Heart rate question (Read 1806 times)

    In my opinion the best way is to not use max heart rate, but rather use lactate threshold heart rate, which can be tested for relatively easily.


    Article 1

     

    Article 2

     

    (Random observation, those are both triathlon sites...  tells you something right there.)

    Scout:

     

    This is quite interesting; thanks for sharing the sites.  However, this line was a bit of a yellow flag to me:

     

    • You should finish knowing you gave it everything you had.

    Sure, not that big of a deal but that's quite subjective.  Particularly if the person is not well-trained, it is VERY difficult for him/her to push hard enough to "give it everything you had". 

     

    I get what you mean about Max HR vs. LT but, if that's the case, and if you really want to make it accurate, you should do something more like a Conconi test where you run around the track and speed up by 1 second every 200m while checking your HR.  That would be the best.

     

    For all practical purposes, I think calculation is "good enough".  I do not like (220 - age) because it's too simplified and, very many occasions, age isn't, and shouldn't, be a determining factor for fitness level.  I think the other one ((220 - age - RHR) X 75% + RHR) is fairly reasonable--this, of course, is to get 75% of Max HR.  I'd give +/-10 just to give the range.  Is it really accurate?  No.  Is it reasonable enough?  I think so.

     

    A problem with a test like above suggested (give it everything you have) is that, it may be alright for an "athlete" who can actually push themselves to that point.  A beginner, or someone who's not as fit, can get in trouble pushing like that.  The same reason why I don't like this (in)famous 12 minutes test that military still love to use.  It is just NOT practical.

    Scout7


    CPT Curmudgeon

      Nobby,

       

      Generally speaking, I agree with you regarding the test protocols, which is why I am always amused that people seem to think that HR training is somehow less subjective than any other form of effort measurement like RPE.

       

      That being said, there are similar testing protocols that use better language than the one I've tested, and I have see other articles from the author and know that, in general, the intention is not to finish and be completely spent, but to maintain a strong, consistent effort over the duration.  Ultimately, it should be akin to running a 10-15K race, depending on your current ability.

       

      I dislike formulas in general for this purpose, because there are far too many variables to affect heart rate at the individual level, and I think the formulas provide too much comfort in a number that is never quite that simple.

       

      The biggest issue I see is people trying to adopt a method of measuring effort without fully understanding what's involved (note, I do not mean anyone in this thread, this is a general observation of mine).

        From personal observation, yes.  I think there are a few reasons:

         

        1) The bike - you can get a lot of data relating to performance when on a bike, assuming the right equipment (which also, I believe, leads most triathletes to become very gear/tech-oriented).  Having a wealth of data in one area leads many to want the same wealth of data in other areas.

         

        2) The swim - swimming is extremely technique-oriented, so a common approach is to apply technique-base training to other sports as well.  Running is not technique-oriented, so they try to compare apples to oranges, and want a consistent metric regarding the work they do, so they try to use heart rate.

         

        3) Time - when you have three sports to train, and a limited amount of time to train in, most people will want to maximize bang for their buck.  This desire tends to lead people to using some quantifiable, measurable metric that seems to be independent of personal bias to make sure they are indeed maximizing their training.

         

        Obviously, not every triathlete is all that into these sorts of things, and there are obviously runners who tend to geek out on data moreso than others, but I have seen a distinct trend that seems more pronounced in the triathlon community than in the running community (but still exists) that tends towards finding gear that will attempt to make the most out of training.

         

        I thnk there is another aspect as well.

         

        With a triathlon, it is hard to measure your perceived level of effort as you go directly from swimming (horizontal position) to the bike.  You're unable to fully grasp how much effort you're exerting.  The support from the "tools" help prevent over exertion. 

         

        The transition from bike to run is even more complex.  When you get off the bike, and you begin to run, you have no idea how slow or fast you are going.  It's not like stepping out of the house and going for a run.  When you don't know, you "need" to know because otherwise, you'll run 1 min / mile slower than you know you can run, or you'll run 1 min / mile faster than you know that you can run.  With the "tool", you can help yourself along the journey of the day.

         

        All of the information gathered during the training phase helps you on race day.

         

        I think running is more technique oriented than you may speak of (and I think you recognize that).  It's relatively easy to see individuals who have been running a long time compared to other individuals who are inefficient.  It's easy to see people who have a slow running cadence (60 - 65 steps per minute) compared to others who have 80 - 90 strikes per minute.  Likewise, you can see those that move their head awkwardly, etc..  Seems like there is quite a bit of technique and efficiencies that can be gained. (Maybe I interpreted the theme of your words incorrectly, though). 

