Heart rate - Should I be concerned or could it be watch issue (Read 120 times)


    So I have been running really well for an old guy but the problem is that my heart rate is sometimes WAY up there as a max and even sometimes as an average.  An example, Wednesday last week 4 miles in 8:03/mile with an average 149 max 163, not bad, next day 7 miles 7:51/mile and and average 183 max 205 and the Saturday 13 miles in 8:23/mile with avg 127 and max 163.  Confused.  I mean when I get done I am not really even winded.  Couple deep breaths and I recover no problem.  I will be 59 on June 18.  Running better than I have in my entire 30 years of running considering.  Any thoughts?  Thanks.


      What are you using to measure your HR during the runs? Oh, I noticed the title of the topic - you are using the watch. Yes, in this case, check if you wear it tight enough to your skin. I am using Garmin FR 935 and don't have issues with Max HR being outrageously high. There were couple of cases when HR was higher than I was feeling it should be - like, I feel my level effort at 130bpm and the watch shows something like 157-160. So, I would take the watch off, wait for 10-20 seconds and then put the watch back. That would usually help returning HR to normal - sometimes it would still take a few minutes. I used to have abnormal readings with Garmin chest strap, tried to change the strap, the battery and then just gave up and bought a watch. I also heard good reviews about Scosche HR monitors - you might try those. I would say you still cannot count on HR readings as being 100% reliable 100% of the time, but most of the times it should give you reasonable readings within a reasonable HR range.

      paces PRs - 5K - 5:55  /  10K - 6:05  /  HM - 6:14  /  FM - 6:26 per mile

        I have garmin 235. It's mostly consistent but I have had very high readings on recovery runs and very low on tempo runs which were obviously incorrect. I wouldn't worry too much unless you feel unwell and need a checkup.

        50+ PBs5k 18:29 Tauranga Parkrun May18   

        10k 38.55 oct 19 strava run

        " If you don't use it you lose it but if you use it, it wears out.

        Somewhere in between is about right "      


        Elite Jogger

          I also have the 235 and first thing I would suggest is tighten the strap...and also wait for the heart icon to stop flashing (not sure if that makes much difference).  Occasionally my watch has frozen at a ridulously high HR after a couple of miles (I don’t check HR during a run)  If that happens I turn it off/on again and it’s fine for the next run.

          5k - 17:53 (4/19)   10k - 37:53 (11/18)   Half - 1:23:18 (4/19)   Full - 2:50:43 (4/19)

            If it's cold outside, like in the 40's or lower, the wrist-based systems can have inaccurate readings. (Polar M430)

            I had 200bpm+ jogging downhill at 8:20 pace at the start of a 50k, it was about 34 degrees. It started recording correctly after 5 miles and 10 degrees warmer, but then went crazy again at the top of a ridge where the temps had dropped into the 30's again.


            You can also do a manual count during or after your run to compare to what the watch is saying, just to make sure it's the watch and not you with 130% max heartrate. Just do 30 seconds and double your count, that should be accurate enough to compare to the watch.

            55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

              All of the answers so far question if your HR monitor isn't accurate. I agree you need to figure that out.

              When it reads really high, can you feel your heart beating fast?  If you can't tell for sure, measure your pulse manually to see.


              If it actually is fast, read on.

              I have a medical condition that makes my heart beat really fast sometimes for no good reason.

              For me, my HR on a typical easy run is around 125bpm and at the end of an all out 5K the highest I had ever seen was 163.

              When I got this, about 2 years ago at age 59, I would be on an easy run and suddenly my HR would jump to 160, even 170.  Sometimes for just a few minutes.  Sometimes until the end of my run. I wasn't working hard and I wasn't out of breath - just had a really fast heart rate.


              For me, this turned out to be SVT - Supraventricular tachycardia.


              I had about every possible heart test done to ensure that in my case, this isn't causing any real problems.

              If you really are experiencing a high heart rate when you shouldn't be - get it checked out.

                FWIW, some comparison info;


                Currently M57, my regular runs are 125-145 depending on hills and effort, averaging about 135. 5k tempo might produce 170bpm max (usually low 160's), and about 150 average. My resting pulse is about 55.


                moneyman, your 4 mile and 13.1 are not far out of line with mine regarding hr at those paces. The max would be a sprint at the end or a steep uphill. But the 7 mile seems pretty high average, and the 4 a little bit. I would almost discount the max hr recordings if they are the result of a sprint at the end or a hill. But if they are sustained for a long time, they can drag the average up. Looking at the whole hr graph might give you a better picture.


                Anecdote: as M20 in college when we would do hr check during a workout I would sometimes hit 260-280 measured right after all-out set of 300-400's. I didn't die, nor did I feel like I was about to. Would recover down to 100 within 1-2 minutes of walking.

                55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying


                  There is some really good info here so thanks.  I was a medic in the air force and my wife worked for cardiologists for 10 years so I have heard of supra ventricular tachycardia and I may look into that but I am inclined at this point to think the watch was a little wonky, the increases have occurred after climbing hills (which I still hate) and I have been running the same way without a HR monitor for the better part of 30 years, so if I ain't dead yet, its only a matter of time I suppose.  Keep running and enjoying all.


                    It's important to use an accurate heart rate tracker. I run three times a week with SportMe Marathon Trainer, which syncs with my Apple watch. Monitoring my progress made me a less anxious and more self confident person. It's amazing what running can do for you!