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Heart rate


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I recently got a heart rate monitor. So now I'm confused. I've tried several different calculations and always get above my target within seconds. My resting HR is probably 70ish, and I'm 5'3" and 123lbs. When I go for my morning jog/run (1.2 miles with hills usually in 15-17min) my heart rate jumps to 170s to even 190 sometimes. I try to slow down but no change, so I tried it at work up the stairs and after walking 2 flights I'm at 160 (the pre-programmed top). It slows down within 5 min usually, just curious why I jump past my target training level (160-170 per some calculation that seemed more detailed than age based) so fast.

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The pre-programmed "top" is just wrong for you that's all.  You need to change the setting to be specific for you.  There is no reason to change the intensity. of your run just because you got a new fitness tool.  It's a matter of learning how to use the tool.  This article may help.

#2  
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Thanks - I'll give the test a try this weekend.

How fit are you? A heart rate of 70ish seems high to me. I am 46 and my resting rate is around 64. Olympic level athletes have an even lower heart rate. If you are not very fit, then your heart rate will jump up quickly. I would check to make sure your max heart rate was calculated correctly and then talk to your doctor before exceeding this for very long. This could cause you health problems. If you are just starting your fitness training then work within your heart rate range and see if this doesn't improve over a few months. You should also see your resting heart rate fall as you become more fit.

If you are just starting out, my experience has been that trying to do field tests to determine HRmax can be problematic.

I find it is also helpful for beginners to just compare your observed heart rate with your feelings of perceived exertion. If it feels like a comfortable pace, and you can sustain it, then that is probably an OK exercise level for you. If you have already been doing a routine without problems, then you should do that routine and just observe what the numbers are.

I agree with trhawley that you should not let the HRM control you. The first thing you have to do is get a sense of what your HR response to exercise is. Then you can more effectively use the HRM to stay at a target intensity level for that workout--easy, medium, hard-whatever your goal is for that day.

Your experience is not rare. There is a subset of the population that has a max HR substantially higher than the standard age-prediction formulae will calculate.

 

#5  
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I am probably average to slightly fit. I've been running 3-5 mornings per week for ~6 months, sprinkled with strength training 2-3x/week and 10-20 mile bike rides or 3 mile run on weekends. And I work an average of 55hrs per week and mostly take the stairs (did 19 flights of stairs throughout the day yesterday).

I wouldn't say I let the monitor control me I've just been adjusting things to see what happens, and when it says my heart rate is above 180 I definately feel my heart pounding and I am exerting myself. My true resting is probably a little lower, but I am rarely ever resting and have never remembered to take it before I get out of bed. I am usually up and dressed and take it when I'm relaxed and sitting for 30min or so. That way the lowest I've ever seen it is 68, it's usually 70-72.

I was considering doing a 5 or 10k this spring and was looking at how to train and was wondering how to train so as to not jump to a fast heart rate right away, so that I can go a little further without getting so tired.

I think a key phrase is "go a little further without getting so tired". As you probably know, the general rule of thumb is "the faster the speed, the shorter the distance".  That might be a signal to slow your pace a little on the days when you want to extend the distance.

Again, it sounds like you are using the right thought process--trying different things and observing. I think in your first post it sounded as though you were arbitrarily decreasing your effort because of the high HR number--it sounds like I misread those remarks.

Keep observing--you will learn your HR response to various effort levels and then it will help you focus.

  You know, this question above all others just stumps me. What should my HR be when I work out? I've used a HR monitor now for about 2 years and according to what the numbers should be for a 54 year old man, I should be close to a exploding heart when I workout. Using 220 minus your age times a range of 70-80% I should workout at 116-132. At that rate I would feel like I was sleeping. My Garmin 305 can save and download your HR to your computer so you can see your peak and your average HR for a given workout. I will travel 25-30 miles on my road bike for 1.5- 2 hours and average around 142 - 150 HR, with a peek sometimes around 165. I feel like I had a good workout, eat, (Always eat first) take a shower and feel like a million. The values "THEY" say to workout in, 70-80% og Max, just don't work for me. What do I use?

Sorry I forgot to add my resting HR is 58-66 BPM

Original Post by daddon55:

  You know, this question above all others just stumps me. What should my HR be when I work out? I've used a HR monitor now for about 2 years and according to what the numbers should be for a 54 year old man, I should be close to a exploding heart when I workout. Using 220 minus your age times a range of 70-80% I should workout at 116-132. At that rate I would feel like I was sleeping. My Garmin 305 can save and download your HR to your computer so you can see your peak and your average HR for a given workout. I will travel 25-30 miles on my road bike for 1.5- 2 hours and average around 142 - 150 HR, with a peek sometimes around 165. I feel like I had a good workout, eat, (Always eat first) take a shower and feel like a million. The values "THEY" say to workout in, 70-80% og Max, just don't work for me. What do I use?

