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Heart rate worries (Read 257 times)

turtlerunner


    Hi all,

     

    I'm new here (hi!). I was hoping to maybe get a little advice about heart rate training.

     

    I have been "running" for just over a year now (I'm crazy slow). I started out by doing c25k with my wife after being sedentary for most of my life. Managed to complete that and have been working through a bunch of small injuries since. Those lead me to try doing low heart rate training to try and let myself heal up and put less stress on my legs. So I did maffetone for a couple of months, but did not seem to be able to progress as I could not run at all at my maf heart rate (135). I also could not walk as I couldn't keep my heart rate high enough, so I had to continually walk/run/walk/run etc. I decided that I probably just wasn't fit enough to do that type of training, and resolved to just run as slow as I could without walking and go from there.

     

    So I have been doing that for the last month or so, and I noticed that my heart rate still gets up there regardless by the end of a 3 mile run. I'd land up hovering around 180-185 by the end and average 170 for the run. One day I sprinted at the end and my heart rate went up to 197. So today I decided to push it a bit and do two miles slow, then push a fast pace (for me) on the last, AND sprint at the end. My heart rate hovered around 195 that last mile, and during the sprint, got up to 205! I don't think I was at my max either, most of that last mile I was breathing through my nose, until the sprint.

     

    Clearly 120-age is a ways off for me... I'm 36.

     

    My question is, should I be worried that my heart gets this high? And what should I base my training on? I have no clue. I may just be freaking out and maybe should just run by feel? I feel OK running continuously at 185-195, so should I just not worry about it?

     

    Sorry for so many questions, but I just don't know what to do.

    Thanks!

    StellarsJJayS


      a) do you drink caffeine?  that's gonna push your hr up...especially if you do it shortly before your run.

      b) do you feel like you're gonna keel over after these runs?  if you do, definitely cut back!

      c) how long after your run does it take for your hr to get back under 100?

      d) as you become more fit, your hr will come down dramatically.

      e) most of your runs should not be taxing your heart, lungs and legs...should NOT be taxing you.  most of your runs should be in the easy to moderate range.  (not all, mind you...but most.)

       

      lastly, max=220-age is bunch of crap.  it was not anywhere near true when I was in my 20s and it's not anywhere near true in my 40s (a host of running and mountain biking freinds tell me similar stories.  doing a hard intense workout (near max i presume) but not about to keel over and die, will put me near or slightly over 200.

      There is only one acceptable pace...all out suicide...

      ...and today is a good day to die!

                 --  Pre


      Feeling the growl again

        Formulas don't work for everybody.  If you feel fine running with a HR that high, just do it.  I know someone else who runs 180 at a conversational pace.

        "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

         

        turtlerunner


          Thanks for the replies.

           

          I'll try and answer your questions StellarJJays.

          a) Yes, but not excessively, and usually not before a run.

          b) I usually feel fine after a run, a little out of breath, but not like I'm dying or anything.

          c) It seems to take me a while to get back under 100, but not if I stop completely. I'll come down from 190+ to 140-150 in about a minute, but if I keep walking to cool down a bit, it will stay up at 110-120. When I stop it goes down reasonably fast from there I guess.

           

          I have been trying to go very slowly for probably 90% of runs, so I guess I'll keep doing that.

          I have a physical next week, so I'll see what my doc has to say too.

           

          Thanks again.

            The Heart Rate Meters are somewhat strange contraptions, they have a few well hidden secrets that you can read about in my fabulous book "Secretive Secrets of HR Meters: Shortcut to sub 2:00 Marathon, Wonder Abs and Atomic Fusion" ...LOL.

            No really. Jokes aside. HR meters are highly misunderstood beasts. Most of the extreme readings that you get aren't due to superhuman powers, radioactive mutations or being unfit, but to a few particularities of said devices:

             

            1. HR meters use to need a few minutes to work properly. No idea why, but it's a well known issue that HR meters give completely random readings for the first couple of miles. A factor can be the strap's quality.
            2. INTERFERENCES. Yeah, these things are coded, but if you are like me and use your wrist watch to carry your keys on it, you will get weird readings because the keys block the signal.
            3. CLEAN THE DARN BELT!!!!!!! Readings over 200? No, you weren't irradiated by a gamma ray burst. As it happens, the straps need some cleaning once in a time... and this actually means EVERY TIME you use it!!!! After activity, take it with you into the shower and rinse it thoroughly with lukewarm or cold water.  I guarantee you that this works wonders: Your heart rate will be miraculously low and accurate as a Swiss watch next time you use it. Hallelujah!!! It even helps with point 1.
              3.a NOPE! Do not toss the thing into the washing machine unless you already planned on buying a new one.

               

            So, try point 3 before sending a CV to the X Men, unless you are a cyclist, these folks love bragging about their extreme heart rates ("got it over 500, I swear!") But well, we all know cyclists don't shower very often, they get afraid of the "Water spitting snake".



            Gang Name "Pound Cake"

              My max heart rate is more than 20 beats faster than all the age formula predictors. I can never use the age inputs and heart rate programs on treadmills as they also force me to slow down to a walk. Do not use the formulas to determine your max rate for training. Either do a test for max heart rate (potentially dangerous so be careful and consider doing it at a sports lab), or go by pace and not heart rate.

