Hired Gun, Part 4:
The Max Heart Rate Test
June 1, 2002 - By Mike Muha
Torbjorn had us doing a max heart rate test as one of the "quality" workout sessions in May. Knowing your max heart rate allows you to calculate various training zones using any number of methods (see Different Ways to Determine Training Zones for a discussion). We've been doing running sessions over the past month or so, slowly building to this session.
The instructions for doing the max heart rate test are simple:
Let's do a reality check...
A three-minute hill? In the
Kensington Metropark (near Brighton) has a long hill along the main road through the park that I though might be long enough. It starts at the bottom of the entrance into the Possum Hollow parking area, goes up past the soccer area to the toboggan run parking lot, then down past the Maple Beach entrance to the boat rental parking lot. I thought I'd run up one side, "rest" going down the other side, then turn around and start the next interval.
(Don't have a long enough hill? Start on a flat and end the interval on a hill. Or simply use the flat. "No hill" is not a sufficient excuse....)
On the first and second intervals, I had just enough hill. On the third interval, I ran out of hill and had to turn into toboggan parking lot (a flat area at the top of the hill) so I wouldn't be running down the hill as part of the interval. On the fourth interval, I decide to start further back from the base of the hill on the flat leading to the hill. Good decision: I finished my three minutes at the very crest of the hill.
Finding my Max Heart
Rate requires knowing my max heart rate? Isn't that circular thinking?
Why not just go like
hell on the first interval?
Why would anyone do the
When I did the fourth interval, I had to consciously tell myself to "Go harder". I even pretended I was sprinting a competitor to the finish line. By playing these mind games, my heart rate reached 174.
Recommendation to you: