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I spend 95% of my time riding/racing at 5000-6500 feet of elevation. I can go 45+ minutes at HR 170-175 (perceived effort of 95%).

When I do the occasional ride/race at 9,000+ elevation, max effort results in 165-168bpm.

Is that normal? Am I just not trying as hard at the mountain rides/races? I sure feel like I'm giving it everything. Perhaps the reduction in oxygen causes me not to get to the same max HR? That is the opposite of what I expect -- my expectation was that my HR would go up faster and stay up higher when less oxygen is available. But when I review my HR chart after the event, I'm always thinking "Didn't give it my all, should have gone harder".
 

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this was my experience too. I live below 2000' and did a race at 7000-11000'. My threshold is about 180 bpm and I popped in the low 170s at 9000+. Did a search on the webernet and this is the standard response. I think your below-max HR is higher (eg, higher HR at tempo) but your max is lower. Felt bad too!
 

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First, I am no expert. Just my two cents.

I live and train at 7000 ft.

When I ride at 9000 - 11000 ft, I will target a speed and cadence for a training climb based on the distance and percent grade.

My experience is my heart rate will be around 10 bpm higher than a similar climb at my lower home elevation.

Percieved level of effort is a tough mark to measure. Too many things vary day to day.

Bottom line, my suggestion is to produce a similar power output at higher elevation your heart rate has to be higher.

If you are riding really close to your actual upper limit, then maybe your power decreases, but you should still be able to hit the same bpm.
 

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Regarding max heart rate. How does one ride at 95% of max for a long period of time? Is it just training or sucking up the pain? My max is in the 185 range but when I get up around 170 I am not thinking that I can stay here for 1/2 an hour let alone 1 minute. In fact I have never gone above 175. I can stay around 155-160 for longer periods of time. Thinking about this maybe my max is not 185. I got 185 from the age method. I know this is not 100% accurate. I am just curious what happens if you feel like you are maxed out but continue to push through. Will your heart explode or will you just shut down at some point? It seems that riding for 45 minutes at 95% is very intense and could have a negative effect on the heart.

Josh
 

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multirider said:
I spend 95% of my time riding/racing at 5000-6500 feet of elevation. I can go 45+ minutes at HR 170-175 (perceived effort of 95%).

When I do the occasional ride/race at 9,000+ elevation, max effort results in 165-168bpm.

Is that normal? Am I just not trying as hard at the mountain rides/races? I sure feel like I'm giving it everything. Perhaps the reduction in oxygen causes me not to get to the same max HR? That is the opposite of what I expect -- my expectation was that my HR would go up faster and stay up higher when less oxygen is available. But when I review my HR chart after the event, I'm always thinking "Didn't give it my all, should have gone harder".
ARNIE BAKER/Smart Cycling book covers this

page49: threshold and max hr are reduced about 1 beat for every 1,000 ft of elevation for athletes who have trained at sea level. for a given submaximal power output, HR is higher.

page 228-230 shows effect of altitude on time trials.

"altitude lowers time trial HR"
 

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jjjdc1 said:
Regarding max heart rate. How does one ride at 95% of max for a long period of time? Is it just training or sucking up the pain? My max is in the 185 range but when I get up around 170 I am not thinking that I can stay here for 1/2 an hour let alone 1 minute. In fact I have never gone above 175. I can stay around 155-160 for longer periods of time. Thinking about this maybe my max is not 185. I got 185 from the age method. I know this is not 100% accurate. I am just curious what happens if you feel like you are maxed out but continue to push through. Will your heart explode or will you just shut down at some point? It seems that riding for 45 minutes at 95% is very intense and could have a negative effect on the heart.

Josh
Well, you will crack if you continue to push it.

Watch the Tour de France when they are pushing it up the mountains. Guys starting dropping off the back.

Armstrong dropped lots of guys over the years who cracked.
 
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