Getting max HR (Read 118 times)


    I have track workout tonight and I want to test out what my max HR is using my new HRM strap. The coach usually prescribe variations of 400s or 800s with 200 recoveries, between 5-10 sets for a total of 20-30 minutes of running. I'm wondering if these intervals are long enough to push the HR to max? Or if longer sustained effort is necessary (1k? 2k? 3k?) (if so I will tack that on to the end of the workout). Thanks.

      Here's a link from the low HR forum on getting your max HR - http://www.runningahead.com/groups/LOWHRTR/forum/a309acc6bdba4ceeb05b310866086309/resume#focus


      I personally don't add 5 beats to my number like they say though, I just stick with the number my HRM gives me as my max.


      I think you could just add some all out sprints to the end of the workout you are planning tonight and get a pretty accurate number for your max.  You want to basically simulate the all out sprint at the end of a race.  Maybe after the interval workout is done (but before you are fully recovered and while you are still warmed up), run another 200m at close to all out pace, then do a very short rest where you still haven't really caught your breath and your heart is still pounding and go for another 200m sprint.  Run it like you are running a 100m sprint and give it everything you have and then just keep at it for the next 100m until you finish.  I think that should get it close.


      When I was first trying to figure out my max HR I did something similar and came up with 187, then I hit 192 at the end of a race later on and finally hit 194 at the end of one race and that's as high as it's ever gotten.


      Have fun.

      Age: 50 Weight: 215 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

      Current PR's:  Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)


        The only way I've been able to reliably get my heart rate up to max is on a treadmill cranked up to 15% or more incline - starting off fairly slow for about 10 minutes to get warmed up, then start slowly speeding it up and watching your heart rate increase until you feel like you're going close to  all out effort; then speed up the treadmill some more and keep going - when your heart rate stops increasing and you keep going some more until you are at (or go past) the point of collapse, you MIGHT be at your max heart rate. Make sure you have the treadmill safety stop cord attached securely to you so if and when you do collapse the treadmill will shut off.  I have done this a couple of times in the past and I can only hold at my max heart rate for a few seconds once I reach it.  BTW this test seems to really annoy the heck out of the people on all the other treadmills and ellipticals, since it's rather noisy and somewhat dramatic to the uninitiated... 


        Or you could just warm up thoroughly and run hard laps on the track, finishing with an all-out lap and watch your HRM, and add a few extra beats to the highest number you see. 

        Retired &  Loving It

          If you race a 5k at full effort and particularly make sure you put every possible ounce of effort into the last few hundred metres you'll get to your max HR or within a beat or two anyhow.


            I'm also someone that has only ever managed to max out on very hard climbs.


            I wouldn't even bother on a track because I know it'd be a whole bunch of pain for nothing. Big grin

              I agree with hard climbs and 5k races under good conditions.


              Or take the point where you start to get breathless and divide by 0.9 to get HRmax. That may give you a good approximation. It did for me - or at least a number that makes sense. (I hadn't seen Joe Friel's stuff when I did this.)  A stress test got me about 10bpm higher before they stopped the tm and suggested I not do that.


              Or use LT HR and zones suggested by Joe Friel.

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


                Thanks all for the suggestions. Intervals last night was 400x10. I ran quite hard near the end and my legs were too wobbly to make an attempt to run further. When I got the data afterward it seems that my HR had not plateau, it was still peaking but was cut short by the end of the 400, so I was not running long enough. I think my HRmax may be another 5 to 10 beats away, I'll find out next time I race a 5k. I find it interesting that the HR drops so fast when I slowed down, making plots is fun Smile



                  Your chart reveals why a hrm is practically useless for intervals.


                  Note the lag between when your effort starts and stops and when your hr responds.


                  Anyway, you really stuck it out with that workout so kudos for that! Did you start increasing your rests or slowing them down after your fifth rep?


                  MTA: Oh, yes, the blue line is pace and you did slow the rests down quite a bit after the 5th. Interesting to see the hr response when you did that. I like the charts, too!

                  Dream Maker

                     find it interesting that the HR drops so fast when I slowed down,


                    How fast your Heart rate drops after intense exercise is a good sign of your fitness... much better than resting heart rate. (Since resting is both conditioning and genetics)


                    I think it's cool to measure now and again.