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Old 12-12-2013, 10:31 AM   #21
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I'm 56, female and run for fitness. Resting heart rate is 48 and max heart rate is 198. I did a 6 mile run this morning and averaged 137 BPM. Heart rate is such an individual thing - the charts and age-calculated heart rates are a farce for a lot of people and especially well-conditioned athletes. So many environmental conditions come into play as well (heat and humidity among others). The majority (70%) of runs/workouts should be done in the easy range (60-70% of max heart rate) - as someone said, conversation should be possible at this level. I'm within 10 miles of hitting 2000 running miles for the year!
I find it easy to converse with the squirrels while running in the park. So I must be OK?

2000 miles -- Wow! I do about half of that.

This article helps me to feel better about keeping the mileage within my current bounds. Of course, I may be biased since it fits my current workouts:

Endurance Sports: Studies on Older Endurance Athletes Suggest the Fittest Reap Few Health Benefits - WSJ.com

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What the new research suggests is that the benefits of running may come to a hard stop later in life. In a study involving 52,600 people followed for three decades, the runners in the group had a 19% lower death rate than nonrunners, according to the Heart editorial. But among the running cohort, those who ran a lot—more than 20 to 25 miles a week—lost that mortality advantage.
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:07 AM   #22
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An old statement from somebody (at least 30 years ago...no idea where I heard/saw it)........if you are running more than 3 miles a day you aren't doing it for your health, you are doing for another reason. I always thought that was spot on. Substitute any equivalent exercise/duration for the running and it still fits. I ran 100 miles a week to race. I sure enjoyed it, but I wasn't doing it just for my health. I would still be running 10+ miles a day if my body would let me. If you are racing....then you also have to put in the high stress efforts of speed work to get the most out of your body. This spikes your HR out of "normal" levels. Although one thing I have never really understood about myself.....I can get my HR a fair amount higher on a bike than I can running.
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:12 AM   #23
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Just finished a good workout this AM. My max heart rate went to 153 BPM while the average over 45 minutes was 142. This is a little more than usual for me. I was wondering how high your heart rate goes and for how long? I am 63 years old.
I am 61 and I follow the "maffetone method" which is basically 70% my
max heart rate. Had yrs. of injuries and burnouts before and this works for me.
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:43 AM   #24
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I am 61 and I follow the "maffetone method" which is basically 70% my
max heart rate. Had yrs. of injuries and burnouts before and this works for me.
According to the rule of thumb(220-age) my recent max HR equates to about 97% of max. This seems doubtful. Most of my workouts have me getting into the 145-150 range and this would equate to at least 90%. If I only went to 70% I don't think I would even feel like I worked out? I workout pretty hard, losing around 2 lbs of net liquid during 45minutes. I am always amazed how only 45 minutes of exercise most days can have such a positive impact on your health.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:10 PM   #25
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I am amazed at how hard so many people here work out.

Ha
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:22 PM   #26
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I am amazed at how hard so many people here work out.

Ha
Me, too. I sure don't.

So, I presently find that I don't need a heart rate anywhere near as high as the values that are mentioned on this thread, in order to benefit and improve greatly from the exercise.

For each workout, my Polar FT7 heart rate monitor records the length of time my heart rate is in the fat burning zone and the length of time in the fitness zone. This is computed based on setup information such as height, weight, age, gender, and more. I find this to be very useful information and it confirms that in my case, I don't need a heart rate that high in order to benefit.

My cardio exercise needs to be more regularly done, and for my health this is more important than stepping up the intensity to impressive levels, at least right now. If I immediately tried to get my heart rate up to some of the higher levels mentioned here, I would be a prime heart attack candidate IMO.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:09 PM   #27
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.. I don't think I would even feel like I worked out? ....
that is exactly what everyone says! I am no expert by any means but it works for me.


Just about this time, I was introduced to Dr. Phil Maffetone, who had enjoyed a good deal of success training triathletes. I was warned that his methods were probably going to sound crazy at first, but assured that they really worked. That was 1984. And, yes, at the time his philosophy on training was almost completely opposite from my “do more, faster” approach.

