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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Landice treadmill has a cardio function...at 57 YO I can run comfortably at a 145 heartrate for 15+ min at a time. When I bump the speed and elevation to where my heartrate is reading 160, I can only sustain this for a couple minutes....does this mean
my max is around 160 at this time?

I've always felt that I was in good shape but 160 as a max seems pretty low from what I read here...I want to get stronger in both aerobic and anaerobic stamina....where do or how do I proceed from here?
 

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No, your max is probably higher than 160 if you can sustain it for a couple of minutes. When you are at your max HR, we are talking about less than a minute sustained effort (gasping, puking, nearly passing out type effort). I would guess160 is probably 92-95% of your max based on how long you were able to sustain it.

A time trial race where a person goes "all out" alone on the course is usually a 88-92% max heart rate effort. For me, I can hold about 90% for about an hour (40k race). Running is a different ball game, but I would think the HR stats and effort would be the same.

I don't think that you can raise your max HR by more exercise or fitness. You can change your resting HR, and your Lactate threshold (anaerobic threshold), but not the max HR since this is genetic and age related. Also, standard rule of thumb is that you lose 1 off your Max HR with each year of age. This is generalizing and won't apply to everyone though.
 

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160 probably isn't your max...(a bit long)

Depending on what philosophy you believe in, your maximum heart rate can be anywhere from 163-170 (if you go by one of the calculation methods) or even higher. What happens at 160? If you're really at maximum, you'd be seeing long-dead relatives (or something to that effect).

However, I'd suspect you've merely hit your lactate threshold somewhere in the 150's, which would make your maximum somewhere in the low 180's.

If you really want to find your true maximum, you may need to check with your doctor first, as you are over 40. Are you already regularly active? If not, a stress test can help detect undiagnosed coronary artery disease, but unfortunately, most docs won't necessarily let you get all the way to maximum heart rate (they'll usually go to about 85% of calculated max).

Perhaps the best way to determine maximum heart rate is the ol' go-until-you-can't-go-any-more method, either on your own or medically supervised (a sports medicine lab or a doc with an interest in sports medicine can be helpful here). Basically, you warm up, then have at it. Often, you get a result higher than any of the formulas calculate.

As for improving performance, you can base your training from your max HR; you should stay at least in the "aerobic" zones for most training and occasionally visit the "anaerobic" zones. There are a whole host of references for this - try http://www.brianmac.demon.co.uk/ for one, there's a section on heart rate training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK...I'm going to give it a try on my treadmill w/ a speed and elevation that puts me at the threshold and see what happens.

I've been a runner & competitive fencer for many years. I feel I'm in good shape regardless of my age (I guess?). I find that bicycling is a much more longer duration strenuous activity than fencing (explosive short bursts of energy repeated many times in a bout of 5 mins or so) or outdoor running which keeps me at pretty steady pace. My treadmill, set with variable programs of elevation and speed, seems to give me the best running workout. I have a weight lifting routine I combine with my running right now.

I feel cycling can help me build endurance and strength like nothing else can if I train properly.
 

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Jane, stop this crazy thing...

Sounds like you can go ahead and try the max HR thing at home. Just make sure you have the safety cord handy, or you may make like poor George Jetson. Otherwise, you could go to a local track or find a longish hill...

Actually, you look like a good setup for some serious cross-training. I do the run/bike thing and I think the two complement each other fairly well. They do use somewhat different leg muscle groups, and both will get your heart rate up there. Depending on the terrain in your area, you can get some intervals of sorts out running. In my area (NE Iowa), there actually isn't much flat, so any run (or ride, for that matter) has built-in intervals. As my wife says, "hills are sprints in disguise."
 

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NSXER said:
OK...I'm going to give it a try on my treadmill w/ a speed and elevation that puts me at the threshold and see what happens.

I've been a runner & competitive fencer for many years. I feel I'm in good shape regardless of my age (I guess?). I find that bicycling is a much more longer duration strenuous activity than fencing (explosive short bursts of energy repeated many times in a bout of 5 mins or so) or outdoor running which keeps me at pretty steady pace. My treadmill, set with variable programs of elevation and speed, seems to give me the best running workout. I have a weight lifting routine I combine with my running right now.

I feel cycling can help me build endurance and strength like nothing else can if I train properly.
To get near your MaxHR on the treadmill:
Be well rested after your off/easy day(s).
Warm up.
Set it at about 8% incline.
Set it at a fast rate - at least your 'only a couple of minutes' rate.
Run for 30 seconds.
Step off for 30 seconds (usually you can stay on with one foot on each side) and watch your HR. It will continue to rise after stepping off.
30 sec on, 30 sec off until you get 3 in a row where the Max HR is the same.
If you don't get at least 8 runs, try it again another day with a little less incline/speed.
If you get more than 15, try again another day with more incline/speed.
This should be within a few beats of your real MAX.

