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For those with healthy hearts


Square Wheels
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Do you worry about your max heart rate?  I am regularly in the 160s.  I somethings go into the 170s.  I've been in the 180s - if only for a very short time.  I suspect I could hit 190 and then puke.

I've never stopped to think, is that safe for my heart.

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I always kept my heart rate just under 170 for an endurance race. Once the finish line was in site I let it go usually to 185. Fast heart rate isn’t what damages the heart. Stress and not enough exercise damages the heart.

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My cardiologist told me that a heathy heart can't be 'overrevved' unless drugs are involved. However a heart with an issue can. In my case I was doing a 100% max effort which exposed the fact that I had a blockage in a small artery making my heart unhealthy by definition. I was 46 YO at the time and probably in the 180s when it happened. I've had stress tests; however, the doctor only allowed me to get to 140 BPM then pronounced my heart healthy. I can go  higher than that and have my heart rate monitor set to start beeping at 150.

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I don't think to much aboot it. Last year while going for a few KOMs on Strava, I peaked at 174 IIRC. I'm 46. I remember when I was younger, I'd see peaks just over 200, but this was when I was in my 20s. While riding normally between 14-17 mph, my HR is around 110-125. I recall on some group rides, it would be in the 140s, but we were carrying a higher pace. Once I hit the 150s, it becomes difficult to carry a conversation. My HR will drop pretty quick once I reduce my effort.

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My record was 206. That was when I was new to running and on an uphill run in my first duathlon! 
On a tempo ride, I will be in the 160s. Sprints will tickle 185. 
Running my heart rate is higher. It will climb up to 180 on a steady tempo run. Sprints in speed work can get over 190. I’m told the important part is if your heart rate comes back down quickly after the effort. 

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11 minutes ago, groupw said:

My record was 206. That was when I was new to running and on an uphill run in my first duathlon! 
On a tempo ride, I will be in the 160s. Sprints will tickle 185. 
Running my heart rate is higher. It will climb up to 180 on a steady tempo run. Sprints in speed work can get over 190. I’m told the important part is if your heart rate comes back down quickly after the effort. 

That is one of the things they look for during (or after) a stress test.  They leave you hooked up for a bit when done to see how quickly everything returns to normal.  On my last test I had this weird Indian lady doctor who when we hit my max hr said "lets see how far you can go".  I assumed she was shopping for patients.

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No worries about max HR if, like folks wrote, it's a healthy heart.  Of course, that's sometimes tough to know.

I see a bunch of max HRs for the past several months of rides in the high 170s & low 180s.  I'd put my true max achievable HR - through cycling - maybe around 190 and a tad higher for something like running.  It has slowly dropped over the years from some rides showing regular max HR in the 180s and a few into the 190s, so it is coming down over the past 15 years I have been looking at it.

When I used to run a bunch on the treadmill with an HR, it would regularly show how easily my running HRs exceeds my riding HR at a perceived equal effort - usually 10 bpms.

I also focus more on paying attention to recovery from a max making sure I don't stay at very high levels for very long period, and it is also key, if working with HR, zones, and general training by HR, to actually properly track/establish your min HR.  That really helps you see and understand the range you have to work with.

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Yeah, healthy heart.

Dunno about the max, but the electrician (Electrophysiologist) said as long as I can get it over 140, I won't get a pacemaker.

I get my yearly echo next month to see if anything has changed.

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13 hours ago, Square Wheels said:

Do you worry about your max heart rate?  I am regularly in the 160s.  I somethings go into the 170s.  I've been in the 180s - if only for a very short time.  I suspect I could hit 190 and then puke.

I've never stopped to think, is that safe for my heart.

I studied heart rate in a required-of-Maryland-high-school-coaches course in "Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries" as well as in several running and exercise books from the excellent Covert Bailey books based on his late 1900's studies at MIT to the Harvard Medical School books on exercise for Seniors and also cheap-last-edition college texts on Nutrition and Physiology and Exercise.

The info below is fairly good for most adults and child athletes:

Bailey has an excellent article on heart rate here, similar to what I have below: http://lifestylesbyrondagates.com/covert/articles/zone.html

Bailey points out that COMMON SENSE overrules any calculations.  If you feel quickly tired at lower elevated heart rates or feel good at higher elevated heart rates, that needs to be considered in your exercise plans.

