Maximum Heart Rate – Part 2

In early January, I wrote a post about the different ways of calculating Maximum Heart Rate.

I said that you can either calculate your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) by using one of the many different formulae or by actually taking a MHR test.

At the time of writing, I had just recovered from a hernia operation. I hadn’t done anything physical for the previous 6 weeks and therefore, I was quite unfit. I took an MHR test in order to work out my training levels. The result was a MHR of 193bpm. This gave me the following training levels:

Level Type % of MHR BPM
Recovery Recovery 50%-70% 97-135 BPM
Level 1 Stamina 70%-75% 135-145 BPM
Level 2 Extensive endurance 75%-80% 145-154 BPM
Level 3 Intensive endurance 80%-85% 154-164 BPM
Level 4 Racing pace/Power 85%-92% 164-178 BPM
Level 5 Lactate tolerance/Power 92%-100% 178-193 BPM

The trouble is that since then, I’ve been training quite a bit and as a result, my fitness level has increased. At the time, I couldn’t find anything to suggest that the MHR of an unfit rider was higher than that of a fit rider and so, carried on training to those levels. Last week-end, I went for a 34mile ride with Toby Field. The intensity of that ride was probably 1 level lower than I would normally do. At the end, I felt really quite fresh and possibly able to do another good few miles quite easily.

Today, after taking an MHR test, I find that my current MHR is now 181bpm. Using this new result, my new Training levels should be as follow:

Level Type % of MHR BPM
Recovery Recovery 50%-70% 91-127 BPM
Level 1 Stamina 70%-75% 127-136 BPM
Level 2 Extensive endurance 75%-80% 136-145 BPM
Level 3 Intensive endurance 80%-85% 145-154 BPM
Level 4 Racing pace/Power 85%-92% 154-167 BPM
Level 5 Lactate tolerance/Power 92%-100% 167-181 BPM

Therefore, my MHR for my current fitness level has obviously come down: a factor which I hadn’t taken into consideration. As a consequence, some of my recent rides have been done at an higher intensity than I had intended.

I have updated my profile on my Garmin Edge GPS and will now be training to these levels.

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