Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

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Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby Phattmatt » June 12th, 2013, 10:42 am

I've been riding for a few years (throat clear) and I've never been able to get my HR above 165 w/o almost passing out and seeing spots even back in the day when I was competitive. My resting rate is about 43 an average riding rate is 140-145 at most trails including Highland. I'm curious why I max out so early. I know a lower rate equals efficiency, it just seems that I should be able to get it higher.

BTW I'm 44 and 195lbs.

I'd enjoy hearing your opinion.
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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby Nooge » June 12th, 2013, 11:24 am

Everyone has a different max HR. Pay no attention to how yours compares to others. As you get older your will decreas a bit.

Max HR is almost meaningless. What you really want to know is what your Lactic acid Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR) is and the difference between that and your max HR. LTHR tells you how hard you can push over the long term and is used to calculate how hard to exert yourself without over doing it or taking it too easy. The difference between LTHR and max HR tells you how fit you are. A very fit person have their LTHR only 5 or 10 beats per minute lower than their max HR. This means she can go close to her fastest short term pace for long periods of time, which is ideal.

So knowing max HR is only indirectly useful. Knowing LTHR is much more useful. Comparing either to others is meaningless. The only important comparison is how far is your LTHR below your max HR. That is a good measurement of fitness.
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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby bikerector » June 12th, 2013, 11:34 am

Not much to add, Nooge hit it on the money.

I know people on the opposite end of that spectrum too, their cruising HR is over 160 and a hill effort is over 180 BPM. It astounds me because 180 for me is sprinting HR numbers. Your HR is simply unique to you.

"A very fit person have their LTHR only 5 or 10 beats per minute lower than their max HR." I don't know that I agree with this part but I can't disprove it, I just have never seen that information before. My experience suggests your power at a given HR number goes up, but the HR max and LTHR stay in roughly the same spot once you're in good fitness. I'm not pro level in shape either though.

Resting HR is also important to monitor, if it starts to jump, time to take a rest. Usually means you need to recover (on the verge of over-training) or you're getting sick.
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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby c0nsumer » June 12th, 2013, 12:14 pm

To add a couple numbers, my calculated LTHR (not sure how well I did on the test, but it seems good) is 172-ish. I don't think I've ever seen a real (read: non-sensor-malfunction) number over 183 or 185 or so, and that's the point at which I'm nearly vomiting.

One really needs to do an LTHR test to determine their own HR limits / training ranges. All of the other estimates (based on age minus whatever, etc) are crap.
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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby Slimm » June 12th, 2013, 1:21 pm

general rule is 220 - age = max.

so for the OP, 176 is theoretical max. 140 - 145 is something like 80% -82%. that seems about normal to me for good vigorous trail riding
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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby c0nsumer » June 12th, 2013, 1:47 pm

Slimm wrote:general rule is 220 - age = max.


Except, that's kinda wrong, and getting it off by even 10% could be too much or too little. It's really best to take the 20 minutes (plus warmup and such) to do an LTHR test and get a proper number.
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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby bikerector » June 12th, 2013, 2:08 pm

c0nsumer wrote:
Slimm wrote:general rule is 220 - age = max.


Except, that's kinda wrong, and getting it off by even 10% could be too much or too little. It's really best to take the 20 minutes (plus warmup and such) to do an LTHR test and get a proper number.


Completely agree.
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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby meangreen » June 12th, 2013, 3:39 pm

43 is quite low for a resting rate - FWIW. Sounds like the range between your resting rate and Max HR is pretty normal. My resting rate is around 60 with blackout north of 175-180 :oops: But I can hold 160 comfortably all day. Not that it means much, since I have pathetically small lungs for my 200+lb. size. Most of the other parts of the cardiovascular system are fixed: lung capacity, blood volume the heart can pump. Lactate Threshold is one of the few areas of the CV system that will significantly increase with training. I can’t keep up with the sprinters, but I can keep grinding away when the sprinters are bonking :) Sounds like you’re already pretty efficient, and I wouldn’t worry about high numbers for your max HR.
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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby Slimm » June 12th, 2013, 3:41 pm

c0nsumer wrote:
Slimm wrote:general rule is 220 - age = max.


