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New HRM... questions...

VeloVT2010-05-02 05:42:00 +0000 #1

I just took my new Timex Bodylink system for its first run. It's pretty neat, though I'm still learning the ropes. This is the first time I've used a heart rate moniter, so I thought I'd make this run a max heart rate test, so I could set zones... and now I'm kind of confused.

So I did a two mile warm up, at about 7:30/mile. This FELT like a brisk pace, but one I could keep up for quite some time (easily 5 or 6 miles) and I could have kept up intermittent conversation (not fluent). At one point, I hit 240 -- I think this must have been an error? It was very brief, and during the warm up. But most of the warm-up, I was close to 190 -- fairly steady, ranging from maybe 183 to 187.

The "test" involved me running hard up a steep 1/4 mile hill near my house, 5 times. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say I was "sprinting" up the hill -- it's REALLY steep -- but I was definitely pushing myself hard, and sprinted over the top. The highest I hit, at the very top 2 or 3 times, was 201.

This didn't seem right, given how high my HR had been for most of the warm-up, so I tried another test, sprinting on a flat stretch before the hill. I was not very scientific about distance or time -- just tried to run faster and faster until I needed to stop. I'd say the 4 repeats I did varied from 200-400m. I was getting tired (legs were getting heavy), and mostly I didn't top 193, but once, I hit 216 in a totally anaerobic sprint.

I don't feel like this data makes sense. I'm willing to assume that the 240 was just some sort of HRM error. But if my max HR is really around 201, that would mean I was running my warm-up at about 90% of max -- which isn't how I felt, I guess -- it wasn't an uncomfortable pace, just brisk, enough to feel I was working. If my max HR is more like 216, why wasn't I able to reach anything near that in my 5 repeats on the hill?

Has anyone else had trouble at first establishing a max? Does this sound like a reasonable method? Do you sometimes have to do several iterations of the test to get a good feel for your max? Does it sound like my heart rate moniter is wonky

? Is it possible I'm running most of the time, even on my longer runs (8-10 miles right now, building up), at close to 90% of max?

thanks for your help!

Eden2010-05-02 05:49:12 +0000 #2
I know that I need a pretty good long warm up before I can hit anywhere near my zone 5/max so maybe you were able to get your hr up higher the second time because you were warmed up more?



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