The reason for failure to elevate HR to desired levels

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by SniperX, Feb 2, 2003.

  1. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    Recently I had this problem of not being able to raise up my HR to hit 160 highest was 150+ plus ... I took a weeks rest and after that when i went back riding I could hit 165. Some of you guys mentioned bout low heart rates indicating a good rest but from my opinion it seems more like the failure to evelate ones HR is an indication of overtraining? Comments anyone ?
     
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  2. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    There's several things going on here, firstly it's unlikely that you were overtrained. Overtraining requires a lengthy (e.g., >6-months) recovery period, and isn't cured with a weeks rest. Although, i don't know about your personal circumstances, it's generally highly unlikely to be overtrained if you're not a full time athlete. Prior to being overtrained, you'd probably just ease up with either an infection or a heavy dose of fatigue. Basically, overtraining requires many months of forcing yourself to do too much.

    You may, however, have been "over reached", which is really what you need to do improve your fitness, the recovery period provides a 'super compensation' effect, where you become fitter.

    There's also unexplained under performance syndrome.

    During intense training loads, and as fitness (e.g., VO2 max, LT) increase, maximum HR decreases. this is mainly because of a concomitant increase in blood plasma volume. This tends to happen right when you first start a training programme. there's also other cardiovascular changes that occur as fitness continues to increase causing a decrease in HR max (e.g., increase stroke volume, a-VO2 diff, etc.).

    Very minor fatigue that may occur from day to day heavy training and/or on consecutive days racing can cause a decrease in max HR and average HR too. Often, on a second or more day of racing, my avg HR may be 10 b/min less (i know others who approach 20 b/min) at a given power output -- whilst the power output is the same on both days. This is nothing too worry about, and is one reason why HR is poor indicator of what's happening.

    Having a high max HR doesn't actually mean anything -- the important aspect is to see how your power output is.

    With having a weeks rest, what will have happened is that your plasma volume will have returned to normal levels (first in adaptation, first out), thus to maintain a 'normal' cardiac output, HR has to increase. Within about a week, your HR max will decrease again.

    Personally, my max HR drops about 8 b/min under heavy training loads.

    Your highest HR max would likely come after having a week off your bike with a moderate illness such as a cold. Not that i'd recommend anyone trying to find their HRmax after being ill -- as it might cause heart damage.

    Ric
     
  3. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    hmmz i think in my case perhaps i was overtrained as i was like clocking at least 500 kms n training 5 or 6 a week for no less than 3 mths ... started to have the feeling of very heavy legs when i climb up the stairs to my room ... any views on this ? I m rite now trying to recover or do you think its not overtrainign and i should continue training?
     
  4. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    oh man heart damage? what re the symptoms of that? b4 i had that week of layoff i had some slight chest pains when i breathe ... wonder of that is heart dam ? :(
     
  5. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    That *could* be a case of overtraining, but don't forget that for some riders that would be hardly any training, and some it would be lots. It's impossible for me to say, without having more details and even then diagnosing overtraining is exceedingly difficult. Heavy legs in itself isn't an indicator of overtraining.

    There's *no* clinical testing available for overtraining, as it's been impossible to reproduce in lab conditions (e.g., subjects have asked to double their training volumes immediately and then sustain this heavy loads for long periods of time, and they haven't been able to find markers of overtraining in these subjects).

    When you're overtrained you do have a big drop in performance levels, so that's one indicator, plus changes in resting HR (can go up or down as there's two possible types of overtraining), and the likelyhood of lots of upper respiratory tract infections.

    If you thjink you are overtrained and suffering from any of these symptoms, i'd advise that you see someone qualified to deal with such, such as a sports medicince physician. Your first port of call my be your normal family doctor so that (s)he can check for other similar(ish) symptoms.

    Please feel free to contact me,
    Ric
     
  6. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Any abnormal chest pains (or abnormal any pains, but definitely chest!) and i'd advise seeing a doctor straight away to ascertain what's wrong (if indeed anything).

    The heart damage that might occur, is severe and would mean that there would be a massive drop in performance (e.g., myocardial endocarditis or cardiomyopathy).

