Saturday, September 27, 2008

In Search of MHR

Now that I'm feeling a bit better about my running, I set out on Friday afternoon to figure out where my Max HR was nowadays. The last time I measured it 2 years ago using the routine outlined below, I was somewhere just north on 172. Not exactly world class, but certainly better than the much used (and much discredited) 220-AGE.

At 3 in the afternoon, I trundled off to the gym and after a brief 15 minute warm up, repeated the following exercise twice

Elevation: 10%
Pace: 9:13/mi
Distance: 0.3 miles
Recovery: slow jog for 0.2 miles at 0% elevation

The first run up the hill went smooth enough. My HR quickly shot up to 150+ and then slowly inched its way through the 160s. By the time it hit 170, my quads were burning and the my eyes were fixated on the treadmill's distance window. The MaxHR achieved at end of the first rep: 172 BPM.

During the recovery jog, I questioned my role in the cosmos and gave serious consideration to returning to a more sedentary life style, but eventually, I caught my breath and cranked up the treadmill for another go.

This time, my HR leaped to the low 160s without difficulty and ticked up to 170 by the time I got 0.2mi into the run. 171, 172, 173, 173, 173, 173, 174, 173, 173, 173, 173 ... WE HAVE A WINNER: 173. I nearly fell off the machine and stopped well short of 0.3 miles .. although I really wasn't paying any attention to the distance. I was simply trying to stay on the machine and fight with the several voices within my Id.

For now, I'll stick with 173 and learn to love it. My resting HR has come down from 52 to 47 over the past several weeks, so overall, I'm pretty happy.

Went for a hike in the hills near my house late Friday afternoon and snapped a few photos. Take care, I'll have a summary out on Sunday following my long run.


Grellan said...

I prefer 220-age and the other method can be quite painful - well done on getting there. I tried measuring my HRmax the hard way once but obviously didn't push myself hard enough as I exceeded it in a race and few week after.

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Wow, that's an intense workout for sure. Nice job!

Make sure your next run is a little less stressful one.

Addy said...

Nice workout and max heart rate!

It's fun, having just been in arizona over the summer, I feel like I have a better context for your pictures :)

Ewen said...

That's a high maximum Phil, but what about the 174?

Last time I checked, I was 166, but could be 164 now. I wish it was higher! I've always been lower than the 220-age formula. I don't know that it means all that much. Good to know what it is though.

Great time of the year for a hike - that's a superb desert sunset!

Thomas said...

The highest HR I've ever had was towards the end of a 5k race, running uphill with all the force I could manage. The result (193) was at least 8 beats higher than anything I had ever managed during training, no matter how hard I thought I pushed.

My guess is your true max HR is a bit higher than 173. For all sense and purposes, though, the exact number probably doesn't really matter.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

pretty photos. can't wait to hear about your long run!

Deene said...

nice pictures. I've never tried the max HR the complicated way. are you back in training for another marathon?

Love2Run said...

That's a brutal workout Phil and nice max score on the HR. It's useful to know it if you're trying to run at a set level.

J~Mom said...

You don't even want to know my MHR!! It's scary! LOL