Strange Cardio stats???!

I'm not a doctor but… 
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
Forum rules
The information / discussion in the Cycling Health Forum is not qualified medical advice. Please consult your doctor.

Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby Enefeye » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:05 pm

Hi there,

I am puzzled with my cardio stats against performance on my bike, as is my cardiologist. I was hoping someone may be able to shed some light on what might be happening as currently, not knowing is inhibiting my ability to improve.

BACKGROUND:

I am 45 years old male, was very fit and active as a teenager and early 20s ( running/cycling ) but have been relatively inactive for the last 20 years. I have a resting HR of approx 80 bpm and always have had, even when very fit. A recent full stress test at my cardiologist said that i have a heart of an elite athlete? i know? go figure. He said i come in as a 20 y.o on their scale.

In the last 3 months I have started regular and strenuous exercise for the 1st time in 20 years in the form of road bike cycling. I absolutely love it and am hooked. I do 2 to 3 rides per week, totally 80 - 150km / week. i ride hard! I know i should mix up my training but at the moment im having a ball riding pretty much hard every time. I use Strava to log my results and use the data as a lil game and motivation to go harder next time.

HERES THE STRANGE STUFF:

Most of my rides have me riding predominantly in the anaerobic zone. I can quite comfortably cruise at 170bpm for a 40km ride. It feels that im pushing really hard?? I currently average about 30km/hr on a 40km ride with an elevation gain of approx 400m. After exercise my heart takes longer than most to drop. 20mins later im still at about 100 - 105bpm and after 3 months of this, my resting HR is still...80bpm :) I dont experience lactic build up in rides and never feel sore the next day. I have once got my HR up to 213bpm and although was working very hard, felt i was in the zone and could have maintained it for some time. i stopped because i got scared i shouldnt be doing it.

Has anyone had or has heard of anyone with a similar story to mine? My main concern is that I am doing myself potential harm training for prolonged periods of time with such a high HR but I want to keep pushing more :)

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. :D

Kind regards,
Ronnie
Enefeye
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:25 pm

by BNA » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:41 am

BNA
 

Re: Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby kb » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:41 am

Dunno. I tend to run a little high for my effort level too, though drop back down quicker than you. Longer rides (~150km) settle me down a bit.
Image
User avatar
kb
 
Posts: 797
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:22 pm

Re: Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby Tim » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:48 am

Enefeye wrote: After exercise my heart takes longer than most to drop. 20mins later im still at about 100 - 105bpm and after 3 months of this, my resting HR is still...80bpm


This is not something I know much about and no doubt someone will jump on me with correction.
I always thought that heart rate recovery after intense effort was a general measure of fitness or maybe just cardio conditioning to exercise. A healthy, conditioned heart drops back to near normal rates almost immediately after the effort.
If I graph my heart rate alongside the elevation profile of a ride the lines follow pretty much the same track ie. as elevation increases (riding up hill) heart rate rises, as I descend heart rate drops (unless pedaling hard downhill) correspondingly. It does not remain at the increased rate for more than 30 seconds or so after the increased effort.
A while ago I was concerned about reaching higher than ever before maximum heart rates (of only 189-191, compared to your 213) and checked with my Doctor. He said that as long as it returns to normal fairly quickly all is okay.
Check with your doctor. Your HR's seem high but might be just right for you. I don't know.
User avatar
Tim
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:02 pm
Location: Gippsland Lakes

Re: Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby wombatK » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:45 am

When the cardiologist described it as the "heart of an elite athlete", had he observed any thickening of the heart walls
(assuming he did a ultrasound echograph immediately after the treadmill test) ? If so, you might want to discuss having a
more precise check with a cardiac MRI. It's expensive, but such thickening is often associated with sudden cardiac deaths
in athletes and is worth eliminating as a suspect.
WombatK

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
User avatar
wombatK
 
Posts: 5188
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:08 pm
Location: Yagoona, AU

Re: Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby Enefeye » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:01 am

Doh! I just typed a long reply and lost it all!

Anyway, Thank you very much too everyone that took their time to reply.

KB and TIM: Yes my HR doesnt go as high now after 3 months for the same segment but i do it at a faster speed. If my heart rate is 170bpm and my wife is 160bpm doing the same hill. She is struggling and at her limit, while i feel nothing ( i.e could push a lot harder ) however, if we are both at 170bpm, and we stop, when my wife's HR drops to 120bmp im still at 140bpm. stats would normally indicate that my wife is fitter, but in reality, on the road and in terms of performance, that is not the case. Unfortunately i dont have much confidence with GPs ( well mine anyway lol )

WOMBATK: Yes, i had the ultrasound echo. It was done by a tech and then a few mins later i went in to see the cardiologist who analysed the echo. He asked if i "had" been an elite athlete without knowing my history. I said, i would not say elite but i considered myself fit when i was younger. He said the muscle memory of the heart is very good when put under stress and mine functioned like an athlete. he said the valves work very well but made no mention of thickening walls - i assume he would have if there were.

The stress test itself was interesting as the tech and i had some playful banter prior to and during with regard to the test outcome. After my base resting HR of 86bpm ( i know anxiety amongst many other things would have elevated it slightly but i felt relaxed ),she said, "ohhh you are very unfit". i said no, my HR is always up. she added that she thought i wouldnt last very long.

When the test started, my HR as always jumps up very high and quickly, with a few minutes i was in the 160s and she was smiling. she said she would stop the test at 176bpm ( she said it was 220 - 44 my age at the time )
as it got harder, incline and speed, my HR stabilised and began to drop. she looked puzzled. im not sure what the test was called but when i finished after about 15mins, she said she had been doing this for about 30 years and had never seen this before. she jokingly apologised and looked up on her scale and said my heart functions like a 20 y.o.

