High heart rate while riding

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Mariusroxana, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. Mariusroxana

    Mariusroxana New Member

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    I used a HRM for the first time on my group ride, and I started to be scared!
    I stayed for many minutes at 170-175BPM and higher, and I was feeling perfect, breathing, speaking OK, etc. At one time I saw 192!!
    When I was going at 150 it was very easy.

    I am 47, never a pro, just staying active and fit all my life.
    Is it normal, or???
    What is you heart rate that you can sustain for many hours?
     
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  2. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Heart rates vary by individual quite a bit, so it's difficult to compare your numbers to other people's numbers with any effectiveness. For example, there's no way I would be able to speak at 175bpm, even though I am a bit younger than you (35 yrs old). Also "very easy" for me would be about 110-120 bpm. When people are comparing ride intensities using HR, they typically speak in terms of a % of Maximum HR (eg, I rode for 1 hr at 90% MHR....). In order to make good use of your HR monitor as a training tool, you'll probably want to obtain an estimation of your maximum HR to use a reference point for your ride intensities.

    If you're feeling fine and are able to speak at 170-175bpm, then I wouldn't think seeing 192bpm while climbing up a decent hill is anything to be alarmed about. In my case, speech becomes halting at ~80-85% of MHR, and it's no problem to see 90+%MHR on a decent climb.
     
  3. MichaelB

    MichaelB New Member

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    Is your little machine OK? You could check it manually for confirmation.

    Write a will, get some life insurance and go nuts! :eek:
     
  4. vio765

    vio765 New Member

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    when it comes to heartrate, dont think too much. the ol' pumper is a funny little feller. there are many many factors that affect heart rate. even a typical morning cut of coffee that has been routine for years can do things. a light breakfast or lunch before a ride. an 11 hour sleeping binge. a frat party the night before. many things. and it could be individulaistic too. for me, caffeine doesnt really make much of a diff. maybe beat or two higher than normal. heat does WEIRD things to me. i once rode for 27 min straight at about 90+% MAX and had an RPE of about 6-7. or about like low priority time trial. not haulin it, but movin. it was also about 95 outside with high humity. and it was in a group of experienced racers out playin around. so my "competition mode" was on. just think logically and play the "what did i do" game. did you have a bad day at work right before a ride? has it been 90 outside for several weeks and then a cold front moves though and it is now 75? did you have any caffeine, or have been taking caffeine for a long time and forgot your cup of joe this morning? think cause and effect.
     
  5. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    I have to agree with the others who've said heart rate is a very individual thing. I'm pretty much about where you were talking about normally and I've never felt like anything was wrong with me. I haven't done a max heart rate test, but the highest I've seen mine go is 211, which I am going to assume is probably my max or near to it. 170 - 175 on a group ride is pretty normal for me, 140-150 is easy going. I've learned that I can maintain 180 to 184 for fairly large amounts of time (over 1 hour) on hill climbs. My resting heart rate never dips very very low. Its usually around 48, the lowest I've seen it is 44.
    In contrast my husband has a resting heart rate that sometimes turns off the heart rate monitor (it actually drops below 30 :eek: at times) and a max I think in the high 180's or low 190's.
    We both are pretty normal healthy individuals, with normal blood pressure. We just function a little differently. If you are worried get checked out by your doc, but its probably just your norm.
     
  6. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I was riding on the small chainring yesterday. But I tend to do this when I'm off main roads and on country lanes where the terrain is very steep. This is where cycling gets very tough.
    I did a very long hill yesterday and had to use my smallest gear. It consists of an initial push up at about 25 per cent and then levels out upwards in two very long stretches. I confess that at about 40 feet from the finish line on the second stretch I decided to stop the bike and indulge myself in some general gasping for 3 minutes. This is ultra hard training and I haven't pushed it like that for some weeks. All in all, I did about 3 and a half hours of solid climbing in the freezing cold. I was sucking in air for ages, plus gasping.
    Today I'm not going to do anything except take it easy. I reckon, though, that if I can clear these big hills faster and witn no pauses I'll be fit as hell. At the moment I still lack that level of total fitness a real cyclist ought to be equipped with.
     
  7. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I didn't know your bike had a small chainring. ;) I figured you just had the big chainring, and then the *really* big chainring. :D

    How can that be? :confused: I break into a sweat just reading about your workouts, and it always seems like you're absolutely killing yourself on the bike. Are you forced off the bike for long periods by work and this causes you to lose fitness? I would think you'd be tearing it up by now.
     
  8. Mariusroxana

    Mariusroxana New Member

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    That means the Max. fromula 220-Age( 47) = 173 Does not make so much sense.
    173 it is much less then 192, and even this, 192 it is less than my Max,
    as I could function perfectly well at that time.
    The HRM was OK.
     
  9. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    That's an approximation for the average Max HR of a large populace. There is variability between individuals, but certainly your Max HR seems to be pretty far above what the formula would predict. It's much more accurate to determine your Max HR through testing and experience than through that formula, so ignore the formula and get some more experience through your rides.
     
  10. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I train very intensely but not as often or as long as other cyclists. Plus, I've slacked off a bit during winter as I winded up buying a second hand boat and most of my cycling involves going back and forth to the remote countryside where the boat is moored.
    But I suppose this is a good thing. You can't train hard all year round so maybe the short easing up will benefit my knees.
    Even in winter I've been doing plenty of big gear work on main roads but not enough climbing on the smaller ring. Last week I did a hill I figure must have been around 30 per cent or more and it hurt me hard. It only takes just 4 minutes on that kind of gradient to really dig into your ability to bypass the lesser gradient that follows. So, I gasp when it gets that hard (and even fear the beginning)
    At one point I had to "tread road" as I say. That involves reducing your speed to about 4 miles an hour or less and going in circles till your breathing reduces to a more reasonable level (better than stopping totally, I figure).
    At a peak of fitness I could clear a huge climb in one full go and recover on the flat quite well but I'll have to build back up to that and ride more than I'm doing at present.

