High Heart Rate When Training Question

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High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby Newlander » Sat May 26, 2012 6:50 pm

I am just starting back into riding after a two year hiatus and trying to build a plan from friels training bible. Hitting a few road bumps in terms of trying to figure out LTHR so I can figure out my hr zones and what not for my base rides.

For instance the other day I went on a ride with a friend and I was riding along feeling it a bit but not feeling like I was going to die or anything, anyway my heart rate was around 191 for a decent bit of the ride (not a hill). Then on another part of the ride we were riding on the flats at a real cruisy pace and my hr was still in high 160's and low 170's while feeling really fresh (cardio wise).


Anyway, does any one have any advice on what sort of number I should use for my LTHR?

Any ideas/advice would be greatly appreciated.
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by BNA » Sat May 26, 2012 7:01 pm

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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby am50em » Sat May 26, 2012 7:01 pm

Without knowing at least your age it is hard to say anything.
The following links should give you some basic idea of heart rate vs age.
http://www.bodyblitz.net.au/calculators ... rate-zone/
http://www.brianmac.co.uk/maxhr.htm

Maybe see your local GP in any case before starting strenuous exercise.
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby AndrewBurns » Sat May 26, 2012 7:09 pm

Not sure if it's any help to you but I also have an abnormally high heart rate when cycling. I'm 25 years old, about 170cm tall and ~65kg. I consider myself fairly fit, I've been racing a bit and I do pretty well and I commute 25km each way to work when I can. However for many of my sub 1 hour rides my average heart rate is about 180 bpm, it often peaks to around 195 bpm when climbing big hills. I don't know why but my heart rate jumps up to 100-110 when I jump on the bike but before I've even left the house and it's up to 160+ as soon as I start riding. The only time it averages lower is when I'm on multi-hour very very slow pace rides.
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby Newlander » Sat May 26, 2012 7:13 pm

Thanks guys.

I am 20.
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby toolonglegs » Sat May 26, 2012 7:20 pm

"As long as you are healthy ..." you will have to work out your own training zones, I have ridden with guys with HR's n the 230's. So you will have to test to find your hr zones...and then they will change day to day / hour to hour. The reason I haven't bothered with HR for so long... not really very accurate.
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby am50em » Sat May 26, 2012 7:34 pm

toolonglegs wrote:"As long as you are healthy ..." you will have to work out your own training zones, I have ridden with guys with HR's n the 230's. So you will have to test to find your hr zones...and then they will change day to day / hour to hour. The reason I haven't bothered with HR for so long... not really very accurate.

Maybe they need to get accurate heart rate monitors :wink:
I did have have HR of over 230 but I have since ditched the useless Garmin premium strap and now use a Garmin standard strap.
This has given consistent results without any spikes or glitches (touch wood!)

IANAC but over 230 sounds either wrong or an underlying heart condition.
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby toolonglegs » Sat May 26, 2012 7:39 pm

Pretty sure yellow jersey wearers have accurate hr monitors :wink:
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby Newlander » Sat May 26, 2012 7:44 pm

toolonglegs wrote:"As long as you are healthy ..." you will have to work out your own training zones, I have ridden with guys with HR's n the 230's. So you will have to test to find your hr zones...and then they will change day to day / hour to hour. The reason I haven't bothered with HR for so long... not really very accurate.


Any particular tests you would recommend to find my hr zones?
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby am50em » Sat May 26, 2012 7:44 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Pretty sure yellow jersey wearers have accurate hr monitors :wink:


Probably :lol:
But as examples they are not really relevant to OP question.
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby trailgumby » Sat May 26, 2012 7:46 pm

My peak HR is 182 (seems to go up 1 per year, not down :? ) but I can happily average low 160s for an hour in a race, and run at mid-to-high 170s on climbs. I'm early 50s. So I guess my 1 hr LTHR is/was 162. I must admit that was something of a surprise analysing the data after my first point-to-point race - previously hitting low 170s in training was right on the ragged edge. In the race and thereafter, it was pushing it, but comfortable.

My late cousin would average 180s on long (25km) climbs and hit 200s in the sprints. He was early 70s.

The takeaways are that HR is a very individual thing, age is a factor over time for the individual but perhaps less so than training, and you will get a clearer idea where your LTHR threshhold is with experience. Training up for a race, tapering in the last week, and then racing will give you a clear idea of where your real limits are.

