Heart rate worry

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  • Heart rate worry
  • Smarticus
    Member

    Now using a Garmin 800 with heartrate monitor on board. This unit spends a lot of each ride warning me that “Heart rate is too high”. As a reasonably fit 49 year old my max heart rate is theoretically 171 bpm. But any substantial hill will see my heart rate reaching that level and maxing out about 10bpm higher, My resting heart rate is about 80bpm and when compared to mates at each point in a ride my heart rate seems at least 10bpm higher than theirs – yet I am as fit or fitter than them. I suffer no ill effects from riding at this level – as far as I can see. So – should I be worried. or taking action about this – or should I simply put it down to my personal body set up being outwith a standard norm ?

    EarlofBarnet
    Member

    I wouldn’t worry. The 220-age isn’t an exact marker for your maximum heart rate.

    Your resting HR seems high though, when you taking this reading? Think the guide is to read to when you get up in the morning or just before you go to bed.

    As long as you’re not getting any pain in your chest or feeling light headed you should be fine.

    alexathome
    Member

    I’ve had LOADS of heart issues over the last 18 months, so have had a lot of test, echo’ mri’s etc, as well as reading a lot on the subject. One thing that i know now is that everyone has different heart rates, even if they are the same age, same weight, doing exactly the same thing. I’m 37 and my heart won’t go above 185, yet I know a guy well into his 40’s who’s will go up to 230!!!!! It depends on a great deal, genetics being a factor, muscle elasticity etc. Illness often results in a higher rate, heart size does too.

    But as above you’re resting is quite high, when are you taking it?

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    You are probably fine but I’d visit the nurse for a general health check up. Worth it.

    I did this after a dizzy spell. Ended up I had high blood pressure (I blame work related stress)

    I always had a spot on or slightly low BP.

    Now sorted mainly due to me not giving a **** about work if its going to kill me.

    I can’t get my heart over 135BPM, in a gym. Never checked it while doing proper riding. resting HR is 50 or less.

    plodtv
    Member

    I have an edge 800 also, found the zones it told me I was in were all over the shop. I did a ‘lactate threshold test’ following a guide in a book. My zones now feel spot on, but are in different worlds to the one size fits all formulas described.

    druidh
    Member

    Don’t worry about it. I’m 53 and I regularly see figures into the 190s. I can average around 160 on a 100km ride.

    Rockhopper
    Member

    Your heart rate is what it is – if the only indication you are getting thats its very high is on your HRM then you don’t have a problem.

    Premier Icon flap_jack
    Subscriber

    Ditch the HRM. Doesn’t tell you anything useful. Get a Power Meter.

    80 bpm! Sounds pretty hi, mine is half that. 😯
    Maybe get it checked out?

    Gasman Jim
    Member

    These HR zones are only a guide. If you’re asymptomatic and as long as you’re in sinus rhythm these slightly higher readings are insignificant. Feel your pulse, is it regular? If it’s irregular then a trip to the GP is in order.

    The advice about getting your blood pressure checked at your age is sound.

    80 bpm! Sounds pretty hi, mine is half that. 😯
    Maybe get it checked out?

    deepo
    Member

    220-age is for Mr average, a well trained heart can take more 🙂

    rexated
    Member

    measure your resting heart rate lying in bed first thing in the morning, not hype’d up just before you start riding.

    39yrs, and max heart rate of 194

    i’d not be worried if i were in your shoes, as long as heartbeat is regular like matey said above…

    kcr
    Member

    If you are concerned about your health, please consult your doctor. No one on an internet forum is qualified to tell you you are OK or not OK if they have not examined you personally.

    DT78
    Member

    I had the same worries when I started using a hrm. Borrowed a mates to check. 33, resting gt around 50, max is 202. On a 1.5 hr hard ride (like a gorrick) I average around 185!

    oldgit
    Member

    I’d not worry if all else is good.
    I’ve had a high HR for decades, but only last year did I get it checked out.
    I’m 51 and have a max of 168. My old resting was about 78. However after the hospital putting my mind at rest after weeks of tests my resting dropped to 58.
    We are all different, a low rate on it’s own means nothing, a lot of very ill people have low rates. My wife who has long term illness has a HR of about 40.
    So in my case I have a small window of readings i.e it took nearly 45 minutes on a tread mill to get my HR to 90. And during a race a few weeks back whilst going for it on my last lap I recorded a high of 165.

    Edit; I record my readings at todays race. And I’m still a bit under the weather.

    Double edit; I’m sorry I should have said they detected that thing where the valves aren’t in synch. Only minor though.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    So the hidden question.