So yeah WOMBATK, that is my main concern, things like damaging my heart and of course sudden cardiac death, especially that i enjoy pushing myself and having such high HR stats.

Thanks again to all of you that replied. Very kind of you.

Regards,
Ronnie
Last edited by Enefeye on Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Enefeye
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:25 pm

Re: Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby wombatK » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:38 am

Sheez, you passed the stress test with flying colors - so you don't look like a candidate for sudden cardiac death.
Heart Rate is something cardiologists and exercise scientists don't get too concerned about - as Tim said, they
mostly use recovery of your HR as an indicator of fitness. But it obviously doesn't work for you, and with the
check-outs you've had you shouldn't worry about that.
WombatK

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
User avatar
wombatK
 
Posts: 5188
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:08 pm
Location: Yagoona, AU

Re: Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby Nikolai » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:11 pm

Enefeye wrote:Most of my rides have me riding predominantly in the anaerobic zone.


Mate, slow down :) Steady, moderate pace is what you need. Once appropriate adaptations in your system took place, you can start throw in occasional full-gas efforts if you feel like it. Smashing yourself everyday will end up in an injury. No way to avoid it. You'll hurt yourself and then will either quit or will have to recover and start over.
User avatar
Nikolai
 
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:55 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby Enefeye » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:29 pm

thx again for your reply WOMBATK ! :D yeah fitness is a funny thing. it seems that it is loosely based on resting HR and recovery after exercise. I have a mate that came for a ride with me who has a resting HR of about 50. We went for a quick power ride and he has been cycling regularly for about 4 years. His HR got up to low 170s while mine up in the 190s. He struggled to keep up with me and said he had very lil more to give. i felt i could have gone harder and longer. His HR recovered quicker than mine, so by definition, he is still fitter? it's a weird one i think. :D noticed ur at yagoona, do u use the bankstown track? i grew up in punchbowl :D

Nikolai: thx for the reply, i was hoping no one said to slow down, only because it's not what i want to hear :D i am worried that i will hurt myself but like i said in earlier post, it doesnt feel like i am? 10 seconds or so after ride my breathing is back to normal and although it takes longer than my peers to return to normal resting HR it does steadily drop. i mustnt be on my thresh hold as on one occasion i did 3 consecutive days and found no adverse performance affects i.e explosiveness or stamina. apart from heavy legs a bit, i dont get soreness. maybe im not in the anaerobic zone? it's just what strava tells me. maybe my zone is higher and im not spending as much time in it as i think? interesting and thx again nikolai :D

regards,
ronnie
Enefeye
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:25 pm

Re: Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby g-boaf » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:16 pm

Enefeye wrote:Has anyone had or has heard of anyone with a similar story to mine? My main concern is that I am doing myself potential harm training for prolonged periods of time with such a high HR but I want to keep pushing more :)

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. :D

Kind regards,
Ronnie


Yes, similar thing today. This mornings ride, the HR was up quite a bit - with some decent efforts. Yet the afternoon ride, I did a long 1h:11min effort and the heart rate was mostly sitting on 155bpm - sometimes getting up to 165-170bpm but coming back down quickly enough.

I've got what seems like some okay base fitness, I can do the big efforts easier now.

Enefeye wrote:He struggled to keep up with me and said he had very lil more to give.


But why did he say that? Was it simply HR too high, or other things like lactic (burning) which does hurt a lot. I'm now also a bit like you in that I don't seem to get the muscle soreness anymore. I only had it the one time I did a high intensity gym session on the monday after a 415km week. Bad idea - the soreness was seriously bad.
g-boaf
 
Posts: 3821
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby Enefeye » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:02 pm

hey g-boaf, thx for the reply! GEEZ 415km in a week!!!! what a machine! :D

with regard to my mate, i dont know whether it was cardio or lactic burn, he didnt say.

im just loading up some data now to strava and it is different than usual. i tried to take the advice of Nikolai and earlier poster in this thread and forced myself to not push as hard on the ride out. to my surprise, it felt like i was putting a lot less effort in and my HR was a lot lower accordingly but my speed was only slightly different than when i push hard. this was great to realise. it shows that the little bit extra speed comes at a big cost with regard to effort. i guess it comes under the umbrella of diminshed returns.

i also had some burn for the 1st time in the quads. felt good! lol i usually stay seated going up hills and spin the pedals fast. i stood up a few times and i def felt it. they feel good now and i dont expect they will be sore 2mrw.

regards
ronnie
Enefeye
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:25 pm

Re: Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby g-boaf » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:26 pm

Before I started doing the big kms, my HR would go crazy.

I did a few weeks of riding at easy pace and big kms and that helped hugely.

I still have some days where it goes higher but not too wild. More learning needed.
g-boaf
 
Posts: 3821
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby Enefeye » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:02 pm

yeah that makes sense g-boaf. when u know the finish line is a fair way away, it forces you to not go as hard. maybe i should try doing that too :D ...and yes, being a newbie, i have so much to learn to
Enefeye
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:25 pm

Re: Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby rkelsen » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:33 pm

3 months isn't long enough to make much of a difference after 20 years of inactivity. Keep at it and you'll eventually notice huge changes. 215km of commuting per week in combination with 40 flights of stairs per day has seen my rhr drop from mid 80s to 59, but it has taken 3 years.
User avatar
rkelsen
 
Posts: 4276
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Strange Cardio stats???!

Postby Enefeye » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:41 pm

rkelsen: hi and thx for your reply. yeah good point, hopefully my resting HR will drop but like i said, i had many years of high activity as a youth and my resting HR still never went below 80? wow 40 flights of stairs each day! u r either super keen / fit or your build really should get their lift fixed! :D

regards
ronnie
Enefeye
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:25 pm


Return to Cycling Health

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Marto



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU



InTouch with BNA
“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter