Gasping for breath ... and glad of it!

On Monday it was windy so I decided to ride "Dunkin' Donut" in the reverse direction from usual because the prevailing winds on the long stretch of Meads Lane would then be a tail wind rather than head.

The thing is, when I start out in the usual direction on the loop, east, it's mostly flat riding until about the last third where I start running into the rollers. So I'm pretty warmed up by the time I hit them after about 40 minutes of riding.

Going west, as I did Monday, I do get about a 10 minute warm-up but then get all the rollers and hills first.

So on the first climb of the ride I found it unusual to be particularly short of breath and gasping for air more than I'm used to even on really big hills. In retrospect, I think it might be because I wasn't that warmed up. Even when I do Orchard Hill which is a real hill and not just a roller, I've had at least another 10 minutes of warming up before hitting it.

Anyhow, everything turned out fine and it was a good ride. What really surprised me was my maximum heart rate. My new heart monitor records maximum HR which my old one didn't. It's a feature I particularly wanted because it's not convenient to be continually looking at your wrist when climbing a tough hill. The max for this ride was 172 and my estimated maximum HR is 173! The highest HR I've seen previous to this has been 171 and that was the first time I did Orchard Hill. I didn't pace myself properly and started it too aggressively.

Of course it could be a glitch but I'd like to think I got it that high. The unusually difficult breathing would tend to support that too.

Someday I'd like to confirm by actual experience what my Max Hr is rather than from a formula. They say that's the only way to know for sure. But they also say you won't be able to do it on your own, you'll need somebody whipping you on, it's too painful. I think it's in one of the Edwards and Reed heart rate monitor books where they have you climb a steep section of hill 3 times at maximum effort to really get a good estimate of your MHR. The old formula, 220 minus your age is a complete joke. If that were true my maximum heart rate would be 158 and I exceed that all the time.

My HRM calculates my MHR at 173bpm. I don't know what formula they use but it takes my weight into account. I think they might be using the formula that Edwards and Reed use that was developed by Dan Heil, Ph.D.: 210 minus half your age in years minus 5% of your weight in pounds add 4 for men only. That comes out to 173 for me. That seems about right since the highest numbers I have seen so far are 171 and 172 and I think I could push it even a little more.

Anyhow I'm glad to be seeing these numbers confirmed even if I am gasping for breath!

Posted in |