Maximum HR panic?

Hey there,

earlier this month at the end of an all out session my HR sensor (chest) came along with 200 max. value. Close to the end of the climb my HR went up to 190 and on top of the hill when I finished it went up to exactly 200 for a few seconds. I nealy got panic and expected to drop of the bike :roll_eyes: HR dropped down to 180 after a few seconds and to about 170 after a few secs more, but kept significantly higher than normal for a few minutes. 10 more minutes later the haunting was over and my HR went back to normal…
I m a high revver, my HR max is set to 185 which I see from time to time without problems…

I am 49yrs of age. But those 200 kind of shocked tbh… Then I read this mag article:

Link google translated to English

What do you guys think about that?

I was going to repond similar to the article.
Those high Heartrate numbers are nothing to worry about if they don’t come with pain in the chest area and if they are “regular”.
Sure, you will feel uncomfortable going that hard, but if HR raises slowly and after the effort comes back down in a natural way, it just means that you’ve done a really high bout of work.
If you feel chest pain or are dizzy or your heartrate goes up and down in an unnatural way, then something is wrong and you better stop the effort and consult a cardiologist.
The first time you do such a unhuman effort, you feel all kinds of things you never felt before. I remember my first VO2 max lab measurement (at age of 48) where I nearly fell of the bike and almost started puking. 10 minutes later, you start feeling as a normal human being again. :wink:
The second time was when I rode up Ventoux (I was 50 that year). I recognized the feelings somewhere in between Chalet Renard and the top. Slightly reduced intensity and made it all the way up. Afterwards, it turned out that I rode for almost 2 hours at an average HR of 172. My LTHR is around 167 but it was really hot that day. Still, can’t believe that I was able to hold that high HR for such a long time…
The human body is a soffisticated machine, still hiding a lot of mistery.

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A big part of this depends on how the HR compares to priors at a similar effort. If you’re always hr 170 for a given wattage and suddenly you’re 210 that could be an abnormal rhythm. If you’re usually 190 and you pushed harder today and got to 200 for a few seconds, that’s certainly less concerning. If you’re worried, reaching out to your PCP is probably a good idea

Are you sure the measured HR was correct? Did you feel it was so high? I assume you hadn’t time making a manual measurement with a clock?

I have had a similar experience, but it was due to something wrong with the measurement. My HR increased much over the normal, but I could verify manually the indicated HR was wrong. Probably the pulse strap was too dry or some other problem with the HR strap communication with my bike computer.

Certainly possible. I also had a friend go into SVT while riding intervals


thanks for all your replies. What does SVT mean?

The sensor should be okay, I’m using it for a few months already without any problems and the values it delivers seem to make sense. I also use a garmin vivoactive 3 - the numbers match quite well.

My “normal” HR for longer efforts at about FTP is around 170+. When going all out up to 180+. Till then I never went over 185/186 - but before I also never went that far all out :stuck_out_tongue:

I assume you hadn’t time making a manual measurement with a clock?

:joy: Time was not the issue…

SVT = supra ventricular tachycardia

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Herzkammerflimmern in German :slight_smile:

Related, but different. The beats initiate in a different part of the heart and have very different risk of death

I think the translation is paroxysmale supraventrikuläre Tachykardie

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Okay, thx. Let’s agree on both is shit.


I’m 49yrs, my HRM is 191bpm.

I sometimes hit HRM 20-30 seconds after a big effort (if i’ve paced well), and have been known to be baulking for 20-yards as I continue turning the pedals. If you hit HRM midway on a climb it is a disaster.

It’s not abnormal from everything i’ve read, just different to the majority of people of similar age.

You’ll prob find your resting heart rate is also higher than most people, even with a lot of endurance training? (mines is somewhere mid to high 50’s at the moment and i’m currently fairly well trained.)

The quicker your heart drops from max/near max when you come of the gas the better your fitness is, which is the same with all the heart rates… quicker it falls as load is reduced; the better your fitness.

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I’ve had similar question, when in a very hard effort (1 min max power) my HR went to 205BPM. I’m 49y old. In 1 min it was back to 160 or so.

Same conclusion as everyone above, it all depends on how you feel at the moment and after. Being as fit as I assume you are, no concerns.

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@JV_Dobboy - Resting HR - exactly! My RHR is around 60. According to my Garmin VA3 61 for the last 4 weeks. I’d say I’m in a quite good shape with >4.000km this year… So I conclude from this to not have to worry too much about this incident. But anyway I will visit my Doc for a stress ECG.

Thanks so far Ladies!

Hi All, New to the forum and thought I’d share my experience since I too have always been a “high-revver” in the max HR sphere. I have always wondered why I had such a high max HR (205) and at the same time a low resting HR (40). I have always excelled at endurance sports and have trained for many years with no ill effects. However, I purchased and Apple Watch a couple years ago and after Apple implemented a heart health feature in a software update, my watch began alerting me I was in AFib (atrial fibrillation). I visited my doctor and she confirmed I was in AFib and have spent the last 18 months working with a cardiologist to keep my heart in a sinus (normal) rhythm. Note that I was completely asymptomatic and performed at a high level. Apparently the main risk of AFib is over the long run it can weaken the heart and also there is an increased risk of stroke from developing a blood clot (from the pooling of the blood in the aorta). My HR is now controlled with meds (40-155), and I’m looking at a more permanent procedure (ablation) in the coming months. Anyway, the take-home message here is that if you are getting up in years (I’m 61) and happen also to be a high-revver, please take the time and see a cardiologist, even if you’re asymptomatic. Hope this helps someone!


Hi Dennis, thanks for sharing this. I am using a Garmin Vivoactive watch that supports abnormal heartrate recognition. Nothing showed up since now. But your advice to see a Cardi surely makes more sense then trusting a watch.

Never trust the watches… I use a Vivoactive daily, but use a Polar H11 chest strap on bike… the HR readings aren’t anywhere near each other.

None of my devices alerts me on abnormalities, but I do look at my data often and look for signs that would stand out from “normal”.

I.t.o. @JV_Dobboy post, here is my experience with a wrist-based watch and chest strap; which is positive. I’ve done a number of tests on different terrains (road/gravel/single track/keep track) and different activities (riding, racing, intervals) and found my Garmin 735XT is very close when using the optical sensor vs using a chest strap.

All my serious rides where I need it, will be done with a chest strap, but sometime I forget to put the strap on, and can rely on the wrist being 99.9% accurate.

Below are graphs that I’ve plotted using the data:

The review of my 735XT can be found here where the above graphs are used:



Yeah, your graphs look acceptable/close.

Mines are miles away when I compare them… my watch is a few years old, maybe that’s a factor.

Edit. I see you’re not using a head unit with the strap?

I do use a head unit with HR strap; it’s easier to follow routes with a head unit.
Initially, when I bought the 735XT (2016), I preferred not using a chest strap.

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Same here. I compared the Garmin Vivoactive 3 HR output a few times already with the data of my chest strap and the differences were neglible (for my non abitous purpose). The strap’s response is faster, the watch sometimes seems to “snooze”. But when on tours it matches really well.

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