unexpected average heart rate and low max HR question

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  • unexpected average heart rate and low max HR question
  • I’d say don’t worry – heart rates are very personal and mainly based on the size of your heart and overall fitness. Use it as a tool to compare how you progress rather than try and compare yours to someone else ๐Ÿ˜‰

    JoB
    Member

    have you actually worked out your real Max HR rather than “doing what feel like all out intervals”?

    aside from that, everyone has a different HR, don’t worry about it

    DenDennis
    Member

    @JoB

    whats that and how is it worked out please?

    not threshold HR (max sustainable over 30-40mins)?

    by max I mean that max it ever gets to for however short a time.

    JoB
    Member

    your Max HR is exactly that, plenty of examples of how to obtain that if you search on-line

    i forgot to add that comparing your HR with other people is probably the most futile thing you can do, it’s not a competition

    DenDennis
    Member

    OK thanks, absolute numbers of Bpm indeed, but the principle of relative ranges, is that also not worth comparing?

    I guess my question then is, my range from base to max is quite narrow, compared to older fitter people, can anything be inferred from that?

    if not, how do I then know when I’m getting fitter or losing fitness?

    JoB
    Member

    the principle of relative ranges will be a specific value relative to your own personal Max HR, ignore everyone elses

    you can gauge fitness with recovery and resting HR

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    whats that and how is it worked out please?

    your Max HR is exactly that, plenty of examples of how to obtain that if you search on-line

    Every one I’ve read is essentially – if you’re not being sick by the end of it, you weren’t trying hard enough ๐Ÿ™‚

    richpips
    Member

    if not, how do I then know when I’m getting fitter or losing fitness?

    HRM alone can’t determine your fitness. Far better to have a set loop and time yourself round that.

    Premier Icon spxxky
    Subscriber

    The only true way to get your max HR is in a lab. Everyone is different, Chris Froome has a max of 165 which is crazy low – far too many variables to measure fitness from HR – don’t worry about it ๐Ÿ™‚ Get a power meter!

    DenDennis
    Member

    one for those who know more about training with HR and the implications than I do.

    I know HR is said to be generally not reliable in the way that measured power is due to many many variables but this is something that for me is fairly consistent.

    I’m (cough) 42 years old, and recently got back into ‘training’ with HR (OK measuring it when riding).

    my base zone2 is around range of 125-135 and when doing what feel like all out intervals on the turbo I can get a max of 180bpm tops.

    Now on a recent group ride on the road, which was about 4.5hours long, me putting in as much time on the front as most, I can see on the strava data that some guys who are at least 5 years older than me have both higher average HR for the ride and a max HR of 15-20bpm higher.

    one guy who is about 10 years older has about the same average and max HR.

    The thing is, I know those guys are a LOT fitter than me and would smash me up one-on-one, yet it looks like their HR is higher than it should be relative to mine, if that makes sense, partly due to their age, and partly due to better fitness.

    -what could this be down to? am I just lazy and not pushing myself hard enough?

    -am I not doing as much work in the group as I think I am?

    -impossible to say for reason X (please state reason X)

    i thank you

    ๐Ÿ˜•

    dunmail
    Member

    While measuring your heart rate has many useful uses (a significantly raised RHR before you get up can indicate the approach of some form of illness or over training – for example), comparing it to those of your mates isn’t one of them.

    Two ways of knowing when you are getting fitter:

    1. You do a set exercise (Richpips’ loop for example) in a better time whilst keeping the same heart rate or in the same time but with a lower heart rate.

    2. After a set exercise your heart rate returns to normal quicker.

    traildog
    Member

    HR can only be compared with yourself and even then it changes as you age. How quickly it returns to rest can be seen as a sign of improving fitness, but even then there are other factors involved (e.g. you get excited – your pulse increases which has nothing to do with fitness).

    If you feel you are giving everything then you are probably doing as much work than everyone else.

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    As above, HR is entirely personal. There’s absolutely no point comparing to anyone else, only yourself.

    FWIW, my max is 194, actually probably less now – that’s from when I was about 20. That’s fairly low and my aerobic threshold is fairly high (180ish) in comparison. That’s useful for me to know but meaningless in trying to work out how fit/fast I am or could be.

    legolam
    Member

    As the posters above have said, your maximum heart rate (ie the highest HR you’ve seen on your monitor during hard exercise) is individual and can’t be compared between people. For example, my max HR is 193bpm – my friend, who is the same gender, age, weight, height and fitness as me, has a max HR of 155bpm.

    Howevever, some things about HR do change with age and fitness. Max HR decreases as you age (from whatever level it started at). Heart rate recovery (how quickly your heart rate goes back to its resting rate after exercise) improves with fitness. Resting heart rate tends to be lower with fitness, but this isn’t as reliable as the other two measures, and a very low (or high) resting heart rate could signal a problem with the heart (sometimes).

    In conclusion, HR is a very blunt tool, but trends within one individual might be worth tracking. As another personal anecdote, my max HR has decreased by 3bpm in the last 3 years, my resting heart rate has dropped by 15bpm since I took up cycling, and my heart rate recovery has significantly improved as I got fitter.

    Hope that helps!

    Hannah
    (a cardiologist and heart rate geek)

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    Ha! What would you know?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    DenDennis
    Member

    thanks for all the above, I think I’m getting it more now.

