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SOOOOO.....
Im in my second year road biking, did two CAT4/5 races last year. I have a day job and have a horse breeding/training business at home so I don't have unlimited hours for training. I read a few articles and books over the winter and determined that by monitoring your heart rate, you can actually maximize your training time.
I bought a computer with HRM, and the first thing I did was check out my resting heart rate. This came up as 55 bpm. Didn't think much of it, but checked it again the next day and again, 55 bpm. I started wearing it as I ride and found I can comfortably ride for 70 - 80 minutes (my average commute time) in the 155 - 165 bpm range. Again, didn't think much of it.
Then I looked at one of those HR charts posted in the gym, and saw that for my age (I'm 35) my max heart rate should be 180 - 185, and that according to the charts, I'm spending an hour at 80 - 90% of my max heart rate. If I work backwards, figuring I'm actually in the 70 -80% of my max HR, then my max would be around 200 bpm. I know these charts are less than scientific, but I'm curious if I should see a doctor about this?

Oh, and I tried another HRM (and the old fashioned finger on the wrist method) just to make sure it wasn't a calibration isssue.
 

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Don't sweat it...yet...

The charts at the gym are based on a very generic formula: 220-age=max HR. Everyone is different and your personal Max can be dramatically different. For instance, I'm 32. According to those charts I should have a max HR in the upper 180's. My actual max is 202. That changes the zones and percentages a lot.

During your next race, really give it all you got towards the end. My highest recorded HRs are always at the end of races. Ramp up the pace towards the end and bust a nut in the finish sprint.

Once you have your max HR, go to a site like this: http://www.fitzones.com/heartratecalc.htm and calculate your zones. Don't pay any attention to the charts at the gym.
 

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Agree with Ben, ignore the gym charts

Just like everything else that is one-size-fits-all, it might kind of fit everyone, but it rarely fits anyone well. You'll quickly come to learn that everyone is different. Some people's HR runs higher no matter the condition they are in, like me. Other's are just the opposite.

If you really want to find your maxHR, then sprinting hill intervals with limited rest between reps do it for me every time. I'm 36 and my max is roughly 189, with an LT in the mid-to-high 160's. LT fluctuates up and down depending on the time of year and how much I am training. I don't race, but it's always good to have these numbers to train with, esp. if I am shooting for a PR at a particular distance or wanting to peak at specific event.

I'd believe your body and your HRM before I used any generic gym chart.
 

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Your max heart rate (MHR) based upon those charts at the gym are very vague, and should be used only as a very rough guide. Many people can get their MHR well over what those charts would predict, and there is nothing physiologically wrong with this so long as you are a healthy individual. It's more accurate to figure out your training zones based on your VO2 max and your onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA, a more accurate term than lactate threshold) than on your MHR. You can figure those things out with lab tests, or simpler on the bike tests as well. Remember all of these things though, will change with training and from day to day even. Use all of them as a guide, and your percieved exertion level as well. What I would suggest is to get a good book on training for cycling, such as the ones written by Friel or Burke. This will give you a better understanding of what the numbers on your HRM mean.


crestlinefarm said:
SOOOOO.....
Im in my second year road biking, did two CAT4/5 races last year. I have a day job and have a horse breeding/training business at home so I don't have unlimited hours for training. I read a few articles and books over the winter and determined that by monitoring your heart rate, you can actually maximize your training time.
I bought a computer with HRM, and the first thing I did was check out my resting heart rate. This came up as 55 bpm. Didn't think much of it, but checked it again the next day and again, 55 bpm. I started wearing it as I ride and found I can comfortably ride for 70 - 80 minutes (my average commute time) in the 155 - 165 bpm range. Again, didn't think much of it.
Then I looked at one of those HR charts posted in the gym, and saw that for my age (I'm 35) my max heart rate should be 180 - 185, and that according to the charts, I'm spending an hour at 80 - 90% of my max heart rate. If I work backwards, figuring I'm actually in the 70 -80% of my max HR, then my max would be around 200 bpm. I know these charts are less than scientific, but I'm curious if I should see a doctor about this?

Oh, and I tried another HRM (and the old fashioned finger on the wrist method) just to make sure it wasn't a calibration isssue.
 

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www.fitzones.com

biknben said:
The charts at the gym are based on a very generic formula: 220-age=max HR. Everyone is different and your personal Max can be dramatically different. For instance, I'm 32. According to those charts I should have a max HR in the upper 180's. My actual max is 202. That changes the zones and percentages a lot.

During your next race, really give it all you got towards the end. My highest recorded HRs are always at the end of races. Ramp up the pace towards the end and bust a nut in the finish sprint.

Once you have your max HR, go to a site like this: http://www.fitzones.com/heartratecalc.htm and calculate your zones. Don't pay any attention to the charts at the gym.
I'm 39, with a RHR of 60 and a MHR of 186, why does the site you mentioned calculate 50-60% of my MHR as being 123-135. Is there some kind of factor they are including for?? I've been training based on actual % of MHR to be in the right zone, 186 x 60% = 112 BPM, based on Chris Carmichael's book "7 weeks to a perfect ride". I think "fitzones" is incorrectly calculating zones.
 

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If I understand correctly...

Tre-colore said:
I'm 39, with a RHR of 60 and a MHR of 186, why does the site you mentioned calculate 50-60% of my MHR as being 123-135. Is there some kind of factor they are including for?? I've been training based on actual % of MHR to be in the right zone, 186 x 60% = 112 BPM, based on Chris Carmichael's book "7 weeks to a perfect ride". I think "fitzones" is incorrectly calculating zones.
Fitzones is calculating the zones based on the difference between your resting HR and your Max HR. While CC is just using a percentage of your Max HR. There is no right or wrong answer, it's just a different method. Resting HR can vary widely from person to person. IMO, the more variables you consider when calculating the zones, the more accurate they will be for your body.

I use an entirely different method. I do a monthly test to determine (approximately) my HR at Lactic Acid Threshold (LAT HR) and create my zones from that number. This is the method recommended by Joe Friel.
 
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