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Target Heart Rate

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Old 01-06-2010, 01:47 PM   #1
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Default Target Heart Rate

Can somebody please explain to me about optimum heart rate?

My treadmill has a heart rate function-- it gives three ranges-- weight loss, cardiovascular, and above maximum. I do three minute walk/run intervals. I've used my treadmill for a long time but I'm pretty new to the running intervals.

Where should my heart rate be? Should I be keeping it in the cardiovascular range? Should it recover during my walk intervals? Recover to what?

How bad is it if I exceed my maximum heart rate? Sometimes toward the end of my workout my heart rate will be just over the maximum... it always freaks me out and makes me think I'm about to have a heart attack even though I feel fine.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:13 PM   #2
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I wouldn't be too concerned over those monitors. You can't be over "maximum" heart rate. If you were AT maximum, as I have been once during a police fitness exam, you would be dizzy, seeing stars, and probably fall down.

Go by a real heart rate chart and if you don't have a strap on heart rate monitor, you can use a 10 second test or perceived rate of exertion.

See this
http://www.ginmiller.com/images8/hea...tion-chart.jpg
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:27 PM   #3
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I exceed what most charts say is my maximum heart rate quite regularly and my heart hasn't exploded yet.

All kidding aside, I reguarlu get my heart rate up on the mid 180s, have comfortbly gone as high as 205. Over that once and I found myself with the symptoms Sacha described above. Most of the charts list low 180s as my max, with an exercise range in the 160s. 160 doesn't even leave me a little winded.

My heart rate does recover quickly when I drop to a walk - when I am focusing on intervals I bring it up to between 175-185 depending on how I'm feeling and then drop it to 135-145 on the recovery.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:15 PM   #4
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I have the opposite problem. Since getting fit, I can't get my heart rate up to the 70 year old person even when the sweat is pouring off. But my doctor is thrilled that my resting heart rate has dropped so low, so figure my fitness level and exertion on stationary bike (which is the what measures this for me) is fine.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:05 PM   #5
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This was helpful. When I compared how hard I thought I was working and heart rate, it was about right and I certainly don't seem to be overdoing it.

I feel better about my heart not exploding.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacha View Post
I wouldn't be too concerned over those monitors. You can't be over "maximum" heart rate. If you were AT maximum, as I have been once during a police fitness exam, you would be dizzy, seeing stars, and probably fall down.
+1 I have been to my MHR and the world starts closing in. Tunnel vision.

The charts are an average. Each person has their own true maximum and there are ways to measure it and it is not pleasant.

I haven't measured mine in a while (nor do I intend to) but the last time I did it was about 10 beats higher than the theoretical maximum.

I have an acquaintance who runs about 30 beats higher than the theoretical maximum.

As for the percentages....well for them to really mean anything you need to know your true MHR, and then a more accurate measure is to find your RESTING HR and calculate the difference and then look at your % of HR reserve. yadda yadda. Not to mention that HR monitors on machines are notoriously inaccurate. On elliptical #2 at the gym I run about 30 beats higher at the same pace than ellpitical #3. I dont think I'm in a weird gravity field on #2 that makes me work harder.

I like percieved exertion. Learn it, play around with it. I like to find paces that are faster than I think I can go and say what does 10 seconds feel like, 20? 60?. Oooooohh yeah, that is nearing my maximum ok there.....
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:06 PM   #7
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Thanks-- I'm new to the perceived exertion thing. The only thing is, well, at some level when I'm running I ALWAYS feel like I'm about to die....

But it's a good way for me to get a better sense of what I'm doing. I have a weird paranoia about working TOO hard.
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