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The danger zone -a.k.a Going beyond previous max heart rate(4 posts)

The danger zone -a.k.a Going beyond previous max heart rateschills
Jan 31, 2002 10:43 AM
An interesting(and frightening) thing happened during my last ride. My legs were feeling great and I really put my all into setting a PR up the second of three climbs on my last training ride. Midway up the climb my HR monitor signaled that I was exceeding my previously determined HR max. I haven't had my HR max clinically tested and had entered the number(188) into the HR monitor after using a basic formula, so the calculation could be flawed. Here is my question. How will I know when I am in the process of over-doing it as opposed to just training hard and perhaps growing in capacity? What will my body feel if my heart is actually being asked to do to much? Will the rest of my body, or some part, alert me so that I can cool it before it is too late?

Basically, I like to train hard and we all train through fatique at times, but I'm concerned that I might go to far. Any thoughts are appreciated.


re: The danger zone -a.k.a Going beyond previous max heart ratebrider
Jan 31, 2002 12:04 PM
On a hill, usually the legs will give out before the heart does (given no problems such as blocked arteries and such). The basic formulas for max heart rate are based on the entire population, not just the athletic types. Usually, athletes will have a higher max HR than the sedentary (and they'll be able to maintain a higher percentage of that max). If this is a concern for you, you can do a max HR test at a medical clinic, and they can determine for you what your REAL max HR is, and listen in on any potential problems. NOTE: This will be a VERY uncomfortable test (you'll be saying to yourself after it's over "When can I see the baby?"), and since it will be an elective procedure, most insurance plans won't cover it.
re: The danger zone -a.k.a Going beyond previous max heart ratecxking
Jan 31, 2002 12:27 PM
I would not be too worried about it. Those formulas (220 - age = max) are not very good for estimating max HR. For example I am 35 so my max should be 185 which happens to be pretty close to my Anerobic Threshold, my max is 196. If I were using the above formila to determine my training zones I would never go hard enough to get the best training effect. I know this because I have a lab test done every season. If you are going to use a heart rate based training program you really should have a lab test done to determine you heart rate zones. If you are reasonably healthy with no history of heart problems you should have no worries about going to hard on the bike. If you are resuming training after a prolonged lay off or have a family history of heart disease I would consult with a qualified sports medicine doctor before starting any program. Hsve fun.
Formulas work for an average group of people.....Len J
Feb 1, 2002 4:46 AM
unfortunatly no one is average.

I am 46, by formula my max s/b 174. I can hold 179 for hours with an LT of around 181 and an "observed max of 198. My reading (See The cyclists traing bible by Joe Freil) suggests that Max HR is not as important as knowing (& repeatedly testing) your LT. This is because you can train your LT. As you increase your LT all of your training zones move. In addition, testing LT is a much safer test than trying to determine Max HR. Especially as you age, a Max HR test can be dangerous (if unsupervised.)

My .02