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  1. #1
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    Debate my max heart rate

    I have a Wahoo Tickr. I use it with an android phone mounted to my handlebars. Assuming it is accurate, what do you think my max heart rate is given this data in the photo?



    I wish I knew how to separate heart rate data into laps... as far as I know on the Wahoo app, you can only separate distance and time data by laps, and the heart rate data just runs the entire time you're gathering information.

    I know that I did the first lap on that trail, 10.8 miles, as balls out as I could in 1 hour and 5 minutes, and every bit of that 49:33 spent above 174 beats a minute was during that first 10.8 mile lap. I did a second lap after that and didn't go so hard, and didn't pause the app when I stopped to chat with some other dudes, which explains the rest of the data.

    If people can't normally go for more than a handful of minutes above their lactate threshold, what does this data say for me?

    I tested my max heart rate years ago, and it's not supposed to change much over the years, and I saw 205 for a max. I had mentioned this to a friend after that particular ride, who happened to be the head nurse in a heart cath lab, and he argued strongly there was no way my max heart rate was 205. He subscribes to the old, and not so accurate, formula of 220 minus your age, which would put my max around 175. How then, assuming the monitor is accurate, can I sustain over 174 for nearly an hour? During that ride my max was 185, but I've seen 186 twice in the week or so since that ride, and in each case, I wasn't giving it as much as I could, so I'm sure I could go higher.

    Any input?
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  2. #2
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    My best guess, 180-185bpm.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    So at those numbers I would have been wizzing along at 94-100 percent of my max heart rate for 50 minutes out of 65. I don't know about that...

    Everything I've read says you can only sustain that effort for a minute or two at a time.

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    My app has my max figured at 190 by average, by the formula should be 184. My heart rate trends high in the graph. I can cruse at what the app calls threshold for along time.

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    I'd be wondering how accurate the strap is? How close is it when say you're resting and measuring manually?

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    A few years ago, my max was 185 and in could sustain 174 for a long time

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    I can tell you I have 176 bpm manually entered as my max HR on the Profile tab of the Wahoo app and it calcs my Peak Zone as 155+ bpm.

    So I suspect either it thinks your max is 198 bpm (based on your age?) or you entered 198 bpm at some point and forgot you did it.

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    The 220 minus your age is useless except as a starting point for people who aren't athletes.

    At 33 years old my max is 198. Sometimes I hit 200 but even the chest strap can vary by a few BPM. I can feel my body starving for oxygen after 10-15 seconds at max HR. Only way to truly find it is push to that limit but it can be dangerous if you have a heart condition or if you pass out.

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    Some good replies so far...

    I did a max heart rate test years ago, and I saw 205 on the Polar Protrainer XT I had back then. Polar maxes pretty good stuff, so I wouldn't worry too much about accuracy, and that test was brutal.

    I entered 205 as my max on the Wahoo app when I started using it, just going off what I found years ago, and I haven't done a recent max test since I've been using it.

    Some formula I used years ago after testing my max had my lactate threshold at 181, so when I was on that first lap, I was pacing myself for what I knew was a 10 mile course. When I would see 181, I would back off. It would creep up a bit once I backed off, up to the 185 max that day, and I didn't start feeling the burn of what I would assume reaching lactate threshold would do to my legs, so there's that to consider.

    I haven't checked the unit against my steady resting heart rate, so I'll do that.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    The 220 minus your age is useless except as a starting point for people who aren't athletes.

    At 33 years old my max is 198. Sometimes I hit 200 but even the chest strap can vary by a few BPM. I can feel my body starving for oxygen after 10-15 seconds at max HR. Only way to truly find it is push to that limit but it can be dangerous if you have a heart condition or if you pass out.
    Yeah, that formula, and pretty much every variation on it, is complete trash for me. I trend MUCH higher than the formula gives. There's nothing unusual about my resting HR, either, and it even trends a touch lower than average. I haven't checked my max lately, but within the past couple years (I'm 39 now), I've clocked it around 205. I even visited a cardiologist and had some testing done to make sure nothing was off (I have a medical history, so better safe than sorry).

  11. #11
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    My max HR is about 190 right now. To actually get that high requires special circumstances. In training under normal conditions I will run around 180 going flat out. I have a lot of HR data different people that shows similar trends, that is why I am guess 180-185 based on your data.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Yeah. I only hit my max rarely and only in intense competitive situations, which I haven't been in for a while now. I have to be going pretty hard for a while, like 45+ min, then have a quick succession of really hard efforts before I max out. I'm basically dying at that point and can only hold it for maybe 5 sec, if that.
    What, me worry?