TF
 

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with all due respect to all of the posters above, no one has raised the obvious, here.

with respect to maximum HR, the bigger question is, why do you want to know?
There is virtually no training value in knowing your maximum HR. All you care about is sustainable effort. How long, how often. HR as a way to measure relative effort, however imprecisely, has some value, but going hard as you can go is nothing more or less than going hard as you can go. It is what it is.
I also would dispute that anyone is holding a true maximum HR for a minute, btw, let alone any longer than that. Your VO2 max you may, with training, be able to sustain for a time period measured in minutes. But not maximum HR. It is something you might see for an instant under perfect, incredibly painful conditions, but it still doesn't have any training value.
 

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Yes, you rarely see maximum, but...

you should have some idea of where it's at. In general, you can base training intensities from your max HR. Yes, in cycling, you can do the power thing, but you can't really do it for running.

In a way, your HR is like a tachometer on your car. You know where idle is, you know where the torque/HP peaks are, and you know where redline is. For us, you need to know minimum aerobic HR (for easy days), and LT (for intervals and hard days). Knowing where those levels are can help prevent overtraining. If you can estimate where LT is, you know where to set your exertion level for longer efforts.

I do agree you don't see max HR for more that a few seconds at a time - if you are, then it may not really be your max.
 

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For us, you need to know minimum aerobic HR (for easy days), and LT (for intervals and hard days). Knowing where those levels are can help prevent overtraining. If you can estimate where LT is, you know where to set your exertion level for longer efforts.
I agree with everything you say. Except the part about max HR being useful to know. You can't train there. You can't train anywhere very near there. And, whatever it is, the useful training zones are defined by your LT and your VO2 max. Even these are useful only to the extent that they help you find, for reference, how hard you should be able to go for an hour, for twenty minutes, for ten minutes, two minutes, for thirty seconds.
I estimate my max at somewhere in the 185-190 range. I have on certain celebrated occasion registered HR's north of 180. My VO2 max HR (by testing, and by experience based on what I can maintain for brief but measurable periods) is about 169. Anything over about 170 is a lot of effort. 149 and its environs can be sustained for, like, a long time.
When HR monitors became commonplace, it was easy to get all wrapped up in the numbers. But numbers don't turn the pedals, and turning the pedals is all that matters. How long can you turn the pedals at that effort? At that effort? How much recovery do you need after this effort or that effort? None of this has anything to do with maximum (or minimum) heart rates.
 

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True.

I'm guessing you've been at this for a long time, because you seem to be very well tuned into what your body can and can't do over the long haul. That's a very good thing, but I don't know that many other people can really gauge their effort accurately, and more importantly, dole it out appropriately over time without some reference.

And yes, you shouldn't be at max HR for very long (I shouldn't drive my car at redline all the time either).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
TurboTurtle said:
To get near your MaxHR on the treadmill:
Be well rested after your off/easy day(s).
Warm up.
Set it at about 8% incline.
Set it at a fast rate - at least your 'only a couple of minutes' rate.
Run for 30 seconds.
Step off for 30 seconds (usually you can stay on with one foot on each side) and watch your HR. It will continue to rise after stepping off.
30 sec on, 30 sec off until you get 3 in a row where the Max HR is the same.
If you don't get at least 8 runs, try it again another day with a little less incline/speed.
If you get more than 15, try again another day with more incline/speed.
This should be within a few beats of your real MAX.

TF
Great information everybody....I'm going to give this scenario (TT's) a try and see what happens. I guess I am "caught up the numbers" so to speak but I would really like to know my limits. I see these numbers in the 200's and I'm flabbergasted that I could be so very far below that. My resting heartbeat is 55-65.

Hey, who need a personal trainer with help like this!
 

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NSXER said:
Great information everybody....I'm going to give this scenario (TT's) a try and see what happens. I guess I am "caught up the numbers" so to speak but I would really like to know my limits. I see these numbers in the 200's and I'm flabbergasted that I could be so very far below that. My resting heartbeat is 55-65.

Hey, who need a personal trainer with help like this!
you do understand, don't you, that your max HR is not a predictor of anything? you have one; that's all. some people pump blood with greater volume per beat, some with more beats. I know guys who top out in the 200's, and some others who top out in the 180's or less, and one is not faster or slower than the other because of it. it is what it is.
 
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