My suggestion would be to find a quiet piece of road without traffic lights, taper like you would for a race in the week before, warm up properly and do a 20 minute time trial. If in Sydney, my recommendation would be the climb eastwards from Akuna Bay to West Head.
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High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby toolonglegs » Sat May 26, 2012 8:05 pm

am50em wrote:
toolonglegs wrote:Pretty sure yellow jersey wearers have accurate hr monitors :wink:


Probably :lol:
But as examples they are not really relevant to OP question.

I am just making the point that peoples heart rates vary so much you need to test yourself and not go by a book or formula... I think also you need to know how your heart reacts in certain situations over a period of time before you can set your zones properly... But at the moment I am late for a race so I better go!
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby am50em » Sat May 26, 2012 8:16 pm

toolonglegs wrote:
am50em wrote:
toolonglegs wrote:Pretty sure yellow jersey wearers have accurate hr monitors :wink:


Probably :lol:
But as examples they are not really relevant to OP question.

I am just making the point that peoples heart rates vary so much you need to test yourself and not go by a book or formula... I think also you need to know how your heart reacts in certain situations over a period of time before you can set your zones properly... But at the moment I am late for a race so I better go!


I think we are in violent agreement :)
The book/formula just gives a starting point.

However quoting values of over 230 without clarification that these are elite athlete with medical supervision,
is dangerous. I would suggest that anyone with HR much over 200 have a medical checkup to ensure there
is no underlying heart condition.
From a google search:
My heart rate was going over 200bpm when I exercised and I have recently been diagnosed with a abnormal pathway in my heart that causes my heart to beat extremely fast. this is safe for a while but it can cause serious stress to your heart if it happens over a long period of time. Your doctor may choose to put you on beta blockers if they think it is necessary or may send you for ablation therapy to get rid of these extra nerves. i strongly suggest you see a dctor about being referred to a cardiologist and they may send you for a stress echocardiogram which is where they put you on a treadmill and see how your heart copes under these conditions. then they will be able to see if there is a problem.

Good luck with your race!
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby PawPaw » Sat May 26, 2012 9:17 pm

Newlander wrote:Any particular tests you would recommend to find my hr zones?


Go and do a 20 minute time trial on a closed flattish loop as hard as you can. Try to maintain the same speed. Have a few practice runs over a couple of days if preferred. Then, on your test run, record your average HR for the last 5 minutes. If you cannot record the data, just remember your HR 5 mins before the end and at the end, add and divide by 2. Multiply by 0.95. This is Coggan's method for determining Anaerobic Threshold.

It's more appropriate to base your zones on AT than HRmax.
Your HR zones will be the following %s of AT (NOT HRmax)

Heart Rate Zones:
Zone 1 = Recovery (<71% of AT) – uses the aerobic system
Zone 2 = Endurance (72-81% of AT) – uses the aerobic system
Zone 3 = Tempo Pace (82-91% of AT) – uses mainly aerobic system
Zone 4 = Threshold Pace ( 92-102% of AT) – uses mainly aerobic with some anaerobic system
Zone 5 = Anaerobic Pace (103-110% of AT) – covers zone where aerobic converts to the anaerobic system.
Zone 6 = Maximum aerobic capacity (Too short to record HR) – anaerobic and CP systems

Regarding high HRs, gifted athletes with healthy heart function are capable of exceeding their age matched normal HRmax significantly.
In their case, it is indicative their neural drive of cardiac function and the state of heart conductivity and muscle strength is healthy and strong.
How does one know when a high rate is a sign of a distressed heart? It is difficult to say sometimes, though you may feel distressed and short of breath because your heart is not managing to get enough oxygen to your tissue. If your HR is very high regularly, you should discuss it with your GP.
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby Newlander » Sat May 26, 2012 10:02 pm

PawPaw wrote:
Newlander wrote:Any particular tests you would recommend to find my hr zones?


Go and do a 20 minute time trial on a closed flattish loop as hard as you can. Try to maintain the same speed. Have a few practice runs over a couple of days if preferred. Then, on your test run, record your average HR for the last 5 minutes. If you cannot record the data, just remember your HR 5 mins before the end and at the end, add and divide by 2. Multiply by 0.95. This is Coggan's method for determining Anaerobic Threshold.

