My Missis has just recorded a Max Heart Rate of 247 Beats Per Minute...

My Missis has been a fairly serious runner for some years; she trains six days per week, is a club runner, runs marathons, etc.  She's 39.

But she's used a heart rate monitor for the first time, took it on a hill training session and thrashed the life out of herself and her heart rate monitor recorded a reading of 247 Beats per minute.

Is this possible?


  • Just to add, I would've thought hers would be in the region of the old 220 minus age; therefore around 180 bpm.  247 seems incredibly high, though it could be normal for all I know!

  • 220 minus age is a statistical norm. As most people are couch potatoes it is likely that the max will be above the formula.

    As for 249 anything can happen to upset the signal. Power lines, a poor pickup across chest/strap, etc. I assume your missus is ok? I wouldn't worry about it and Wouk add that as she gets used to using the HRM the readings will settle down.
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    She must have run over a buried high voltage cable.

  • Thanks guys.  I'll send her out again in a bit! image

  • MartenkayMartenkay ✭✭✭

    Does she generally experience episodes of rapid heartbeats when not running? Does she find her pulse erratic,after running or at other times when she is not running? If so a visit to her G.P. might be to her advantage.

  • You need to look at the average heart rate being picked up, not a spike. I use Garmin training centre on a Mac and you can see the heart rate over the period of your run, and there are sometimes spikes caused by various things. 

  • 220bpm - age is a load of rubbish - according to that calculation my max HR would be in the 160s whereas it is 197bpm.  The only way you'll know max HR is by testing it under proper conditions - and it's worth knowing your RHR too, to see the correlation between the two.

    While your wife is obviously fit, it probably wasn't the best time to use the HRM for the first time as it's difficult to know how accurate that figure was.  It seems pretty high to me, but that could have been caused by a number of factors.  If she recovered well and normally afterwards, then I'd say that it was some form of glitch.  If she is considering using HRM, then it would be worth reading up a bit about it and using it on a variety of runs and recording the different results, as JF50 says, concentrating on average and ignoring (obvious) spikes.

    The one thing about HR is that it varies enormously from one person to the next and is not determined by age, level of fitness etc, it's genetic.  You can have two people of similar age, height, weight, level of fitness etc but with completely different HRs.  The only thing that you need to consider are the changes in your (or your wifes') HRs.

  • Thanks, Jeepers; I've ordered a book from Amazon about HRT.

    And just in case, I've checked her life insurance.  All is well.

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