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Heart Rate - Max HR vs FT

I have been using a HR moinitor for the past 3 months. My highest HR, including racing and running/biking flat out until close to being sick, was 172!

Now that seems low when I look at the various methods, e.g. 220-age (39) and a number of other calculations based on resting HR (37). I have checked quite a few guidelines (the Bible, Going Long, beIRONfit, .....) and it just does not add up.

Is my HR naturally much lower or .....? I know the only way to get a real answer is to having it tested in a lab, but I thought I would ask!


  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425

    Your heart rate is your heart rate. Training can raise your max HR but only as much as your genetic make up allows. Why worry about something that isn't a problem. You could spend money on a lab test but as has been discused previously on this forum one test is not enough.

    You've got the Training Bible. It bases the various training intensities around your lactate threshold (average HR for a one hour'ish race). If you are wanting to base your training on HR then try this approach. It is at least as good as using maxHR. Just remember that your lactate threshold will change with training so keep it under review.
  • BTDBTD Posts: 4
    I agree, your max HR is just that and it varies from person to person. It is not an indicator of fitness or performance so don't worry about it. You definitely don't need to go to a lab to have it measured. Just find a good long, fairly steep hill, after warming up try and run at a good pace for about 3 minutes before you reach the bottom and then keep going for as long as you can until you can't give any more. The max HR you record is just that. If you are able to download your HR profile from your monitor you should ideally see a plateau in your HR at the very end.
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Max HR is as stated mostly genetically determined, how you work within HRR , (heart rate reserve)between resting & maximum, is changeable through training. Working within zones gives a focus but can still be a guessing (albeit an educated guess) game, due to many influencibg factors such as you have alluded to illness, also hydration status, stress, nutritional status etc. Arguably lactate threshold is more useful, can be tested but...probably not worth the effort & cost for AGers. You should be aware of your heart rate at given intensities & the HR you can sustain during say a 20k time trial, 40k time trial etc there you have a workable guide to your thresholds at those paces/distances, now all you need is to be able to push that threshold & either keep the same pace but a lower HR or same HR but lower time for that distance.
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