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Thread: Max heart rate - whats too high.

  1. #1

    Max heart rate - whats too high.

    I am 47 - My heart rate hit 190 somewhere around Holme moss circuit yesterday. I have seen it go to around 173-177 before. As I have had a break recently it seems to have hit 180 ish in the heat.
    Whats a dangerously high heart rate? Apart from proving it was by falling over and dying to prove it
    I have just a basic garmin watch thingy so just use it to look at basic stuff. Noticed a few times some higher max heart rates than before. Not something I think about generally just noticed the stat.

  2. #2
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    I have read somewhere that a general guide for maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age which would put yours at 173.
    I'm 61 and mine should be 159 but it quiet often touches just over 200.

    Like I said it is a general guide and could never be exact as there are too many differing factors involved.

    N.B. I have no medical qualifications so could be talking out of my arse!
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    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    Using Llani's law, my max should be 166 but often peaks in the 190s on a strenuous run. Strangely cycling never seems to get that high - maybe I'm just not trying hard enough!

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    Cycling HR tend to be lower, something about the bike taking some of the body weight I think

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    Master BritNick's Avatar
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    That 220 minus your age is rubbish. It never applied to me and from what I have heard over the years, doesn't apply to plenty of others. Actual max is higher than the prediction.

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    The 220 - age is basically rubbish, why would your MHR magically drop by one on your birthday? For me it would give 159, so why can I stay at 177bpm for a couple of minutes?

    OP, were you using a chest strap for the monitor or was the reading taken from the wrist? The latter can be quite inaccurate. Even with a chest strap you can get erroneous spikes in the readings. Generally to see these you need to load the file into some sort of analysis software where you'll see a sudden jump - normally your HR will ramp up rather than spike.
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    I think the 220 minus age is a basic rule of thumb for the general population doing general cardio work in the gym, for example.

    Doesn't take into account "athletic" performance and effort which can push much higher.

    Same scenario with resting heart rate... mine was measured at 49bpm recently and i proudly went into training that night declaring that my RHR was so low it was off the chart... only to be ridiculed for not having a RHR in the low 40's/high 30's like some of my clubmates...
    Last edited by Travs; 09-06-2020 at 01:54 PM.

  8. #8
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    In general, your maximum heart rate is not something you SHOULDN'T go above, it is something you cannot go above, no matter how hard you try. Unless you have a health issue, there is no danger in getting to your MHR. As to the formulas for MHR for age, these are only rough approximations. Some will go well over the resulting numbers, others will have trouble getting anywhere near them.

    Every now and then, of course, a health issue will come on for the first time when running, and one of the manifestations may be a sudden dramatic rise in heart rate - it might go to 250 where the previous maximum had been 180. This is a completely separate discussion from MHR for age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T View Post
    Every now and then, of course, a health issue will come on for the first time when running, and one of the manifestations may be a sudden dramatic rise in heart rate - it might go to 250 where the previous maximum had been 180. This is a completely separate discussion from MHR for age.
    It's worth mentioning the perils of training, and especially racing, when unwell.

    Years ago one of my club mates ran a local 10k race on the Sunday, but was too ill to work on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday he paid a considerable amount of money to see a specialist and after a series of tests he was told he'd damaged his heart. The specialist told him he'd had flu when he'd raced and, (in very simplistic terms), it had interfered with his heart rev limiter, allowing his heart to run too high for the whole race.

    My club mate was lucky, and the damage was only temporary. It did, however, scare him so much that he quit running there and then

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    It's worth mentioning the perils of training, and especially racing, when unwell.

    Years ago one of my club mates ran a local 10k race on the Sunday, but was too ill to work on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday he paid a considerable amount of money to see a specialist and after a series of tests he was told he'd damaged his heart. The specialist told him he'd had flu when he'd raced and, (in very simplistic terms), it had interfered with his heart rev limiter, allowing his heart to run too high for the whole race.

    My club mate was lucky, and the damage was only temporary. It did, however, scare him so much that he quit running there and then
    In 1976, a few months after I had started orienteering, Mike Wells-Cole, who would have been representing UK at that year's World Orienteering Championships, died of a heart attack following a training run. Later that year, Dave Menzies, an Edinburgh University student who was also among the top 20 orienteers in UK, died suddenly on the way home from an orienteering event. [I had actually been at the same event; although I didn't know Dave, some of my clubmates in St Andrews University OC did know him.]

    Diagnosis in both cases: myocarditis. Both had been running when they hadn't fully recovered from flu.
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
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