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190 avg heart that pretty normal?

1469 Views 18 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  bellullabob
So, I'm trying to get a bit more structure to my "training" and I've been reading around a bit. For whatever reason, when I see examples and other riders' training plan when they use the highest average HR it always seems so much lower than mine. I did the Carmichael 2x 8 minute time trial on a trainer and came up with 190 average HR on the first effort and 183 on the second effort. When I'm racing it's usually pretty high also.

Is that pretty normal? Does it mean I'm a fatty or something? Will it go down as I get more "fit"?

potential fatty
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How old are you? Sounds pretty high to me, but everyone is different. How were you feeling during this fairly short effort? If you're fairly out of shape I'm guessing it'll come down as you continue training, if you're already in decent shape you may just run a higher HR.

I've only seen my HR jump to 191 once (not avg, but max) if that says anything. For something to compare against, in the past year I ran a ~172-175 avg with a max around 185 during hard 1.5 hr races. My HR usually ends up around ~165 while training.
If I push really, really hard, I can get mine up to 185, sometimes. 190 average seems high to me. There could be something wrong with your HR monitor or you could just have a really fast heart.
that is on the high side, but like others have said, everyone is different. i generally have a higher HR during racing or intervals in the times of the year when I am not in great shape. so for some of us it does come down a little for some when in better shape. (it will still hurt just as bad though.)

good luck.
I'm 34 and I wouldn't say I'm in terrible shape. I wouldn't say I'm in race form either though. I'll redo that test and see what happens. Thanks for the input.
For a short duration like 8 minutes (x2) 190 doesn't seem excessively high. Maybe on the high side of "normal" but not really out of bounds.

Lower or higher HR doesn't imply anything about your fitness relative to other people. Different people's hearts simply work in different ranges.

The concept of training is that once you become fitter, you can either do more work (i.e. faster) for the same HR, or else do the same work at a lower HR. It just depends on the objective of the training session.
You could also manually count your heart rate and compare it to your HR monitor to see if they are the same. This would at least eliminate your HR monitor from being faulty.
everyone has a different maximum heart rate and many outside things can and do affect your heart rate such as heat, dehydration, fatigue etc…therefore trying to compare your max HR against your buddies is useless.

I know this is totally off the topic however it made me think back…

Watts don’t lie

If you’re serious about your training I strongly suggest you invest in a power measuring device if you can’t swallow the price tag of a new SRM or Powertap I suggest you look at ebay where a couple year old wired powertap can be had for $300 and a used SRM goes for $1100. I’ve been sold on training with a power measuring device for a couple years now but once I got my wife one for her bike her training took off and her race results went from mid pack expert womans class to winning.

She had been so focused upon HR training she was killing herself trying to get to a particular HR zone rather than an intensity zone.
I have one of those Kurt's Kenetic computers but I was considering a powertap set up. Is the "wired" really that much different or is the difference simply that it's wired?
Merc said:
I have one of those Kurt's Kenetic computers but I was considering a powertap set up. Is the "wired" really that much different or is the difference simply that it's wired?
i've got a SRM if you can swing it it's well worth the $ my wife has a powertap wired hub she was totally against training with power so i gambled and got a powertap off ebay now she swears by it.

wired is fine wireless is better since changing bikes isn't that big of a deal i live in houston so there is no excuse to not being able to ride outdoors or on a trainer.
That dosent seem out of place to me. everybody is different. I am in my 20s. My max hr is 209. LTHR is 188. I have done xc races with averages in the 190s for 2 hours. Its an individual thing, but its all about the power.
I would say that is on the high end of normal but not unusual. I would see similar values or higher for those efforts.
It really depends on the person i guess. My max HR is 206, with a resting HR in the mid to low 40's. The max HR came on the "Ross Epic Hill Climb" in Sonoma County, Ca. Brutal road race! During the Sea Otter Classic last year my average was 178 with the max close to 200. For only 2x8 might seem high but if you push yourself like most of us, it doesn't take that long to get there.
Seems high. How did you get that? HR monitor or finger on your neck?

The basic equation for "predicted HR max" is 220 minus your age. For you that would be: 220-34=186.

For you to avg over your predicted HR max perhaps you are in way better shape than you think and/or you are genetically gifted with a ridiculously high VO2 max and the ability to clear lactic acid (like Lance Armstrong). You should get tested.
Emesis said:
The basic equation for "predicted HR max" is 220 minus your age. For you that would be: 220-34=186.
that method has been dis proven decades ago.

i'm 44 and my threshold HR is 171 and my max is 190, everyone is different so one archaic guesstimate method doesn't work.

bottom line it's all about "intensity" Aka watts not max HR.
I'm 45 and according to some of the more modern formulas my max is ~179. I get how training with watts is more effective, but I also like to know that my heart is working in a safe zone. What I don't get, and maybe this is a flaw in heart rate calculation formulas or training methodolgy, is why I often need to be working above my max to make it up the most intense of the hills where I ride. I think I'm in decent shape at 5'7" and 160lbs.(ride several days a week and have had a stress test just to be sure) and should be able to handle these hills, but I occasionally hit 185 on the most challenging sections. During these moments I know not to push any harder and make sure to take it down a notch to recover as soon as possible. I am hoping with continued training and efficiency I will be able to handle those hills at a lower heart rate.
HAL 9000 said:
that method has been dis proven decades ago.

That equation is just a rule of thumb to get someone in the ballpark of their max HR. I don't think most people believe it to be an exact science.
8min efforts are not that long.. certainly short enough for a very intense effort.

When I got back into racing at around 40yo, I was stunned at the length of time my heart spent above and around 180, practically the entire race. As I got fitter my HR slowed during intense efforts.

This Sept when I was in pretty good shape, at 46yo I spent 10min with an avg HR of 183. My max is 186. I usually race with an average around 170 on a good day.

Your averages of 190 and 183 doesn't surprise me. If I spent 10min @ 3 beats away from my max, then I am sure many people have done that. If you were 3-5 beats from your max, that would have your max around 193-195, and thats pretty average for someone in their 30's. At 34 my numbers would have been similar.

I bet you were pushing hard! Nice work!
Yeah, I wouldn't worry about the numbers. I am 41 and at a recent cross race stayed in the 190 to 200 for over 1/2 hour, w/ an average of 194 and a max of 206. I am still alive! What might be helpful for you would be to do what Joel Friel calls a decoupling test: Ride at your max sustainable speed for an hour and stay at that speed throughout the hour. Compare your avg hrt for the first half vs the second. In a month do the same test at the same speed and see if you avg second 1/2 hour hrt rate is closer to your first one....
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