This quote is from Mark Allen who was a six-time Hawaii Ironman champion and he was named by Outside magazine the fittest man in the world. (1997). He was also named Triathlete of the Year six times by Triathlete magazine.

Mark Allen
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:24 PM   #28
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I've known for a long time that my heart probably runs "hot"--when I was in my early 20s I ran 4 miles in 32 minutes and was just fine immediately after, yet my heart rate was over 200. I'm 58 now, so I don't quite remember precisely. I do hard (run)and easy (walk uphill) days in alternation--hard I average about 130, easy more like 120, for 50-55 minutes.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:52 PM   #29
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Lately, I warm up for a weight lifting session on a treadmill by walking at 3.5 MPH for 2.5 minutes and then jog for 2.5 minutes at 6.5 MPH. That is usually enough to get my HR to 130+. On some non-lifting days, I do what I call an aerobic blast, consisting of an inclined walk for 15 minutes at 25 degrees, and then do several cycles of hitting the heavy bag, doing 25lb medicine ball slams, followed by wind sprints. I suspect this rountine gets my heart rate much higher than the treadmill, but I'm not measuring it. My days of running for distance are over. I'm 64.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:02 PM   #30
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Lots of research shows the old "220-age" calc has very little scientific basis. It was basically thought up by a researcher as a tool for one of his projects, and basically 'fudged' from a graph. The formula has a HUGE variance for individuals of same age. True Max HR is quite individualized, even though it clearly declines with age in each person. IMHO "220-age" became popular due to its simplicity. Not a huge Mirkin fan, but this article of his provides some background.

http://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/9156.html

My own resting HR is 48-50, and my max HR during hard exercise exceeds "220-age" by 12-14bpm. I have well-exceeded "220-age" during exercise stress testing (inc echo & nuc med) under cardiologist supervision in the lab. I can run or bike hard (~lactate threshold) at ave HR just under "220-age". This is not a badge of unique fitness, but just an individual reading. I enjoy training hard & endurance athletics, inc spirited group bike rides (20-25mph for 20mi), running (inc some marathons), and triathlon (inc finishing ironman 2yrs ago). There are many faster than me who have lower max HR's.

The health effects of higher volume & intensity exercise in the healthy older athlete is controversial. I've read the studies & medical editorials from WSJ link & find them somewhat 1-sided. Other researchers not cited have found a benefit to higher volume of exercise, although most agree there is likely some point of unfavorable risk-reward ratio. The American College of Sports Medicine has a saying that "Exercise is Medicine". That analogy also suggests it is possible to "overdose".

Gotta add that my personal hero is Lew Hollander, an octagenarian who has finished Kona Ironman World Championships 16 times inc at age 82. His advice is to "train hard,live long", and "go anaerobic every day".
http://lewhollander.com/pages/athlete.htm
YMMV
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:43 PM   #31
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I'm fairly sure that (as is evident from this thread) your max heart rate is really not very important, and probably an individual difference. The sole purpose of using some percentage of your max HR for an exercise range is just to keep your workout from being either too hard or too easy, but just enough to give you some benefit.

However, I do think that your resting HR gives a pretty good indication of your overall fitness. Elite athletes have incredibly low resting HRs. I recall reading that Lance Armstrong's was around 32.

There is an interesting table HERE that relates your resting heart rate to various levels of fitness. According to that table, I'm in the "Excellent" range, which makes me feel good, but I don't know how much real validity that has.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:53 PM   #32
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my personal hero is Lew Hollander, an octagenarian who has finished Kona Ironman World Championships 16 times inc at age 82.
Nice.

Made me think about my own personal hero, Larry Lewis. He discovered running when he was about 65, and ran six miles a day (before his job as a waiter in San Francisco) nearly until his death at the age of 106. I learned about him when Bill Moyers did a brief piece about him shortly after his death in 1974, and he has been an inspiration to me ever since.

