Posted by: More Confused | 2010-06-21

Heart Rate

Dear Fitness Doc,

I''m very confused, please help me. I''m female, 37y/o and pretty fit. I do around 10 hours of training a week, a bit more in summer. I train at a very high heart rate all the time (anything lower feels like I''m not training) - around 85 - 87 % average. I keep up when I ride 100km''s with the fast group in the the club, still at an avg HR of around 85-91%. Is this okay or sould I do more training at a lower HR (which I find so hard !)?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi there

Don't get too hung up on the heart rate data. It can certainly be over interpreted. Some people just have very high heart rates and if they tried to train at what they're always told is "optimal", they'd be in danger of going so slowly as to fall over!

So it may just be that your heart rate is naturally high, which is fine. The way to use HR is to make sure that you compare only to yourself. IN other words, if you do the same ride today as last week,or last month, then it is important that your HR is either lower or the same, and not higher at the same speed. That would be a sign of overtraining or illness. As long as your HR is the same as it usually is, then you're OK.

So don't compare, don't listen to advice, but learn from YOUR body, and you should be OK.

Good luck

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