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2123 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 3, 2010 8:22 AM by ADub71 RSS
xm41907 Amateur 15 posts since
Jan 26, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 2, 2010 10:00 AM

Heart rate questions

I've been reading about heart rates and have some questions.  I hope my fellow active.com members can help me out.  First, a little background.  I'm a 33 year old male that is trying to get back in shape.  In high school I ran cross country, track, and played basketball.  I wasn't the best but around average.  My PR for a 5k was 20:11.  Since then, I've sporadically ran.  Putting in a few months here and there with a 5K thrown in every few years.  The last 3 years, I haven't run at all.  I developed gout and found it extremely difficult to run.  Well with changes in diet and daily herbal supplements, I no longer suffer from gout and have been trying to get back in shape for about a month.  The last three weeks I joined a gym and have been alternating between an exercise bike and the treadmill.  This is the first time I've been watching my heart rate.  I never did before.

 

So now to the question.  I've always had a relatively low heart rate. I have a standing heart rate of around 50 bmp.  However, when I'm working out and check it, it quickly jumps up to around 105.  From there, depending on how hard I'm working I'll get it up to around 130-150 at a steady pace without feeling like I'm over doing it on the bike.  The same thing on a treadmill pushes it up to 160-170. If I really push myself it gets up to 160-170 on the bike and 170-180 on the treadmill.  From what I can gather this is too high.  But I don't feel I'm really pushing myself hard enough through most of my workouts.  Should I back off and do what I feel is a moderate workout, or is it ok to push myself up into the 160-170s?  I don't want to have a heart attack but I'd like to feel like I got a good workout.   Thanks in advance for your input!

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,332 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Mar 2, 2010 11:17 AM (in response to xm41907)
    Re: Heart rate questions

    There is another thread on Newbie Cafe called "Heart Rate Too High", that has links to another thread where heart rate was discussed in more depth.  There is also a link to an article on Marathon Guide about calculating and using training zones.  It's definitely worth reading.

     

    Your MHR will vary depending on the type of exercise you are doing.  Generally, MHR is higher for running than for cycling, so you can't really compare the two.  You should not be doing every workout at a high intensity.  You workout hard one day, then do an easy recovery workout the next.  It's also recommended to take at least one complete rest day each week - no workout.  Admittedly, "hard" is relative.  And your MHR may be higher than the formulas predict.  So perceived exertion may work better for you until you have a chance to run a test to find out your true maximum.

     

    Len





    Len

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,332 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Mar 2, 2010 12:13 PM (in response to xm41907)
    Re: Heart rate questions

    I wasn't sure from your posts how much you knew / didn't know.

     

    BTW, if you see a number higher than your MHR, that's your new MHR.

     

    Len





    Len

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,332 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Mar 2, 2010 1:40 PM (in response to xm41907)
    Re: Heart rate questions

    Each time you hit a new age group you have a chance to set new PRs!  I ran a 25 minute 5K about 4 years ago (age 57).  So now you have something to shoot for when you're 57.

     

    Len





    Len

  • cmon2 Amateur 20 posts since
    Feb 26, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Mar 2, 2010 6:10 PM (in response to xm41907)
    Re: Heart rate questions

    oh, god, there is so many ways to traing using a HRM that I can't begin to list them.

     

    as you are just a beginner, feel free to go by perceived exertion, but maybe later you'll want to look into HR based training.

     

    as for doing heavy vs moderate workout. if you do heavy workout, then give yourself a lot of rest after that (rest day, etc.) the harder your workout was the more rest. but you'll want to run at least 3 times a week if you want to achieve anything - so find your balance

  • ADub71 Rookie 3 posts since
    Jan 22, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Mar 3, 2010 8:16 AM (in response to xm41907)
    Re: Heart rate questions

    As an experienced runner, I wouldn't worry too much about what the HRM says.  Use it as a guide, much like you use your RPE.  I use both to vector in on my workouts.  Since you know how to train, keep doing that.  On easy days, use the HRM to keep your HR lower than 144.  Notice your RPE on those days.  When you do intervals or a race, notice what your HR does at different RPEs.  You'll get to a point where you can tell what your effort is without looking at the HRM, which is good practice for the days you forget the HRM or it doesn;t work properly (windy days really mess mine up).  I can usually guess within 1 bpm what my HR is, then I look at my watch.  I only use my HRM for hard workouts and races.  I know what easy feels like.

     

    Also, note that for your LSD runs, you have cardiac creep effect.  In essence, if you could run a 6 minute mile for an hour, your HR will slowly drift up at a constant pace.  You might start at 170, then after a few miles, you'll notice it's at around 173-175.  near the end, you'd be around 178-180.

     

    hope this helps.

  • ADub71 Rookie 3 posts since
    Jan 22, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Mar 3, 2010 8:22 AM (in response to xm41907)
    Re: Heart rate questions

    I've read throught the rest of the thread.  Some helpful hints - the HRM readout on the treadmill etc. is usually 1-3 beats higher than if you had a wrist unit.

    I would recommend for running on a treadmilll that you set the incline at 1.0%, since you have no wind resistance, this will simulate the wind.

     

    And on the bike, your HRM will be about 5-10 beats lower than the same RPE on a run.  However, if you train alot on the bike, you can get your bike HR and run HR to be about the same...I used to also race bikes, and found this out.  This is great if you ever want to do a tri or dualathlon.  Also, if you ride a stationary bike, your HR will be about 20-30 beats lower than if you were riding outside.  so don't try to match your HR level inside on the bike, go by RPE.

     

    If you do buy a HRM with a wrist unit, don;t buy the special lube cream for the chest strap.  I just use some spit to pre-wet it. Once you start sweating, you'll have more than enough water to keep it going.

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