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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
ive been riding w a heart rate monitor on and off this year. 52 yo

a good cardio ride runs 155 to 165 bpm

during the summer my speed has increased but hr stayed the same.

barely if ever do i get in the 180's

recently, rode a steep section that was 100m vertical over 700m horizontal. ave 14% grade. the 20 yr old with us dropped me like yesterdays newspaper.


is the diff in performance a peak heart rate thing?
was he just able to clean 210bpm and keep the system running stronger?
 

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No, not just HR, VO2 max also drops with age and weight usually goes up some, and by the next hill he's probably recovered already and you'll probably still feel the previous effort.
Best thing is to not compare yourself to someone 30 years younger, that's what I tell myself anyway. :)
 

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If yer not buffering lactic acid, yer gonna feel bad.

There is perceived effort and there is actual output. They don't always correlate.

-F
 

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IMO, at your age, you should be able to do better unless he is a real stud. If you want to know what you're capable of, do some interval training, but be careful that you don't damage your heart (like I think may have happened to me at a much more advanced age).
 

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There are lots of heart rate threads here that may (or may not) answer some of your questions.

Peak HR has little to do with peak performance. Someone who is at 180 bpm may or may not be producing more power than another person at 150 bpm. And, I know that there are times when I'm not effectively putting out more performance at a higher heart rate, particularly if I have a cold, or I'm dehydrated, etc., so it can vary just for an individual.
A fit 52 year old can't hang with a fit 20 year old, if they're at comparable levels of "fitness". I know that's hard to define completely, but really, that's just life. If I were faster than my 30 year old son, I'd be pretty upset about it.

The climb to the top of Burro on TWE starts at 10,400' and tops out at 11,100 feet and is an average of 11.7%. I'm 69 and my best time last year (24:27) was ahead of a bunch of 20 year olds. But, I'm acclimated, have better gear and most importantly, they didn't likely have anything to prove! Many may have been relative couch potatoes who were in town for a once a year outing. It doesn't really mean anything.

I still use it as "bragging rights" but I don't actually believe it's relevant.
 

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Sure, you can use the hr monitor during your ride, but at your age it becomes very useful for monitoring recovery and when you're rested enough for another session.

I got faster in less time by wearing the monitor to check resting hr in the morning, laying down and 30 seconds after standing up. That will dictate what exercise to do that day.

Just using the hr monitor while riding is only using half the tool.
 

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Your HR has zilch to do with how fast you're gonna go. Everyone has different HR levels and fitness levels. I can ride at 180 BPM (61 yrs old) but I'm not as fast at 180BPM as I was when I was 40 at 180BPM.That 20-yr-old may have been at 130BPM, or he may have been at 180, just like you. HR has NOTHING to do with speed across riders.
 

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Your HR has zilch to do with how fast you're gonna go. Everyone has different HR levels and fitness levels. I can ride at 180 BPM (61 yrs old) but I'm not as fast at 180BPM as I was when I was 40 at 180BPM.That 20-yr-old may have been at 130BPM, or he may have been at 180, just like you. HR has NOTHING to do with speed across riders.
This.

The difference in performance boils down to someone producing more power per unit of mass than you do. That's it.

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Why the difference in performance? There are three things that work together.
1. The ability to extract oxygen from the air. Simplifying things a bit here but this called Vo2 max.
2. The ability to transport oxygen. How good is your blood and how much blood can your heart pump.
3. The ability of your muscle to extract oxygen from your blood and use it.

All of these things can be trained but people have different baselines and respond differently to training.

The difference is stunning, a top level professional will climb at 130bpm at a rate that even fast amateurs are doing at near max heart rate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Okay. Thanks everyone.

quite a few variables contribute to performance besides hr.

it quickly becomes a big topic.

i just wondered w all things being equal if having a higher max hr produces greater peak performance. Im sure it does.

how much? Not sure.
 

