoretical HRM, calculated using the formula 220 minus age is 170. I know this a blunt instrument calculation but I did an XC race this morning using my new HR monitor that FC brought, and it suggests I was up to 204 bpm 😯

Is that likely to be a problem – i.e. is there such a thing as a ‘danger zone’? Assuming it doesn’t bring about my immediate demise – where should Lactate Threshold be – c.85% of that max? That would give 173, which was in fact my average for the race.

ollie51
Member

Your maximum heart rate is the highest heart rate you can achieve, assuming you cannot ‘better’ 204bpm, it is therefore, your max heart rate. Assuming your heart works, you’ll be fine.

Depends which kind of lactate threshold heartrate you mean. If you mean base line blood lactate + 1mol/L from a ramp test, usually about 85% of mhr. If you mean your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate as defined by Friel here: http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2011/04/determining-your-lthr.html (you probably do) it’s usually, but not always, closer to 90% of MHR.

Your average HR isn’t that meaningful, over a course with ups and downs requiring changes in effort.

It is expected that you would go over your LT for sprints, climbs, even stretches of soft ground. It hurts though. You must be fit and motivated 🙂

I’m not a sports scientist but I don’t think that bursts of 90% max HR during a race are dangerous, assuming you have a healthy heart.

If you raced hard but even paced then we can assume around 173 or slightly higher to be your threshold and that 204 is a fair representation of your max. 220 minus age should be ignored, especially for fitter more life experienced people 🙂

Can you look at the complete HR profile from your ride? In this kind of weather HR straps can get a bit wild so it’s worth looking at in context to see if it’s plausible. I’ve seen mine jump to 215 before, completely out of this world wrong, probably double what it was actually reading at the time.

fbk
Member

I mentioned that I could regularly get my HR well above 200 on hard rides (early 40s) last time I saw the nurse at my local practice. ECG, blood tests, chat with the doctor and of for a quick echo soon but the general consensus was, if you don’t feel faint and can keep on going, there’s unlikely to be anything wrong.

If you raced hard but even paced

This is the big if.

If, however, the course profile is variable and therefore his effort was variable then he may have been racing considerably below LT on flat sections then blowing out his @rse on the climbs. This would still give an average which is close to LT.

OP needs one of those graphs which overlays course profile and HR.

flap_jack
Subscriber

If you’re 50, be (a bit) careful.
Your max may still be what it was when you were young, your heart’s ability to do it may not be as youthful. We’ve had a few heart attacks at work from fit, strong, vigorous cyclists in their 50s.
Latest one did Dragon, fast, following week, honing his climbing for the etape, collapsed at top of a hill outsprinting his mates. DOA, sadly. Keen cyclist all his life, looked in great condition. 58.
I look at it in the same way as you don’t red-line an old car. It’ll do it, but what are the consequences?

cynic-al
Member

flap_jack – Member
If you’re 50, be (a bit) careful.
Your max may still be what it was when you were young, your heart’s ability to do it may not be as youthful. We’ve had a few heart attacks at work from fit, strong, vigorous cyclists in their 50s.
Latest one did Dragon, fast, following week, honing his climbing for the etape, collapsed at top of a hill outsprinting his mates. DOA, sadly. Keen cyclist all his life, looked in great condition. 58.

This is to do with congenital heart defects and not age Shirley?

bren2709
Member

Thanks for that chaps – some helpful comments and links and, in the main, reassuring. I think my heart is probably in a better state than when I was a lot younger as I’ve only been cycling reasonably seriously for about 12 years and before that didn’t do much cv exercise since school. Wish I’d had a HR monitor before so I had something to compare with.

It was a reasonably hilly course (Newnham) so I definitely had peaks of effort – I will have a look at the graphs. I think I was also a tad dehydrated which I believe may drive up HR.

Subscriber

The very sad 58 ear old death is fairly meaningless as a lesson without the detail. Was it an MI, arythmia or what?

If an MI, it could have been the case that regular hard exercise prevented him dying at 48. If an arythmia it could like Fabrice M be dangerous.

If you’ve spent a lifetime at some sort of exercise you’ll know your heart/body. If you’re starting out after a long layoff then see your GP.

JoeG
Subscriber

This is very timely for me as well. I got a heart rate monitor for Christmas – several years ago. I used it a few times, then lost interest. Well, I just dug it out again and am going to play with it some more!

asterix
Member

I’m interested here too. I read all of the thread and the useful links – thanks for those. However, for me none of the formulae cited calculate a max heart rate that is close (within ~10 bpm) of mine; they are all giving lower values – so that is a bit puzzling.

It does sound like sensible advice not to redline an old car and maybe I will take that approach coupled with some training in the lower HR zones, but it would be nice to know if there really are medical/scientific reasons for doing this

JoeG
Subscriber

My max HR per the 220-age is 175. I went for a ride yesterday, and found I was in the upper 70s to low 80s percent of max HR when riding relatively leisurely. A relatively long, steep hill took me into the 90s (seated, spinning a low gear) and peaked at 97% IIRC when I stood up for a little bit. But I didn’t feel like I was near 100% like I do when running the final sprint across the finish line.

