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I have been riding for a few weeks now with a Garmin Edge 500 HRM getting to know it. I am ready to start getting more involved with using it as a training tool and figured my max HR using the 220-age = max HR, in my case is 168bpm (52 year old). I do a short ride where I ride a 4 mile flat stretch at about 145bpm before hitting a short steep hill I like to push it on usually going up and down it 4-5 times before returning home. I noticed after uploading the data that I hit a max HR of 187bpm. Am I to assume that this reading is my max HR and not the 220-age 168bpm?
 

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Hmm I'm not sure as I have a similar problem. All I know is that the more you go into the red, the higher your max heart rate can become. The weird thing is, that after a few hard days near your max, you can actually find it difficult even getting your HR to rise anywhere near your max. It is like your heart also needs to recover and strengthen much like your muscles. So perhaps 187 is your max, but is it because your well trained and able to push yourself more into the red than the average guy.

The 220 minus the age is an average thing. I know well trained guys that have resting HR's about 55 and max about 155. Then you have guys like me who have Resting HR's of abt 40 and max of abt 185. But am no faster. So it your HR is a very individual thing.
 

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Forget the 220-age formula. It is not very useful for an athlete because there is way too much individual variability. Your maximum heart rate is obviously not 168 if you hit 187 during hard training rides.
 

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forget about 220-age. there is some other formula 220 minus half your age with some other correction that i cant remember that got me much closer to my actual max.

I was 45 when I started racing and I hit 186bpm lots of times. It took about two min at max effort for my rate to get that high. I'm 54 now and saw 180 earlier this year.

Sometimes my polar and/or garmin go screwie and will show 200 to 220 so I just disreguard those.
 

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Forget the 220-age formula. It is based on a sample of about 11 studies on cyclists over 20 years ago for a total of 30 odd datapoints and the 220-age come from visually eyeballing a line that approximated these datapoints.
Your max heart rate is the max HR you have ever hit during a ride. For me it's 179 bpm and I'm 29 years old.
 

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220-age is for fat out of shape people.

The best way to find your max heart rate is to get yourself chased by a pack of rabid dogs. Just before they catch and devour you, look down and check your HR. This will be your Max.
 

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that ain't chamois cream
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Just to further confuse things: consider whether knowing your Max HR is really that helpful anyway. Working out your estimated lactate threshold (LT) HR is probably more useful in terms of gauging effort level. Search around - there's lots of info on the forums. Here's a good starting point.
 

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rebmeM weiveRekiBdaoR
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I would go with that for your training for now.
You may also find it may go slightly higher on a hot day.
Adjust your zones the next time it goes higher, and keep a log.

Chris Carmichael, in his books and training programs use a
slightly different zone program. Based on your max sustainable hart rate.
The idea is you can onlly do max hr a verry short time, but you can do
MSHR for an extended amount of time.

Bigmark
 

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MontyCrisco said:
Just to further confuse things: consider whether knowing your Max HR is really that helpful anyway. Working out your estimated lactate threshold (LT) HR is probably more useful in terms of gauging effort level. Search around - there's lots of info on the forums. Here's a good starting point.
except that there is no one HR associated with riding at LT. It will be a range.
 
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