Posted by: BC_Nuggets
Yeah I had a check up a couple months back and mentioned how high my heart rate tends to go. It comes back down to normal levels at a reasonable rate, my heart sounded fine on their stethoscope and my blood pressure is 120/80. I'm having blood work done for all the regular stuff for my age. I know my liver was a bit out of line in previous tests but I think that was a combination of being on meds for a toe fungus (cleared up now) and drinking (moderate drinker--I love my IPA's.) They weren't too concerned about the hitting that high bpm but said that it wasn't going to help my overall fitness because at that point you're going beyond where the effective range is. They said I should be able to carry on a conversation at work out levels. I admitted that I like to get to that point where I feel a bit dizzy and numb from the adrenaline. They said I should dial it back as it doesn't help.
I haven't done my blood work yet (keep forgetting about it and the fasting) but will do it soon. For my build (always been skinnier ectomorph, runner type) and height 5 11, I've found in the past my fitness seems to be best when I'm in the 170-175 lbs range and now I'm in the 188-192 lb range (beer belly) so I guess I shouldn't be surprised my fitness is frustrating me.
I'm 46 and in a similar situation. My HR is always super high, even at my fittest at the end of the season. I can pedal at 170 for a very long time and my average HR is generaly around 165 for pretty much all my rides. I reach 180-185 on most climbs, but over 190 is the suffer zone. I have absolutely no issue recovering form these high HR episodes and reaching over 190 has no impact on the rest of my ride. I just take a short break at the top and I'm good to go. I got checked out and it seems everything is normal. I guess I'm just built like that. Maybe my heart is small and doesn't push a lot of blood... Maybe my lungs are damaged from a bad pneumonia I got several years ago.. I don't know.
That leaves me with a narrow range of acceptable HR, which really prevents me from pushing hard on the climbs, as I hit the redline really easily. The frustrating part is that I can't really go on pedally rides with friends of my skill level if they are not willing to wait for me on long climbs.
If you don't already own a HR monitor, I suggest getting one. I have a Garmin Edge 520 and it's great. I constantly monitor my HR during my ride. After a while, you get to know yourself and using the HR monitor is really helpful to pace your effort.
I used to make fun of people riding their MTB with a HR monitor. I was thinking they were a bunch of wannabe-racerboi-wankers. Still eating crow about this on every ride... :)