There is a quick-and-dirty set of calculations that goes like this:  Your max. heart rate (beats/min.) should be in the vicinity of 220 - your age in years. That's variable - about 15% of people have higher max's and 15% lower.  I'm 70 and I've recorded (Garmin heart strap) heart rates in the mid-160's within the last couple years, not the 150 the formula predicts.

But there's also a superior Karvonen Training Range Calculation 40% to 80% of max rate that factors in your resting heart rate and, in studies, usually matches measured percent of max. VO2 rates.  The excerpt from the book I got it from is at bottom.

In my case my age is 70 and resting heart rate is 72.

Max. heart rate calc: 220-70 = 150

150 - 72 = 78

40% of 78 = 31

31 + 72 = 103

80% of 79 = 62

62 + 72 = 134

So my mild (40%) to vigorous (80%) exercise range should be 103-134 BPM.

Using my known max heart rate of 167, the calculated range increases to 110 - 141 BPM

 

There's some variation from expert to expert, but approx. 40% to about 70% of max. is moderate exercise.  About 70% to 85% is vigorous exercise.  These numbers can vary depending on how good a shape you're in.

In ANY case above 90% of mex. heart rate is dangerous.

I set my Garmin Edge 530 to buzz if my heart rate exceeds 145 (approaching 90% max for me) and I slow down when it does.  If the buzzing doesn't stop in about 30 seconds (usually uphill), I stop the bike and rest until it does.

Here's the info from the American Council on Exercise's book, Exercise for older adults_ ACE's guide for fitness professionals (1998), which is still good today, they say:

Calculating the Training Range

There are two primary methods used to determine heart-rate training range. The first computes the percentage of maximum heart rate (HR max). The second is known as the Karvonen, or heart-rate reserve method. This technique factors in resting heart rate and reflects the percentage of the maximum volume of oxygen (VO2max). When using the Karvonen method, the percent of heart-rate reserve corresponds to approximately the same percentage of the individual's functional capacity, or VO2max (ACSM, 1995).

Because true maximum heart-rate values are acquired by using a maximum exercise tolerance test, the constant of 220 minus age will have to suffice when working with older adults. Remember, though, that this common method has a minimum variability of 10 to 12 beats per minute (Durstine & Pate, 1993). The following example illustrates the superiority of the Karvonen method in establishing a training range.

Heart rate example.

Determine the heart rate range from 40 percent to 80 percent for an 85-year-old individual with a resting heart rate of 62 beats per minute.

% of HR max                                                  % of HRR

220 - 85 = 135 (estimated HR max)             220 - 85 = 135 (estimated HR max)

40% ´ 135 = 54 beats per minute                 135 - 62 = 73 (BPM)

80% ´ 135 = 108 (BPM)                                  40% ´ 73 = 29

40% to 80% = 54 to 108 (BPM)                     29 + 73 = 102 (BPM)

                                                                         80% ´ 73 = 5858 + 73 = 131 (BPM)

                                                                         40% to 80% = 102 to 131 (BPM)

 

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2 hours ago, MickinMD said:

In ANY case above 90% of mex. heart rate is dangerous.

 

1 hour ago, Reverend_Maynard said:

I don't worry about max heart rate.  Unless you are having some symptom that your heart is struggling (weakness, dizzyness, chest pain), it's fine to push yourself to the limit, imo.

I agree.  I set my HR range at 45 to 190.  Strava does some calculating and sets the Z5 at >185 which is where I rarely land, but which is within limits of what I see on normal rides like yesterday's (below).  Getting anaerobic is usually reserved for a "hard" ride, but most of my rides are on the gentler side :)  Maybe some intervals should be added to my mix :scratchhead:

image.png.1bc9f4ea76e8381138b7b67f79e09c9f.png

And using an on-line Karvonen calculator with a 190 max/45 min, I get these for output.  Since I regularly hit 177+, I find 90% is fine, 95% tough (but doable), and neither particularly troublesome.  HOWEVER, the big challenge I have, since HR is so specific to people, I always find it tough to compare or use other people as guides or even for any real baseline :(

image.png.534da18a0180290b719bda0b2639333b.png

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8 minutes ago, Dottles said:

I don't fill my head with such nonsense.