Except, that's kinda wrong, and getting it off by even 10% could be too much or too little. It's really best to take the 20 minutes (plus warmup and such) to do an LTHR test and get a proper number.


yes, perhaps.

unless you're preparing for iron man or somthing where you have to know exact heart rate zones for that type of training, I can't see where it makes that much of a difference for average recreational atheletes, like most of us here

I'm just saying the OP's numbers don't seem that abnormal to me

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Last edited by Slimm on June 12th, 2013, 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby c0nsumer » June 12th, 2013, 3:43 pm

Slimm wrote:
c0nsumer wrote:
Slimm wrote:general rule is 220 - age = max.


Except, that's kinda wrong, and getting it off by even 10% could be too much or too little. It's really best to take the 20 minutes (plus warmup and such) to do an LTHR test and get a proper number.


yes, perhaps.

unless you're preparing for iron man or somthing where you have to know exact heart rate zones for that type of training, I can't see where it makes that much of a difference for average recreational atheltes, like most of us here

I'm just saying the OP's numbers don't seem that abnormal to me

-s


I agree that they don't seem abnormal either, but I think the OP should establish proper zones and work with those.

I did HR zone-based stuff for LJ and my endurance has improved dramatically. Most of it was just continuous Zone 2 for extended periods of time, but without knowing what is Zone 2 I wouldn't have been able to do it.
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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby Roy » June 12th, 2013, 3:48 pm

The reason you can not push your max HR much past your LTHR is that you only have a few seconds of total anaerobic respiration.
Just watch a road race. The winner usually makes a 20 second dash to the finish.
If we did not have this safety valve built in to our biology we could go harder and harder until or hearts just died.
So check your max HR after your ride. During your ride pay attention on how fast you recover after a climb or a sprint. Once you stop recovering, back it down a notch. If you know your LHHR do not try to exceed it. If it happens, it happens.

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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby bikerector » June 12th, 2013, 5:41 pm

Sorry Roy, I will disagree with that, depending on your idea of "much past" LTHR. I would consider much, 10 BPM and my LTHR is around 156 and max is around 184. The 20 second sprint thing is why power meters are such a big deal but you're HR will still continue to rise after that 20 second effort. 2 minute max efforts is when I start noticing higher heart rates... or any time during a cx race.

Anaerobic efforts are not maximal efforts, which is what you have described. Anaerobic efforts are efforts that aren't sustainable by aerobic metabolism and dig into energy stores, like glycogen. Basically, anything under a 1-hour max effort is considered anaerobic, since the threshold number is what you should ideally be able to for a 1-hour max effort at a steady effort and the threshold effort is the divider between anaerobic and aerobic efforts.

Also, training past threshold is a big deal for racing, it's even important for longer events like ironman. Most interval training is aimed at surpassing threshold. If you never left the aerobic training zones, sub-threshold, you would never train your anaerobic system so any efforts under 1-hour would be less effective than if you trained them. A typical XC ride is generally a large number of anaerobic efforts in succession.

Slimm, wrong. being off by only 5 BPM can put you in the wrong training zone so it is a big deal to be more accurate for maximum efficiency of training. It become more important around Lactate threshold because there's not much room between hard aerobic efforts and anaerobic efforts. For instance, I can hold 155 BPM for around 1 hour. I can hold 160 for maybe 30 minutes if I'm well rested, like when doing threshold testing. The calculated HR zone is too inaccurate, enough so that you could be a full zone off pretty easily. I assume that since he was willing to pay for a HR monitor he's willing to figure out the actual zone, it's easy to do and it can be your workout for the day.

If you only ride once or twice a week, calculated zones are probably fine because you probably aren't riding for training. I would also say that at that point a HR monitor probably was a waste of money and you would be well served by just using RPE (rated of perceived exertion) and a watch.
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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby iamkickstand » June 12th, 2013, 10:01 pm

Roy wrote:The reason you can not push your max HR much past your LTHR is that you only have a few seconds of total anaerobic respiration.
Just watch a road race. The winner usually makes a 20 second dash to the finish.
If we did not have this safety valve built in to our biology we could go harder and harder until or hearts just died.
So check your max HR after your ride. During your ride pay attention on how fast you recover after a climb or a sprint. Once you stop recovering, back it down a notch. If you know your LHHR do not try to exceed it. If it happens, it happens.