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    How do you figure your max heart rate? Based on patterns I've seen with my own HR it could vary from day to day no matter what test I took. Normally about 170-175 is about as high as I can reach but I did hit 180 bpm once. So is 180 my max?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    How do you figure your max heart rate? Based on patterns I've seen with my own HR it could vary from day to day no matter what test I took. Normally about 170-175 is about as high as I can reach but I did hit 180 bpm once. So is 180 my max?
    A max hr test is usually a ramped effort. Start off at 60% effort and gradually increase targeting about 5 minutes to get to max effort and then sprint. You also need to be well rested to achieve max.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    A max hr test is usually a ramped effort. Start off at 60% effort and gradually increase targeting about 5 minutes to get to max effort and then sprint. You also need to be well rested to achieve max.

    I've never done an official max hr test but it sounds like I've done pretty close to that during ftp ramp tests, hill climb intervals, and zwift races. Based on that I'd say my max is close to 175 bpm but I'm not sure I could reach that on any given day even if I were well rested, I seem to vary a fair amount.

    I guess one of my questions was whether or not you could exceed your "max" heart rate and it appears you can. As mentioned I've hit 180 once or twice (during zwift races) but that seems to be an anomaly.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I've never done an official max hr test but it sounds like I've done pretty close to that during ftp ramp tests, hill climb intervals, and zwift races. Based on that I'd say my max is close to 175 bpm but I'm not sure I could reach that on any given day even if I were well rested, I seem to vary a fair amount.

    I guess one of my questions was whether or not you could exceed your "max" heart rate and it appears you can. As mentioned I've hit 180 once or twice (during zwift races) but that seems to be an anomaly.
    I think even racers only hit their true max HR a couple of times in their life. To actually hit those upper registers takes a very controlled max effort.

    It isn't a really important number to go. Most of us have a pretty good idea within a couple of beats as to what it actually is.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  17. #17
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    I got a stress echo cardiogram at age 60 or 61. At that point, it was 199. It corresponded accurately to a chest strap I wore for a while biking, so I'm guessing they're accurate, generally. Certainly, getting on a treadmill for a cardiologist is a pretty accurate way to measure max HR.

    When I was 34 or so, I was involved in centrifuge training in the F-14 for flat spin research and was hooked up to an EKG and got up to about 235.

    I'm 68 now, and based on using my Wahoo arm strap, the max I'm hitting on rides this year is about 184. That seems right.

    Anyway, I get a similar readout from the Wahoo app, based on a max of 182 that I put in myself.
    It showed a peak of 173+, so I'm guessing you have 185 or so for your max in there.
    On a 3 hour ride it had 173+ fr 24:53 and 155-172 for 74:31, but I can't figure out how to get the graphic over to here. I hit 184, so I suppose I should update my max for the app.

    Max HR is only meaningful for the purpose of training within zones (or for medical testing). Different people have different physiologies.

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    When I did the test it was after many days off or light rides. I did 20-30 minutes of riding at decent intensity to warm up, then I did a series of max effort sprint repeats on a climb.

    I checked the unit against my fingers on my pulse just standing in the kitchen. It was spot on.

    I've always felt if you see it on your monitor, that's your max, unless you're getting some sort of interference from power lines or something, which you can usually tell is an artificial spike.

    I thought I would be the freak here, but 235... that probably takes the cake.

  19. #19
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    I put 205 into the profile for my max when I set up the monitor, and the Wahoo app sorted out the zones that are in the photo. The zones stay the same on every ride. It doesn't weight the zones for each particular ride based on the recorded data or anything.

    Yes, like was said above, knowing your max is essential for training in zones. If you don't know what your max is , how can you set up the right zones? Imagine MSU Alum above using that rinky dink 220 minus your age formula. He'd be off by 25 beats or so for his max, so every zone would be off too. 85 percent of his formula max would be off by about 30 bpm too little from what he should be doing, and he'd never be working out right.

    Given that, cruising for so long at 174-185, which is 85-90 percent of 205 and likely more sustainable for duration than 95-100 percent of 185 would be, I'm thinking my past max of 205 is probably pretty accurate.

    I guess I can rest up and give a max test another go and see what shakes loose.