I’m the same, I don’t train I ride.  I had a small heart murmur but the cardiologist said to keep on keeping on, he wasn’t worried about it.

This post kinda made me wonder if I should add a heart strap when I ride as I already have a Garmin... 

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1 minute ago, ChrisL said:

I’m the same, I don’t train I ride.  I had a small heart murmur but the cardiologist said to keep on keeping on, he wasn’t worried about it.

This post kinda made me wonder if I should add a heart strap when I ride as I already have a Garmin... 

If it motivates you to ride, then I'm all for it. But in my view, I spent $100s on devices that told me all kinds of useless data that was both time consuming and provided a lot of data I never used. I'd probably be pulling an SW and worrying about some silly little thing that's going to add up to nothing.

Just ride.

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9 minutes ago, Dottles said:

If it motivates you to ride, then I'm all for it. But in my view, I spent $100s on devices that told me all kinds of useless data that was both time consuming and provided a lot of data I never used. I'd probably be pulling an SW and worrying about some silly little thing that's going to add up to nothing.

Just ride.

Yeah the data won’t motivate me to ride, it’s more of a precaution or warning  if something is going haywire with the ole ticker.  

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Just now, ChrisL said:

Yeah the data won’t motivate me to ride, it’s more of a precaution or warning  if something is going haywire with the ole ticker.  

Yeah.  I understand it and I also understand SW is in the field.  I'm not saying it's wrong.  I'm just saying that I fill my head everyday with useless data that i never act on.  The less inhibitors or work that I have to do before i ride, the better.  I often forget to simply reset my trip odometer before each ride.  And that new athletic watch I bought?  It sits on my counter now because the strap interferes with my desk and keyboard.  

Anyway, I find if I keep things simple, I have a much better chance of completing my goals.  But that's just me.

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Time and mileage are good enough for me.  If I'm averaging 15+ mph while riding over an hour -- I've succeeded.

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1 minute ago, Dottles said:

Yeah.  I understand it and I also understand SW is in the field.  I'm not saying it's wrong.  I'm just saying that I fill my head everyday with useless data that i never act on.  The less inhibitors or work that I have to do before i ride, the better.  I often forget to simply reset my trip odometer before each ride.  And that new athletic watch I bought?  It sits on my counter now because the strap interferes with my desk and keyboard.  

Anyway, I find if I keep things simple, I have a much better chance of completing my goals.  But that's just me.

Yeah we are pretty similar on that end.  I have a Garmin and its way more data than I want or need but I like the ability for one device on 3 bikes.  I use a small % of its capability. 

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Just now, ChrisL said:

Yeah we are pretty similar on that end.  I have a Garmin and its way more data than I want or need but I like the ability for one device on 3 bikes.  I use a small % of its capability. 

Yeah.  I had one of those too.  I enjoyed mapping everywhere I rode but I moved and got away from riding and now that I'm back into it, you think I can find it?  No... and i'm not going to pop for another one because I don't need it.  I learned what I needed to know the first time around.  Once you learn how far things are by taking certain routes, then you can simply improve the time.  For example, my wife and I rode out to Lynden, WA which was 10.5 miles from my house and back.  Now that I know how far it is taking route A, I feel comfortable enough to know route B is going to be +/- a mile of that.  I am able to adequately approximate.  The detailed, actual metric of distance I traveled is irrelevant.  Now, I would say if you didn't have a healthy heart, then I might be more interested in know what those readings were.

 

But I digress.  Here's an interesting chart.

Age in years Target heart rate zone in bpm
20 100–170
30 95–162
35 93–157
40 90–153
45 88–149
50 85–145
55 83–140
60 80–136
65 78–132
70 75–128

 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326361#age

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46 minutes ago, Dottles said:

Here's an interesting chart.

In what way? The uselessness of it?  I guess this is "fat burning" (just under my 70%) so its a good target? But, darn, not knowing one's min/max really makes any chart useless, perhaps dangerous?  

image.png.e705e8c245928f7a283fd01efdde91aa.png

Target heart rate zones by age

The American Heart Association (AHA) advise that people aim to reach between 50% and 85% of their maximum heart rate during exercise.

So, looking at my more ACCURATE values, 118-168 are where the AHA would want me, not 85 (35 LOWER) and 145 (23 lower).  Yikes!  That's an awfully large difference.