         

        Also, the ultra-marathon guys here also recognize the need to pace for the long event.  They'll go out and run 30+ miles frequently, and they know how to pace for the long haul (5+ hour event).  For me, I seldom run more than 10 miles per outing (90 minutes), and yet I need to run a 13 mile event after doing 3 to 3 1/2 hours of activity.  Therefore, to best prepare for the 6th hour of the triathlon, I need to condition my body accordingly and train for that.

         

        Cheers,

        2014 Goals:

        #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

        #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

         

        Scout7


        CPT Curmudgeon

          I thnk there is another aspect as well.

           

          With a triathlon, it is hard to measure your perceived level of effort as you go directly from swimming (horizontal position) to the bike.  You're unable to fully grasp how much effort you're exerting.  The support from the "tools" help prevent over exertion. 

           

          The transition from bike to run is even more complex.  When you get off the bike, and you begin to run, you have no idea how slow or fast you are going.  It's not like stepping out of the house and going for a run.  When you don't know, you "need" to know because otherwise, you'll run 1 min / mile slower than you know you can run, or you'll run 1 min / mile faster than you know that you can run.  With the "tool", you can help yourself along the journey of the day.

           

          All of the information gathered during the training phase helps you on race day.

           

          I think running is more technique oriented than you may speak of (and I think you recognize that).  It's relatively easy to see individuals who have been running a long time compared to other individuals who are inefficient.  It's easy to see people who have a slow running cadence (60 - 65 steps per minute) compared to others who have 80 - 90 strikes per minute.  Likewise, you can see those that move their head awkwardly, etc..  Seems like there is quite a bit of technique and efficiencies that can be gained. (Maybe I interpreted the theme of your words incorrectly, though). 

           

          Also, the ultra-marathon guys here also recognize the need to pace for the long event.  They'll go out and run 30+ miles frequently, and they know how to pace for the long haul (5+ hour event).  For me, I seldom run more than 10 miles per outing (90 minutes), and yet I need to run a 13 mile event after doing 3 to 3 1/2 hours of activity.  Therefore, to best prepare for the 6th hour of the triathlon, I need to condition my body accordingly and train for that.

           

          Cheers,

           

          Regarding the bike/run transition, I would argue that needing to know your pace is not as important as understanding the situation and being able to react appropriately.  This analysis and response can be accomplished either with or without a heartrate monitor, and regardless of how it is done, it requires the same thing: practice.

           

          In fact, I would argue that everything you have brought up all boils down to practice and experience, and I believe your last paragraph highlights that the best.  Indeed, someone going out and running all the time has far more practice when it comes to pacing than someone who runs less.

           

          As to the idea that running is technique-oriented, I generally do not feel that running qualifies.  To me, a technique oriented skill is one that would focus a large portion (if not a majority) of time to developing very specific aspects, and that greater gains tend to come from working on technique rather than general practice.  In swimming it is body position, breathing, and stroke mechanics that tend to give the greatest bang for the buck, and they require a fair amount of specific practice to develop fairly distinct skills.  Running, on the other hand, tends to develop naturally, with minimal (note I didn't say "no") time spent on actual technique/skills.  Swimming is a lot like golf in that regard, where the practices have to be more focused on a specific aspect of the sport, and even then a specific aspect of the stroke/swing.

           

          I am by no means saying that heart rate monitors are bad, or that using one is a shortcut or incorrect.  I generally don't much mind how people train, and would rather someone do something they understand and enjoy than listen to advice that won't make much difference.  I was merely commenting on trends that I see in different sports communities, and providing my own analysis of why those differences exist.


          Feeling the growl again

            I think running is more technique oriented than you may speak of (and I think you recognize that).  It's relatively easy to see individuals who have been running a long time compared to other individuals who are inefficient.  It's easy to see people who have a slow running cadence (60 - 65 steps per minute) compared to others who have 80 - 90 strikes per minute.  Likewise, you can see those that move their head awkwardly, etc..  Seems like there is quite a bit of technique and efficiencies that can be gained. (Maybe I interpreted the theme of your words incorrectly, though).  

             

            In the grand scheme of things, I would have to disagree.  A very talented or conditioned athlete from another sport can take to running and will easily out-pace someone with good technique but without the level of conditioning or perhaps talent.

             

            Swimming and nordic skiing are perhaps prime examples of technique sports -- and ones that runners will do terribly in if they approach it like running.  For running, #1 is applying yourself and getting in shape to excel.  Only later will any gains from technique be major enough to really impact your performance.  In true technique sports, #1 is getting proper technique -- nothing matters until you do.

             

            I have been passed by 70-yr-old men, 12-yr old girls in swimming a triathlon, and slighly overweight 40-yr-old women in ski racing when I was in 34-min 10K shape.  Those are sports where technique matters! Wink

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             


            I've got a fever...

