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Is the max heart rate calculated based on my age really my limit?

From Christopher Thomas at 16:04:45 on the 04/08/2009.
I have a pulse watch, and based on my age it has calculated an upper HR limit for me. The thing is though I regularly exceed this limit, especially when I go sprinting up hills during my runs, and to be honest I don’t see what it signifies. Is it just an indication that I should not be regularly running for 40 minutes beyond that level?
From Tyler Walker at 02:55:31 on the 05/08/2009.
If you constantly ran at that rate for longer runs, you would pretty soon find that you were over training, although I’m sure that topping it now and then in a few sprint / hill intervals, will do you no harm. The higher zone of your HR table will show you the zone you should be training in when you are training just before a competition (if you are training for one that is). Otherwise you should simply vary it, training in a high zone some months, and opting for a lower zone during other times.
From Amy MacDonald at 13:38:27 on the 07/08/2009.
If you took part in a sport like basketball or football you would constantly find yourself topping your max heart rate, although you get short rest intervals to catch your breath and come down. But the thing is this, only you can know your body, and how long you can push it at a certain level. All these HR calculations are there for guidance, especially for novices who should definitely not push themselves to hard at first. Over time everyone who does sport gets to know their body, and knows when it can take what levels of performance.
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