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1 minute ago, Razors Edge said:

In what way? The uselessness of it?  I guess this is "fat burning" (just under my 70%) so its a good target? But, darn, not knowing one's min/max really makes any chart useless, perhaps dangerous?  

image.png.e705e8c245928f7a283fd01efdde91aa.png

Target heart rate zones by age

The American Heart Association (AHA) advise that people aim to reach between 50% and 85% of their maximum heart rate during exercise.

So, looking at my more ACCURATE values, 118-168 are where the AHA would want me, not 85 (35 LOWER) and 145 (23 lower).  Yikes!  That's an awfully large difference.

I threw a bone to the data folks.  I figured they might respect me more.  But who am I kidding?  I'm not respected.  But I did take my car to a Les Schwab outlet to replace 4 aging struts.

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2 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

 

I agree.  I set my HR range at 45 to 190.  Strava does some calculating and sets the Z5 at >185 which is where I rarely land, but which is within limits of what I see on normal rides like yesterday's (below).  Getting anaerobic is usually reserved for a "hard" ride, but most of my rides are on the gentler side :)  Maybe some intervals should be added to my mix :scratchhead:

image.png.1bc9f4ea76e8381138b7b67f79e09c9f.png

And using an on-line Karvonen calculator with a 190 max/45 min, I get these for output.  Since I regularly hit 177+, I find 90% is fine, 95% tough (but doable), and neither particularly troublesome.  HOWEVER, the big challenge I have, since HR is so specific to people, I always find it tough to compare or use other people as guides or even for any real baseline :(

image.png.534da18a0180290b719bda0b2639333b.png

To each his/her own!  If I had a younger heart that could reach 177 bpm easily I probably wouldn't worry about heart rate either.  But since I'm not in tip-top shape but tend to overdo-it having been been a distance runner, cross-country coach, etc., I use that 90% reminder to keep me safe.

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42 minutes ago, MickinMD said:

To each his/her own!  If I had a younger heart that could reach 177 bpm easily I probably wouldn't worry about heart rate either.  But since I'm not in tip-top shape but tend to overdo-it having been been a distance runner, cross-country coach, etc., I use that 90% reminder to keep me safe.

That's MY POINT.  To each their own is exactly the discussion, and after that, we all need to look at our own numbers, fitness, health, etc., and go from there.  Getting the various zones is a good first step, but the charts that are "suggested" just suck.  Few fit those, so that could mean wasting efforts or dangerous efforts.

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4 minutes ago, Square Wheels said:

I was definitely dehydrated.  HR still in the low 100s.  Trying to drink.

Dude, that was an HOUR ago.  Maybe something else is keeping it elevated?

But, yeah, DRINK UP!

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Just now, Razors Edge said:

Dude, that was an HOUR ago.  Maybe something else is keeping it elevated?

But, yeah, DRINK UP!

102 as of this post.  I am usually in the 60s or 70s sitting.

It will go down.  I've had at least 24 oz since I got back.

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1 minute ago, Square Wheels said:

never tried it.

protein drink

lemonade (I never drink that)

water

water

The oddest "recovery" mix I've ever seen!

My go to was a protein powder mixed with cold coffee and some cold milk.  SOOO TASTY.

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9 minutes ago, Square Wheels said:

Not a recovery mix, those are things I've had in that order.

Working on 12 oz of Skratch now.

How hard did you go????  I think you could have forgone the protein altogether and just gone water, water, water after the ride.  I know you are unlikely to pre-hydrate before the ride, but you should consider really ramping up your water consumption when you know you have maybe 30 mins to go, and then start drinking as soon as you open the garage.  A two hour effort can really be a zero water ride but only if you're properly hydrated to start with which I know sets the ride up as stop-fest for you.  So, if you're going to go out already at the near dehydrated level, make sure you are 1) taking it easier in the beginning, and 2) increase the fluids as you increase the effort.  Sluggish blood is no one's friend.

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6 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

How hard did you go????  I think you could have forgone the protein altogether and just gone water, water, water after the ride.  I know you are unlikely to pre-hydrate before the ride, but you should consider really ramping up your water consumption when you know you have maybe 30 mins to go, and then start drinking as soon as you open the garage.  A two hour effort can really be a zero water ride but only if you're properly hydrated to start with which I know sets the ride up as stop-fest for you.  So, if you're going to go out already at the near dehydrated level, make sure you are 1) taking it easier in the beginning, and 2) increase the fluids as you increase the effort.  Sluggish blood is no one's friend.

