# 200 bpm during ramp test (39 years old) Should I be worried?

Actually, 220 - age is a rule of thumb based on one guy’s perusal of a bunch of regression equations. It’s sort of like an informal, qualitative meta-analysis. Hence, I treated it as if it were a linear regression in my post.

Standard error of the estimate applies to our uncertainty about the mean max HR given age. It doesn’t apply (I think) to the difference between someone’s max HR and the mean max HR given their age. Thus, I still think the term prediction error is more accurate. That said, this is splitting hairs as far as the Trainerroad crowd is concerned. All the OP needs to know is that they are still alive. If you are basing your training zones off max HR (and you should not be doing this, you should use FTP or lactate threshold HR instead) and if you know absolutely nothing about your own max HR, then a formula like 220-age is a starting point.

1 Like

Try again: the ROT was developed by looking at raw data, not regression equations.

SEE = 68.2% prediction interval.

The difference between the regression line and an individual data point would be the residual.

Nope. I’m 34 about to turn 35. I can still hit 205 when really hitting it. Possible I could got higher. I remember seeing 212 when I was 23 or 24.

1 Like

Just out of curiosity, what determines a max heartrate in people with the same fitness level ?
Is it having a genetically bigger heart, or are there other factors at play ?

I used to hit the 200’s in my early 20’s, but now that I’m 35 I max out at around 185.
Never in a FTP test though, legs give out before I reach max heartrate. (ERG death spiral)

1 Like

As long as the number is consistent with your history then it’s fine.

1 Like

I tend to only see my “real” max heart rate when I’m super well rested. 38 and have seen 205. Mid training block even an eyeballs out effort only pushes it to 195 or so.

2 Likes

Here’s a graph from a Seiler presentation with assorted max hr vs age for cyclists:

Hopefully that makes you feel better. Myself, I seem to be tracking close to the average, but we’re all different.

4 Likes

Nice to see I’m one of the lower 2 dots for my age (28) haha. My highest recorded HR is only 176BPM (resting HR below 40) so I’m way lower than most people my age.

1 Like

Interesting graph. I have maxed out at 184 this year, at 39, so 209 - (0.62 x age) seems to work pretty well for me.

I think I’m a bit of an outlier for that graph. It corresponds to my 1h average max threshold value (set in September) and about 15bpm below my max HR

I think I’m a bit of an outlier for that graph. It corresponds to my 1h average max threshold value (set in September) and about 15bpm below my max HR

Interesting graph. I have maxed out at 184 this year, at 39, so 209 - (0.62 x age) seems to work pretty well for me.

Nice to see I’m one of the lower 2 dots for my age (28) haha. My highest recorded HR is only 176BPM (resting HR below 40) so I’m way lower than most people my age.

And that’s the point some of us are trying to make. With any formula-estimated max HR, some of us will have max HRs that are spot on the prediction. Prediction error or residual (they’re the same formula) are zero. Some of us will be well below the predicted max HR - but you could have a freakishly low resting HR, so you still have lots of HR reserve capacity or whatever it’s called. And some of us will have max HR above, maybe a lot above, the estimated max HR. Because, again, formulas like this are trying to give an estimate of the average maximum HR, given our age. Some of us are above the average, and some of us are below - that’s how averages work.

4 Likes

There’s no one answer to when it becomes dangerous. Heart rate is very individual. Person A could ride at 210 and be perfectly safe and person B could ride at 190bpm and be less safe. The only way to know is to get it discussed and possibly checked out by a doctor.

I already had a diagnosed heart murmur but when I realised I basically always had a high heartrate on the bike (I’ve hit 210+ during ramptests, full hour race with an average of 196 or something) i contacted my GP to get back to my cardiologist. Got a bunch of tests again and now I’m also diagnosed with SVT, supra ventricular tachycardia, basically meaning it’s an arythmia that makes your heart go faster than it should. But it also turns out that in at least my case there is no risk for damage, only for complaints. But again, it’s super individual and you won’t know for sure until everything is checked. I also don’t want to bring doom, in many cases your heart will be functioning just fine.

Edit: should also note that I’m 25 years old

1 Like

I had 2 riding buddies, and we were fairly the same level. One had very hi rate, one extremely low, and me in the middle. Doesn’t mean much. But if yours got too much higher than ever, say more than 5%, you may want to consider med consult. I am assuming you have done some really hard efforts in the past that would have gotten it pretty close to max. Such as a 5 minute max hill climb effort after an hour of riding pretty hard.

I’m 40, and my max HR is around 193. LTHR is around 175. Doesn’t take much to put me in the mid 180’s.

30 years old and have a max or only seen a HR of 188bpm

What am I doing wrong compared to you guys haha??? Lifetime athlete with cycling as focus since 15 years old

We are all different. I know plenty of folk younger than me with a lower max hr. They’ve all got something in common, they are uber strong on the bike

Yeah +1 to all this.

If you think there is a reason to worry, go see a doctor. No one will tell you that you shouldn’t.

on the other hand, that HR alone is not necessarily a reason to worry. In addition to the other anecdotes, i’m 37 (soon to be 38) and just last year saw a max HR of 205 while running.

and also don’t worry if your HR is higher than others. Some people with a lower HR go faster than me, plenty of other people with a lower HR, i go faster than them. Some people with lower RHR than me are fitter, others i’m fitter than they are. So when people are like “oh it’s an indicator of fitness” it’s also clearly very individual so don’t get too hung up on it.