It's more appropriate to base your zones on AT than HRmax.
Your HR zones will be the following %s of AT (NOT HRmax)

Heart Rate Zones:
Zone 1 = Recovery (<71% of AT) – uses the aerobic system
Zone 2 = Endurance (72-81% of AT) – uses the aerobic system
Zone 3 = Tempo Pace (82-91% of AT) – uses mainly aerobic system
Zone 4 = Threshold Pace ( 92-102% of AT) – uses mainly aerobic with some anaerobic system
Zone 5 = Anaerobic Pace (103-110% of AT) – covers zone where aerobic converts to the anaerobic system.
Zone 6 = Maximum aerobic capacity (Too short to record HR) – anaerobic and CP systems

Regarding high HRs, gifted athletes with healthy heart function are capable of exceeding their age matched normal HRmax significantly.
In their case, it is indicative their neural drive of cardiac function and the state of heart conductivity and muscle strength is healthy and strong.
How does one know when a high rate is a sign of a distressed heart? It is difficult to say sometimes, though you may feel distressed and short of breath because your heart is not managing to get enough oxygen to your tissue. If your HR is very high regularly, you should discuss it with your GP.


Thanks PawPaw. Going to go try it out on the local crit loop tomorrow.
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby toolonglegs » Sun May 27, 2012 1:03 am

Do some research on "perceived effort" as well... personally for me that worked much better than training with HR ( heart rate is pointless on efforts under 5 minutes etc ) before I got a power meter. These days I don't have anything on my bars...works fine. But I will get a garmin one day soon :lol: .
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby PawPaw » Sun May 27, 2012 8:17 pm

I tend to agree with TLL. Once you've been riding a bike for a few thousand hours, rating of perceived effort is going to be a pretty good pacing guide...and HR monitor and power meter won't be essential training aids.
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby balap » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:05 am

I bought HRM Polar FT4.
I used it today for the first time cycling to work.
My average is 152 but max 219!!! I am 48.
I didn't push hard at all and only have a couple of small climb.

Is this normal??? I am a bit worried now.
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby r2160 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:47 am

@balap

If you are worried, go see a doctor. Easier to make sure than discover when its too late. However, when did you get the high rate? I noticed when I had a polar, until I had started to sweat a little, the HR monitor always overread.

During a race, my heart rate seems pretty steady at 155-160 and I feel pretty comfortable at that, and in the all out run to the line usually peaks around 185. I am 47.

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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby PawPaw » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:21 pm

balap wrote:I bought HRM Polar FT4.
I used it today for the first time cycling to work.
My average is 152 but max 219!!! I am 48.
I didn't push hard at all and only have a couple of small climb.

Is this normal??? I am a bit worried now.


218 is not normal for your age.
However, it is normal for HRMs to over-read when skin contact is poor, or signal strength is compromised.
To be sure, put 50ml of water in a glass, then add a half tspn of salt, and stir. rub this on between your skin and HRM just before riding.
It is the next best thing to electrode gel and litres of sweat to improve signal transduction.

If you are still consistently getting HRs over 180-190, then try a mate's HRM (and computer). If that is also high, then explain to your GP and express your concerns and desire for a stress ecg.

If you are on a fast weight loss diet, this can also cause heart rhythm disturbances. But so can a stack of other morbidities, and even moderate caffeine use.
My view is readings over 200 in average recreational athletes over 35 are either HRM artefacts or sign of tachycardic events such as atrial fibrillation.
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby Redbull » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:39 pm

If its the new soft strap from Polar, run it under the tap before putting it on.

I got similar readings when it wasn't wet enough.

Though its not so nice sticking that thing around your chest when its frigid water out of the tap and you've just jumped out of a nice warm bed!!
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:54 pm

I remember a MTB race where my AVERAGE heart rate for 1:30 was 195bpm, i'm another one of these people who just seems to run at high rpm (though my resting HR is as low as 48). However i was riding at a steady pace the other day that should have had me around 140 and my HRM claimed i was doing 216, after a few seconds it then reverted to 144 where it should have been. So i would definitely do a couple of rides with another HRM to check against your own, and if things are still concerning you, head to the doctor. It doesn't hurt to make sure.
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby balap » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:18 pm

Thanks guys.

I will make sure the strap is soaking wet when I cycle home today.
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Re: High Heart Rate When Training Question

Postby balap » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:21 pm

I was glad to find that my max HR was 174 with average 157.
So I really need to wet the strap.
I was a bit worried, I didn't know it could give incorrect elevated reading like that.
Not what I call a failsafe system.
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