If you followed me on Garmin, you'd see.  :)

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/6779448115

34  Not a great performance, got tired again 25 miles in.

I suspect I did not drink enough before I left.

HR still around 100.  I'm not worried, it will come down.

 

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Most of the time on a ride my HR is in the 150s or less.  If I get into the 160s that's high for me and usually my max is about 165.    I don't worry about it...  

A few rides on a 18 mile ride, ago my HR got well above 200 a few times.   I noticed the high HR during the ride, but I didn't feel any different than before or after the high HR numbers went away.

I'm guessing the HR numbers must be an error.   If my HR actually got to 220, I'll guess I'd be dead soon.

image.png.e5ea0a466ede36db833000958241c5ba.png

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1 hour ago, Bikeguy said:

Most of the time on a ride my HR is in the 150s or less.  If I get into the 160s that's high for me and usually my max is about 165.    I don't worry about it...  

A few rides on a 18 mile ride, ago my HR got well above 200 a few times.   I noticed the high HR during the ride, but I didn't feel any different than before or after the high HR numbers went away.

I'm guessing the HR numbers must be an error.   If my HR actually got to 220, I'll guess I'd be dead soon.

image.png.e5ea0a466ede36db833000958241c5ba.png

I have a couple of jerseys that will mess with my HR data.  I get soooo pissed when I wear them on a windy day.  The HR info is just crap when "flappy jersey" comes into play. 

 

1 hour ago, Square Wheels said:

34  Not a great performance, got tired again 25 miles in.

A lot of stopping and starting?  Too many restarts are tough on folks' legs.

image.thumb.png.e131fc0fa63f894eb9c62f1bb74bed7a.png

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9 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

I have a couple of jerseys that will mess with my HR data.  I get soooo pissed when I wear them on a windy day.  The HR info is just crap when "flappy jersey" comes into play. 

Yeah.. it was windy.   I'll bet that was the issue. 

No way could I get a HR above 172, I think that was my max 1 or 2 years ago. 

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43 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

A lot of stopping and starting?  Too many restarts are tough on folks' legs.

I typed 30 miles in my Garmin and went where it too me.  Lots of downtime stuff.

Oddly I've had at least a 100 oz since I got back, including regular Skratch and rescue Skratch.  Still in the 90s low 100s.

First one here gets my bike, ideally after I'm dead.

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Back when I was in shape, before going on blood pressure meds,  my heart rate would fluctuate rapidly, both up and down. Standing on the pedals climbing a hill, 160 -170 in the flutter of an eyelash, coasting down the other side, back down to 120 or so just a tad slower.

I always assumed a well trained heart in good condition would respond quickly to changing demands, I noticed during my many losses of and recoveries of condition, that my heart rate reacted quicker when I was in good shape, like a race car engine.

Now that I'm old, fat and on BP meds my heart just plods along. If I ask it to pick up the tempo, like to climb a few stairs, it laughs and tells me to to take a break. I had to get my HR to 137 for a stress test, I thought I'd die before it finally hit it.

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On 5/14/2021 at 1:57 PM, Square Wheels said:

HR still around 100.  I'm not worried, it will come down.

Has it come down yet?

 

On 5/14/2021 at 2:23 PM, Bikeguy said:

I'm guessing the HR numbers must be an error.   If my HR actually got to 220, I'll guess I'd be dead soon.

I got a "new max HR" alert on my Garmin - like 240bpm :D  It was super windy yesterday with the wind coming off the ocean as a headwind which is much of that early highlighted portion of the ride, but I don't remember seeing the high numbers on the head unit now was I wearing one of my "flappy jerseys" but it was one of my loose fitting jerseys with a long sleeve undershirt beneath it, so maybe that was the bad combination.  I KNOW I did no anaerobic riding, but got credit for 6+ mins.  Tech fail!  Luckily, the power meter tells the more complete picture with numbers in my normal range.

image.thumb.png.1b9aa8ec035ce46b736ff14757b74387.png

image.thumb.png.370bbed673404cc790d720459a7e8188.png

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