Max HR “race anomaly”


how do you aproach with finding new max HR while racing and if the number is “not realistic”.

For example, i’m 34 years old and I tought that my max HR is 196 (saw it once or twice in racing but not in last two years, and I almost never brake 190) and today I had RR nationals and had 200bmp at the finish fighting for podium at the top of 3min climb…

I also had TT nationals on friday and had 186 for 23min…

Do I need to accept these numbers and use it for getting HR zones and maybe LT1 as percentage of max even though I’m not anywhere near in my training and regular riding…

P.S. I also broke my power PRs for 2,3 and 4min…

Calculating max heart rate based on age only works well when comparing groups, does not tell you your max HR. Could be that you really pushed yourself and your HR rate really was that high. But maybe it was an erroneous reading. When the battery of my strap runs low and gets really wet from sweat sometimes it reads 220+ which definitely is wrong.

No I didn’t get my 196 by famous formula 220 minus age… that was my max recorded puls!

I have the same experience. I always exceeded my max heart rate when i did zwift races (2 so far). Long 20 min effort ended by a long sprint, resulting in hr 5-10 bpm above my previous max hr.
I don’t take them into account when i use formulas like time in vo2max hr

Age is not very useful. I’m 70 and my max rate is 188. I confirmed that when I found myself on an overpass by accident with cars zipping by. 200 bpm sounds fine. :slight_smile:

If I used age to train I couldn’t do any significant training, it wouldn’t have much effect cause the max rate by age would be 150, or at the low end of my current zone 3 using HRR.


But why?

That is your max HR… it is not an error or something… but to get that numbers you just need some extra motivation…

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So long as you can be confident they aren’t an erroneous spike in the data and are a legitimate max then just use it. Sounds like you are keen to and there’s not really any reason not to unless they aren’t “real”.

You could always note them down and see at the next VO2 workout/race or whatever if you’re in the same ballpark.

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Am I the only one who is annoyed by this cliffhanger?!?
Did you make the podium or not?? :wink:

What do you mean with not realistic? Do you see problematic data from your heart rate strap? My first assumption was that you just dug a lot deeper given what was at stake. I am also not surprised you got power PRs under these circumstances.

I’d trust those numbers and move on.

I overtook the guy 30m before the line (at the time when I raised HR above previous max) and took the bronze :slight_smile:


How can you leave this out of your post?!?!!
Congratulations! :smiley:

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Congrats on the result @blind76

HR can be a fickle thing. As a 46 year old I have mine set to 197bpm being the maximum I can more regularly go to and 95% of that or less seems to work out for me on ride recovery wise and my PE at other %s seems to correlate too. I have seen 202bpm and even 205bpm though when I’ve completely ignored HR, I’ve had that wee bit more motivation and its been a hot day etc. I’ve been pacing off a correlation of power and HR but I’m temped to ditch the HR data from the garmin display altogether; on good days for me its maybe to conservatively limiting :thinking:. Coincidentally I was listening to this video last night and I think he explains it quite well.
Is It Better To Ride With Heart Rate Or Power Numbers? - YouTube


There can be erroneous numbers from HRM’s. These are normally pretty obvious due to short spikes not correlated with effort, or being down to conditions (cool dry skin at the start of a ride can cause problems with HR straps).

Your max heart rate has come in conditions most likely to produce it, and seems consistent with your threshold heart rate from the TT effort.

All the supporting evidence suggests you should accept 200 pm as your true maxHR.

Well done! And on the podium too!