# How long after cycling does the heat rate return to normal?

#### Ajax Bay

##### Guru
my ‘Max’ heart rate should be 220-45= 175bpm which is utter drivel
220 minus age is a formula widely adopted but discredited, for the average person's maximum HR, let alone active cyclists. Even the doctor who suggested in the 1980s it says it's very poor - it was derived from data from ill patients.
The Tanaka formula gives a reasonable fit to the max HR line (graph of HR v age):
Tanaka formula(men and women over age 40): 208 - (0.7 × age)
But this is just a negative gradient line, with a wide variation between individuals.
For me this formula was up to 40 beats out 20+ years ago and is still 25+ beats 'out' (measured with Polar HRM bitd and with a Garmin last month, both with chest strap sensor). As I've said before, I acknowledge that I'm an outlier (and just share my data to illustrate the variation is not just statistical) and that others have properly measured maximum HRs below the figure derived from the formula. [Proviso: after an all-out effort, not by extrapolation of a ramp test.]
But it's harder maths so most sites just trot out the 220-age cobblers.

#### Tripster

##### Über Member
220 minus age is a formula widely adopted but discredited, for the average person's maximum HR, let alone active cyclists. Even the doctor who suggested in the 1980s it says it's very poor - it was derived from data from ill patients.
The Tanaka formula gives a reasonable fit to the max HR line (graph of HR v age):
Tanaka formula(men and women over age 40): 208 - (0.7 × age)
But this is just a negative gradient line, with a wide variation between individuals.
For me this formula was up to 40 beats out 20+ years ago and is still 25+ beats 'out' (measured with Polar HRM bitd and with a Garmin last month, both with chest strap sensor). As I've said before, I acknowledge that I'm an outlier (and just share my data to illustrate the variation is not just statistical) and that others have properly measured maximum HRs below the figure derived from the formula. [Proviso: after an all-out effort, not by extrapolation of a ramp test.]
But it's harder maths so most sites just trot out the 220-age cobblers.
That was my point about the 220 formula
The true way of finding max heart rate for an individual is not something I want to do

#### Ajax Bay

##### Guru
Deals with getting as good a measurement as possible for maximum and resting HRs, rather than repeating on this thread.

#### Dogtrousers

##### Kilometre nibbler
Just out of interest, taking my "Max heart rate" to be the max I've recorded cycling on more than one occasion (twice on the turbo, once going up Yorks Hill) and using the formulae, I get: 220-age is 94% of that, and 207-(0.7*age) is 97%

Which conclusively proves ... nothing much at all really.

#### Tripster

##### Über Member
A true max stress test that pro athletes do takes them to near vomiting and passing out Chris Hoy once said, or some Olympic Rower. Of no significance to a mere human like us

#### Ajax Bay

##### Guru
Which conclusively proves
That you weren't trying hard enough up those hills, for a cyclist with your palmares.
Note that the two formulae intersect when the subject is 40 years old.
A true max stress test
I got up to 197 on a hill test (running), to 201 coming off the final bend of an 800m, and to 206 and 207 at the (sprint) end of hard XC races (running) - last century. All measured on chest HR and Polar HRM. My daughter goes above 200 at peak effort moments (running XC) and above 195 (cycling TT). In the genes? Has big triathlon next Sunday, with Alistair Brownlee favourite (or in-country 'favorite') to win the men's race.

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#### straas

##### Veteran
4,000 miles is a small figure these days?

It really, really isn't.

#### Ajax Bay

##### Guru
Thank you for that Team Beachbody® link and its pretty comprehensive list of basic facts about Max HR.
There's just one I think is not a 'fact' (ie is incorrect): "Max HR does not decline with age."
I can offer a number of references which say just the opposite: max HR declines with age.
In fact she then offers (with no reference as to where this has been plucked from) a formula which does predict a decline with age:
"After years of searching for an arithmetic formula that's more accurate, we have developed the "best-fit" formula and believe it to be the most accurate to date : 210 minus 50% of your age minus 5% of your body weight (in pounds) + 4 if male = Estimated max HR"

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#### kenmiles

##### Active Member
Thank you for that Team Beachbody® link and its pretty comprehensive list of basic facts about Max HR.
There's just one I think is not a 'fact' (ie is incorrect): "Max HR does not decline with age."
I can offer a number of references which say just the opposite: max HR declines with age.
In fact she then offers (with no reference as to where this has been plucked from) a formula which does predict a decline with age:
"After years of searching for an arithmetic formula that's more accurate, we have developed the "best-fit" formula and believe it to be the most accurate to date : 210 minus 50% of your age minus 5% of your body weight (in pounds) + 4 if male = Estimated max HR"
I assumed rightly or wrongly that this formula was a quick and easy way to get the most accurate max HR without expensive testing.
I used this formula after reading the article and it gave me a figure that matched within a coupe of beats the maximum that I have recorded on a ride over the last two years.

#### Dogtrousers

##### Kilometre nibbler
I guess one question is why anyone would want an accurate value of their MHR. What use is it? I suppose the answer would be "to get accurate boundaries for training zones". You then need to question how strictly you are sticking to these zones in training and what would be the consequence of your zone boundaries being off by 10 beats or so. Probably not a huge deal in most cases.

I'm not saying it doesn't matter. Just that we sometimes go off on a search for accurate measurements just for accuracy's sake.

#### Lovacott

##### Senior Member
Cycling on a road bike, especially if you do a bit of hill work, engages your core quite a bit and your upper body to some extent, when you get out of the saddle particularly. You don't particularly notice it at the time, but over time you definitely see the effects.
On the MTB on steep hills, the arms get used as a counter thrust. Right foot pushes down, left arm pulls up etc.

Also, the core gets moved about as the body tries to maintain balance.

Basically, riding a bike is defying gravity and every tilt off centre has to be counteracted by a body movement and every movement requires the use of a muscle.

It's pretty amazing what the human body does when we ride a bike.

A week