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I've been running for a bit over a year and recently bought a polar heart rate monitor which connects to my phone. It's been really good and feels reliable.
To accompany this I borrowed a book on heart rate training and there is a section on finding your MHR. I followed the instructions (basically involving a warm-up followed by running flat-out for 400-600m three times then taking my finishing rate in the final piece as MHR.
I took this pretty seriously and sprinted for as long as I could. The end reading was 182bpm which I 'rounded up' to 185 to err on the side of caution. I then used this as a basis for my subsequent training (using the Karvonen formula).
However, since completing the test I've run a couple of 5K ParkRuns where my average heart rate has been 180 but the the max was 190. See graph (pink line) for more detail...
What am I doing wrong? Would my 5k result not suggest my MHR should be perhaps 195 not 185? Or perhaps even higher? This seems unlikely as I'm a 39 yo man and 'average' bpm would be expected to be around the 220 - 39 = 181.
Any thoughts? Any heart-rate experts out there?