  20. #20
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    Give it a shot. Definitely best to do when rested like you said. HR can vary a lot depending on quite a few factors.

    I hit 204 on a group ride a few days after I got over a cold. I'd never normally come close to hitting that but my system was already working pretty hard recovering from the cold. Other times if I've put in a lot of training hours I can't get my HR over 186. Which is will under my typical 198 max but the perceived effort was absolutely maximum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KobayashiMaru View Post
    Yes, like was said above, knowing your max is essential for training in zones. If you don't know what your max is , how can you set up the right zones?
    Not necessarily, you don't have to know your max HR to setup zones. You could do a 1 hour or 20 minute threshold test and use the resulting LTHR to set up your training zones.

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    Stahr nut, your reply was interesting for a couple of reasons.

    Reason 1, I basically did a one hour threshold test on that first lap. I rode as hard as I could sustain for what I thought would be a 12 mile course, which turned out to be 10.8, and it ended up being a 65 minute effort. 49.5 minutes of it was between 174 and 185 beats a minute, and the average of that is 180.5, which is incredibly close to the 181 that I calculated my lactate threshold at so many years ago. Of course, this is a rough estimate, since 15 minutes of that 65 wasn't spent between 174 and 185, but it's probably close enough for discussion's sake.

    The second interesting thing about your post was how you mentioned a 20 minute threshold test, which sounded a lot more appealing than that max test I did in the past, so I looked it up. I found an article by some Carmichael Training Systems honcho about how two 8 minute efforts were just as or more accurate than an hour or a 20 minute test for determining training zones. The article had a calculator which could figure out your training zones based on your lactate threshold heart rate, which they said would be illustrated by the highest average heart rate of the two 8 minute efforts.

    I might not have sustained 174-185 for an entire hour, but I'm pretty confident there were several 8 minute segments in that 10.8 mile lap where I did, and entering 181 into the calculator, the heart rate zones CTS mapped out mirrored within a beat or two what the Wahoo app picked for me based off of my max being entered as 205.

    I'm feeling pretty confident about 205 actually being my max.

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    Normally I don't play much attention to heartrate, seldom turn it on. but recently I turned it on. I was hitting 198bpm at several times. At 67 I though that can be right. Then I looked at the places I hitting that, they were all downhill sections. I wonder if the vibrations, or trail chatter throws off the heart rate readings. Just a thought.

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    Crap, crap, crap.

    I've used two different phones with the Wahoo app. On the older one, I used 205 as my max since that was the max from the last actual test I had done. When I got the other phone, I had done some searching for accurate formulas to predict your max (since it's been 18 years since that max test I did) and I had determined 183 would be the closest formulaic max, so I had entered that into the Wahoo profile when I started using the new phone. I just forgot I had done that, so my max might not be 205 anymore after all.

    Strange I didn't notice a change in the zones when I made the phone swap, but I could see how I could have done it... I was overtrained from riding almost every day for almost two months on COVID-19 furlough and figured it was because I was going balls out all the time without enough "rest" riding. I got the Tickr and just made myself ride below what I thought was 70 percent of my max for three weeks and didn't pay any attention to the numbers in the zones. I didn't pay attention to the zones until the one ride I keep talking about, because after 3 weeks of going slow, I had what felt like the most awesome ride of my life, and of course, I was using the new phone with 183 for the max and not 205.

    Oh well. It still says a lot about the accuracy of averages over an hour test and 8 minute tests, and it says a lot about the zones the app calculates.

    I'm just miffed my max probably isn't 205 anymore, but at least now after having looked at that CTS article and calculator, I feel like my zones are dialed in pretty well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KobayashiMaru View Post
    Crap, crap, crap.

    I've used two different phones with the Wahoo app. On the older one, I used 205 as my max since that was the max from the last actual test I had done. When I got the other phone, I had done some searching for accurate formulas to predict your max (since it's been 18 years since that max test I did) and I had determined 183 would be the closest formulaic max, so I had entered that into the Wahoo profile when I started using the new phone. I just forgot I had done that, so my max might not be 205 anymore after all.

    Strange I didn't notice a change in the zones when I made the phone swap, but I could see how I could have done it... I was overtrained from riding almost every day for almost two months on COVID-19 furlough and figured it was because I was going balls out all the time without enough "rest" riding. I got the Tickr and just made myself ride below what I thought was 70 percent of my max for three weeks and didn't pay any attention to the numbers in the zones. I didn't pay attention to the zones until the one ride I keep talking about, because after 3 weeks of going slow, I had what felt like the most awesome ride of my life, and of course, I was using the new phone with 183 for the max and not 205.

