Measuring heart rates

Heart Rate Monitoring
Several different methods [I have taken 4 from magazines and checked on websites], none of which seem to fit me!! Finding the maximum heart rate seems to be the hardest. I have found by trial and error that I needed to add approximately 10 to 20  Beats to whatever the maximum worked out to be!
1.   The way you are supposed to do it is to visit a sports lab [yeh! Right we all have access to one of those!] or
After warming up running for as fast as you can for 3 minutes check your heart rate. After a few minutes of gentle running repeat your fast three minutes to find your maximum heart rate [MHR] for example it might be 190.
Then find your resting heart rate, [ideally after you wake up] over a few days, which may be 65.
Subtract your resting rate[RHR] from your maximum [MHR] to find your working heart rate [WHR]. MHR-RHR  = WHR e.g. 190-65 = 125.
Take whatever percentage of your working heart rate you are aiming for e.g. 60% that would be 125[WHR] x 0.6[60%] = 75 add this to your resting heart rate. 75 + 65[RHR] =140 so a 60% effort would be 140 beats per minute[BPM].
The three broad training zones are based on percentages of your working heart rate [WHR] [ NOT Max Heart Rate (MHR)] Broad Training Zones are 60% to 75% = easy, 75% to 85% moderate, 85% to 95% hard.
Running fitness magazine October 2013

2.   There is an old formula of 220 – age = maximum heart rate [MHR] in my case this would give me a maximum of 220-65= 155 which is about 20+ beats less than I think it is!!!

3.   Step 1 Calculate maximum heart rate [MHR]

Women 209 - [0.9 x age] = MHR
Men 214 – [0.8 x age] = MHR

So for me age 65, that’s 214 – 0.8 x 65 = 162MHR
That’s still low but! Closer if I add 10 beats that’s 172 which I think is a lot nearer [I think mine is 176ish]

Step 2 Next take your resting heart rate [RHR]
Lie in bed before getting up or drinking coffee etc. relax for 10 mins then count your pulse for one minute. Do this over several days to find the average. Mine was 57.

Step 3  Using the following calculation to work out your training zones
MHR [Max] – RHR [Rest] = WHR[Working]
e.g. for me 162 -57 = 105 Working Heart Rate

Calculate 70% and 85% of your working heart rate
e.g. 70%
for me 70% of 105 = 73.5 bpm [beats per minute]
            80% of 105 = 84 bpm

THEN [for 70%] add back your resting heart rate [RHR]

 73.5 [70%of WHR] + 57[RHR] = 130.5

So 70% = 130.5 bpm

 80% is  84[80% of WHR] + 57[RHR] = 141 bpm

Running Fitness magazine March 2014 and Running Fitness magazine January 2016

4.   There is one final method of finding maximum heart rate {MHR] and is called the ‘Maffatone method’
Coach Phil Maffatone used an easy method of calculating your zones instead of worrying about maximum heart rate he uses a simple formula!
180 - age = 70%  if you have been training for a year without injury add 5 beats
If you have been ill or out of training take off 5 beats

So for me that would be 180 – 65 = 115 [i.e. My 70% is 142] which I think is very low.
Running Fitness magazine January 2016


5.   My rates through trial and error and using the method 1 and  3 as a starting point and seem to be close are
                       60% =130
                      70% = 142
                       80% = 153
                       85% = 159
                        90% = 164
Most of my time in spinning is spent around 75%/80% with the warm up being around 70% on the really hard bits I get to around 87%maximum [160 bpm approximately]


6.   For a 52 year old woman
209 – 0.9 x 52 = MHR
209 – 0.9 x 52 = 162.2 Maximum Heart rate
If resting heart rate was 63 then the working heart rate [WHR]
MHR – RHR = WHR
163 – 63 = 100 working heart rate

60%  can be calculated as
60% x working heart rate + resting heart rate = 60%
60%
 0.6 x 100 + 63 = 123 bpm

70%
0.7x100 + 63 = 133bpm

80%
0.8 x 100 + 63 =143bpm

90%
0.9 x 100 + 63 = 153bpm

This seems low so you maybe need to add 10  bpm to the figures and see how it goes. I just use as a guide to tell me when I am working and when I am not, it gives me a target and I only go for the higher numbers when we are near the end of a session!!
Good luck!!!!

Ian Booth


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