               

              If you've done a race at a high effort, you can use pace predictors to determine good pacing for different types of workouts. If you have a smart phone, there are many apps available for this. I like the McMillan app personally. There are many websites too for pace. If you haven't raced, just run at a comfortable pace slow enough that you can reasonable carry on a conversation without gasping for breath. Err on the side of slower rather than faster for these workouts. Do that pace for most workouts. After a couple of months if you are a new runner, try introducing a little harder effort. Go a little faster or further or hillier (but not all three at once) for one or two workouts per week and keep the easy conversational pace for the other runs.

               

              I mess around occasionally with the heart rate functions of my Garmin and I have a book or two on heart rate training. However, I find it all too complicated to pay too much attention to in training or racing. I enjoy it heart rate analysis more for occasionally seeing how much faster I am at the same average heart rate than I was months before. After my first 5K race, I found that using pace charts based on actual race performance to be so much less complicated than heart rate training.

              - Scott

              2014 Goals: First Marathon - BQ2016 <3:40 - 1/2M <1:45 - 5K <22:00

              2014 Marathons: 05/04 Flying Pig (3:49:02) - 09/20 Air Force - 11/01 Indianapolis Monumental


              Feeling the growl again

                 

                1. HR meters use to need a few minutes to work properly. No idea why, but it's a well known issue that HR meters give completely random readings for the first couple of miles. A factor can be the strap's quality



                 

                This is actually completely understood.  Until you start sweating, the electrodes do not get good, consistent connectivity.

                "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

                 


                Queen of 3rd Place

                   

                  but did not seem to be able to progress as I could not run at all at my maf heart rate (135). I also could not walk as I couldn't keep my heart rate high enough, so I had to continually walk/run/walk/run etc. 

                   

                  No, this is wrong, you can run slow enough. But don't feel bad, it's surprisingly hard to do at first, that's for sure. You should be able to run slow enough that your heart rate is lower than the heart rate you can achieve while walking briskly.

                  Ex runner

                     

                    This is actually completely understood.  Until you start sweating, the electrodes do not get good, consistent connectivity.

                     

                    Hmm, this explains why in the winter some devices need a LOT of time to work properly.

                    I have however noticed  that the Polar strap works way better than any other I have used (I use a Garmin HRM with the Polar strap).

                       

                      Hmm, this explains why in the winter some devices need a LOT of time to work properly.

                      I have however noticed  that the Polar strap works way better than any other I have used (I use a Garmin HRM with the Polar strap).

                      If you moisten the electrodes and your chest, it shouldn't take *that* long. Use spit or some electrode solution. I've run in -20F with my HRM and it's not that big a deal. I've had the best luck with the straps that have a non-breathable (plastic?) space for the electrodes. The Polar ones that are like fabric were terrible. (The original Polar and Garmin straps worked well for me, then they messed them up.)  I'm currently using a newer Polar strap with Garmin monitor.

                      "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


                      Hoodoo Guru

                        A lot of us manage to run without heart rate monitors.  Unless you feel you MUST monitor your heart rate for some health reason, why not just go out and run/walk by feel?  Why be a slave to a machine?  Free yourself!

                        The tangents are moot.

                         

                        iLoveAdvo.com

                         

                          A lot of us manage to run without heart rate monitors.  Unless you feel you MUST monitor your heart rate for some health reason, why not just go out and run/walk by feel?  Why be a slave to a machine?  Free yourself!

                           

                          Well, because you may want to base your training plan on HR.

                           

                          Some of us train on pace, some of us train on HR, some of us on time. Some of us want to achieve and track certain goals, know the place at which we are, what we can expect and how far we can push ourselves. In the past if you wanted to have that you joined an athletic club and your trainer did it for you. Or here in Holland a friend on a bike.

                           

                          HR training is ideal in most cases as it allows you to gauge your effort avoiding to overdo it and reap the benefits of a proper training in less time and avoiding the perils of overtraining.

                          To run on feel you need first to know how it feels. Most novice runners think that they have to sprint all-out unless they manage to have a trainer or a buddy. It may take them years to run past the first 5K and years to be able to run at a decent pace for more than an hour. And by personal experience I know that the first times you go out until you get the feeling for it you don't feel free, you just feel like crap. No wonder that most people who decide to give it a try just drop out.

                          So, why not just avoid all that and train at a decent pace feeling good and improving your condition until you have enough experience to run by feel if you want? 

                          It's my take at least.

                          turtlerunner


                            Thanks for all the replies.

                             

                            In case anyone wondered, I asked my doc, and she basically said if you feel fine, I wouldn't worry about it. So I wont Smile

                            JimR


                               

                              Well, because you may want to base your training plan on HR.

                               

                               

                              And that can just as easily not be the better way to go.  Unfortunately no two people are alike, and in the same way that acquiring 'feel' may take time to tune, same goes for heart rate.  And before resources to hr zones and training are cited, fall back to no two people are alike.

                               

                              I don't have any particular issues with hr based training.  I simply consider it limiting.