Boards.ie uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more x
Post Reply  
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
10-07-2019, 14:55   #1
Sam the Sham
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 277
What's a max heart rate?

I'm asking the question but not the naive question the answer to which is "the fastest your heart can beat (under stress)."

My question is: would you just use the highest (known, non-specious) rate you've recently seen? Or is it some other, more frequently-seen number?

More concretely: a few months ago, I came back from a six-month layoff due to an achilles injury. After my return to running, for my first runs I saw heart rates peaking at 185 or so. Saw that number multiple times in multiple runs. That's more or less what I'd expected given my past history. And that's what I've been using as my max in my GPS watch.

However, having now gotten back in reasonable shape, I'm finding that even during HIIT sessions, I never come close to hitting that 185. I'm like 13 bpm lower. And I know that for intervals often the highest heart rate is seen after you've slowed down during the "rest" parts.

My understanding was always that MHR would decline with age but that--unlike resting heart rate--it wouldn't decline as fitness improved: it was basically constant save for the slow decline with age. But now I'm wondering if fitness doesn't lower it after all, perhaps because the heart can pump more blood per beat?

TL;DR: would you use the highest rate you've recently seen (regardless of fitness) or a rate you more commonly see when your effort levels seem to be just about maxed out?

Last edited by Sam the Sham; 10-07-2019 at 15:02.
Sam the Sham is offline  
Advertisement
10-07-2019, 15:20   #2
Reg'stoy
Registered User
 
Reg'stoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,321
I reckon I hit mine at around 9-54am last sat morning finishing that 'hill' at the end of the Ardgillan parkrun. I actually remarked (as i was been lifted out of the way of other finishers ) that I reckon that final 'sprint' up the hill was a good way of finding your max HR.
191 and I turned 50 earlier this year, so going by age mine should be 170ish. I don't know if this is good or bad .
I've never used a max HR to calculate heart rates as I tend to be a; if I'm chatting away with the person beside me while running, it's an easy pace, kind of jogger.
Reg'stoy is offline  
10-07-2019, 18:22   #3
TFBubendorfer
Moderator
 
TFBubendorfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,711
You should use the max HR that your body is able to produce.

It can be a bit tricky because even if you measure it accurately it does decline gradually, by about 0.5 - 1 beats per year. There is no way it would have declined by 13 beats within a few months, so your true HR is probably still close to what you used to see.

One additional caveat, HR monitors can be a bit unreliable, especially at high HRs. Never trust a reading within the first 1-2 miles of your run, and if you see a spike in your HR data you can discount that as well.
TFBubendorfer is offline  
Thanks from:
10-07-2019, 19:11   #4
Sam the Sham
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 277
Thanks.

I'm a pretty experienced runner (been distance running off and on since I was in my teens and I'm in my late 50s now), so I do have an idea of when a heart rate reading from the HRM is spurious. I tend to get those now and again especially when using the optical sensor on the watch itself. But the current readings are mostly using a chest strap, which I find almost never gives me readings that are out of line with my relative perceived effort.

I think I'll do a hill test (or a race) and see what figures come out.
Sam the Sham is offline  
10-07-2019, 20:23   #5
ultrapercy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam the Sham View Post
I'm asking the question but not the naive question the answer to which is "the fastest your heart can beat (under stress)."

My question is: would you just use the highest (known, non-specious) rate you've recently seen? Or is it some other, more frequently-seen number?

More concretely: a few months ago, I came back from a six-month layoff due to an achilles injury. After my return to running, for my first runs I saw heart rates peaking at 185 or so. Saw that number multiple times in multiple runs. That's more or less what I'd expected given my past history. And that's what I've been using as my max in my GPS watch.

However, having now gotten back in reasonable shape, I'm finding that even during HIIT sessions, I never come close to hitting that 185. I'm like 13 bpm lower. And I know that for intervals often the highest heart rate is seen after you've slowed down during the "rest" parts.

My understanding was always that MHR would decline with age but that--unlike resting heart rate--it wouldn't decline as fitness improved: it was basically constant save for the slow decline with age. But now I'm wondering if fitness doesn't lower it after all, perhaps because the heart can pump more blood per beat?

TL;DR: would you use the highest rate you've recently seen (regardless of fitness) or a rate you more commonly see when your effort levels seem to be just about maxed out?
the best time to find out your max hr is when your unfit. When you are very fit it is almost impossible to get within even a few beats of max. Its likely that your max is that 185 plus a few beats. At an estimate Id say your max is 188 to 190.
ultrapercy is offline  
Advertisement
11-07-2019, 06:59   #6
TFBubendorfer
Moderator
 
TFBubendorfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam the Sham View Post
I think I'll do a hill test (or a race) and see what figures come out.
I got my highest readings from a 5k race with an uphill finish, especially when battling tooth and nail with another runner for the line.

I never got even close to those readings in training, no matter how hard I tried.
TFBubendorfer is offline  
Thanks from:
Post Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Remove Text Formatting
Bold
Italic
Underline

Insert Image
Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text
 
Decrease Size
Increase Size
Please sign up or log in to join the discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Share Tweet