              The problem with 220-Age  (and I suspect with 180-Age)

               

              The common formula was devised in 1970 by Dr. William Haskell, then a young physician in the federal Public Health Service and his mentor, Dr. Samuel Fox, who led the service's program on heart disease. They were trying to determine how strenuously heart disease patients could exercise.

               

              In preparation for a medical meeting , Dr. Haskell culled data from about 10 published studies in which people of different ages had been tested to find their maximum heart rates.

               

              The subjects were never meant to be a representative sample of the population, said Dr. Haskell, who is now a professor of medicine at Stanford. Most were under 55 and some were smokers or had heart disease.

               

              On an airplane traveling to the meeting, Dr. Haskell pulled out his data and showed them to Dr. Fox. ''We drew a line through the points and I said, 'Gee, if you extrapolate that out it looks like at age 20, the heart rate maximum is 200 and at age 40 it's 180 and at age 60 it's 160,'' Dr. Haskell said.

               

              At that point, Dr. Fox suggested a formula: maximum heart rate equals 220 minus age.

               

              But, exercise physiologists said, these data, like virtually all exercise data, had limitations. They relied on volunteers who most likely were not representative of the general population. ''It's whoever came in the door,'' Dr. Kirkendall said.

               

              In addition, he and others said, gauging maximum heart rates for people who are not used to exercising is often difficult because many prematurely stop the test.

               

              As the treadmill hills get steeper, people who are not used to exercise will notice that their calves are aching. ''They will say they can't go any further,'' Dr. Kirkendall said.

               

              In addition, Dr. Wilmore, the exercise physiologist, said it was clear from the scattered data points that maximum heart rates could vary widely from the formula. ''If it says 150, it could be 180 and it could be 120,'' Dr. Wilmore said.

               

              But the formula quickly entered the medical literature. Even though it was almost always presented as an average maximum rate, the absolute numbers took on an air of received wisdom in part, medical scientists said, because the time was right....

               

              Dr. Lauer pays no attention to the standard formula when he gives treadmill tests. More than 40 percent of patients, he said, can get their heart rates to more than 100 percent of their predicted maximum. ''That tells you that that wasn't their maximum heart rate,'' Dr. Lauer said...

               

              'I've kind of laughed about it over the years,'' Dr. Haskell said. The formula, he said, ''was never supposed to be an absolute guide to rule people's training.'' But, he said, ''It's so typical of Americans to take an idea and extend it beyond what it was originally intended for.''

              On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                Just for kicks I wanted to test that method of measuring HR in Scout's link 1.  

                 

                I know I can work out for 30 + min of a 45-50 min run at 165 HR on the TM in my garage.  Today I wanted to do this test in a bit more comfortable environment at the Gym, and I think I ran fairly hard for 20 minutes, don't know about giving it all I had (legs a bit tired from yesterday's run).  The average HR for this 20 min was about 155.  

                 

                The difference in the two runs being the temperature, its about 85-90 in the garage and probably around 70 in the gym.  So what is my LT? somewhere north of 165 or 155 based on today's test?  I think I'll only know if I ever wear a HRM in a 10K - HM race, which I probably wont.  Don't need any additional distractions in a race. 

                  Don't think that I've ever had that problem. 

                   

                  I have this probelm nearly every run when its dry, low humidity. It usually only affects the first 3/4 to 1 mile. If I hold my hand over the monitor so the shirt doesn't rub on the monitor for the first 5-10 minutes the readings are good.

                   

                  I've read that other people recommend rubbing a static guard dryer sheet on the shirt where the monitor is and that will take care of the erratic readings, but I've never tried that one.

                   

                  The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                   

                  2014 Goals:

                   

                  Stay healthy

                  Enjoy life

                   

                    I agree with Scout's comment about using LT HR - or something that tests near upper level of talk test. When I was a clueless newbie (more clueless than now), many terms didn't make any sense - notably, "comfortably hard" was an oxymoron. For some reason, I had decided to run with a hrm. After reading assorted books, training articles, newsletters, etc for a few months, I began to recognize that the vast majority of running / training is done somewhere along a "conversational effort" gradient (esp. if you're only running base during winter since you're doing field work in summer and don't run / race then). 

                     

                    So what did it matter what my HRmax was if I knew where the upper end of "aerobic" effort was. I presumed that might be around 90% HRmax. At the time, I hadn't seen the LT HR tables, so I back-calculated to get HRmax. At that time, I didn't have separate "recovery" and "easy" efforts, but over time with more running and hill work, the HR at which I could run decreased and I eventually had a couple low gears. The zones that I log fit very closely with Joe Friel's tables.

