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So I just finished my race yesterday. Felt great. Did well. My question is that I finished in 55 minutes with an AVERAGE heart rate of 183. How in the hell does that work? The last race was pretty much the same. Roughly one hour with an average heart rate of 178. I didn't think that my legs could keep going that long with an average that high. What are other's averages during a race? Is this normal?
 

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not unusual, some guys can average that high - around 180s. the guys i know personally that average that high seem to be lower category riders and less fit. but it depends on a lot of things, age, fitness, genetics, weather, hydration, the course, your willingness to hard...

i average 169 - 175 depending on conditions etc.

the highest i ever averaged was 185 - i was getting sick and had a very poor result and the next day had a very bad cold.
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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just the way it is

HR's really mean nothing compared between people. I can hold over 190 for 30 min, and have averaged 179 in a 2hr45min race. I ger hammered by guys in the 160's all the time.
 

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One thing I have noticed is that never happens to me on road rides. Seems like Mountain really brings it up.
 

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grinch said:
One thing I have noticed is that never happens to me on road rides. Seems like Mountain really brings it up.
That's to be expected because we use more upper body muscles while mtb'ing, so for a given power output to the pedals you'll see a higher heart rate on the mtb as opposed to the road bike.
 

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At yesterday's race the course was tough, techincal, steep climbs, at one point i glanced over to the watch and my HR was 192, didn't feel winded, my legs were strong, but i got concerned, 2nd lap came and same thing, i think the entire race i was around 180-195, placed top 5, finished strong, no bonk, im 33, decent shape, is this normal or should i worry?
 

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used2Bhard said:
HR's really mean nothing compared between people. I can hold over 190 for 30 min, and have averaged 179 in a 2hr45min race. I ger hammered by guys in the 160's all the time.
Yup. If I'm _really_ going all out on a 20 minute climb my HR can average 160-165. For me that's really high. I've only ever hit into the 170's (171) at the end of a VO2 max test, and I was absolutely pegged.

I have a friend that I can ride into the ground whos HR is consistently 15-20 beats higher than mine when we check.
 

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I usually average at about 180-187 beats a minute in races, especially if they are faster courses (I am a front of the pack cat 1, or mid pack in cat 1/pro open races and am 19 years old)
On the road rides I will average between 135-150 bpm (150 bpm rides hurt a lot)

Most of the people I ride and race with average in the 150's and 160's in mountain bike races, It really is just how your body works.
 

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I'm fourteen and averaged closer to 200bpm in a road time trial. It was hilly hot and I was tired at the end and saw 214bpm! But, I generally don't use a hr monitor in racing, especially mtb racing, because it goes over your "limit" and under your 'limit' with the techincality and elavation change. so i don't think your high hr isn't a bad thing.

but how old are you grinch?
 

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here's a weird one on HR

I have a riding buddy who's been riding for a couple years. He is very fit and 49 years old. A few weeks ago he registered a 200 bpm on a hill climb and he told me this morning that he replicated the feat several times on a particularly tough ride this past week end. What's weird is that he claims that his AT is only about 160. I race at 160 and my max is 184. If he ever starts 'training' as opposed to just riding will he reach a point where he can race at 185:eek:
 

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I'm almost 40 years old and my max heart rate is 207. It's not getting slower as I age. If I really go for it every monitor I've worn has said 207 for over 10 years. My average HR during racing conditions would be in the 180's.
 

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limba said:
I'm almost 40 years old and my max heart rate is 207. It's not getting slower as I age. If I really go for it every monitor I've worn has said 207 for over 10 years. My average HR during racing conditions would be in the 180's.
I've actually talked to a couple other guys with real high heart rates but like you they race at about 85 to 90% of max. This guy is currently riding/racing in the in the low 160s. He's not particularly fast but he does OK. I can't help but wonder how fast he would/will be if he gets to the point he can maintain 175 to 182?
 

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155-160

My average race HR is 155-160 BPM. I'm 37 and race sport. My legs and legs can't sustain any higher. On a fast start it'll get to 170 and this pretty much max. I seem to have the opposite of all you guys in that mine seems lower. Resting heart rate plays a role in what ones racing heart rate will be. My resting HR is around 55. My heart and lungs always seem to be supplying plenty of O2 and have lots of race endurance and ability but it's my legs that give out first through cramping or fatigue.
 

