Should I worry about my heart rate?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by ehavanero, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. ehavanero

    ehavanero New Member

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    About six months into the sport. Have lost weight and am riding with a group that gets up into the 33-35mph range during a 42 mile ride. (Not doing much pulling, but staying with the group) I'm 49 years old, so using using the rule of thumb 220-age, my max heart rate should be 170. I find that during just about every one of these fast rides, and especially when I am pulling, my heart rate gets up near 200bpm. (Last week my monitor measured me at 217bpm) I don't feel dizzy or seem to suffer any ill effects other than at some point I run out of air and have to rotate to the back of the group. I read in an article in Bicycling Magazine that you can't really "over-rev" your heart. It's like the opposite of holding your breath, at some point your innability to maintain that level of exhertion causes you to alter your activity level until your heart beat returns to more manageable pace.

    Coupe of questions:
    • Any truth to what I think I read in that article?
    • What does it mean that my heart beat goes that high, is it that I have to improve my lung's function?
    • Is it a good thing or a bad thing to have your heart rate elevate to that level?
    • Is it OK to reach that relatively high hbpm range if it's for only brief periods?
    Thank you for your constructive input.
    :rolleyes:
     
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  2. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Your HR is loosely correlated with your intensity of effort, as it responds to your body's call for more of everything (blood, oxygen, etc.). It sounds as though you are going pretty close to your maximum sustainable effort on these fast group rides. It would be helpful if you knew your actual MHR, because the 220-age algorithm is only valid for a large population and there is a large variance from individual to individual. It is entirely possible that you can attain your MHR (or close to your MHR) after pulling for a few minutes at a fast pace. All this does is help you define your MHR (at least it is not less than 217bpm). Your heart is an amazing machine. It can run at its maximum rate for way longer than the rest of your body can sustain the pace. It's like the Energizer bunny -- it just keeps on running. If I could get the rest of my body to perform as well as my heart, I think I could go about 60mph on my bike. That'd be a hoot -- passing cars and such.
     
  3. Rudy

    Rudy New Member

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    33 to 35 mph?
     
  4. KtecR

    KtecR New Member

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    Maybe downhill?
     
  5. aris

    aris New Member

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    haha yea i would be worried, lol your going to explode :eek:
     
  6. ehavanero

    ehavanero New Member

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    That's funny!



     
  7. HoWheels

    HoWheels New Member

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    This probably varies from person to person, but I know that if my heart rate gets to a certain point, I will vomit. For that reason alone, I know when I start approaching that rate, I back off a bit ;)

    -a
     
  8. ramon

    ramon New Member

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    I have been cycling for about 4 months and just recently bought a heart monitor and was suprised to find my heart rate going up to 220. I am 38.
    Way above what is supposed to be my maximum.
    It sort of jumps up to 220 from 170 with no real rates in between and drops back down with no rate in between.

    I was intially worried about this but figured if I was going to have problems they would have more likely manifest themselves when I first started riding again.

    I have noted that if I stay under 160 bpm I can ride 100 Km's with no latic acid build up but if I ride hard enough to get up into the 220's I will get latic acid build up.
     
  9. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    If your HR is jumping from 170 to 220 b/min there's either something wrong with your HR monitor, or the strap isn't connecting properly with your chest. It may be that the strap isn't tight enough, or there's not enough moisture between the contact points.

    Although it is possible to have a HRmax that high, there should be a reasonably steady progression between the numbers and not a 50 b/min jump.

    ric
     
  10. pod

    pod New Member

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    Yes my HRM does that occasionally also and it always seems to be when I'm riding under high tension power lines. They are prone to interference and the analysis software has a built in function to edit out these false spikes.
     
  11. ramon

    ramon New Member

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    Lack of moisture on the contacts is definately not the problem because by this stage I am sweating profusely.
    I shall keep a eye out for overhead powerlines but it seems to correlate to times of increased effort. i.e. when I am out of the saddle sprinitng up a hill or when my candence is high in high gears going down a hill as fast as I can
     
  12. sidewind

    sidewind New Member

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    Common phenomenon with Polar HRM at least, caused by the shirt flapping due to wind. Some people here use some kind of elastic band over the sensor.
     
  13. LOW2000

    LOW2000 New Member

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    My polar does the same thing at the same point in my ride almost every time. Jumps up to 232 through this 1/4mi stretch then goes right back to my normal 165-175bpm range I stay in during the rest of my ride.
     
  14. dot

    dot New Member

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    Your HRM overlapped with someone's else. 217-218 is pretty common figures for Sigma HRMs when they are overlapping with each other.
     
  15. Brian Cotgrove

    Brian Cotgrove New Member

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    G'day LOW2000, Check if you have a large electrical generator/power transformer or other larger overhead power source.
    The samething happens to mine when I ride under the train bridge near where I live, especially is there is a train approaching the area. It is to do with the power surge that relates to the power delivery, well that's what I've been told by one of the guys who is an eletrician and rides with us?
    K.T.W.I.M.A.D.L.B.U.I.T.S.W.Y.D.O.T.L.C. TBC
     
  16. Brian Cotgrove

    Brian Cotgrove New Member

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    G'day ramon, Brisbane EH, it's a problem with Polar HRM's, I've been told, if you ride around near any overhead electrical source/those large transformers that the Energex people put up on poles along side the roads etc. I get the same effect when I ride down past the Birkdale Rail Station Redland Bay and the Rickert Road area along side the rail line.
    Don't panic just keep the wheels in motion.TBC
     
  17. ramon

    ramon New Member

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    This makes the most sense to me as the most likely culprit
     
  18. pod

    pod New Member

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    The HRM works by the chest strap picking up the electrical signal from your heart (like an ECG) and transmitting the pulse by a weak radio signal to the monitor on your wrist or handlebars. They are very prone to electrical interference from radio signal sources such as other HRMs or overhead powerlines or even motor vehicles. Dry contacts may prevent the signal from your body being picked up giving an intermittant or zero HR but a flapping shirt would have no effect at all.

    Interesting to note how many have observed interference related to train power lines. The times I've got interference from powerlines have just about always been electric train powerlines also and the HR always seems to be 220 - 230 when this happens. It was a bit scary the first time I noticed as my max is only about 180.

    In the gym when lots of people are exercising nearby with HRMs the readings are all over the place despite me having the latest 725 with a personally coded signal. I also notice that the machines either side of me are often picking up my HR and probably scaring the people operating them.
     
  19. Brian Cotgrove

    Brian Cotgrove New Member

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    G'day pod, yes indeed, you've hit the nail on the head ?TBC
     
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