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  • What heart monitor?
  • Premier Icon Rich_s
    Full Member

    Following my run in with Covid earlier this year, I’m struggling to get past some of the after effects.

    I’ve tried to go for short rides (30-60 mins tops) but have tended to get quite wobbly legged, light headed etc. I’m wondering whether I’m riding out the door and pushing my HR up too much (I’ve never been the fittest rider and this year has knocked me for 6).

    Bought myself a cheapy watch with HR which doesn’t seem to monitor it closely enough so I’m thinking a chest one would be best. With some sort of way of seeing or alarming when I go over a certain HR.

    So – any recommendations for what to look for? Not looking to break the bank. I don’t use gps. I don’t have my phone mounted on the bars.

    Is there such a thing as a chest sensor that feedsback to a bar mount/wrist mount giving HR in real time? Or one that’ll beep when I hit X bpm?

    Thoughts very welcome!

    Premier Icon nixie
    Full Member

    This question comes up regularly. There have been at least two threads in the part week or two. Worth searching those out.

    Decathlon geonaute fwiw.

    Edit chest Hrms are just senders. The device you connect to would do the alert. Have alerts for a given heart rate is pretty standard as you need it for zone training.

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    Cheap Garmin 500 and HR via ANT will work fine for immediate bar mounted HR. You can set the window just to look at HR numbers and even a graph with time (I like that one!). I pace distance time trials using HR and power, never speed. You can link a chest strap to watches too. I don’t, I use an Apple Watch now which isn’t bad but can be a bit glitchy to get going.

    Premier Icon susepic
    Free Member

    Something like a polar m430 w a chest strap is quite good. You can set up zone alarms, or can set up a zone indicator lke a rev counter which shows your current HR zone and when you move between them.

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Free Member

    I’ve tried to go for short rides (30-60 mins tops) but have tended to get quite wobbly legged, light headed etc. I’m wondering whether I’m riding out the door and pushing my HR up too much (I’ve never been the fittest rider and this year has knocked me for 6).

    Honestly, I think you need to talk to your GP instead of buying a heart rate monitor. Sure, it might give you a number at which you feel “light-headed and wobbly”, but that doesn’t help with the fairly fundamental issue that you probably shouldn’t feel like that to begin with.

    Premier Icon HoratioHufnagel
    Free Member

    100% go and see your GP, they can lend you medical grade devices to check this sort of thing if necessary. They’ve lent me a portable ECG for 2 weeks.

    or else, Polar H10 seems to be the gold standard.

    Premier Icon Rich_s
    Full Member

    I’m already down the GP and monitoring route. Generally I’m “fine” but seeing some symptoms which come up sporadically and may be linked to other medical things that have cropped up since Covid. Thanks for the pointers – I will go investigate…

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    I’ve tried to go for short rides (30-60 mins tops) but have tended to get quite wobbly legged, light headed etc. I’m wondering whether I’m riding out the door and pushing my HR up too much (I’ve never been the fittest rider and this year has knocked me for 6).

    A few thoughts based on my joyous 14 months or so of long covid. One is that what you’re experiencing seems pretty normal for long haulers, I don’t pretend to know all the scientific stuff, but a lot of us find that there’s a – relatively low – HR which is sustainable, go higher and you get shaky, crash etc.

    One theory is that the impact of the illness massively lowers your aerobic threshold, so you inadvertently find yourself working anaerobically far lower down the rev range than would normally be the case. On bike sessions I currently sit at a pitiful 100bpm or so, which is incredibly low for me in pre-covid shape, but works and is sustainable. I’m recovering not training.

    It’s quite possible that even at what you think is a relatively low effort, you’re actually going too hard. What HR limit are you riding to? I’d maybe throttle it back and then gradually up it and listen hard to your body.

    I’d also suggest that you take it very easy and very cautiously at this point. Quite a few long haulers overdid things early on in their recovery and this seems to have contributed. I know I did, even though at the time I thought I was going very easy.

    It’s much easier to keep effort low walking rather than riding, I did that for months before getting back on the bike indoors.

    As far as HR alarms etc go, I use a Wahoo Elmnt on the bike set up so it shows just current HR and average HR. If I’m walking, I bluetooth a chest strap to my phone and use an app called Heart Graph which gives and audible alarm, vibrates and can also be set to speak your HR once you hit your chosen limit. It’s nothing special, but it does work. If I’m walking up a steep and go over limit for more than 30 seconds or so, I simply stop and recover, let my HR drop, then go again.

    Don’t know if that’s any help. Everyone’s different, but it sounds like you simply may not be ready to ride a bike yet. How do you feel if you go for a walk?

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    ps: in the post-covid scheme of things, 30-60 minutes isn’t ‘short’. I’d start with maybe 10 or 15 minutes then increase from there.

    Premier Icon Rich_s
    Full Member

    How do you feel if you go for a walk?

    Generally “ok” when walking. I walked 30-60mins a day for a couple of weeks but got bored. Only issue I had was walking and talking at the same time! I can maintain my usual pace apart from steep hills where I do struggle, but the issues are legs and lungs I think rather than heart.

    The HR monitor I have seems useless, which is why I’m looking for a chest one. TBH they don’t seem too pricy so I may just go for a polar one. And link it to a phone in my pocket.

    It’s all part of the great joy of that virus – but at the same time I might get a better insight into building up fitness rather than just assuming what I got, I got.

    Also, had a chat with a friend who works in an icu who told me that they have a fair few patients in their care who are marginally conscious, on ventilators, and their lungs have “hardened” (I think she said fibrosis?) due Covid, and she was very gloomy about their prospects. I consider myself lucky, even if there’s a struggle ahead.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Full Member

    The Polar OH1 arm mounted HR monitor is (arguably) more comfortable than a chest strap. There will be those along to say they are not as accurate as chest straps but mine seems to respond pretty quickly. As nixie says you need some sort of receiver – bike head unit, watch, smartphone.

    Premier Icon sparksmcguff
    Full Member

    A couple of weeks back ended up in the emergency department hooked up to a load of monitors (suspected collapsed lung caused by exercise 😅). After a few hours felt more relaxed so started to pay attention to the monitors. Turns out the heart rate monitor on my Garmin watch is pretty accurate. At least that night it was.

    Premier Icon Rich_s
    Full Member

    Well, I’ve ended up with a polar H10 linked to my phone via the polar beat app. Tried it twice; hit 124bpm strolling home with the kids from school. And just now a 5km ride with a very inexperienced kid, so we were stop / start and went for a play in the local woods.
    Hit 164bpm. Hmmm.
    We were out for an hour and 38 mins of it was above 120bpm. Hmmm. Considering probably 40 mins was stopped!
    Thanks for the advice on what to get – going to get out in the week on my own and see what readings I can hit.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    I had a very elevated HR after covid last March, would clip up to almost 140bpm just walking up a single flight of stairs. It gradually normalised over the course of a few months, which is more than can be said for the rest of me. I’d be keeping an eye on HR post-exercise as well. Mine was stupidly high by my standards after not very much at all, would sit at 90bpm sat on the sofa – normally would have been mid 40s to 50s. Hopefully you’ll be a bit less trashed than me 🙂

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