Can't reach Max HR

Oct 14, 2009
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Hi,

I just did a max test this evening and could only get to 183 BPM, when about a year ago I managed to get to 197. My power output was slightly better than last time, but I felt crap and think I could have done a whole lot better. My HR even went down towards the end of the test

I have just had a recovery week (7 Days) after a hard training camp totalling 40 hours in 10 days, but I didn't nail myself.

The two reasons I could think of were tiredness and illness, but I don't feel sick and I just came off a whole 7 days of recovery

Any thoughts?
 

Hairy Wheels

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Jul 29, 2009
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Good chance that your 197 wasn't really accurate, seems like a pretty big discrepancy. I wouldn't worry too much about it....HR is fickle to say the least. Not a good judge for anything but longer/sustained efforts. Even then it blows.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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sandmonstersandy said:
Hi,

I just did a max test this evening and could only get to 183 BPM, when about a year ago I managed to get to 197. My power output was slightly better than last time, but I felt crap and think I could have done a whole lot better. My HR even went down towards the end of the test

I have just had a recovery week (7 Days) after a hard training camp totalling 40 hours in 10 days, but I didn't nail myself.

The two reasons I could think of were tiredness and illness, but I don't feel sick and I just came off a whole 7 days of recovery

Any thoughts?

After that work load you'd need to reintroduce your body to a truly intense effort. Odds of you doing any prolonged quality intensity over 10days/40hrs is probably nil. Try working back into a normal race week ramp up and test again. If you don't hit that 197 you might have had a false peak. Have you tested that peak pulse before?
 
Aug 4, 2009
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Hi
have you ever has a proper diagnosed max Heart rate by that I mean with a Doppler ultrasound to be sure what your max heart rate is with the heart filling properly.

Hot weather will always increace max HR because the arteries are more relaxed dehydration will cause increace due to low blood volume.
so many reasons why you cant get it up to that rate you may be tired from training or even worst case Angina.

So use the best rate you have as max fot that point in time and adjust when ever you need to
 
Mar 10, 2009
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If (notice, that's a big "if") you are on a beta blocker or other blood pressure medicine, you will not be able to get your heart rate up and sustain it, even with significant effort.
 
Oct 14, 2009
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I'm only 18 so my HR shouldn't really be as low as 183 I would think. Maybe it was just lack of intense efforts. I don't think the last one was a false peak as I used the same protocol and HR monitor.

Thanks for the ideas
 
Mar 10, 2009
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sandmonstersandy said:
I'm only 18 so my HR shouldn't really be as low as 183 I would think. Maybe it was just lack of intense efforts. I don't think the last one was a false peak as I used the same protocol and HR monitor.

Thanks for the ideas

My max is 188 and used to be 192. When I am really fit my resting is 54 or 56. My buddy at his racing peak and at 28 had a max of 178 or so. His resting HR was often in the high 30s and low 40s. Even now when we ride together I am often in the 160s when he is 120 to 130.
That is normal for each of us and your 183 might be what is normal for you.

Do the test 3 or 4 time over the year and you will get a better indication.
By the way a week of rest might not be enough for your full recovery. It sure isn't enough for me.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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HR testing

I hit 203 bpm a year ago during a VO2max ramp-test, my highest ever (and I'm 31 y/o). I can also get >200 bpm on very steep hills (when very motivated) and when running flat-out. On the flat I struggle to get more than 190 bpm.

So maybe you need to find a consistent, testing methodology, depending on what works for you. Test yourself when fit, but fresh and motivated, not over-trained. Steep hills probably help most people get higher heart-rates, since there is often more muscle used as the glutes do more work.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Which is why power is much better for monitoring fitness gains/losses. As others have mentioned HR can vary for many reasons. But power is always power.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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sandmonstersandy said:
I am just interested to see whether I could achieve much better power if I could have gone another 17 BPM higher

As Tapeworm pointed out measuring power is more reliable. It is the reading you are looking for. Your pulse can vary during a ride without measurable cause...until you are tired. Then it gets more difficult to get your pulse into upper ranges and your power will drop accordingly. Pulse is your tachometer; the higher and longer you rev it the quicker the gas tank empties. Just try your test when you've recovered from your long work week.