    If you’re healthy can you push yourself into a heart attack by maintaining too high a HR level, or does your performance simply fade away and get lightheaded, see spots etc?

    dasnut
    Member

    you are about 7x more likely to have a heart attack when you are exercising (although being fit reduces your overall chance of having a heart attack)

    linky

    on the other hand, you’re going to die anyway so it may as well being doing something you like (assuming you like bike riding)

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    The guys in that link had coronary heart disease.

    Assuming you don’t have anything existing wrong with your heart, can you kill yourself by pushing yourself at high HRs?

    dasnut
    Member

    simple fact is that the more you push your heart, the greater the risk

    linky

    The last thing on my list of things to do is try dying, if you wanna live forever then you will die trying….

    dangerousdan
    Member

    There can be massive differences between people quite naturally. I’m pretty average I think – around 55 resting, can quite happily go up to 180odd on steep climbs.

    One of my regular riding buddies must have the genes of a hamster as he’s always 20bpm higher than me. Another of my mates must be Miguel Indurain’s bastard son with a HR that’s always 20bpm lower than mine (he’s one of those naturally fit and strong SOBs…).

    Having dabbled with HRMs for years, I no longer bother with one. Perceived effort is as good as anything for muggles in my view.

    Premier Icon cakefacesmallblock
    Subscriber

    I was told a few years back, by my GP that the old 220 less your age is a good guide, but, plotted on agraph , the reality wouldn’t be a constant curve although not far out, she suggested that it would more than likely hold good for the 25 to 40 age group . Given good general health.

    oldgit
    Member

    Sorry forgot to set the HRM on the start line, delays you see and I drifted off.

    gwaelod
    Member

    Smarticus

    you must be able to set the HR function on the 800 to your own maximum heart rate surely, rather than to an arbitrary and often wrong 220-age type setting.

    Do your own Maximum heart rate test and then set that in the machine instead of accepting the default.

    Another thought…is it telling you that you are cycling outside the zone you have elected to cycle in?…ie 70-80% of Max HR for aerobic training or some such.

    I have been considering buying an 800, but after reading the manual online – the HR functions are very poorly covered and I can’t work out whether or not it will allow you to set up say 2 or 3 different heart rate zones, with alarms when you cross from one to another, or design wworkouts so it reminds you to cycle at say 10min in level 1 followed by 5 mins at level2.

    Cos of this I’m thinking of spending less money on an edge 500…which seems to have more comprehensive set of heart rate stuff (and the whole power meter thing too)

    Note…you could die while doing a max heart rate test

    dyls
    Member

    I’ve just ordered an edge 500 over the weekend, I think the mapping is the only difference but I only need it for training.

    Not sure what my max is but regularly get over 180 on rides without pushing to exhaustion, so I’d guess max hr would be slightly higher. Resting hr is around 48.

    +1 for the power meter- I don’t have one (out of my price range) but they are far more accurate than HR which can be affected by how much sleep/caffeine you have had in 24hours.

    As a secondary note to the power meter, get a proper physiological test done (lactate threshold, aerobic threshold, VO2max and the like) which will give you personalised data to set up the zones you should be riding in.

    oldgit
    Member

    Do you really need all that info for non competative riding?

    DT78
    Member

    You can set your max hr on the 800. Not sure about how many zones you can set. I,ve only got 1 set at 180. Which is basically just to tell me to calm down a bit. I,ve found much more than 5 mins at 180 sustained and I keel over, see stars etc… I find riding with a hr really useful.

    Premier Icon beinbhan
    Subscriber

    The only heart rate no to worry about is 0 if you hit that your **** 😆

    Premier Icon glenh
    Subscriber

    rupertpostlethwaite – Member
    80 bpm! Sounds pretty hi, mine is half that.
    Maybe get it checked out?

    Normal resting heart rate is 60-90 bmp, so 80 is nothing to worry about.

    Premier Icon paul4stones
    Subscriber

    As above – if you’re worried see a doctor.

    However, I’m a dentist (:-)) and I run regularly with a couple of doctors. We’re all about the same age but our HRs vary hugely. I’ve only just got a cheap HR from Aldi recently but find my resting is about 56 and so far haven’t got a max above 167. I’m 42. Last wednesday I and my 46yr old GP mate ran a PB on our regular run – we’re about the same fitness but his max was 178, mine was 165; his average was 173, mine 157. Like yours, his seems to rise much more rapidly than mine.

    Raising your HR will cause trouble if you’re ill but assuming you’re well then it’s fine. Your heart won’t explode or anything when it gets to max it just stops becoming efficient as a pump so you have to slow down. If you’re shifting the blood round more quickly then if you’ve potential clots in your arteries then you may have more chance of dislodging them I guess but in healthy people it’s fine.