    Oh well. It still says a lot about the accuracy of averages over an hour test and 8 minute tests, and it says a lot about the zones the app calculates.

    I'm just miffed my max probably isn't 205 anymore, but at least now after having looked at that CTS article and calculator, I feel like my zones are dialed in pretty well.
    Having a higher max HR has absolutely no benefit to phycial performance. It's simply your personal max HR.

    There's plenty of extremely fast people who's max HR is under 180. It's about how effeciently your body moves oxygen to the muscles and how the muscles use what's available to them.

    For training to improve fitness everyone is different. Very few people do well with lots of high intensity. For most people that intensity just breaks them down and they end up burnt out or injured.

    I personally benefit most from zone 2 training with a few short efforts thrown in and one very hard 1 hour ride per week. When I stick with zone 2 training for 8 hours a week I get major fitness gains. If training intensity gets to high I usually end up getting slower and don't see much of any improvement even with a few days of rest before a hard effort.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by KobayashiMaru View Post
    Crap, crap, crap.

    I've used two different phones with the Wahoo app. On the older one, I used 205 as my max since that was the max from the last actual test I had done. When I got the other phone, I had done some searching for accurate formulas to predict your max (since it's been 18 years since that max test I did) and I had determined 183 would be the closest formulaic max, so I had entered that into the Wahoo profile when I started using the new phone. I just forgot I had done that, so my max might not be 205 anymore after all.

    Strange I didn't notice a change in the zones when I made the phone swap, but I could see how I could have done it... I was overtrained from riding almost every day for almost two months on COVID-19 furlough and figured it was because I was going balls out all the time without enough "rest" riding. I got the Tickr and just made myself ride below what I thought was 70 percent of my max for three weeks and didn't pay any attention to the numbers in the zones. I didn't pay attention to the zones until the one ride I keep talking about, because after 3 weeks of going slow, I had what felt like the most awesome ride of my life, and of course, I was using the new phone with 183 for the max and not 205.

    Oh well. It still says a lot about the accuracy of averages over an hour test and 8 minute tests, and it says a lot about the zones the app calculates.

    I'm just miffed my max probably isn't 205 anymore, but at least now after having looked at that CTS article and calculator, I feel like my zones are dialed in pretty well.


    As mentioned max heart rate doesn't necessarily affect training zones, all of my zones were set using numbers from a 20 minute ftp test.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    Having a higher max HR has absolutely no benefit to phycial performance. It's simply your personal max HR.

    Doesn't it? A higher heart rate moves more blood which supplies more oxygen. Heart rates fall as we age and performance drops accordingly. I don't know for sure but I'm just questioning it.
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  28. #28
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    I tend to agree that max heart rate between two people doesn't have a lot of meaning. I bike with people (like my son, who is taller, but weighs about the same) who have lower heart rates while doing about the same amount of work going up the hill. My higher HR doesn't provide me any advantage there. Maybe I have a chipmunk heart.

    As I age and my max HR goes down I expect THAT has a bearing on how much work I can do....but that's comparing myself as a nearly 70 year old to me as a 30 year old. Even then, there's more at play than just HR. I'm relying more on gear, now. At least, that's how I explain my purchases to my wife!

    I don't use HR for training or determining zones. I'm just curious.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambow View Post
    Normally I don't play much attention to heartrate, seldom turn it on. but recently I turned it on. I was hitting 198bpm at several times. At 67 I though that can be right. Then I looked at the places I hitting that, they were all downhill sections. I wonder if the vibrations, or trail chatter throws off the heart rate readings. Just a thought.
    jersey flapping is a known cause of false HR spikes.

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    JB... I'll agree that you can set zones based on 20 minute tests, but I suspect that different approaches like a 20 minute and the 8 minute tests evolved as a means to avoid taxing athletes so much as to attain an actual max, which as many people have mentioned, is actually pretty hard to do if the conditions aren't perfect. From what I gather, the tests that use an average over a set amount of time instead of a max value result in a lactate threshold number, since over those times and distances, especially in the hour example, a rider is pacing themselves at what is sustainable for duration, which should be at, or just under, their lactate threshold. Lactate threshold is a percentage of max heart rate, so while the shorter tests aren't using max heart rate, I feel they're using a value based off of it indirectly. Of course, a power test doesn't rely on heart rate at all, but for those that don't have power meters, the tests are performed the same, they just use percentages based off of the average heart rate instead of percentages based off of the average power.

