Resting heart rates

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  • Resting heart rates
  • handyman

    I was wondering if people know their resting heart and does it change much with age as i believe that your max rate does drop as you get older


    Max 175, resting 41


    yeah, mine is in the 40’s when fit and healthy…. its handy to tell if you have an infection and as a guide to fitness… my RHR last year was as low as its ever been.


    40…bloody hell my resting HR is lower to mid 60s. And i think i’m bloody healthy.


    45 but currently 2 stone overweight, ot changed since i was ~17.

    My resting hear rate is usually in the high 40’s….max cycling is about 188, can get it over 190 running. I’m 29 now, doesn’t seem to have declined much since I was 20 odd


    Think max i ever got was 189. I’d guess when your seriously old (like 40 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) then you’ll have a slow heart…

    don simon



    Max – 204
    Min – 47
    Age – 32

    And I’m bloody unfit at the moment and at least 10kg overweight ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon metalheart

    When i was in hospital in the states in the summer and wired up to one of them machines it kept alarming out cos mine kept dropping below 50.

    and i’m mid forties and at that point was about 3 stone overweight.


    don simon, is you middle name superman by any chance?


    never got mine over 188 i dont think, at least that was what I saw shortly before first white, then blacking out on an uphill sprint. Managed to fall into a bush nicely – put it down to being ill, but its not a bad figure.


    48 when I was fit last spring, high 50’s now


    41? Good grief – looks like I’ve got a way to go before I’m fit again; currently my resting is 50-52. Maximum I’ve seen cycling in the last 6 months – 184. This is down from 200 odd when I was at my fittest in my early twenties. Now I’m in my early thirties, about a 3/4 stone overweight but getting myself back in shape slowly…

    Premier Icon woody2000

    Isn’t recovery rate a better indication of fitness than resting heart rate?


    Your max HR drops as you get older. A rough guide to work this out is 220 minus your age gives you a guide to your Max HR.

    Resting HR is not super important. What is, is your power to weight ratio.

    This is how many watts per kilo you can produce for a sustained time.

    FTP (functional threshold power) = your one hour all out power. This is want the pros measure and work with. ๐Ÿ™‚


    Yes it is. The rates themselves are not that important when compared against other people.

    Rates can be used to manage the effectiveness of training. For example Steve Ovett could push his rate well in excess of 200 bpm at the end of an interval (say 400m) but within seconds it would be low enough to commence the next one. during some shorter distance sessions he would not actually stop (so I read) and would simply jog on the spot for a few seconds before starting again.
    The important factor is how efficient you are within your own (largely fixed) parameters and how quickly your bpm falls after exertion.

    Premier Icon Bushwacked

    How do you work out the recovery rate?

    My resting is about 50, max about 185… age 35


    Dont follow the 220 minus your age rule!

    Its best to use a % of your max to work out training bands. Unless you are training on a very flat surface with no wind and turns etc your heartrate will fluctuate for the same effort, also as you tire you will work slightly harder to maintain the same pace. As you get fitter this becomes easier to manage.
    To work out your recovery rate take a look at the info below

    This is from Brianmacs’ website and is a basic guide to training rates. (recovery rate calculations below)

    The Aerobic Zone – 70% to 80%

    Training in this zone will develop your cardiovascular system. The body’s ability to transport oxygen to, and carbon dioxide away from, the working muscles can be developed and improved. As you become fitter and stronger from training in this zone it will be possible to run some of your long weekend runs at up to 75%, so getting the benefits of some fat burning and improved aerobic capacity.

    The Anaerobic Zone – 80% to 90%

    Training in this zone will develop your lactic acid system. In this zone, your individual anaerobic threshold (AT) is found – sometimes referred to the point of deflection (POD). During these heart rates, the amount of fat being utilised as the main source of energy is greatly reduced and glycogen stored in the muscle is predominantly used. One of the by-products of burning this glycogen is lactic acid. There is a point at which the body can no longer remove the lactic acid from the working muscles quickly enough. This is your anaerobic threshold (AT). Through the correct training, it is possible to delay the AT by being able to increase your ability to deal with the lactic acid for a longer period of time or by pushing the AT higher.

