Faulty Heart rate monitor or palpitations ?

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Faulty Heart rate monitor or palpitations ?

Postby puffdaddy » Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:52 pm

I have been training very hard for the K4 over here in NZ however it has come to a halt in a strange way,,Has anyone had a heart monitor give incorrect readings,,After a several rides with the alarm going off at different intensities I started to take it a little more seriously,,My heart rate according to the monitor would jump from 145 bpm to 175-a high of 240 "monitor was maxed out" I was not feeling the best but put it down to the 20 + hrs training in 4 days at a descent intensity,Have since had an ECG which was ok but resting H/rate has been around 70-80 and not 52-55 bpm,This may be because I have got a very large abscess in a very nasty place that will be "lanced" tomorrow,,and so have to wait for recovery to do the stress test on the tread mill etc ,,My blood tests have all come back ok even though I am fighting an infection ??,,I am hoping the infection may have caused the palpitations and high resting heart rate "It is very slowly coming down",,I have been assured my heart has suffered no damage ,,I still hope the monitor is faulty but it has given no problems on others who have worn it ,,. "Note I am being seen by qualified Doctors and Hospital but still a little short on answers"
I do find my resting H/rate is higher when over training,,,
I am interested in any experiences ,such as chafing boils etc and the effects of over training along with not so good nutrition,,I am aware this is not an "ask the Doc" forum ;)
Mike,,from NZ ;)
When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
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by BNA » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:36 am

BNA
 

Re: Faulty Heart rate monitor or palpitations ?

Postby iaintas » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:36 am

Are you always feeling crap when the alarm goes off? any dizziness, shortness of breath etc. one explanation could be Supra ventricular tachycardia (SVT). this would explain the normal ECG at rest, and a intermittent rapid hr of 200+. if your worried it may be worth asking your GP about seeing a cardiologist. My partner has had one episode whilst riding, self resolved and never had it again, although some people are more prone to it, and if you unwell also i am sure this would add to the likelihood of an arrhythmia.
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Re: Faulty Heart rate monitor or palpitations ?

Postby BarryTas » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:37 am

time for a service and new batteries
when do we stop for coffee???

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Re: Faulty Heart rate monitor or palpitations ?

Postby twizzle » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:59 am

Guy I work with, who's done three "iron man" events, is training for his fourth and his goal is five... he can't race crits, his HR spikes into the 200's for no apparent reason. He's had some funny HR issues in the last year, done stress ECG's and the holter monitor and nothing has shown up.

My understanding of the 'norm' for over-training was a low resting HR and inability to reach normal max HR, although I recollect that one of the sprinters in the TDF was seeing resting HR's in the 30's but hitting into the 220+ range towards the end and his comment was "that can't be good". Personally, if I saw 240+, I'd be stopping the bike and checking by hand to confirm if it was an erroneous signal or something more sinister.
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...real cyclists don't have squeaky chains...
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Re: Faulty Heart rate monitor or palpitations ?

Postby jeffh » Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:09 pm

I had the same experience (using a Garmin Edge 705) over three episodes during a 2 week period a couple of months back. Early morning, out for a quick ride, short climb and then a quick sprint (up to 55 Km/hr for about a km). This is my usual start for a ride anyway. Three times my HR maxed at around 240 having been sitting on 120 immediately prior to the event.
At all times i had no symptoms and this is the really important bit - if you have symptoms such as light headedness, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, diminished vision (ie about to black out) then it really does require further investigation. In my case - none of these. I stopped straight away (because my wife is a GP and would be really cross if i had a heart attack before i made the kids' lunches) and took my pulse at the wrist to find no correlation between the monitor rate and the radial (wrist) rate which indicates either a serious myocardial dysfunction event (really unlikely in someone without a cardiac history) or a monitor dysfunction. In my case it was that i was putting on the monitor electrodes dry and handed worked up a sweat and there was muscle "noise" interference from my pecs as i entered a sprint phase. Solution - i moisten (lick) the electrodes before application (yummy salty).
Nonetheless i am a medical specialist and did discuss the issue with a physician who is an avid cyclist and with a cardiologist and we were quite satisfied that i was a low cardiological risk although for a minute i was seriously considering abstaining from my morning pre-ride coffee which would have made me sad.
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Re: Faulty Heart rate monitor or palpitations ?

Postby martin_12 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:57 am

All the HRMs I have tried (Polar A3, Timex and Sigma) have exhibited this problem and I know my HR wasn't that high at the time. I think the problem is static charge that accumulates when wind causes your jersey to flap against the HRM chest strap or your bib. The HRM inputs are high impedance and are affected by the static, specially if the skin impedance is high. I notice that when I am on a trainer or climbing (very little wind) or when everything is soaked in sweat the problem disappears because static charge can't accumulate and skin impedance is low. A cotton vest between cycling jersey and bib and electrode paste sometimes help. Some HRMS (e.g. Sigma) appear more susceptible than others. I am looking for some conductive rubber strip at reasonable cost to stick over the outside of the chest strap to shield the electronics in the chest strap.

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Re: Faulty Heart rate monitor or palpitations ?

Postby puffdaddy » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:47 am

Thanks for the replies guys ,I have just some more blood test's back and my iron level is 4 !! ,,That kinda explains a heap,,Also on the drip each day "out patient" I have been eating very little meat etc and training hard not the first time iron has been a little low but never down to 4,,Explains why feeling light headed and feeling flat,,and got an abscess from chafing ,,Will keep you posted ;)
Mike ,,,from NZ where gst is 15% :0
When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
Bike 2011 Scott ,,all good
Genius 27 sp flat bar ,modified with aerobars etc a strange beast but love it ,,kicks ass
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Re: Faulty Heart rate monitor or palpitations ?

Postby brettjames » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:05 pm

Run the Garmin 705 and have had similar issues on the odd occassion, ALWAYS with cycling attire on, NEVER in T-Shirts or other cotton.
Quite often I check manually, and it all appears a bit bizzare considering no other side effects pop up so I put it down to dry connections and faulty readings.
COLNAGO 2008 CLX - CAMPAG RECORD ROLLING ON ZIPP 404's
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Re: Faulty Heart rate monitor or palpitations ?

Postby twizzle » Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:22 am

puffdaddy wrote:Thanks for the replies guys ,I have just some more blood test's back and my iron level is 4 !! ,,That kinda explains a heap,,Also on the drip each day "out patient" I have been eating very little meat etc and training hard not the first time iron has been a little low but never down to 4,,Explains why feeling light headed and feeling flat,,and got an abscess from chafing ,,Will keep you posted ;)
Mike ,,,from NZ where gst is 15% :0


If you were Australian, you could eat your national symbol. Roo is very high in iron. I wonder if wallaby is high in iron? :mrgreen:
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Re: Faulty Heart rate monitor or palpitations ?

Postby puffdaddy » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:18 pm

He he ,,Hang in there you guy's have a hell good coach and I feel the A/B's have peeked too early,,,Wallabies are getting better with every game played,,Going to be interesting ;),,Yeh eating liver and supplements,,Also upped my protein intake,, Been a few days and feeling a lot better already :)
Mike ,,,,from NZ ;)
When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
Bike 2011 Scott ,,all good
Genius 27 sp flat bar ,modified with aerobars etc a strange beast but love it ,,kicks ass
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