    Regarding max heart rate, I'm in the camp, since I've seen it over and over again from every source I've read, that max heart rate between two athletes means nothing regarding speed, ability or level of fitness. It's just a measure of what your heart muscle has to do to supply the blood which then performs all the gas exchange for cellular respiration and waste removal. My max heart rate is relatively high, at least for people my age, and I'm in decent shape, but I'm not fast at all compared to most folks. I can be fast at times, but I can't sustain fast, probably because my muscles aren't as strong as faster people who can push bigger gears for long amounts of time. It's nice though to think about for discussion's sake that a person with a high max is performing at a level someone else might not be. It seems impressive because we think a fast beating heart is wound up like a Deuce, but really it could be argued a person with a lower max has a more efficient heart, since it's performing all the physiological duties it needs to at lower beats per minute. But again, one guy with a more efficient heart could still be slower than a guy with a faster beating heart.

    Fajita Dave has some interesting observations that I've noticed myself. Training at near max levels seems to tax me more than it helps me grow. It would seem counterintuitive, since we should be pushing ourselves into a zone where VO2 max and/or anaerobic ability is responding with improvements, but maybe because I'm older and can't recuperate as well, it just seems to set me back if I do too much of it. I think there is something to say about laying a foundation at lower intensities, which physiology suggests creates more capillaries, which are then able to oxygenate muscles better and remove waste more efficiently so when you hammer down you've got more fuel to give your engine. Obviously you have to train to gain strength at those intensities or you can't push the gears, but that's why sprints should only be used sparingly in training... they just beat you down too much.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    For training to improve fitness everyone is different. Very few people do well with lots of high intensity.


    I'm not sure about that. I completed a few structured training plans recently and they had me doing lots of high intensity, more than I'd ever voluntarily do on my own and I achieved my biggest fitness gains ever. 58 y/o.

    It's widely accepted among athlete coaches that one needs to tax the body to force adaptations, and of course you also need proper rest and recovery.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KobayashiMaru View Post

    Fajita Dave has some interesting observations that I've noticed myself. Training at near max levels seems to tax me more than it helps me grow. It would seem counterintuitive, since we should be pushing ourselves into a zone where VO2 max and/or anaerobic ability is responding with improvements, but maybe because I'm older and can't recuperate as well, it just seems to set me back if I do too much of it. I think there is something to say about laying a foundation at lower intensities, which physiology suggests creates more capillaries, which are then able to oxygenate muscles better and remove waste more efficiently so when you hammer down you've got more fuel to give your engine. Obviously you have to train to gain strength at those intensities or you can't push the gears, but that's why sprints should only be used sparingly in training... they just beat you down too much.
    I don't "train" in that I don't have a system set up to improve fitness. I pretty much just go out and hammer as hard as possible, as I ride with younger riders. But since I have been mixing that up with riding with my wife on a regular basis, my climb times have improved. Also, my resting heart rate has gone down.

    So, I suppose riding hard with routine days of riding easy is something that has helped me.

    I really just want to do this for another decade or so.
    Then (around age 78 or so) I'll get one of those new-fangled E-bikes and kick everyone's a$$es!

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    I agree you should grow by forcing adaptations. There are gains to be made at either end of the spectrum, from volume at lower intensity or sharp focus on higher intensity. I've seemed to discover in my own case that rest and low intensity recovery is the biggest part of making gains, hence starting to use a heart rate monitor again in an effort to keep from doing too much of something to prevent recouperation.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Doesn't it? A higher heart rate moves more blood which supplies more oxygen. Heart rates fall as we age and performance drops accordingly. I don't know for sure but I'm just questioning it.
    I would think the volume of blood a heart can move per beat would be more important than how fast it can beat. So with it being the same person the max HR should vary to much. I guess if his max really did go from 205 to 183 he'd be a lot slower for a hard effort.

    OP should probably just do a ramp test till fail and take that as his max HR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I'm not sure about that. I completed a few structured training plans recently and they had me doing lots of high intensity, more than I'd ever voluntarily do on my own and I achieved my biggest fitness gains ever. 58 y/o.

