Heart rate higher in a race than normal?

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Heart rate higher in a race than normal?

Postby GrumpySmurf » Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:56 pm

I attended my first ever race today.

My normal max heart rate is 172-174, with average in a very hard training ride to be around 150.

In the crit, I felt that the ride was an easy ride. There were about 8 starters and half of them were young girls. I had my share of being in front as well as drafting. My heart rate came up as 180 max and average 158!

So, could it be the anxiety of the race that got my heart rate so high, and yet I don't feel the strain?

I don't suspect the Garmin at all as the ride to and from the actual race as well as the warmups were all as expected.

The results: http://connect.garmin.com/player/58135883
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by BNA » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:27 pm

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Re: Heart rate higher in a race than normal?

Postby KenGS » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:27 pm

Nothing like a bit of adrenalin to get the heart rate up. Was it the excitement of the race or the young girls :lol:
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Re: Heart rate higher in a race than normal?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:36 pm

GrumpySmurf wrote:So, could it be the anxiety of the race that got my heart rate so high, and yet I don't feel the strain?

A perfect example of why HR can be a misleading indicator of intensity.
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Re: Heart rate higher in a race than normal?

Postby casual_cyclist » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:41 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
GrumpySmurf wrote:So, could it be the anxiety of the race that got my heart rate so high, and yet I don't feel the strain?

A perfect example of why HR can be a misleading indicator of intensity.

Personally I have found a low correlation between perceived exertion and heart rate. One time where it did correlate was at the start of a 200km ride last week. I felt like I was struggling. I felt out of breath and couldn't get momentum on the bike. My heart rate was higher than usual, around 170. Later, when I felt like I was struggling it was sub 150 and when I felt like I was going pretty well it was higher, at over 160. I have also found that my heart rate walking up stairs is lower than slow running. Walking up stairs certainly feels harder!
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Re: Heart rate higher in a race than normal?

Postby GrumpySmurf » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:09 am

Thnaks for the responses so far, I am keen to hear from experienced racers. I am quite worried and curious on this issue as I truly have not ever seen my average so high - and definately feel unusual that I felt it was an easy ride.

KenGS, sorry, the girls were about the same age as my daughther.
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Re: Heart rate higher in a race than normal?

Postby casual_cyclist » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:19 am

GrumpySmurf wrote:Thnaks for the responses so far, I am keen to hear from experienced racers. I am quite worried and curious on this issue as I truly have not ever seen my average so high - and definately feel unusual that I felt it was an easy ride.

KenGS, sorry, the girls were about the same age as my daughther.

It is a bit early to worry. Adrenalin affecting heart rate in a race is well known and has been discussed before:

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=23454&p=354937#p354924

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=33946&p=492354#p492354
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Re: Heart rate higher in a race than normal?

Postby ft_critical » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:12 am

All the distractions of riding a race alter your perception of how hard the race is. You are too busy focusing on all the events unfolding in the race, so you are not as self-aware. Secondly, being your first race, I would think that some of these distractions (where you could not perceive whether they danger or not) would also raise your HR. As you become more accustomed to racing, you will get better at trying to calm yourself down during a race and force yourself to relax. The first effect never goes away though.
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Re: Heart rate higher in a race than normal?

Postby toppity » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:59 pm

My heart rate is always highest when racing. Don't know why, it just is.
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