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Funny thing is, I started riding road and XC races at Junior level in the late 1980s/early 1990s. In my team we had a former East-German coach who had us do Conconi tests religiously. I still have all the data: all my training heart rate zones haven't changed a bit in the last 20 years (even though I haven't been racing properly in my mid 20s for some years). Wattage is what counts!
 

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I'm 51. I average 168-171 on 1.5-2 hr A races. For a 20 min TT I average 180.

High HR is untrained individuals can indicate extreme stress, but for someone whose HR is backed by genetics and long term endurance efforts, it's just work.
 

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Training Zones

grinch said:
So I just finished my race yesterday. Felt great. Did well. My question is that I finished in 55 minutes with an AVERAGE heart rate of 183. How in the hell does that work? The last race was pretty much the same. Roughly one hour with an average heart rate of 178. I didn't think that my legs could keep going that long with an average that high. What are other's averages during a race? Is this normal?
Lot's of good info in the post...

Do you know your max heart rate?

There is a basic guideline -- 220 minus your age -- used to determine your max heart rate. This is just a guideline and not very accurate when it comes to athletic training.

Take a look at your heart rate files for the past season. Note the highest heart rate you have acheived. If you can refer to your most difficult and intense rides this should give you your ACTUAL max heart rate...the highest rate your heart can acheive.

Let's say that number, your max heart rate is 210. Now take your AVERAGE rate from your last event -- 178 and divide by 210. You should come up with 0.847 --- or 85% -- this means your AVERAGE HEART RATE for this event was 85% of your MAX.

See the heart rate zone chart below. It is not uncommon for atheletes to buzz around at a hummingbird rate of 84% - 91% of max heart rate. The more fit you are the higher your average.

I would estimate that 85% of your max rate is your "Lactate Threshold" ... again, see the chart below and google "lactate thresold" ... "training zones"

Max Heart Rate 210

Zone % of Max HR Min. Max.
1 60-65% 126 136.5 Easy riding, recovery
2 65-70% 136.5 147 Endurance-Base training
3 71-80% 149.1 168 Aerobic-capacity training
4 80-85% 168 178.5 Lactate-threshold training
5 86% plus 180.6 Maximum aerobic training, VO2 uptake
 

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Giant Anthem
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legs cant keep up with heart

Guys, the highest my heart rate ever gets in a race is 170-172 bpm. My resting is 55.

When I sprint while running a 400 which is (hardly ever) my heart rate can get up to 180-185. Bottom line is that running shoots my heart rate up way higher than cycling. I guess this obvious since running is weight bearing and cycling is primarily not (seated)

But the real deal is that while biking at hard efforts my legs give before my heart and lungs do-so the million dollar question: am I not utilizing the full potential of my cardio system because my legs can't keep up and thus being slower than I should? If this is the case how can one train their legs to match the potential of the heart and lungs??

Just thinkin.
 

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2fst4u said:
Guys, the highest my heart rate ever gets in a race is 170-172 bpm. My resting is 55.

When I sprint while running a 400 which is (hardly ever) my heart rate can get up to 180-185. Bottom line is that running shoots my heart rate up way higher than cycling. I guess this obvious since running is weight bearing and cycling is primarily not (seated)

But the real deal is that while biking at hard efforts my legs give before my heart and lungs do-so the million dollar question: am I not utilizing the full potential of my cardio system because my legs can't keep up and thus being slower than I should? If this is the case how can one train their legs to match the potential of the heart and lungs??

Just thinkin.
Good thoughts...

Heart rate varies from bike to swim to run

Atheletes will have training zones based on rates specific to a particular sport.

Here's what your "ZONES" should be specific to cycling based on a MAX of 172 ...

Max Heart Rate 172

Zone % of Max HR Min. Max.
1 60-65% 103 112 Easy riding, recovery
2 65-70% 112 120 Endurance-Base training
3 71-80% 122 138 Aerobic-capacity training
4 80-85% 138 146 Lactate-threshold training
5 86% plus 148 Maximum aerobic training, VO2 uptake
 

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Giant Anthem
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makes sense

Sally Scale said:
Good thoughts...

Heart rate varies from bike to swim to run

Atheletes will have training zones based on rates specific to a particular sport.
Makes sense-each discipline has it's own unique set of cardiovascular demands. A buddy of mine that runs a 16-17 minute 5K says that his running training and racing really gets his breathing up and not so much the legs, while mt biking kills his legs and not his breathing. I'd have to say the same with me is true.
 
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