    It's widely accepted among athlete coaches that one needs to tax the body to force adaptations, and of course you also need proper rest and recovery.
    I've been reading that my entire life and get absolutely no benefit. My peak power will increase a little but it does nothing for the amount of power I can sustain and sometimes makes it worse. When I finally started an 80/20 approach to training like most pros I finally started building fitness where I can sustain power output. I need 8+ hours of activity per week with about 80% of that in Z2. 20% as hard as I want to push it.

    There's more than one way to force physical adaptation. It seems like pro endurance athletes spend the vast majority of their time at easy efforts. They only bump up intensity for a few weeks to peak for events. It isn't sustainable fitness because your body will start to break down quicker than it can repair the damage from training.

    If you can't put in the time training than intensity is good since you have plenty of time to heal between rides. Limited hours will only get you so far and once training hours increases, intensity needs to decrease.

  36. #36
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    my body definitely responds better to a higher volume of low intensity work.

    High intensity definitely has its place and its purpose, but you can't ignore low intensity work in the process.

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    So many interesting observations being discussed here.

    In my own experience, before I was on this 16 week furlough, I could only ride twice, maybe three times a week, and I only had enough time to ride for longer than 45 minutes to an hour once a week. That's how it's been for almost 3 years. I rode as hard as I could at all times, and I was faster and more capable over all that time than I thought I should be after the first two months of riding almost every day on furlough. Like MS Alum and his hard-easy style, my regular schedule forced me to rest between hard efforts and naturally limited my volume. On furlough I wasn't getting enough rest without having work interfere with riding and was probably spending too much time at too high a zone.

    I made the assumption I was training too hard too often for any benefit and got a heart rate monitor to try and get some data on the problem. It seems my assumption was correct, as now after a month of using a heart rate monitor to reign myself in, I can carry speeds over distances I wasn't able to before, and it seems paradoxical that my heart rate in those sections is really low compared to what it was when I first started using the monitor, but that's been my benefit of laying off of too much intensity or volume or both. Your heart becomes more efficient, gaining a higher stroke volume per ejection, and your body adapts to exchange more gas across more capillary beds.

    I know my max isn't 183; that was just an improved formula suggestion I had used in the absence of a true test. I saw 186 just yesterday, but again, I hadn't had enough true rest to really push myself and wasn't going as hard as I could when I saw it, so I'm assuming I've still got more top end than I saw on the monitor. The only way to know for real what my max is would be to test the max, but as we've discussed a few times, I don't know that it's essential to do that for any reason other than knowing exactly what your max is from observational evidence vs. mathematical extrapolation.

    Is there a universally accepted value for what lactate threshold is supposed to be in terms of a percentage of max heart rate? If there is, then the results from an hour test can predict max heart rate with simple math. If lactate threshold is, say, 85 percent of max heart rate, then a threshold value of 181 should be divided by .85 to yield theoretical max. So if 85 percent were the accepted norm for lactate threshold, my max would be 212, theoretically.

    I don't think I could ever get to that in the best conditions, even if my body was capable of it, but it's a moot assumption anyway since I think threshold being 85 percent of max is probably way off. Maybe 90 percent is more accurate? Maybe it's 95 percent? Certainly it can't be between 95 and 100. 90 would equal a max of 201. 95 would equal a max of 190. I'm sure it's somewhere around 90 percent of max, give or take, so maybe my max is around 200?

    And a few different sources I've read about a test average yielding lactate threshold values to determine training zones suggests 106 percent and above your threshold number is the top zone you can reach, so at 181 for my average, then folks like Carmichael Training Systems suggest I can attain 191 beats a minute or more, but they say probably not for more than 20 seconds to a minute. How much higher than that 191 would really be possible, so maybe my max is more likely in the 195 range?

    And maybe I was holding back too much to pace myself for a full lap on that course? That would skew my average to the low side and hide what my theoretical max could be. Good Lord, my head is about to explode! The mystery just goes on and on.

    Who really knows... At some point you just have to pick something and go with that for a while to look back and see if it works.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    I've been reading that my entire life and get absolutely no benefit. My peak power will increase a little but it does nothing for the amount of power I can sustain and sometimes makes it worse. When I finally started an 80/20 approach to training like most pros I finally started building fitnesss where I can sustain power output. I need 8+ hours of activity per week with about 80% of that in Z2. 20% as hard as I want to push it.

