Friday, November 05, 2010

Above average

As I was warming up on the treadmill the other day, I actually took notice of all the info displayed on the console. Usually, all I care about is the speed I'm going at and the time that's elapsed, but there's all sorts of stuff to keep you amused on these machines - and I don't mean the TV channels.

For one thing, there are some short cut buttons on the touch screens, so you can go straight to an "average" speed for the kind of workout you want to do. I nearly choked when I noticed that the jog button is set to 6.0kmh. Man, I walk faster than that, and I'm not exactly at the point where I'm doing Cathy Freeman-esque sprints. I think walk was 3kmh and run 9kmh. Hell, even I can run at 9kmh without feeling any pain. And as for walking at 3kmh, I think I'd drop off to sleep through sheer boredom and fall off the treadmill.

The other thing that had me chuckling was the table of heart rates for age. I scanned down the list and discovered that at (almost) 50, if I wanted to do an 80% MHR workout, my heart rate should be around the 136 BPM mark. Uh...I think NOT. That would put my maximum heart rate at 170, which is based on the old 220 minus your age formula. Load of rubbish.

I don't know what my actual max is, but I do know that I've tipped 218 in the past. While my resting heart rate gets lower as I get fitter, my maximum heart rate doesn't follow that same pattern.

Huh. If I trained at 136 BPM, I'd never get past a walk up a slight incline. That might be comfortable, but it isn't going to advance my fitness any.

1 comment:

Pip said...

That's so true! Those sort of things treadmills tell me make me feel fit as well! Going by my heart rate monitor I regularly train at 98% my max heart rate so the end result tells me. My runs last 50-60 mins, (8-10km hilly runs). Trying to sprint up the rather big up-hills I've regularly reached 208bpm and on the flats maybe hover around 175-190, higher if I've done more hills. 70-80% max is just a reasonably brisk walk on flat ground, (7kmph) and 60% max is close to a slow relaxed walk.

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