    The heart is a muscle. Chest pain on exercise is a sign of coronary artery disease – the muscle is painful in the same way your legs are if you run or cycle up a hill for example – usually the blood flow to the heart muscle itself is restricted so it hurts. Chest pain when your exercising is something to worry about, variations in HR compared with your mates isn’t. HTH

    Premier Icon sprocker
    Subscriber

    my wife works in that trade and says do not worry unless you are feeling ill effects, everybodies bodies are different and the figures quoted are just guides. She says if you go up to 180 that is your max heart rate. 80 is just your resting rate and although fitter people are generally lower that is not set in stone.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    It’s meaningless. The guides are just averages. Tendency towards higher or lower rates is genetic, it’s just how you are.

    My threshold (30 minute max pace) HR is abotu 183 or so, I know a bloke who wipes the floor with me on the road but his HR won’t go above about 150 when trying as hard as he can.

    samuri
    Member

    The only heart rate no to worry about is 0 if you hit that your ****

    +1

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    What you are after in terms of performance is a good range from your resting to your max – sounds like you are a high beater all around but still a good range between the two.

    I’m naturally the opposite and quite a low beater but still with a reasonable range. I ran into a few problems a few years ago when still competing lots and quite fit. Talk of “enlarged” heart from cycling etc or maybe a virus, they never really worked it out. My problem was my resting heart rate got daft at times (16bpm) and it started doing weird things when I drank especially after exercise dropping even lower so I’d pass out. I became a lightweight fainting flounce! I’d say the time to make sure you get things checked out is if you notice a change in behaviour.

    Premier Icon Radioman
    Subscriber

    Heres my little story on my heart … Im 49years old and after a recent ECG at a company medical I had a “worried urgent” call from the doctor. He said he was about to go away for the weekend but felt he should warn me as they were worried about my test. The electrical heart signals were peaky and indicative of some potential problem.

    He told me not to get my heart above 120bpm and walk but not run anywhere!! He knew I was a keen cyclist ….I said that wld be hard as I had a 1hr ride home from work and an approx. 3hr XC ride the next day. Anyway it worried me and I saw a cardiologist the next week. They did an ECG as well as an ultrasound scan to check to see if there was any thickening of the heart muscle which could be indicated by my peaky ECG. The cardiologist said the my heart was in great shape and all fine and nothing to worry about.

    I would have been even more worried if a non medical mate hadn’t already warned me that its quite common in people who do a lot of endurance sport to have the peaky electrical signal. My resting in daytime is about 57BPM but flat out about 188bpm. As said above it seems to vary widely with different individuals .

    Andyhilton
    Member

    If you’re worried I’d get it checked. It’ll probably be nothing but better safe than sorry.

    Having said that I’ve been putting off getting an ECG done.

    MHRs are just theory used to calculate an aerobic training zone. Everyone is different, some beat high some beat low. And yes you can beat over your “max” without exploding. As long as you are not getting chest pains or dizzyness etc. High exercising rate can be a sign of an iron deficiency though so you might want to look into that.

    If you want to estimate aerobic training zones IMO this is a better method.

    Maffetone Method (in a nutshell).

    180 minus your age.

    Place yourself in one of the following.

    A) Never trained, recovering from major illness, injury, surgery or taking meds subtract 10

    B) Training but falling short of goals or workout routine is inconsistent; if you have suffered injury or had 2 or more colds or flu in past 12 months subtract 5

    C) Been training consistently for 12 months and have measured progression and achieved goals; not had injuries or more than 2 colds subtract 0.

    D) “Competing”, sustained improvements over 2 years, no injuries or more than 2 colds add 5.

    The theory is that if you mostly stick to these zones you steadily progress while minimising the risk of injury, exhaustion or illness.

    Do a MAF test every three to four weeks. Basically a time trial maintaining your HR as above. As you progress HR stays the same but the time trial gets faster. Graph it. When you plateau its time to do speed work.

    lazybike
    Member

    I had a conversation about heart rates with a friend who time trials, he did a sub 50 25 in his early 50’s…..so steve do you use a hrm, I tried one, don’t bother now…why’s that..I don’t care what its reading I’m not slowing down.

    rkk01
    Member

    44 – Have been gradually increasing my max HR over the last 18 months, as I increase my bike fitness. Up from high 160s / low 170s to mid 180s.

    I use a Garmin 500, and gradually tweak the HR zones based on what the unit reports back to me. eg, have recently dropped resting HR from 60 to 55.

    Have always wondered about getting a max HR test done. Is this something the mediacal profession need to do, or would a well fitted out gym have the kit (and expertise)??

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