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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not been using my hrm all that long but I was wondering something. So far I have recorded a max hr of 196 and thats giving it everything I got. Now the other day I was on a group ride and we were doing between 20-21mph on a flat and my cadence was between 90-100, when my hrm beeped I looked down and I was at 180, and this was only about 7-8 miles in.

My guess was that I had not eaten well enough. Or could it be that I'm just not in as good a shape as I think I am? should I ride a couple good weeks then recreate this situation and look to see where I'm at?
 

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Captain Obvious
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HR is very personal. it doesn't mean a whole lot to compare to somebody else.

edit--HR also drops with age (generally), so if you are younger that makes a bit of a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I probably should have added this but I think my question may be more based on alot of points of my physical fitness which I dont think I know enough about just yet so maybe I posted too soon, or maybe I asked the wrong question.

Any input is appreciated.
 

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Rocket Scientist
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This is one of the more bizarre questions that I have seen here. Your HR is what it is. All that can happen is that you might one day, with appropriate training, produce more power at a given HR.

There is no such thing as: "Is my HR too high?" I mean, come on, how are you going to lower it in when you are on a group ride? Are you going to drop off the back because your heart rate is "too high?"

HR depends on temperature, hydration, and a multitude of other factors. It has nothing to do with how fast you are or fit you are. Someone fit can hit 180 and someone fat and out of shape can hit 180. What they are doing when they reach that HR is obviously two different things but they both are doing the same HR.

The best thing that you can do for yourself is put your HRM in a pocket or turn it upside down, and not even look at it. After the ride, download it and see what types of HR you did at certain efforts. Then, if you want to vaguely (and with highly limited accuracy and usefulness) recreate those efforts, ride at those heart rates when you train by yourself.

Overall, though, there is no such thing as "is my HR too high."
 

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Everyone's heart rate is different yes, and does vary with hydration status, temp, age, medical condition, etc. Follow your trends and see how quickly you are fatiguing at your heart rate. Although your hr does vary as mentioned, most people cannot maintain a rate of 180 for too long, you will tire out. Remember, one reading means nothing though, follow your trend and your average, that will give you more info.
 

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Sherpa's answer was pretty glib - if you experience really abnormal heartrates you should at least notify your primary physician and discuss it with them. Some of it may be simply normal variance due to the conditions Sherpa mentioned or medications, but it might also be indications of an underlying cardiac arrhythmia that should be looked into. You don't mention your age, how long you've been riding etc., but depending on these and other considerations, you should discuss your training with your doctor and potential follow-up with a cardiologist.
 

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M Sport
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I agree that your heart rate is what it is. On the other hand I use mine to note changes from ride to ride. it is an accurate reflection of my fitness level getting better.

There is a lot of confusion out there on the hrm. I was pretty confused to start, but as long as your heart rate is recovering from the highest bpm that you've seen, I guess your okay. If you get your heart rate up to a level where you can't recover, that's a problem obviously.
 

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As others have said heart rate is completely personal. While there may be a loose correlation to age it does not mean much. As an example a buddy of mine and I are of similar ability. We are both 45 and have birthdays within 2 weeks of each other. He is really hurting when his heart rate gets to 168-170. That is a normal range for me. My HR has to get to 192 to be in the same pain.
 

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20 years ago (at age 26) I could cruise all day at over 190. Now (and admitedly with much less training) I can barely get it up to 160, and at that I am really working hard. So for me age and fitness have afffected it.
 

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did anyone actually read the original post? Sounded like his heartrate was maybe 50 beats above what it normally would be for a given level of exertion. He was riding along at an easy pace with his heart near his maximal level. Large variances like that CAN be a sign of something wrong - if it is a pattern he sees, he should tell his doctor.
 

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Master debator.
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How did you feel riding at that heart rate? Being a cyclist and having had atrial fibrillation and tachycardia I watch my heart rate closely. If you feel like your putting a big effort in at that rate, and it exhausts you more than it normally should it's not a good sign. Check your resting heart rate, and try to keep track of your history with a log or spreadsheet.
If it's a one time spike I'd keep an eye on it, if it's normally how your rate ends up being over time it's just the way you are. My max rate is right around 180, I can cruise for quite a while over 160. Your 180 with a max of 196 isn't that bad imho.
 

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were you cruising at that speed? were you excited for some reason? how much effort did it "feel" like? possible cross-chatter or low battery or misplaced sensor?
 

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On the surface, 180 isn't too, too high for a max of 196....BUT...if this is severely abnormal for the conditions, say not within 10-15 beats of what is usually normally (which accounts for having a cold, weather, outside temp, etc) then you SHOULD GO TO THE DR and let him/her decide whether this was a fluke or is indicative of some other problem.

I think we all know that HR is what it is and we all know that more road time will reduce HR for the GIVEN exertion....but major discrepancies in what is 'normal' should be checked out. Could be a fluke, could not...but don't gamble. What will it cost to see the Dr., a few hours of work and a $30 copay maybe? Good luck, I hope its nothing.

Also, have you considered that the HR monitor was malfunctioning? Did you check your HR manually? Sometimes in a group you can have problems with accurate information because of cross reading, or even just a low battery somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well thanks to everyone who replyed. I learned quite a bit more about using heart rate here then I had previously known. I didnt know that you couldnt compare your own heart rate like that, n00b^^. So from this I take that I need to ride more with the monitor and take note in what has big effects on my HR like food on endurance rides, water, climbs, strenuous and comfort paced riding.
 
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