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Heart Rate

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Eurasian =--(O), Mar 12, 2006.

  1. Eurasian =--(O)

    Eurasian =--(O) Regular Member

    Sep 3, 2004
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    I was looking on the internet for target heart rates. I can't find any target heart rate tables specifically built for athletes. My resting heart rate is usually between 50-58, but I can get it 210+ easily after doing bike sprints. Usually I go hard at things unless or until I feel actual pain or the burning sensation becomes too intense. Can anyone help me determine my target heart rate?
    I'm worried though because I heard that generally speaking the way to calculate target heart rate is 220-your age so that would leave me at 201. Thats fairly easy for me to reach, how high can I safely go?
  2. Gollum

    Gollum Regular Member

    May 23, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Surrey, UK
    If you are young and have no relevant existing medical conditions, then you should be completely safe to exercise at your maximum heart rate. Extremely high heart rates (200+) are not in themselves dangerous.

    People over the age of (say) 40 should be more careful, because excessively high heart rates in under-conditioned individuals sometimes cause heart attacks (the "middle-aged squash player" death). With careful training, however, extreme heart rates should not present a risk to any age group.

    The formula (220 - age) is only a vague predictor of maximum heart rate. Your true maximum heart is at least as high as the largest sensible number you have seen on your heart rate monitor. Of course, you should ignore silly numbers like 300, which can only be due to an error of the monitor. For a more accurate assessment, you can pay for an exercise stress test.

    So if you see your heart rate monitor showing 213 bpm, then you should use this for your working MHR, and ignore the age-predicted formulaic result.

    Maximum heart rate is literally the highest rate at which your heart can beat, and is individual to you. It is not a good predictor of athletic performance, although the decline in MHR with age is considered to be the major factor influencing reduced performance with age in elite endurance athletes.

    You must not confuse maximum heart rate with target heart rate. Exercising always at your MHR will lead to overtraining and fatigue. A balanced programme incorporating elements of all the energy systems (with more time spent on aerobic) will be better than constant sprinting. Target heart rates are normally expressed as a percentage of your maximum heart rate:

    Below 70% MHR: light exercise to maintain heart health
    70% - 85% MHR: aerobic system training (endurance)
    85% - 95% MHR: anaerobic (lactic) system training (speed and strength)
    Above 95% MHR: anaerobic (alactic) system training (peak speed)

    These boundaries are, of course, approximate. Individual lactate thresholds vary and can be raised by training, so you may find that your training zones do not correspond closely to those percentages.
    #2 Gollum, Mar 13, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2006
  3. shoebox

    shoebox Regular Member

    Feb 13, 2006
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