    The Red Line Zone 90% to 100%

    Training in this zone will only be possible for short periods. It effectively trains your fast twitch muscle fibres and helps to develop speed. This zone is reserved for interval running and only the very fit are able to train effectively within this zone.
    Heart rate variations for a given intensity

    A reduction in heart rate for a given intensity is usually due to an improvement in fitness but a number of other factors might explain why heart rates can vary for a given intensity:

    * Dehydration can increase the heart rate by up to 7.5%
    * Heat and humidity can increase the herat rate by 10 beats/minute
    * Altitude can increase the heart rate by 10 to 20%, even when acclimatised
    * Biological variation can mean the heart rate varies from day to day by 2 to 4 beats/minute

    Karvonen method

    The Karvonen method factors in Resting Heart Rate (HRrest) to calculate Target Heart Rate (THR):

    THR = ((HRmax ? HRrest) รขโ€”ล  %Intensity) + HRrest

    Example for someone with a HRmax of 180 and a HRrest of 70:
    50% intensity: ((180 ? 70) รขโ€”ล  0.50) + 70 = 125 bpm
    85% intensity: ((180 ? 70) รขโ€”ล  0.85) + 70 = 163 bpm

    [edit] Zoladz method

    An alternative to the Karvonen method is the Zoladz method, which derives exercise zones by subtracting values from HRmax.

    THR = HRmax รƒยฑ Adjuster ร‚ยฑ 5 bpm

    Zone 1 Adjuster = 50 bpm
    Zone 2 Adjuster = 40 bpm
    Zone 3 Adjuster = 30 bpm
    Zone 4 Adjuster = 20 bpm
    Zone 5 Adjuster = 10 bpm

    Example for someone with a HRmax of 180:
    Zone 1 (easy exercise) : 220 ? age = 0; * 65 ? 125

    Zone 2 (tough exercise): 220 ? age = 0; * 85 ? 155

    Use Google to find the originals and a detailed explanation


    all very interesting, and all probably quite out of date.

    things are changing rapidly in the field of exercise physiology and heart rate training. you should petition singletrack to produce an article on it, ‘cos it affects us all.

    yes, even the lard-arse on his 90’s saracen.

    I have a high resting heart rate of around 65 – 70. always have. Its just the way my body works. I am reasonably fit now but I have been very fit in the past I do have low BP tho


    Something to bear in mind is that things change rather slowly in athletic performance however!

    Look at any grand prix 5 or 10k event around the world and you will count the non Africans on one hand. I would be suprised if many of them used a HR monitor at all.
    UK distance running has gone backwards over recent years with almost no exception. The key to athletic performance is consistent application and effort. At a low performance level I would argue simply cycling/running regularly is the key to improved performance. Adhering strictly to HR monitoring before spending time improving conditioning is like putting high grade fuel in an old banger!


    Resting normally between 40-45,max 192.Age 43.
    But as above it’s how quick you recover & the max you can at ride & sustain without blowing up(your anaerobic threshold) is what counts.

    PS the 220 minus your age formula is older than me granny….

    about 65. Trouble is, I panic, as when I try feeling for it, it seems I have no pulse, and then when I DO find it I end up holding my breath concentrating…


    I would be suprised if many of them used a HR monitor at all

    Then be surprised. It’s usually the second bit of (free) kit they ask for after demanding 100 pairs of shoes.

    Adhering strictly to HR monitoring before spending time improving conditioning…

    omg! there are STILL people around who think hrm’s are only of use to elite performers or for ‘conditioned’ athletes? go read anything by noakes or any decent exercise physiologist. they make the case far better than i.


    ro, can you provide some links please? (I am about to google “noakes”).

    I am making out a training plan for 2009, I believe I do too much of my training at fast pace, so i have good speed but low endurance and my knees/hips hurt…. thinking of deliberately doing more “base” mileage but not sure how to do this by HR zone.


