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I have never come close to a score of 247, but want to know why the test ends at that point. Does a person running for that long and speed reach a maximum heart rate?

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1 Answer 1

The reasoning behind this question comes down to a statistical standpoint moreso than a physiological standpoint. This is a "normative test" in which score values are only compared with others taking the test under the same protocol either within the current assessment, statewide, nationwide, etc. A score of 247 in my experience will indicate a value in the 99th percentile, hence therefore there is no purpose to exceed that max value since the majority can not reach that value. The value of 247 has probably been set through a natural process of math logistics that ellicited a "best fit" value to assess and compare athletic performance. Physiologically, a max heart rate will be reached within 5 to 10 minutes of this graded exercise test and remain at that level until the relative intensity decreases, so that reasoning is out the window. In respect to accreditation, I am a senior in my final semester of an exercise physiology program. Hope I answered your question.

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Do you have any substantiation that a person will reach max heart rate in 5-10 minutes of the test? If that were true, why would there be a need for another 11-16 minutes of testing? As far as I am aware, the PACER test is an exercise in pacing capacity and can be used as a predictive measure of aerobic capacity (VO2), and most often used with children and/or sports teams. –  JohnP Feb 12 '14 at 15:55
Depends on the aerobic qualities of the testee. I gave an average value of 5 to 10 minutes based on what I have seen and the fact that many people are not able to complete the whole test. Any ways your heart rate will never escalate above a certain point once maximal oxygen uptake is reached. It will plateau off at an average of 160 -200 bpm until intensity ceases. The extra 11 to 16 minutes are a means of testing ENDURANCE once you have reached max heart rate. Once HR max is reached, it takes a period of time before the body exhausts the oxidation of substrates before causing lactate buildup –  user7823 Feb 12 '14 at 16:46
mmm...kind of. The test is also a test of pacing ability as well as endurance, which is generally the use that sports teams use it for. I will grant you the basic statement of max heart rate at max O2 uptake, although you will still get some upwards drift. –  JohnP Feb 12 '14 at 17:39
Yes I know it is also a test of pacing ability but that is not what the question was directly geared towards. The scoring on this test ultimately comes down to endurance fitness. Although pacing may help in efficiently extending the endurance component, it is not what the test measures directly. It simply utilizes the ergonomics of pacing as a means to properly expose the potential of the testee. It provides test and retest reliability and validity more than anything by achieving consistent graded intensity. –  user7823 Feb 12 '14 at 17:51
Haha at least we share the same affinity for reasoning and logic behind every questioning. Good stuff my man –  user7823 Feb 12 '14 at 17:56

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