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Heart Rates(7 posts)

Heart RatesS-U-B
Jan 21, 2004 4:58 PM
a little history, I started riding about 3 years ago and the last 2 years I have trained pretty seriously. I am definately faster than ever and I'm currently a cat 4 looking to move to 3's this year which shouldn't be to difficult. I've noticed that my max HR has increased every year. 3 years ago I thoughtit was 183, last year I hit 193 and just the other day I hit 201 and felt like I could keep going. I know Max Heart rate really doesn't mean anything as far as speed/power etc. What I'm wondering is if anyone else has noticed this when they first started riding? I had seen 213 registered on my polar 710 after a couple of Crit sprints but I wasn't sure if it was real until the other day. I am a member of CTS, and I do regular fitness tests and I am also doing my fastest times but I can not get my average heart rate nearly as high now as I could 3 months ago before I started training for the year, any thoughts? If you wondering about CTS, this is my third time with them and I think they do a great job for 2 reasons, one I can get fit with alot less effort and it keeps me disciplined on group rides. I just let the other idiots race and tear themselves up then I kicked their asses on race day, I love it!
Reduction in max heart rate is one sign of overtrainingbimini
Jan 22, 2004 6:55 AM
A drop in max rate does not mean in itself you are overtraining (there are other reasons), but you may want to look for other signs of over training such as insomnia, grouchyness, lack of energy, etc.
Jan 22, 2004 8:22 AM
actually, I have had an increase in my max HR, not a decrease. I have had a problem getting my average heart rate up during my fitness tests, not sure if that is due to fatigue or that my physiology has just changed because my times keep getting faster. anyone else with thoughts on this?
misunderstandingJon Billheimer
Jan 22, 2004 8:44 AM
There are a couple of possible reasons that I can think of. First is that your heart stroke volume has increased due to your training. Therefore at submaximal efforts your exercising heart rate will be somewhat lower due to greater cardiac output. The other might be increased vagal, parasympathetic activity, which also seems to accompany a training effect until you begin extremely intense peaking training, in which case the heart responds with a greater sympathetic stimulus.
First, your maximum HR does not change...TFerguson
Jan 22, 2004 2:36 PM
with fitnes. It is determined by heredity alone. It may drop a half to one beat per year just with age, but if you max now is 213, it was 213 (or a little more ) 3 years ago.

As far as REACHING your max in a workout, most people find the opposite. Reaching you max is relatively easy when you are out of shape. That 300 pounder you saw today in the elevator could reach his/her max just by using two flights of stairs. Once you really get into shape, it takes some real mental drive to push yourself to that limit.

Now to your actual question, my only explainations would be 1) bad HRMs or 2) you have really increased your mental toughness over the last three years and congratulations.

Jan 22, 2004 4:47 PM
Thanks for the replies. I know it doesn't really mean anything just like trying to understand the physiology that is going on. I have thought that the reason my max attainable heart rate has gone up over the last 3 years is that I have more fitness in order to work hard enough to get it up there. that may not make sense though. 3 years ago if I was climbing a hill I would blow before I hit 160, now I can hold high 180's. I am thinking that the better fitness you have the harder it is to get your heart rate up, I was riding about 186 when my friend took off sprinting and I followed and couldn't believe I hit 201 because it only felt about 180. anyways, I was just curious if anyone else had seen these things as well. Now if I can just drop this 10 lbs. I have put on during winter it will be all good!
Seen similarPing_Pong
Jan 23, 2004 8:50 AM
I have seen plenty of similar changes in my max HR. I had always assumed that it was fixed before.

In your case one possible explanation for reaching higher maximums could be that during your these efforts you are now recruiting more muscles in the effort as a result of training. Similarly some people find themselves unable to reach the same maxHR on the bike as they have previously seen whilst running, this is presumably because whilst running they were able to engage more upper body effort.