    If you're in any doubt, see a doctor. As a Coach and sport scientists i'm *not* qualified to give medical advice other than stating what might or might not occur under certain conditions -- i can't diagnose medical issues.

    Ric
     
  7. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    i hate visiting the docs man heh i guess i'll go slow for a while and see what happens.... but the layoff has been great it has enabled me to raise my "achievable" HR levels... but this issue is very confusing.. again some pple might say bcos of the layoff i had i became " less fit" and thus my heart rate rises meaning its harder for me to ride at that intensity ? But in lance 's training performance book it was stated in there that failure to reach high enuf heart rate levels despite feeling good during workouts n skipping rest days is an indication of quite a bad overtraining and a week 's off is way overdue?
     
  8. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    I *would* advise visiting the doc's whether you hate it or not. if you've had chest pain don't exercise, you need to rule out any problems (most of which are treatable if caught early).

    Heart rate, and being able to raise 'achievable' levels is fairly irrelevant. Your HR rose after the detraining period simply because of a drop in plasma volume and some mild recovery.

    Highest HR levels will be seen, directly after having some form of infection and an ensuing rest period. it doesn't mean anything 'good'.

    Ric
     
  9. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    hmmz then i guess its time to head for the docs =|
     
  10. steve

    steve Administrator
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    A mate of mine nearly died because he didn't get onto a heart problem soon enough, not really his fault, he just had a typical cyclist attitude at the time.
     
  11. Old Timer

    Old Timer New Member

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    I would go with Ricstern both on the training and the "see the doctor"advice. Been there, done that AND got the t-shirt! Over 3 years ago, before I got back into cycling, I had got rather unfit. Did a bit of jogging, got a tight feeling in the chest, eased off til it went away then pushed again. Nothing very serious, thought I must have a serious "get fit" campaign! Next evening thought I had indigestion, wife persuaded me to go to Casualty at hospital. End up with an angiogram. That is a camera inserted through the groin up into the coronary arteries and the heart. You can watch the progress on a monitor. Coronary artery looks the size of a little finger then suddenly shut down to about a hairs width. I had a 99% blockage! Cardiologist explained it is possible to run the Comrades (ie a double marathon) with a 95% blockage and no symptoms. But a massive heart attack could be imminent at any time. A "get fit" campaign would have certainly been fatal. Had a double by-pass the same day and am now OK. But NOT a pleasant experience. IF YOU HAVE CHEST PAINS SEE A DOCTOR!
    Chest discomfort on breathing is not USUALLY a sign of heart damage, more probably a mild chest infection or a strained muscle but hey don't take MY opinion! See your doctor!
     
  12. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    oh man bypass.... that sounds pretty major ... so i' ve got to do that angio thing?
     
  13. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    An angiogram, may or may not be necessary, and there may be nothing wrong with you at all. *BUT*, the point is none of *us* here can tell what's wrong with you, as far as i'm aware non of us here are medical doctors. Just as i as a sports scientist and coach has specific fitness tests, a doctor will have specific questions and tests to ask you.

    You *must* seek the advice of a qualified medical professional to ascertain what, if anything is wrong with you.

    Please let us know how you get on,
    Ric
     
  14. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    ok guess i'll go for the blood /ecg test tomrow
     
  15. Old Timer

    Old Timer New Member

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    No! They won't start with an angiogram. More likely a stress electrocardiogram, either on a treadmill or a stationary bike. I'm not trying to scare you but unexplained chest pains need an urgent medical opinion.
     
  16. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    just saw the doc man... nuthing wrong with me yaYYyyYYY heh quite a relief... turned out to b some pulled muscle aroudn the chest walls.... i guess it must have been caused by my unusual riding stance when i was using my mtb with slicks on the roads before i got the roadie.
     
  17. steve

    steve Administrator
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    Well thats good news :D
     
  18. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    thats a fast reply steve hehe u online now ?
     
  19. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Excellent news. Glad to hear you're okay.

    Ric
     
  20. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    yeah finally i can ride in peace without having that fear of collapsing on the road having a heart attack! heeez
     
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