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Calculating Max Heart Rate

Just got myself a Garmin 305 that obviously wants to know my max heart rate to calculate my zones.



Is working out max heart rate as simple as running like a looney and taking my pulse (or the biking equivilent) or should I be doing something far more scientific.



Also Joe Friel recommends calculating lactate threshold rather than MHR but I can't follow his methods for working this out. Anyone explain in laymans terms please.

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    agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    Standard way for working out HRs is 220 - your age. Though this is an estimate, and hardly ever accurate. Some people have a higher natural HR than others when exercising, so the best way to do is do a Max HR test. Easiest way to do this (on both bike and running, bike Max HR tends to be lower than running max HR), is either find yourself a nice shortish steep hill and do hill reps, really pushing, or on the flat, start of at a comfortable pace, and every minute pick the pace up until you cannot push any harder. Then if your wearing your HR monitor, it should show your max HR for the session and this will be your Max HR. Make sure you warm up and cool down properly, these are hard sessions!
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    THE YEOTHE YEO Posts: 20
    There;s two ways: METHOD A: involves maths and METHOD B: involves money. METHOD A: Karnovon prinicple. 220 - age = MHR, you could then work out your own thresholds by taking away your resting heart rate, then divide by 100 to get a %. Then times that % to your working intensity, i.e.50%, and do it for 5% increases all the way up to 100%. For each of those calculations add back your resting heart rate. this will then for you tell you what HR you should have for each intensity. OR METHOD B: get a fittness test in a lab where you can do both a VO2 MAX test and a THRESHOLD test on a treadmill where they take regular blood samples to see where you lactic acid levels change according to speed / HR. try www.optimumvelocity.co.uk as Dr Jen Hewitt is a legend in this field.

    Hope that helps

    Mark
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    bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    In the tri club we do a similar max HR test every year, that is similar to the one agen_ti describes.

    It costs you nothing and is very accurate.
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    JulesJules Posts: 987
    agent_ti wrote:


    Standard way for working out HRs is 220 - your age. Though this is an estimate, and hardly ever accurate. Some people have a higher natural HR than others when exercising, so the best way to do is do a Max HR test. Easiest way to do this (on both bike and running, bike Max HR tends to be lower than running max HR), is either find yourself a nice shortish steep hill and do hill reps, really pushing, or on the flat, start of at a comfortable pace, and every minute pick the pace up until you cannot push any harder. Then if your wearing your HR monitor, it should show your max HR for the session and this will be your Max HR. Make sure you warm up and cool down properly, these are hard sessions!



    Just ordered a HRM so will be giving this a try.



    I'm just reading Joe Friel's book. It's very good but to my mind his method of finding lactate threshold is problematic. You have to be able to recognise when you've reached it to know what heart rate you reach it at, which might be difficult to judge for the inexperienced (like me).

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    agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    To be honest, its nearly impossible to find your lactate threshold without doing proper testing in a lab, which costs! The only way really to describe when youve reached it, is when you start to feel the burn in your legs, not a really heavy burn, but a smallish burn as you can feel the lactic acid building up, which you will be able to recognise as you train more. Basically for sub-lactate threshold work, you want your legs to be feeling good, not burning but still working, above threshold you want to start to feel your legs getting heavy
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    Thanks all.



    Hill reps it is!!!
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    bathtubbathtub Posts: 280
    Harlow Yellow wrote:
    Also Joe Friel recommends calculating lactate threshold rather than MHR but I can't follow his methods for working this out. Anyone explain in laymans terms please.



    Basically do a good warmup then do a 30 minute time trial at a hard steady pace that you can maintain for the full 30 minutes. 10 minutes into the test click the lap button on your HR monitor then 20 minutes later, at the end of your TT click the lap button again. The average Heart Rate for this 20 minute lap is your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate. you can then refer this number to the tables in Joe Friels book to establish the various training intensities.



    A seperate test needs to be done for the bike and run.



    Like THE YEO said the other method is lab testing but if you want to retest every 6-8 weeks it is a lot cheaper and easier to go out on the road and do the Joe Friel test than pay to go to Lab testing.













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    Sorry to keep this thread going but.....



    In trying to reach my max heart rate I ran a steady 7km cross country with rapid acceleration towards the end leading to a MHR of 167.



    I then did full on sprint hill reps (5) up a muddy hill about of about 200m but the MHR achieved was 164 despite being totally out on my feet at the end of each run.



    Can my MHR really be only 167. I think MHR doesn't relate to fitness so I'm not sure what to make of it but I hit 152 yesterday up an incline on what was a steady 6 mile run. Doesn't seem a lot of difference in HR compared to the vast difference in effort.



    I'm 42 but pretty fit - 2.25pb last year for Olympic Tri and sub 39 min 10k runner during triathlon.



    Any of our resident experts offer a view on whether 167 is likely to be my MHR or is there more in the tank?



    Thanks.
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    Maybe I should add my resting HR is 51BPM.
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    sfullersfuller Posts: 628
    its that what it is then thats what it is.



    My resting is 48 and max is 198.
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    Hi Harlow



    First off, I'm no expert, so others may correct me. But I have read several articles where professional athletes maximum heart rates are mentioned and they always seem to vary massively - some have a maximum of 160 at age 30 whereas others have a max of 200 at 40. A high or low max HR doesn't seem to be any indicator of overall fitness i.e. it's neither better nor worse, or a sign of fitness or slovenliness, to have either a high or low maximum.



    For the record, my resting rate is 50 and my maximum (using the agent_tri method) is 195. I'm 36, so in theory I should have a maximum of 184. It's a complete pain in the neck for my HRM, because I seem to have set the heart ranges correctly on my watch but whenever I transfer the data to my computer it insists on my Max heart rate being 184 - i.e. my tortuously maintained zone 3 training run suddenly becomes a zone 4/5 run on the computer graphs. Annoying!

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    BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Best answer that..it is what it is.

    Max HR tends to be genetically determined, training wil make little or no difference..loking for trouble? Blame your parents. Resting can & will be altered by training, thus creating a bigger gap from lo to hi, your heart rate range, this has the effect of broadening all of your zones.

    I would not be concerned that your max is 'only' XX, or is XX+, that for sure is a figure you can do little about, although statistically it is supposed to decrease each year...but are those stats based on a sedentary poulation?
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