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Thread: Heart rate questions

  1. #1

    Heart rate questions

    Hi all,

    Recently got a HR monitor and it's raised a few questions. I'm 32, my resting HR is 41, max HR seems to be somewhere between 185 (as high as it will go if I'm going flat out up hill in normal conditions) and low 190's - which it will go to if I hit said hill say an hour into a race and attempt to push it, although it feels extremely uncomfortable and like it skips or almost pauses whilst it changes gear!

    Anyway, some strange things I've noticed:

    -Even a gentle jog is 150bpm and I get there in under 30 seconds (before I even change my breathing pattern at all). If I trot up a small hill at conversational pace, it will jump again to 160-170.

    -I did a long slow run (conversational pace) the other day for a little over 3 hours. HR average of 160 with spikes over 170 when going uphill.

    -I raced a half marathon (on trails - 600m elevation) at an average of 178. The first hour at over 180. I was completely wiped out afterwards.

    Walking is around 70bpm, so it's like my heart knows how to function in 40-70 and 150-185 but nothing in the middle. Heart rate recovers in normal time but often feels like it's beating very hard (rather than fast) for a few days after a big effort. I had it checked out last year after it started feeling odd, doc said the ECG looks strange but all scans show a healthy, if large heart.

    Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon of jumping over all the lower heart rate zones and being able to hold onto higher ones at a low perceived effort? I'm wondering if I've built too much anaerobic capacity on top of a poor aerobic base so my heart's not really sure how to function there.

    Your thoughts/feedback/experience are very welcome.

  2. #2
    Member
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    You might be running your easy runs to hard, most people do. Try having a lactate threshold test to work out your zones, if this is something you really want to get to the bottom of.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RichK's Avatar
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    I may be stupid here, but are you sure the hrm is working? I used one yesterday for the first time in years and was alarmed to see 150 on a gentle warm up. Half an hour later and it seemed to have switched back to reasonable numbers. Have you tried manual measurement to calibrate it?

  4. #4
    Master noel's Avatar
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    What sort of HR monitor is it?

    I found my HR monitor (garmin forerunner with a chest strap monitor) used to show high readings before I had warmed up properly - very strange and I never got to the bottom of it. If I took a manual measurement, I was about 30 BPM below what it showed.

    This would account for the high rate when you're just jogging. How about if you go for a slow jog (all day pace) for an hour or so? Does it sort itself out after a while?

    Your HR in races doesn't sound alarming for a fit young runner pushing himself.
    No longer "resting"

  5. #5
    Master ydt's Avatar
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    The sensor needs good electrical contact with the skin in order to give a good result. The reading is unreliable before you start sweating. If you want to monitor the heart rate starting from rest, wet your chest with water.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chris K's Avatar
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    Look at the other old posts on heart rate 226bpm, to confirm ydt note above.
    A circular route mostly downhill

  7. #7
    Thanks for the replies, point taken about the HR monitor jumping before being warmed up. But even after that, I'm not getting below 150 at a gentle jog and rarely below 160 if running... perhaps I'm just going too fast, even though it doesn't feel like it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chris K's Avatar
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    In my own current state, and this I hasten to add will be nothing like you, I can jump from 110 to 150 after a flight of stairs, then sitting down to recover, the reading will jump between 90 and 200+ as it quickly drops back to 110. HRMs can give all sorts of fickle readings from our enlarged hearts - just try an easy run without your monitor and see how you feel.
    A circular route mostly downhill

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