Heart rate question

Finally got a heart rate monitor woking again, just wanted to check to see what other folks think.
Just finished a 57 minute ride, and my average HB was 158 Bpm. I am 61. This was not particularly difficult… Max heart rate via caluclator is 173 Bpm, so this puts me above 90% of max for ~1 hour.

  1. Is this normal?
  2. is this good/bad for my health?

I am not a super avid rider, but I do have been doing 1 hour rides twice a week for a couple of months now, and the Bpm (and wattage) keep increaseing without a great deal of perceived effort. For what its worth, I usually ride about 1000 or more miles outside in the summer, and just a little indoor in the winter. I tend to ride harder in the summer, probably not a surprise. Just wondering what thoughts folks might have.


There is nothing significant about the reported max HR.
Did your pulse seem to come down quickly.
As you cool down and rest, you should see your pulse come down too.

More important, how did you feel?
If you felt ok and the amount of exertion is similar to what you have routinely done over the past couple years, then it seems ok.

Can’t answer your second question.
Forums are a hard place to get individualized health advice. Check with your doctor.

Many people read Fast After Fifty by Joe Friel (I think I spelled that correctly).

Those age-based calculators are very generic and we have very different individual HR’s. I, for one, have an “abnormal” high HR max. I’m supposed to be maxed out according to those calculators when I’m just into my actual zone 4.

Then there’s people totally opposite. So check yourself very careful and see what your patterns are - maybe have a quick chat to the doc sometime.

57 years of age. High 150s are pretty usual for me.

Only way to know for sure is to hook up to one of those machines and breath through a tube. The machine reads the exhalation and will let you know.

A cardiac stress test will give you some idea.

For me I am at the bottom of the scale…60 years old, AT of 142-144, max is maybe 165, very low lung capacity, VO2max and overall ability to breathe. Lifelong Asthma sufferer.

nothing wrong with it. the only time you want to worry about your HR is if you go over your max (assuming you know your true max, which may well be over 173bpm) … because that is a heart attack

a higher than normal resting heart rate is a sign of fatigue, and a higher than normal heart rate at an easy pace might serve as a precursor to an illness like a head cold or just a sign that you haven’t eaten enough before your ride. don’t worry about it

If you want to make best use of your heart rate data, you should find out either your max HR or FTHR (British Cycling use FTHR, I don’t know if that means it’s “better”). Then determine your personal heart rate zones and go from there.