    Have you followed any plans from a reputable coach for awhile? The ones I tried were 10-12 hrs/wk and though they included plenty of intensity they also provided 2 rest day a week and a recovery week once a month.

    I don't know a lot about the 80/20 plan but it's probably useful for pro's during the build phase of their training, those guys are doing 25-35 hrs/wk though so I can't relate.

    Most of the coaches I'm familiar with advise older athletes who don't do a ton of volume (~12 hrs/wk or less) to prioritize intensity once a good base has been built. I suppose that training plans vary greatly depending on ones goals though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    jersey flapping is a known cause of false HR spikes.
    That's a possibility, thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Have you followed any plans from a reputable coach for awhile? The ones I tried were 10-12 hrs/wk and though they included plenty of intensity they also provided 2 rest day a week and a recovery week once a month.

    I don't know a lot about the 80/20 plan but it's probably useful for pro's during the build phase of their training, those guys are doing 25-35 hrs/wk though so I can't relate.

    Most of the coaches I'm familiar with advise older athletes who don't do a ton of volume (~12 hrs/wk or less) to prioritize intensity once a good base has been built. I suppose that training plans vary greatly depending on ones goals though.
    The 80/20 kind of structure definitely takes a lot of time to make it work but it's been good for me with 8 to 10 hours. Training variability is no doubt a big part of it.

    I haven't tried anyone's workout plan recently but I've done some experimenting with working in more intensity to the 8 hours a week I was doing. If my time in zone 4+ started getting near 30% of my time ridden for the week than fatigue was getting to high to put in even a half way decent ride. I am by no means a good endurance athlete and never have been. My body doesn't seem to handle the high training loads well but I do build sprint power easily.

    I'm just starting to ramp up my training hours again and using what I had great results in the past.
    Sunday 2 hour in zone 2 with two 4 minute efforts at VO2 max.
    Monday a 3+ hour ride in zone 2 with some mild efforts mixed in.
    Tuesday 1.5 to 2 hours in zone 2.
    Rest Wednesday.
    Thursday 1.5 hour hard ride, sometimes intervals and sometimes flat out for an hour, 15min warm up and cool down.
    Friday 1 hour zone 2.
    Rest on Saturday.
    I'm not to strict since I don't race so it varies a bit from that base plan. Being more fit definitely makes the riding more fun and feel a whole lot better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KobayashiMaru View Post
    I have a Wahoo Tickr. I use it with an android phone mounted to my handlebars. Assuming it is accurate, what do you think my max heart rate is given this data in the photo?

    I wish I knew how to separate heart rate data into laps... as far as I know on the Wahoo app, you can only separate distance and time data by laps, and the heart rate data just runs the entire time you're gathering information.

    Any input?
    To get an idea of what you're doing during the ride you'd really want to look at the heart rate trace of your rides as a more detailed graph.

    If you're using the Wahoo fitness app on your phone you can export the workout as a .fit file and load it into another program or app, such as Golden Cheetah, Strava etc, where you could see a bit more detail.

    https://support.wahoofitness.com/hc/...r-Another-App-

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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    To get an idea of what you're doing during the ride you'd really want to look at the heart rate trace of your rides as a more detailed graph.

    If you're using the Wahoo fitness app on your phone you can export the workout as a .fit file and load it into another program or app, such as Golden Cheetah, Strava etc, where you could see a bit more detail.

    https://support.wahoofitness.com/hc/...r-Another-App-

    .
    You can also just set up the Wahoo app to make the transfer automatically. Very convenient.

    You don't need to run the Strava app, just the Wahoo app. At the end of the ride, the data just appears on Strava including the usual data + HR.

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    220-age gives me 168 which is just above my anarobic threshold (164).
    My max is around 183.
    Resting is 42.

    Max is the only one that's a bit of a guess, but I'm happy not testing it
    Although I have seen 211 for 2 minutes during a race back in 2012.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KobayashiMaru View Post
    snip
    Is there a universally accepted value for what lactate threshold is supposed to be in terms of a percentage of max heart rate? If there is, then the results from an hour test can predict max heart rate with simple math. If lactate threshold is, say, 85 percent of max heart rate, then a threshold value of 181 should be divided by .85 to yield theoretical max. So if 85 percent were the accepted norm for lactate threshold, my max would be 212, theoretically.