                     

                    I do find HR data easier to use than RPE, which still confuses the heck out of me. I see different scales and definitions. HR data are collected automatically. Also, if I'm doing an agility run (partially maintained trail, narrow, twisty, some obstacles), I feel like I'm working a lot harder than my cardio system indicates because of the focus on where the trail is, watching for obstacles (and unwanted wildlife). So my perception of effort would be higher. Similarly with hard downhills, the perceived effort is greater than the cardio data would suggest. In my logs (both because of trail and barometric altimeter), I know which routes are hilly, where I did hard downhills, etc.  For me, I separate cardio part of workout (as indicated approximately by HR data) from perceptions of the run.

                     

                    Note: While not being a tri person, I have noticed the same trend up here. I am not a tri person, but before I retired, I was a researcher. I like hypotheses and numbers.Wink   I don't like dealing with numbers *during* my run, but I do like numbers to play with later. Breathing / talking works quite well for judging effort while running (as long as you don't want me to assign a number from 1 to 10 to it), and I can usually tell my HR within a few bpm, esp. at the upper end.

                    "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

                       ...

                       ...

                      For all practical purposes, I think calculation is "good enough".  I do not like (220 - age) because it's too simplified and, very many occasions, age isn't, and shouldn't, be a determining factor for fitness level.  I think the other one ((220 - age - RHR) X 75% + RHR) is fairly reasonable--this, of course, is to get 75% of Max HR.  I'd give +/-10 just to give the range.  Is it really accurate?  No.  Is it reasonable enough?  I think so....

                       

                      Nobby, Actually, that formula gives you 75% of heart rate reserve, not HRmax. When you use different reference points (HRmax, HRR+RHR, or LT HR), you need to use different percentages for the zones. This is something that's confusing in the literature and frequently confused by users.

                       

                      If you look at Table 1 here, you'll see the differences. 75% HRmax is usually somewhere around "easy" or "recovery", but 75% HRR+RHR is getting into the "comfortably hard" zone  (about 83% HRmax). I bring it up primarily because that's one of the things that really confused me when I started since some tables weren't clearly labeled.

                       

                      I'm personally a fan of the talk / breathing test. I just use the hrm to collect the data.

                      "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


                      I've got a fever...

                         

                        The difference in the two runs being the temperature, its about 85-90 in the garage and probably around 70 in the gym.  So what is my LT? somewhere north of 165 or 155 based on today's test?  I think I'll only know if I ever wear a HRM in a 10K - HM race, which I probably wont.  Don't need any additional distractions in a race. 

                         Go with the one produced under cooler conditions.

                         

                        Truth is, once you get above 60°F, performance starts to be affected. In hotter conditions, your heart rate rises to move more blood volume to promote cooling. This is why you can get a really high heart rate running dog slow in the hot summer sun, while the exact same pace produces a much lower heart rate on a cool fall morning.

                         

                        A running calculator that includes the effect of temperature (and a lot of other things).

                        On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                          (as long as you don't want me to assign a number from 1 to 10 to it)

                           

                          I've always felt it a bit ludicrous when hospital staff ask the patient to assign a number from 1 to 10 to their level of pain.

                          Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                          Scout7


                          CPT Curmudgeon

                            Just for kicks I wanted to test that method of measuring HR in Scout's link 1.  

                             

                            I know I can work out for 30 + min of a 45-50 min run at 165 HR on the TM in my garage.  Today I wanted to do this test in a bit more comfortable environment at the Gym, and I think I ran fairly hard for 20 minutes, don't know about giving it all I had (legs a bit tired from yesterday's run).  The average HR for this 20 min was about 155.  

                             

                            The difference in the two runs being the temperature, its about 85-90 in the garage and probably around 70 in the gym.  So what is my LT? somewhere north of 165 or 155 based on today's test?  I think I'll only know if I ever wear a HRM in a 10K - HM race, which I probably wont.  Don't need any additional distractions in a race. 

                             

                             

                            I would not use either.  For the first one, heat was a factor; for the second you were already fatigued.

                             

                            And I would generally recommend against using an actual race as a substitute for the test, because most people will have higher heart rates in a race situation due to excitement/adrenaline.

                            Scout7


                            CPT Curmudgeon

                              To add or respond to AK's long post.....

                               

                              First, I don't use a numeric scale for RPE, I just use "easy", "medium", "hard".  Much simpler that way, and I know what they mean.

                               

                              Which is, to me, the most important thing in this discussion:  No matter what methodology you use to monitor your training load, you have to be certain that you understand it and are consistent with its implementation.

                               

                              If you use HR, and you determine that your upper limit should be X, then run most of your runs no higher than X.  How you actually get there is probably not as important as being consistent in using those numbers, and then re-evaluating them on a regular basis.  Which is why I don't really like formulas, as they don't often take into account training effects very well.

                                  Which is why I don't really like formulas, as they don't often take into account training effects very well.

                                 + 1  

                                 

                                There was a time I could not run under 160 -165 HR, now I have to really push hard to get the HR north of 165.  Same perceived effort, much faster pace now.