I’ve got to do some more reading and such, but I think that my max using that formula is too low.

TiRed
Member

MHR is 220 – age, but the bit everyone forgets is the prediction interval is also +/- 20 bpm, and the residual HR measurement of 6 bpm on top of that. A 40yo with a MHR of 200 is perfectly possible and within the bounds of the prediction. The prediction interval only captures 19/20 people too, so 1/40 will be above the upper bound.

I’m 46, my predicted MHR is 220-46 = 174 (95% PI: 154-194). Hence my max recorded 191 in a race is in line with the interval. There are adjustments for increased fitness etc. But the 220-age isn’t as bad as most people think. It’s just they ignore inter-subject variability.

Subscriber

If you have a monitor why bother with the theoretical mhr calculation when you can measure your actual. It involves working very hard up a steep hill then sprinting. Obviously only if on good health with a good base of fitness etc.

If you have a monitor why bother with the theoretical mhr calculation when you can measure your actual

I don’t think you have read my original post – my main point was whether, at the age of 50 (51 Tuesday!) the theoretical max had any health-based signficance and if so whether my actual max of 204 in a race was something to be concerned about.

IanMunro
Member

. But the 220-age isn’t as bad as most people think. It’s just they ignore inter-subject variability.

No, it really is as bad most people think.
That +/- 20 beats equates to +/- 20 years. As a metric based on age, that’s pretty useless.
You might as well just say as an adult of working age, your max heart rate’s probably going to be in the 150-200 range.

http://www.asep.org/asep/asep/Robergs2.pdf

oldboy
Member

I can’t understand why would anyone over 50 would actually want to race? What are you trying to prove?

I was once a useful club runner (I even won some races), but gave it up at 50 realising it wasn’t sensible to keep stressing my body in this way. One of the club members was a heart surgeon and had similar thoughts. Cycling for me now is for recreation and pure enjoyment.

TiRed
Member

Come down to Hillingdon on a Weds evening in the summer. There is an over 50s race and it is E1234. The pace is fast and the riding exemplary.

Ian the prediction interval captures 19/20 people. Age is a significant covariate. All statistical regressions will have a prediction interval. It is more likely that the slope of decline (-unity) is probably less for athletes, and an additional adjustment is required, say 220-0.5Age, exactly the same is true for Forced Expiration. Why would you assume that everyone behaves like the mean? Do you earn the national average salary for your age?

oldboy
Member

Again, what are you trying to prove, and to whom, and is it worth putting your life at risk to do it?

crikey
Member

Again, what are you trying to prove, and to whom?

I suspect he’s trying to prove he’s not as old as you.

oldboy
Member
crikey
Member

… stopping at 50 seems a rather arbitrary cut off point; many of my friends are returning to racing at a similar age now they have the time and the money and the opportunity.

…and your heart surgeon will be retiring about now, and spending his retirement doing exactly what he wants to…

fr0sty125
Member

As long as your heart is healthy then I don’t see a problem…. My max heart rate has not really changed in the last 7 years. If you have a murmur a irregularity or a bi pass then I would consult a cardiologist.

I ride with a few older boys, one an ex elite racer who I believe is 50. Still puts some serious hurt on me despite being 20 years my senior. Hope to god I can ride a bike like that at 50, why would you want to stop if you still enjoy riding/competing? Stopping seems like the best way to manage a pretty rapid decline into gardening and other such crap. There also a local guy here who’s competing in TT’s and hill climbs at 70, again, hope I can play the same game.

eskay
Member

There also a local guy here who’s competing in TT’s and hill climbs at 70

When I used to time trial there were a few old boys of 70+ still competing. There used to be a bloke who was 80+ (in a different club) who still rode TTs regularly (and to a decent standard).

I intend to ride as long as I can. If I am still riding at 70 I’ll be bloody chuffed!

I can’t understand why would anyone over 50 would actually want to race? What are you trying to prove?

I was once a useful club runner (I even won some races), but gave it up at 50 realising it wasn’t sensible to keep stressing my body in this way. One of the club members was a heart surgeon and had similar thoughts. Cycling for me now is for recreation and pure enjoyment.

Genuine LOL moment there! Each to their own – I’m not trying to ‘prove’ anything – I enjoy racing. FWIW I can’t understand why anyone would want to run 😀

oldboy
Member

Hello you other over 50s. Sure, each to their own and if you enjoy it just do it, but not for me. I’ll stick to a comfortable aerobic pace. Enjoy your racing guys!

eskay
Member

I can’t understand why would anyone over 50 would actually want to race? What are you trying to prove?

If you have been riding most of your life then you should be in pretty good shape at 50. I don’t see why you should stop at 50, I hope I don’t.

This lot seem to enjoy it: Old Farts

Bloody hell, thats all.

Viewing 33 posts - 1 through 33 (of 33 total)

The topic ‘Max Heart Rate (again)’ is closed to new replies.