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Okay. Thanks everyone.

quite a few variables contribute to performance besides hr.

it quickly becomes a big topic.

i just wondered w all things being equal if having a higher max hr produces greater peak performance. Im sure it does.

how much? Not sure.
No, having a higher maximum HR has nothing to do with greater peak performance.

No one here suggested that and it has no basis in reality.

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
No, having a higher maximum HR has nothing to do with greater peak performance.

No one here suggested that and it has no basis in reality.

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is it true that
a fitter person will typically have a lower heart rate at rest.
that this is an indication their cardiovascular system is functioning efficiently
heart rate increases with exertion
if you start with a lower heart rate and that then you have a greater range of increase for which to perform work
that if due to age your max hr is lower that this would in theory lower the range of increase available to the athlete thereby reducing performance
 

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is it true that
a fitter person will typically have a lower heart rate at rest.
that this is an indication their cardiovascular system is functioning efficiently
heart rate increases with exertion
if you start with a lower heart rate and that then you have a greater range of increase for which to perform work
that if due to age your max hr is lower that this would in theory lower the range of increase available to the athlete thereby reducing performance
My brother and I (51 & 53) have similar resting HR's (42ish) and similar riding styles and times on Strava.
I'll climb at 165-175bpm and max HR is 183. He'll do the same climb in the same time at 150-155 and max HR is 165.

When I was younger my resting HR was 38 and max was 205. But I had no power. Endurance - hell yes.
 

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is it true that
a fitter person will typically have a lower heart rate at rest.
that this is an indication their cardiovascular system is functioning efficiently
heart rate increases with exertion
if you start with a lower heart rate and that then you have a greater range of increase for which to perform work
that if due to age your max hr is lower that this would in theory lower the range of increase available to the athlete thereby reducing performance
I think that if you look at a large population sample, you'd find that fitness is correlated with a lower resting HR.
I don't think you can apply that very well as the sample approaches a single individual. Large samples tend to smooth out the effect of "confounders".

About 5 years ago, I rode a lot with a friend who had a resting HR about the same as mine. My max HR was a good 10-15 BPM higher than his. He was a stronger rider than me in that he had more endurance than I had on long climbs where we both were close to our max HRs. I would be surprised if there is a correlation between the range and relative endurance.

As we age, we lose muscle mass, the ability of muscles to contract rapidly or forcefully (due to loss of some of the proteins in the muscles, mitochondrial activity, fatigability, synaptic quality between the nerve and muscle, levels of inflammation, etc.). And, as we age, consistency of performance decreases such that predictability of performance decreases. Performance (having a strong biking day Vs having a weak one for example) becomes more variable. Age related central nervous system changes (balance, cognitive speed) build up and those contribute to a decrease in capabilities. Even hemoglobin levels decrease with age and I'd guess that the transfer rate across the pulmonary membranes vary as they accumulate age related damage.

If you're talking about changes from age 48 to age 54, then no, these changes aren't that great, and they vary a lot, individually. If you're talking about the differences between a 25 year old and a 65 year old, the differences are much more profound. I think the cumulative effects are much more than what you could ascribe to cardiovascular differences alone, though, if that's your thesis. And they do accelerate as you get up over about 70. Generally speaking, the difference between a 70 year old and an 80 year old are greater than those between a 40 year old and a 50 year old, of course.

Hey, news flash, getting old sucks!
 

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is it true that
a fitter person will typically have a lower heart rate at rest.
that this is an indication their cardiovascular system is functioning efficiently
heart rate increases with exertion
if you start with a lower heart rate and that then you have a greater range of increase for which to perform work
that if due to age your max hr is lower that this would in theory lower the range of increase available to the athlete thereby reducing performance
Sure, there is generally a correlation between high levels of aerobic fitness and low resting heart rates.

But a guy with a resting heart rate of 40 and a max HR of 165 might produce significantly more power than another guy with a resting HR of 40 and a max HR of 185. The heart is only ONE component here.
 
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