Some cool info about his life HERE.
and a brief obituary HERE.
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:12 PM   #33
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Sometimes I think these popular charts are too easy on women. It seems like if we do any exercise at all, we go straight to the top of the charts. The posted chart puts me in the "athlete" range for women my age, even though I am not and have never been a runner. Just 35-minute slogs 4x/week on the elliptical, plus strength and flexibility workouts.

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I

There is an interesting table HERE that relates your resting heart rate to various levels of fitness. According to that table, I'm in the "Excellent" range, which makes me feel good, but I don't know how much real validity that has.
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:18 PM   #34
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?...There is an interesting table HERE that relates your resting heart rate to various levels of fitness. According to that table, I'm in the "Excellent" range, which makes me feel good, but I don't know how much real validity that has.
The table rates me as an athlete--I'll take it and (not) run with it.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:38 PM   #35
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I'm fairly sure that (as is evident from this thread) your max heart rate is really not very important, and probably an individual difference. The sole purpose of using some percentage of your max HR for an exercise range is just to keep your workout from being either too hard or too easy, but just enough to give you some benefit.

However, I do think that your resting HR gives a pretty good indication of your overall fitness. Elite athletes have incredibly low resting HRs. I recall reading that Lance Armstrong's was around 32.

There is an interesting table HERE that relates your resting heart rate to various levels of fitness. According to that table, I'm in the "Excellent" range, which makes me feel good, but I don't know how much real validity that has.
thanks. table says I am an athlete. Given the effort I put in, could be. Who knows.
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:01 PM   #36
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Depending on your conditioning, might be a little high but not dangerously so. I wear a chest strap monitor and actively increase/decrease intensity to stay in the 85-90% range when doing cardio, so it never gets too high or too low. You're probably familiar with all the charts/guidelines available, if not...
Midpack - Where did you chart come from? It seems to be not in accordance with any charts I've ever seen before.

Most charts I've seen are based upon 220-age. At that case for a 60 year old the max heart rate would be 160 which on your chart is only moderately vigorous!

I do understand that a lot of people don't think 220-age is all that valid, but I've never seen a chart as extreme as the one you posted.

I know there are other ways to determine and individual max and even other calcultors that try to base the max on other factors than just age. Still, that chart seems questionable to me.
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:57 PM   #37
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I know there are other ways to determine and individual max and even other calcultors that try to base the max on other factors than just age. Still, that chart seems questionable to me.
Hey.....it's on the internet....it must be true!!

I believe people keep over thinking things. There isn't just one way.....on just about anything. Find some exercise you like to do (or hate the least)....then do it....with a fair amount of effort....but don't do it the exact same way all the time (the body likes to be challenged)..... done. I'm a genius.
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:19 PM   #38
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I am amazed at how hard so many people here work out.

Ha
Gotta keep up with appearances you know.

Seriously though, I get a kick out of running in the park and the occasional squirrels, deer, turkeys, even bobcats that I cross paths with. I try very hard to avoid injuries and just enjoy the experience. And I meet some interesting people when I break for stretching.
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:29 PM   #39
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Sometimes I wonder how much the tendency to overthink things correlates with success.

Wait...am I overthinking?

Amethyst

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Hey.....it's on the internet....it must be true!!

I believe people keep over thinking things.
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:42 PM   #40
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Sometimes I wonder how much the tendency to overthink things correlates with success.

Wait...am I overthinking?

Amethyst
That's one of the reasons I could see me just converting almost everything over to something like the Wellington fund.

I like gadgets....and with all these new exercise devices I can see why people are using them. If it keeps you motivated....what the hell, keep using them. It will be at least next week before I can start walking (with a little tiny bit of running) since I had my toe operated on. Riding my bike on an indoor trainer in front of the spare tv....boring as heck. I don't check my HR.....I do 30 min twice a day.....5 minutes of warming up then 20-25 minutes of intervals.
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