I started to use a heart rate monitor for my running a few weeks ago. It seems the the maximum heart rate equation is way off (the equation indicates my max should be 187). When running at a normal pace (i.e., can have a conversation while running), my heart rate is 167 bpm. Of course, based on the classic equation, I should be in anaerobic mode and very tired. Thus, I assume that my maximum heart rate should be much higher. What is the implication of having a high max heart rate?
You don't mention what formula you use to calculate your heart rate -- the most commonly quoted formula is HRmax = 220-age, though others have argued that HRmax = 205.8 − (0.685 * age) is somewhat more accurate as a predictor. They are both wrong, in the sense that there is quite a bit of variation among people, and this is just a best guess that could be off by up to 20 beats per minute for any individual. Also, the HRmax is only a guide, since you should be training in the range of 50% (for beginners) to 85% (for those in great shape) of your actual HRmax.
A good summary of the topic is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate .
It is unlikely that your heart rate while exercising lightly is actually 167. At that heart rate, you should be exerting yourself to the point that conversation is very difficult! Have you checked your pulse rate by counting your pulse at your wrist? If you can count 167 beats of your pulse per minute during light exercise, that would indicate there is something wrong with the rhythm of your heart (a tachydysrhythmia triggered by exertion, which could be caused by a variety of heart problems). It is more likely that your heart rate monitor is giving you an incorrect reading.
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