I found a website with a couple of heart rate calculators. I know that the only true way to find out an individuals max heart rate is to conduct a stress test.
What do you guys use?
I am a 41 y/o male with an RHR of 60. My heart rate stays around 152-157 on flat runs. when i reach hills it goes into the low to mid 160s
Only real way to know it to get tested. I don't think I'd rely on the online calculators because you have absolutely no clue what formula they're using or who came up with it. The best way is to go get a VO2 Max or Submax test.
That being said, the most commonly used formula is 220-Age - but accuracy here is said to be +/- 10-15 beats. You may look into the Karvonen method which is a a method of determining heart rate ranges for varying levels of effort. It still uses 220-Age as a base however - but it improves by using resting heart rate as well.
The formulas are all based on a study of some sort. But what the studies determine is a formula predicting the average (mean) of the group studied. Then you usually have to go two standard deviations out just to include 95% of the population. And they don't tell you the standard deviation. Which is why HokieRunner says +/- 10 - 15 beats. Even then, you could be in that other 5%.
Very good point!
I would say if you're really concerned about heart rate or you're doing heart-rate based training, then you really need to go get tested. Otherwise there's really no reason to even worry about your heart rate.
Thanks guys, I am not overley concerned with my heart rate. i just like to know where I am falling in the charts. I generally run with how I feel, but it is nice to see the numbers also.
I use a heart rate monitor when I train. I'm 42 so my predicted max heart rate is 178 bpm. There is definitely a margin of error with the 220-age calculation. In fact, my heart rate has gone as high as 194 bpm during high intensity (but still submaximal) interval training workouts.
I still believe the Karvonen equation is appropriate for beginner and intermediate level exercisers but I choose to use the measured value of 194 bpm as my max HR instead of the predicted value of 178 bpm. As a result, my training heart rate range (70% to 85%) is 153 to 173 bpm instead of the more conservative 141 to 160 bpm.
I also use Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) to assess workout intensity and recovery (0 = nothing at all, 10 = very, very heavy). When I run at a 10 min / mile pace, my heart rate is 164 bpm with a perceived exertion of about a 6. At an 8 min / mile pace, my heart rate is 178 bpm with a RPE of 7 to 8. That seems about right.