Roy

Where do you come up with this stuff?
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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby Roy » June 13th, 2013, 8:41 am

I might of over simplified, so:
Your LHHR is a fuzzy deflection point on a lab test graph. At that deflection point both aerobic and anaerobic respiration are taking place. Above your lactate deflection point the anaerobic respiration is using glucose as fuel. Converting Glucose to energy without oxygen is very inefficient (6%). Stored glucose cant't be replaced fast enough to meet demands. When you push past the point where glucose can't be replaced fast enough, a second phase of anaerobic respiration kicks in and uses stored high energy Phosphates. In most cases there is only 30 seconds of stored high energy Phosphates available. At this point your body has exhausted all its anaerobic fuel and you are forced to return to aerobic respiration until your body can replace the glucose and phosphates to the muscle cells.
You can train all you want, but you will only have that 30 seconds of all out effort using high energy phosphates as fuel. The best racers know how to save their high energy phosphates to very end of the race.
You can train in the the first anaerobic phase of anaerobic glycolysis but you will start to feel exhaustion and you heart rate will take longer to recover after a climb or sprint. When you are no longer recovering between anaerobic climbs, it is probably time to slow down for a time. Let the liver resupply glycogen to the muscle cells. (the liver must do the resupply work you can't drink in glycogen)

If your Lactate deflection point is at 156 bpm that means that you lungs and blood can not supply all the oxygen needed to burn the fuel you need. From 156 bpm to a max of 184 bpm you body is supplying the extra energy without oxygen. When your chemical energy stores are used up you are done.



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Re: Calling all Gurus I have a HR question

Postby bikerector » June 13th, 2013, 9:32 am

Roy wrote:I might of over simplified, so:
Your LHHR is a fuzzy deflection point on a lab test graph. At that deflection point both aerobic and anaerobic respiration are taking place. Above your lactate deflection point the anaerobic respiration is using glucose as fuel. Converting Glucose to energy without oxygen is very inefficient (6%). Stored glucose cant't be replaced fast enough to meet demands. When you push past the point where glucose can't be replaced fast enough, a second phase of anaerobic respiration kicks in and uses stored high energy Phosphates. In most cases there is only 30 seconds of stored high energy Phosphates available. At this point your body has exhausted all its anaerobic fuel and you are forced to return to aerobic respiration until your body can replace the glucose and phosphates to the muscle cells.
You can train all you want, but you will only have that 30 seconds of all out effort using high energy phosphates as fuel. The best racers know how to save their high energy phosphates to very end of the race.
You can train in the the first anaerobic phase of anaerobic glycolysis but you will start to feel exhaustion and you heart rate will take longer to recover after a climb or sprint. When you are no longer recovering between anaerobic climbs, it is probably time to slow down for a time. Let the liver resupply glycogen to the muscle cells. (the liver must do the resupply work you can't drink in glycogen)

If your Lactate deflection point is at 156 bpm that means that you lungs and blood can not supply all the oxygen needed to burn the fuel you need. From 156 bpm to a max of 184 bpm you body is supplying the extra energy without oxygen. When your chemical energy stores are used up you are done.



Roy


I would say that is a better description. The aerobic system is always replenishing what the anaerobic is taking. Kind of like have a bottle of water being filled from the top and letting some go out a faucet at the bottom. For aerobic metabolism there's always more able to go in than what can go out the bottom, threshold being when whats going in matches what's going out. Going anaerobic is when the hole is letting out more than what's able to come in. The 20-30 second effort you speak is a different type of anaerobic effort, basically it would be ripping the whole bottom of the bottle off so that all of the energy is used as quickly as possible. You're body will restore the stores, which is why you can do more than one sprint in a race after a recovery period of riding in the aerobic ranges.

The difference in our descriptions lies mostly in that there's a large difference in max effort anaerobic, or purely anaerobic metabolism which is the 20-30 second max efforts, and the mixed aerobic and anaerobic metabolism that is the longer duration anaerobic efforts. Also, the short term energy stores are being replenished, not just always being taken away.

Adding a time to an amount is an incorrect line of thinking because there's no account for rate of consumption. You can eat 5 gummy bears in one second or five minutes, but there was always 5 gummy bears at the start.

This: "In most cases there is only 30 seconds of stored high energy Phosphates available." Does not = : "...but you will only have that 30 seconds of all out effort using high energy phosphates as fuel." because the second set of quotes has a rate of consumption "all out effort"

I would also like to point out that I can P 5 feet from where ever I stand, just so you know that I'm pretty good in a P'ing match. Are we off topic yet? We've pointed that the OP's HR numbers are kosher right?
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