Use your real numbers.  The age predicted formulas are not valid.  The problem is that there is no way to predict Max HR.  It just is what it is.

I'm 51 and my Max HR is around 195 and has been for as long as I have been checking it which is 25ish years. I say "around" because I've never been to a sports lab to have it checked but I have enough real world data to know what I'm capable of. 

 

I just wanted to ask,  is 70 your true resting pulse, or your ambient pulse? Your ambient pulse is when you are relaxed and just sitting around. If this is when you took it and it was 70, your resting pulse will be lower. Your resting pulse is right after you get up in the morning.

Also, I wanted to say that the average heart rate for women is around 75bpm. So if your true resting HR is 70bpm, that is below average. However, the only thing I would say is that usually when people do a lot of long distance and endurance related training, their resting HR is usually lower. But then your HR could also be faster due to genetics as well.

You might already know this, but I just wanted to include that your max HR is 220 minus your age.

Original Post by daddon55:

  You know, this question above all others just stumps me. What should my HR be when I work out? I've used a HR monitor now for about 2 years and according to what the numbers should be for a 54 year old man, I should be close to a exploding heart when I workout. Using 220 minus your age times a range of 70-80% I should workout at 116-132. At that rate I would feel like I was sleeping. My Garmin 305 can save and download your HR to your computer so you can see your peak and your average HR for a given workout. I will travel 25-30 miles on my road bike for 1.5- 2 hours and average around 142 - 150 HR, with a peek sometimes around 165. I feel like I had a good workout, eat, (Always eat first) take a shower and feel like a million. The values "THEY" say to workout in, 70-80% og Max, just don't work for me. What do I use?

First of all, just multiplying a "max HR" times a percentage is by far the LEAST accurate method.

It is more accurate to use the "HR reserve" method to calculate target rate.

With this method, you subtract your resting HR from your max HR. That gives you your "HR reserve". Multiply HR reserve by desired intensity (as a decimal) and add that number back into your resting HR to get the Target HR for that particular intensity. Example: I am 56, resting HR is about 44. That leaves a HR reserve of 120. If I want to know my target HR at 70% intensity, I multiply HR reserve (120) by .7 (70%) which is 84. I add 84 to my resting HR of 44 and come up with a 70% effort target HR of 128.

Unfortunately, none of these work unless you know your maximum heart rate and that's not easy to determine. Many people cannot push themselves to 100% even under laboratory conditions and I would be reluctant to ever suggest a field test to anyone over 50.

So, most of us still have to rely on some type of trial and error method. That means comparing rates of perceived exertion to observed heart rate. Obviously, if you can maintain a 142-150 avg HR for 2 hrs, you are not exerting yourself at a 75% or 80% effort level.

The fact is that "they" are doing the best they can given the inherent variability within the human population. The fact is, almost every method of estimating max HR has a standard error of estimate of 10-12 beats/min. Which means that 33% of the population can have an actual max HR 10-35 beats above or below the estimated number.

Plus, as others have mentioned, the idea the max HR declines with age was based on cross sectional studies done many years ago, when you had few older adults who had been exercising continuously since their 20s. Now that we have more longitudinal data, we may be discovering that maintaining a regular, vigorous exercise program also means less of a decline in max HR with age than was previously thought.

I am 56 and I have always exercise at what would be considered 70% to 85% of my HR reserve. That would suggest that my actual HR is higher than the age-predicted number, but I don't ever go above the low 150s, even in situations where I am producing maximal effort. Compared to 10 yrs ago, however, my avg exercise HR is down probabaly 8-10 beats a minute for the same comparable effort.

 You guys have got my head spinning!!  But, you've gotten my curiosity up so much that I think I'm going to wear my HR monitor to bed tonight and see what I come up with. What ever it is when I wake up is my resting HR right? And what ever it is when I am sitting for a while watching TV or whatever is my ambient, RESEARCH TIME! Thanks for the great feed back!

I set my HR monitor up last night and watched a movie. I averaged 62 bpm for an hour and a half with a low of 56 and occasional peaks at 80 ( it was a action adventure). During, towards the end, I fell asleep for an hour or so. My HR immediately after waking was 54 bpm. So "Ambient" HR of 62 and and Resting of 54. Now what do I do with these numbers to figure what rate I should be working out at?

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