     
  11. Cod

    Cod New Member

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    Carrera, those sound like tough hills. I reckon you'd enjoy a tour around Cork and Kerry, there are some steep but shortish climbs in the West of Ireland.

    Mariusroxana: on the original question, the HR quoted seems high for a fit chap of 47, there are 8 or 9 of us that cycle a lot in hilly country and we rarely if ever hit those numbers. we're all fit leisure cyclists and none of us are ex-racers or anything. On the other hand if you're able to talk and breathe you should be fine.

    It might be no harm to get a once-over from a doc, maybe an ECG just to put your mind at rest. You can go out then and tear into those hills!
     
  12. vascdoc

    vascdoc New Member

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    The max heart rate is only a calculation. I am 49 with a max hr of 177. The ablility to talk easily with your heart rate over 170 is hard to believe. I wonder if you have a technical problem with your HRM.
     
  13. rohloff_chips

    rohloff_chips New Member

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    Eden without wishing to appear rude how old are you?

    I'm 46 and your HR numbers are pretty much identical to mine, with the exception of max (my highest is 206). 187 on a climb is common, but not for long. 180 is a good climbing number that can be sustained for quite a while. As you say 170-175 are group ride (& race) rates for highly extended use- "keep up" figures.

    Conversation, albeit limited, works at 170-175. But not above.

    I have been concerned that my rates are a bit high, but on the other hand I understand that a high max HR is a reflection of how fast the heart 'returns', and isn't an indication of a troubled ticker.

    BP is healthily low for my age and my hill performance (15kg MTB used for endurance XC where I live in mountains) is OK but not great by comparison with peers.
     
  14. pinoybiker

    pinoybiker New Member

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    im 1 year younger and this morning was my 1st climb after having stopped riding for about 10 months. Its a 5.8 km climb. my Polar S725 sometimes registers 203-206. At this reading i was gasping for air but strangely my legs were not burning so much. During the climb my lowest was 88% of my MHR (180). On rollers, when i reach 183 its so much pain in the legs.
     
  15. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    I'm 33, and female (if that makes a difference). I've always had a pretty high hr, even when I was a teenager - in fact my resting is lower now than I think it ever was.
     
  16. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I haven't yet purchased an HRM but plan to do so.
    One thing I do notice is that my heart rate can rocket if I tend to climb at a speed that's hard for me to physically sustain (maybe when racing someone else who may be gaining ground).
    I had this experience the other day going back from work up a medium climb. There was a cyclist ahead and normally I can always catch fellow riders up with a bit of effort but that time I was struggling. The guy ahead of me was also pedaling a bigger gear at slower cadence although myself I was still on the big chainring.
    I couldn't close the gap at all, though, and as I tried to go 2 mph faster than I normally would, my heart rate started to bang upwards. When I stood up and sprinted a bit more it got even worse. Possibly I was still not recovered from that hard ride I did 2 days before.
    I can climb walls at a set pace that suits me and my heart rate will be moderate. It's forcing the pace that seems to send my pulse up high which could be a sign of lack of edge on my fitness.
    Of course, I'm 42 years old but I don't see that as an excuse anyway.

     
  17. Ausmith

    Ausmith New Member

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    How tall are you and what is your weight? I would say you are just fine. I've been racing at the top amateur level in the US for some time and my heart is higher than the average guy - not uncommon for me to have it up at 180-190 for 2 hours at a crack. I beleive a lot of this has to do with me being a bit smaller with a relatively smaller heart.

    If you are still uneasy about it, I would suggest seeing a specialist and have them check you out. Assuming there are no issues - go for it.
     
  18. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    My heart rate has been pretty high today. I went cycling in very cold conditions and it was foggy too. My latest brainwave is to push a massive gear on lesser gradients which tends to send my heart up very high as opposed to spinning. :D
    When I got back home I had to wring my clothes out of sweat and throw them in the washer. :(
    Then I got hungry and consumed massive amounts of food, chocolate included. You should see how much I can consume in just one sitting and I'm losing weight. :)
     
  19. Learsport8500

    Learsport8500 New Member

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    Good to see that I'm not the only high-revver around. I'm a 30 y.o. male and for some reason my heart is totally useless unless it's pumping at over 160bpm. I can never keep my heart rate to say a 65-75% MHR zone, because I'd be doing absolutely no work at all. In fact, I'd say my "workable zone" would be 85%-92%, between which I go from easy riding to working hard. I can go at 175bpm (90%max) for pretty much as long as i want, but it really baffles me when i see other people riding in the group doing 145bpm when I'm pulling 175. Needless to say I've turned my zone alarm off on my HRM.

    A logical explanation would be a smaller heart, having to beat faster in order to pump sufficient blood around. Any other ideas?
     
  20. Ausmith

    Ausmith New Member

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    I'm pretty much the same way - it used to bother me a lot when I was younger - I thought I wasn't fit enough. It hasn't changed yet and I've been racing since 1992.

    Obviously it is more than just the physical size of the heart, other things like the vascular network, and chemical/hormonal differences play a part.
     
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