    I don't think I could ever get to that in the best conditions, even if my body was capable of it, but it's a moot assumption anyway since I think threshold being 85 percent of max is probably way off. Maybe 90 percent is more accurate? Maybe it's 95 percent? Certainly it can't be between 95 and 100. 90 would equal a max of 201. 95 would equal a max of 190. I'm sure it's somewhere around 90 percent of max, give or take, so maybe my max is around 200?
    snip
    No, the lactate threshold (there are two, really, but we're not talking about the aerobic threshold) is the lactate threshold, it is (very basically) the HR at which you start to accumulate the lactate and associated hydrogen ions. It can change (some) with training, hydration, atmospheric conditions, overtraining, etc. Your max hr is the max...you may be able to hit it some days, other days you couldn't if your life depended on it. Determining LTHR from max hr as a percentage or from some formula is just a guesstimate. The only thing I know for sure about my max hr is what the highest hr I've seen in the last year happens, and I assume my max is something above that.

    The HR zones are built around the aerobic threshold (bottom end of zone 2) and the LTHR (top end of zone 4 in Friel's zone system) as well as some other factors to differentiate the 3 and 4 zones and zones 5 and above. Because of this testing (semi-frequently) to determine your LTHR is the obvious way to set your zones. If you guesstimate your LTHR based on max, and are trying to do a workout at or above threshold, how do you know you are at or below threshold? Just do a 20 minute test, rested, and find out what it is. It's recommended to do a few of them over a few months to confirm since everyone has a bad day.
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    I just turned 60 and I've had a couple periods of 198BPM this year, if only for a few seconds. I can average 180-182 for an hour and can ride all day at 160BPM so your nurse friend might wanna reconsider his idea about max HR and that sometimes accurate, sometimes ridiculous formula.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    How do you figure your max heart rate? Based on patterns I've seen with my own HR it could vary from day to day no matter what test I took. Normally about 170-175 is about as high as I can reach but I did hit 180 bpm once. So is 180 my max?
    180 is probably right at or close to your max given that info. Your max is your max and doesn't change day to day. It does not mean though that you can always reach that. If you have some fatigue built up, it's much harder to get close.
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    Funny how you put it so succinctly... originally I was looking for estimates on my max heart rate for some validation after that discussion, but ended up getting lost in all the extreme details of zones and how to calculate them and what test results really mean.

    In the short conversation we had he didn't budge much, which was really odd given the numbers from that lap I shared with him. You'd think somebody with his job description would be up on what hearts are capable of doing.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by KobayashiMaru View Post
    Funny how you put it so succinctly... originally I was looking for estimates on my max heart rate for some validation after that discussion, but ended up getting lost in all the extreme details of zones and how to calculate them and what test results really mean.

    In the short conversation we had he didn't budge much, which was really odd given the numbers from that lap I shared with him. You'd think somebody with his job description would be up on what hearts are capable of doing.
    If you saw 185 and did 174 for an hour, I'd say your max would be about 190-192. In Ned Overend's book, he says that most people's MaxHR is about 15-20 beats above their Anaerobic Threshold. That has always stuck in my mind and seems to hold true for most folks.
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    Well, I've been working on the bike and spending a lot of time in zone 1 and 2, and haven't ridden the mountain bike in 3 weeks.

    I subscribed to Strava after starting this thread, and today I logged this segment.



    Keeping it in zone 1 or 2 forever, I was third from the bottom out of more than 270 riders on this one hill. I moved up to 67th place and there's only 11 seconds between me and a top ten rank, not that such a short distance means I'm really good at anything. I had avoided Strava for a long time, but it's a pretty interesting app for a data geek like me, and I can see how it will really motivate me and track performance over time, so here's a big thanks to the people that mentioned it could be more helpful to track heart rate than just the Wahoo app.

    I really wanted to share this image to say I hit 193 right after the point that is highlighted, and I stayed there for several seconds. (It seemed cooler to highlight the max grade of the ascent rather than the max heart rate.)

    I wasn't rested at all. I rode 64 miles two days ago, spent the last 8-10 miles above 175 beats per minute, and set 11 PRs on that ride. Then yesterday I did 18 miles and set 2 more PRs.

    I know it's not 205 like I thought my max was in that original argument, but I've got proof of 193 and it's not too far from 205 considering I could rest up and hit a hill just the right way and probably show it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Debate my max heart rate-screenshot_20200721-091040_strava%5B1%5D.jpg  


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