    You cannot count your own pulse accurately. You get biofeedback effects so its either too slow or too quick. Either someone else needs to count it or you need a monitor that you cannot see until the test is finished

    I can alter my heart rate when on a monitor from 60 – 80 just by thinking about it.


    I’m not saying porkers cant get some benefit from using a hr monitor however my comparison stands.
    Far greater benefits are to be had for example from training say 6 or 7 times a week than by training twice but training more scientifically on those days.

    I recall training some years ago with Benson Masya who claimed him and his friends never used them. Benson went on to break the hour for a half marathon.

    I trained for many years with runners many of whom had 10k pb’s under 29 minutes, in those days lots of brits where knocking on the door of 28 minutes. I cant recall any who used one as a serious training tool. I am sure thats not the case now. However I refer you to the UK distance running performance tables to see how times have deteriorated over the last few years.
    If its such a great tool why are runners today running slower than they where 20 years ago?
    Its largely a gadget that only adds real value when most other blocks of training have been put in place and is not a short cut to hard training.

    You cannot count your own pulse accurately

    I suspected as much. And lets just hope the pulse taker isn’t too HOT :o)


    silverside, i am paid a considerable amount of money by a number of individuals and large sports-related organizations to provide a commentary on subjects similar to those you’ve posted. you can’t afford my reply.

    google will provide everything you require. i wish you every success in your training.


    RO what athletes do you coach/advise?


    LOL at ro. Silverside, interesting article here if you need any persuasion about doing more base:

    (btw, Tim Noakes, Lore of Running is the book you want to find)


    ro , i think thats a bit rich – surfer gave useful information, you just blew a few bubbles and said “google is your friend”…. good luck with your business.

    ah maybe its my sarcasm detector that is faulty… too much time away from London ๐Ÿ˜›


    RO what athletes do you coach/advise

    ones whose names you couldn’t pronounce. yet. vn is a developing country… ๐Ÿ™‚


    I have a high resting heart rate of around 65 – 70. always have.

    My missus has always had an RHR of 80-82?! I think she’s a hamster!

    You can take your own pulse accurately, if you dont use your thumbs to do so! I can even see my pulse in my wrists :-)!

    Coffeeking – you cannot. What happens is as you start to check your pulse you think ( subconsciously) “thats a bit fast” and it speeds up or vice versa Biofeedback. You must have a third party to check it ( could be a machine but you must not be able to see the readout until the test is finished)


    TJ is correct if you know you are measuring you get an effect ….i suspect this is only reduced by using another person and not looking as I suspect most of us would still be aware that our pulse was being taken!!!
    Dont know what mine is at rest but do use a HR monitor but less now as not a roadie and frankly need technique more than power/endurance etc.


    Now done a proper test:
    Max: 190 (as of today)
    Rest: 51 (lowest i got, again as of today)
    Age: 20
    Fitness level: Rather good (I think)
    Weight: 11.4 stone
    Body Fat: 9%
    Height: 6ft 3″

    I guess as others have stated, people’s bodies work differently.


    Will, out of interest how did you test it?

    My resting HR is 46, max. 186. Age 39 Height 6 Ft weight 12 stone dead.

    Body fat unsure at moment, the resting HR will lower a bit mid February as im training quite hard now on bike so will get fitter and lighter, only a bit though.

    As original question was about HR, dont bother to much with it as it can alter with loads of “outside” factors.

    Train with power, either powertap or powercranks, very accurate and very good but only realy needed if your very good anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰


    resting mid forties,
    max had it over 200 today according to my polar.
    That was churning up Winnets pass on the road bike in the biggy…


    surfer – Member
    Will, out of interest how did you test it?

    Well to get my resting i just watched TV for 30 mins, so that was hard work. Then to get max on my ride today there is a longish hill which you can sprint up. So i went up it 3 times, and 190 was the max i got. According to my HR monitor IIRC my max is about 197.

    Premier Icon nickc

    Haven’t a clue what my resting heart rate, nor does it matter to me one jot.


    Thanks for sharing.

    Premier Icon nickc

    S’ok, I thought it was a well thought out and erudite piece of posting that was as insightful as it was brief. I feel like I’ve really moved the thread on.


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