    (good to see also that STW agrees with a professional in the field too, thanks Hannah)

    one final thought then, (sorry if this is again a bit thick),

    imagine an experiment where my max HR is about 180bpm and someone else with the same leg strength and lung capacity is 210bpm for the same power output, could that mean my heart is bigger than theirs? (also, who would ‘feel’ like they’re working harder?)

    what I’m getting at I think is i reckon my ‘heart’ fitness is OK but leg strength is pretty poor, or lung capacity poor. (or is that a nonsense concept)?

    thats my excuse anyway.

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    I think you’re trying to find correlation between heart rates and cycling performance that isn’t there…

    imagine an experiment where my max HR is about 180bpm and someone else with the same leg strength and lung capacity is 210bpm for the same power output, could that mean my heart is bigger than theirs? (also, who would ‘feel’ like they’re working harder?)

    Impossible to say. Too many variables to consider.

    dunmail
    Member

    No, it could mean that your cardio-vascular system is more efficient or that your arteries aren’t furred up as much as the other person.

    I ride for 8 -10 hours a week and my wife does no exercise of any kind, yet her heart rate is 15 – 20 bpm lower than mine.

    It’s apparent when walking up hill that I’m significantly more capable of output compared to her, so go figure!

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    @ legolan

    Could I trouble you to comment on this? http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/help-physiology-dilemma-on-a-turbo

    Thanks… ๐Ÿ™‚

    geetee1972
    Member

    I think you’re trying to find correlation between heart rates and cycling performance that isn’t there…

    I think the cardiologist above just said there was a relationship between heart rates and cycling performance, just not between two peoples’ respective heart rates.

    Personally, I think that saying the very thing that is responsible for moving oxygen around the body has little relationship with fitness is hard to believe. VO2 max has supply and demand as limiting factors and the hearts ability to move oxygen from the lungs to the mitochondria is one of the variables in that equation but who has a smaller stroke volume and a much lower max HR.

    If someone has a bigger heart that can pump faster, thus giving a higher stroke volume per minute, that has to be a factor in explaining a higher VO2 max when compared to someone with an identical set of the other variables.

    I can see the virtue of the responses saying not to worry about comparing your HR data with others, largely because it’s not going to make any difference to your outcome. But that is not the same as trying to understand why some people end up being much fitter, stronger, faster etc than others.

    You can’t engineer yourself a myostatin deficiency yet (although that’s going to change) either so it’s pointless comparing your genetic make up with someone else, but for sure that is the reason they or maybe you, are more competitive.

    Having being involved in a study as they needed some volunteer cyclists at a uni, They’ve done vo2 max test and exhaustion tests monitoring HR and lactate and recovery, got my last session on Friday and they will give me some data on HR and training zones which will be very useful to see how much more I can push myself and stop being lazy.

    DenDennis
    Member

    If someone has a bigger heart that can pump faster, thus giving a higher stroke volume per minute, that has to be a factor in explaining a higher VO2 max when compared to someone with an identical set of the other variables.

    I can see the virtue of the responses saying not to worry about comparing your HR data with others, largely because it’s not going to make any difference to your outcome. But that is not the same as trying to understand why some people end up being much fitter, stronger, faster etc than others.

    thanks Geetee, thats the angle I was coming from, not really explaining myself well.

    what I’m basically trying to get to is why I’m not faster, and I think my ‘relatively’ low HR could mean that the “Heart” aspect of the fitness is OK, and the lung capacity / leg strength (or some other variable) is poor so I’d need to work on the those latter aspects to improve quicker.

    (or does it not work like that and is it all linked?)

    geetee1972
    Member

    Den I am by no means an expert on this, but I have been reading around the subject a bit lately and so think I understand how some of what you are asking may be answered.

    So the first point is the if you could account for all the variables in VO2 max and if VO2 max could be used to explain 100% of performance, then you could in theory look at HR for a possible explanation as to why you aren’t faster.

    However, it would not be possible to account for those other variables, short of perhaps an autopsy, (to examine things like capilliary density etc) which I am guessing you’re not up for.

    There is also the degree of response to training and one of the things we understand better now is that not everyone has the same degree of response to training (using VO2 max as a measure of this response).

    Some people get a much bigger return on investment, i.e. a greater increase in VO2 max for the same amount of effort/training. Some people actually get no improvement.

    The term being used is high responder/low responder where the populatino looks to be normally distributed (or it might be left leaning distribution I can’t remember).

    The degree of response you’re likely to encounter is genetically coded and can be tested for right now. Think of that eh, we can screen right now and tell you as a baby whether or not you’re going to be an athelete or not.

    It also answers the question as to why those at the top of their sport are at the top; what is the differentiating factor. In this book, ‘The Sports Gene’ David Epstein clearly argues that the differentiating facotr is genetics, or to put it another way, pre-determination.

    Effort, (often cited as the 10,000 hour rule) does not explain it. Yes all top level atheletes train hard but not all those that train equally hard are top level atheletes. It’s both comforting and frustating to know that the very best are the very best by accident of birth and actually, assuming you’re already training hard, there isn’t anything more you can do.

    Once you start to understand that, the purpose of competition loses a little of its appeal and the idea that these guys are sporting heroes fades a little. THey were just lucky enough to be born that way. It’s like eugenics really.

    Anyway, if you want to get faster, the best way to really do that using data is to use a powermeter and combine that with your HR data, weight and augment your training regieme accordingly.

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