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Heart rate question. (Read 784 times)

    First the background info:

     

    My resting heart rate varies 54-60bpm, I am 61 years old. I am only very slightly overweight and have no health problems.

    I have never tested my maximum heart rate, nor do I have a monitor or pay any attention to heart rate when running.

     

    I ran on a fancy treadmill at a hotel this weekend and took a few readings of my bpm and was surprised how high the number was. Initially I warmed up on an exercise bike for about 10 minutes, monitor said 90bpm.

    I did about 10 minutes of free weights then started slowly, 10 min per mile pace for 20 minutes on the treadmill. Sometime during this I noted a rate around 120-130, remember I had only a casual interest so do not remember the exact figure.

    After another 20 minutes around 9 min per mile rate (a pace I often run in cooler weather) I had a rate of 168bpm.

    Finally did 10 minutes at 8 min per mile, a tempo pace, and rate reached 178bpm. It did not occur to me to try to get a maximum reading, which might have  been useful.

     

    This was not a really hard workout, I was not gasping for breath, did not have wobbly knees, did not feel my pulse in the back of my head as I do after a race or intervals.

     

    I am a bit concerned that 178 bpm seems pretty high, obviously individuals vary.

    What do you think?

    PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                        10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

     

      How were you measuring your HR?  The little hold onto the bar kind of thing?

       

      Those seem very unreliable to me.  I can get readings that fluctuate from 1/2 what my real HR is to double what my real HR is.  A chest strap is the most reliable way to measure your HR and even then you can have false readings due to static and things like that.

       

      Hard to say which of those readings were accurate or if any of them were if it was the hold on the bar type monitor IMO.  I have gotten some correct readings with them, but way more often have gotten false readings.

       

      P.S. - I'm a newbie, but I've been monitoring my HR now for about 8 months and do workout in the hotel gyms sometimes and initially tried the grab on the bar HR monitors and now don't even bother with them.

      Age: 46 Weight: 205 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

      Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 43:59; 5K 21:27

        178 is high but not unheard of.  I would recommend that you monitor it further.  

         

        I have used a heart monitor consistently for the past ten years and I am a similar age (58 years old).  I have occasionally pushed my heart rate into the 170's but it is usually during a race or very challenging interval or hill. Until this past year, most of my running (in preparation for marathons) has been in the 130 -150 range, with occasionally hard work-outs into the 160's.  In a few races it has even reached the low 180's in recent years.  

         

        However, this past spring I noticed a few workouts where my heart rate monitor showed 220 beats per minute.  I thought there was something wrong with the monitor, but then check my pulse manually and it was beating that fast.  I felt no other symptoms, like shortness of breath or chest pains.   When it happened during a 10K race, I decided to see my doc (he is very run friendly).   After some tests and monitoring, it turns out that I have a case of tachycardia (rapid heart beat) that is not life-threatening, but certainly hinders my running  performance.  

         

        What happens is that occasionally my heart rate will suddenly spike (example, I am running at 140 beats/minute and it will suddenly spike to 190 beats/minute).  Some tissue in my body sends an extra electrical signal to my heart  and the rate spikes.  I have discovered that when this happens (it was happening 1-2x week and only during exercise), if I stop and lie down, and the rate drops back to normal.  Walking is not sufficient to bring it back to proper rhythm. 

         

        I have recently adapted the Phil Maffetone approach in which you train by a slow heart rate (124 for me) so as to truly develop your aerobic conditioning and I have had significantly fewer spikes.

         

        This is a long answer to your question, but if you truly want to understand your heart rate, you need to monitor it more than simply one run.  You can get a simply heart rate monitor for less than $75.   


        Feeling the growl again

          The little hold onto the bar kind of thing?

           

          Those seem very unreliable to me. 

           

          This.  Mine at home typically registers in the 90s during my easy runs.

           

          The nearest part of my body is a good foot away from the sensors.  Big grin

           

          Even if it's real, it means little unless you monitor over time.  My wife's HR when running is unusually high (190s at a semi-conversational pace), we've tracked it over time to confirm.  She got checked out as a result and they told her it was nothing.

          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

           

            The treadmills even with chest strap are horribly calibrated.  My Nordic Track goes between 140-180 while I am running at a steady 9 min/mile pace (this is with the strap), without the strap, like Spaniel's it show some random number between 100 and 200 I think. Similarly on the TMs at the Y, they can vary wildly between machines.

              I theorize that the electrodes' connection to your skin is frequently disrupted by your bouncing about on the treadmill; there could even be ambiguous internal electrical signals related to your steps.

              Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.


              Feeling the growl again

                I theorize that the electrodes' connection to your skin is frequently disrupted by your bouncing about on the treadmill; there could even be ambiguous internal electrical signals related to your steps.

                 

                Don't forget that these machines throw off lots of EM waves themselves.  My current one is on its third display since purchasing in March.  The first two displays would somehow unset the device setting on my remote control (ie change it from DVR to TV) within about 20 seconds of setting it in the holder next to the display.  Since the third display was installed this hasn't happened.

                 

                I have never actually touched the HR bars to see how well it works....since it is pretty clear it has a mind of its own even when I am nowhere near touching them.

                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                 


                Loves the outdoors

                  How were you measuring your HR?  The little hold onto the bar kind of thing?

                   

                  Those seem very unreliable to me.  I can get readings that fluctuate from 1/2 what my real HR is to double what my real HR is.  A chest strap is the most reliable way to measure your HR and even then you can have false readings due to static and things like that.

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  I can apparently run a Tempo on the TM with a HR only in the 70s according to the holding onto the bar thingamys. So I wouldn't place much confidence in any number the TM produced. If you are concerned, use a watch and take your pulse one day in the middle of your run and see what it is.

                  One day I decided I wanted to become a runner, so I did.

                    Ok, got it! Seems those things are useless and I don't need to worry about it.

                    Thanks to all.

                    PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                        10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.