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I am a 40 year-old who has gotten back into cycling over the past few years. I have identified a few RR's that I want to participate in this year in Northern California with some cat 4 buddies. I ride regularly (3-5 days a week) with strong recreational cyclists and racers. I am 6-4 and weigh 195 but will probably race at 190. Hopefully that gives you all enough backround for my question...

I've noticed that compared to my buddies and most of the data I see posted in forums I have a high max heart rate. My max is right around 200 and I can ride very comfortably at 160. On the days that I try and hang with the 1/2 lunch crowd (and get summarily dropped) I'll go at 175 for 45 minutes straight. When climbing (we have a lot of around here) I'm always at 170-175 and am pretty comfortable.

Should I be concerned about this or just deal with the numbers under the assumption that I'm 25bpm higher than everyone esle?
 

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Call me a Fred
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There is a large variation in maximum heart rate. Don't worry if your's is higher or lower than others. It doesnt' matter and there would be nothing you could do about it if it did matter.
 

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Should I be concerned about my high heart rate?
Maybe. I am a little older than you at 57 and when really putting out usually on a long hill my heart rate can go up o0 190. At 165 I am pretty comfortable and can go a pretty long stretch at 175. When comparing ages I am about where you are. I say maybe because you should get yourself checked out. My PCP who is also an Pulminoligist (s) thought it OK but wanted to make sure. So he sent me to an heart specialist where I had a stress test. You want to make sure at those high numbers all 4our chambers of your heart are getting enough oxygen and functioning normally. So they get your heart rate up there and take a look. They also monitor how quickly you recover which from my understanding is equally important.
 

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sin zen
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Metz said:
I am a 40 year-old who has gotten back into cycling over the past few years. I have identified a few RR's that I want to participate in this year in Northern California with some cat 4 buddies. I ride regularly (3-5 days a week) with strong recreational cyclists and racers. I am 6-4 and weigh 195 but will probably race at 190. Hopefully that gives you all enough backround for my question...

I've noticed that compared to my buddies and most of the data I see posted in forums I have a high max heart rate. My max is right around 200 and I can ride very comfortably at 160. On the days that I try and hang with the 1/2 lunch crowd (and get summarily dropped) I'll go at 175 for 45 minutes straight. When climbing (we have a lot of around here) I'm always at 170-175 and am pretty comfortable.

Should I be concerned about this or just deal with the numbers under the assumption that I'm 25bpm higher than everyone esle?
Your just fine. I'm 39 and I see 215-216 in long hard sprints. I've had avg. h.r,s over 200 in crits and ride at 180-190 with no problem.
 

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35 years old, Max HR of 208...I do my time trials at 182-184bpm for an hour at a time no problem, and hit 200bpm in heavy sprints. Don't sweat it....if there was a problem, you'd already know it, and not even be able to ride like that....

the Flash
 

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I am in the Same Boat

Metz said:
I am a 40 year-old who has gotten back into cycling over the past few years. I have identified a few RR's that I want to participate in this year in Northern California with some cat 4 buddies. I ride regularly (3-5 days a week) with strong recreational cyclists and racers. I am 6-4 and weigh 195 but will probably race at 190. Hopefully that gives you all enough backround for my question...

I've noticed that compared to my buddies and most of the data I see posted in forums I have a high max heart rate. My max is right around 200 and I can ride very comfortably at 160. On the days that I try and hang with the 1/2 lunch crowd (and get summarily dropped) I'll go at 175 for 45 minutes straight. When climbing (we have a lot of around here) I'm always at 170-175 and am pretty comfortable.

Should I be concerned about this or just deal with the numbers under the assumption that I'm 25bpm higher than everyone esle?
Just to let you know that you are not alone, I have the same stats. I am 5-10 180lbs my overnight resting rate is 70bpm. On hard rides I can adverage 172 for the whole 2 hour ride. I have seen my max at 193. I am 42 years old. I found that my HRM was slowing me down. Every hard Wednesday ride when I noticed my HR getting over 170 I would slow down and get dropped. On one ride last year I did not have my HRM and told myself I was not getting dropped and I didn't. After that I started staying with the group on every ride. My doctor told me to not worry about the hight HR it is normal for me.
 

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I did the same thing...ditched the HRM and now I am much faster. That whole concept is for pros. For mere mortals....chase everything in site...you will know when you are going to blow out and you need to keep it just below that. Remember that your heart rate can get jacked up by a number of reasons unrelated to your actual cycling...heat, hydration, anxiety, wind....there is no way to really know if your HR is being affected by outside forces. Power output is a better measurement of what you are really doing, but too expensive for us mortals.

Try this with your HRM....if you are just monitoring HR and can download it later, put it in your back pocket and look at it when you get home....If you have a Polar and you are watching speed and cadence, cover up the HR reading with a little piece of tape. Then the numbers won't affect your riding, and you can get the results later...

The Flash
 

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The Flash said:
I did the same thing...ditched the HRM and now I am much faster. That whole concept is for pros. For mere mortals....chase everything in site...you will know when you are going to blow out and you need to keep it just below that. Remember that your heart rate can get jacked up by a number of reasons unrelated to your actual cycling...heat, hydration, anxiety, wind....there is no way to really know if your HR is being affected by outside forces. Power output is a better measurement of what you are really doing, but too expensive for us mortals.

Try this with your HRM....if you are just monitoring HR and can download it later, put it in your back pocket and look at it when you get home....If you have a Polar and you are watching speed and cadence, cover up the HR reading with a little piece of tape. Then the numbers won't affect your riding, and you can get the results later...

The Flash
Or you could pay attention to your breathing -- which is a more accurate index of aerobic load and LAT. Typically breathing is closely paralleled to HR when you're exercising, and so HR can be an index of aerobic load. But breathing is going to tell you what "zone" you're in when you're riding. And your HR monitor should be little more than a confirmation of what you aleady know.

And then if you look at your speed and consider the terrain you're riding on that should further correlate to HR on the monitor.

I have two "instrument stacks" on the bars -- HR monitor and cycle computer. They're great for providing data, but I can pretty much tell you what gear I'm in and how fast I'm going without any computer readout.

I suppose that's sort of "Zen and the Art of Listening to Your Body."
 

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your numbers aren't alarming or anything, but if you want real answers about that, turn to a doctor, preferrably a sports specialist. thats the only place you'll get exact answers and reasons related to you personally.
 

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No matter what everyone else's heart rate is ( and mine is similar by the way ), if you feel uncomfortable go to a doctor. No one here is qualified to tell you that you're okay.

That said, if the only reason you feel uncomfortable is because you are looking at your HRM, then ditch the HRM.
 
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