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Is prolonged high HR exercise bad?

sian_csian_c Posts: 101
I'm fairly new to this cycling game, but am trying to train up for doing the End to End in August. I have a fairly stressful and time-consuming job, so I don't get out on the bike perhaps as much as I'd like, but I'm trying!

I'd like to think that I'm not totally unfit, although my cardio-vascular fitness is certainly not great. I am naturally a lean build, and so don't have much body fat, but I also find it difficult to put on muscle. When I'm out on rides, even though the terrain is never that challenging (I live in Norfolk!) I find that within a very short time my HR has already rocketed to about 165 (resting ~50, max. 200??), usually not dropping below 172 a couple of hours in. It doesn't leave me feeling uncomfortable, but I'm concerned that I'm doing something wrong if it's always up that high. I don't feel like I can afford to go at a much slower pace or else I'd be going backwards :lol:

So I was just wondering if anyone had any advice on this? And what does it mean if you're doing prolonged exercise in your anaerobic zone?

Posts

  • Alex_Simmons/RSTAlex_Simmons/RST Posts: 4,161
    sian_c wrote:
    I'm fairly new to this cycling game, but am trying to train up for doing the End to End in August. I have a fairly stressful and time-consuming job, so I don't get out on the bike perhaps as much as I'd like, but I'm trying!

    I'd like to think that I'm not totally unfit, although my cardio-vascular fitness is certainly not great. I am naturally a lean build, and so don't have much body fat, but I also find it difficult to put on muscle. When I'm out on rides, even though the terrain is never that challenging (I live in Norfolk!) I find that within a very short time my HR has already rocketed to about 165 (resting ~50, max. 200??), usually not dropping below 172 a couple of hours in. It doesn't leave me feeling uncomfortable, but I'm concerned that I'm doing something wrong if it's always up that high. I don't feel like I can afford to go at a much slower pace or else I'd be going backwards :lol:

    So I was just wondering if anyone had any advice on this?
    Well since you don't know what your Max HR actually is, then I wouldn't worry about HR much unless you are at risk of heart disease and or have some form of related illness. Only your Doctor can advise you on that.

    Let your body sensations tell you if you are going too hard. You've already said the ride was not uncomfortable.

    So as long as your Doc is Ok with the sudden increase in training, then you will find that in general your HR will fall over time at same power output as your fitness improves.
    sian_c wrote:
    And what does it mean if you're doing prolonged exercise in your anaerobic zone?
    You would be dead. :lol:

    Not really. It is not possible to be truly anaerobic for anything more than a short period (e.g. how long could you swim hard underwater while holding your breath?). Your body will naturally force you to slow down and re-enter aerobic only metabolism levels.
  • Mike WillcoxMike Willcox Posts: 1,770
    Well since you don't know what your Max HR actually is, then I wouldn't worry about HR much unless you are at risk of heart disease and or have some form of related illness. Only your Doctor can advise you on that.
    Let your body sensations tell you if you are going too hard. You've already said the ride was not uncomfortable.

    So as long as your Doc is Ok with the sudden increase in training, then you will find that in general your HR will fall over time at same power output as your fitness improves.
    sian_c wrote:
    And what does it mean if you're doing prolonged exercise in your anaerobic zone?
    You would be dead. :lol:

    Not really. It is not possible to be truly anaerobic for anything more than a short period (e.g. how long could you swim hard underwater while holding your breath?). Your body will naturally force you to slow down and re-enter aerobic only metabolism levels.


    I've been training on the bike now for 6 months after 2nd heart attack last June. In April I reduced my mileage and did 16 speed sessions (too much) over a 4 week period. There are times in training when I've been flying and other times when there is nothing in the tank at all and I ride at a snail's pace. My resting HR hovers around 42/44 bpm and can go down to 38 but is very irregular after heavy training.

    The thing is that there is no data available on the internet regarding training and racing post heart attack. All that I've read indicates keeping HR below 85% max but nothing to state what happens to the heart if you go above that. In my experience so far it is possible to train as a normal person but to reduce one's expectations re performance.

    So far I've done a 50 TT 2.12.00 and a 10 TT 24.03 and both times I felt terrible but know that in training I've performed much much better. In the 50 I wanted to stop after 20 miles as I was exhausted but carried on for training purposes. In the last 10 miles I lost nearly 4 minutes to the guy who started one minute behind me.

    In the "10" my mouth became totally dry after one mile and all I wanted to do was stop? What does a GP know of such things? I believe that my heart has lost it's efficiency when beating fast. It's bloody frustrating but I shall persevere, although the 50 mile TT planned for tomorrow is not going to happen. :)
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    Heart attacks kill some heart muscle - or leave it short of oxygen - thats what bypasses are intended to rectify I believe. So after a heart attack you would be expect it to be 'cr*p' , but at the same time it will respond to training - but slow progression over a long time perhaps?
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    When you start to approach your max. heartrate there is no "prolonged" period that you will be able to stay there. Your breathing will start to become more gasping than anything else. You will find yourself trying to force the whole thing more and more while your brain
    is starting to say, enough. Your concentration on the task at hand will go all to hell rather
    quickly and you will fight to mantain control of just about everything. This is where things become sort of dangerous. You're not thinking all that clearly and could easily miss seeing that rut in the road or that oncoming car. You might not realize that you're drifting
    toward or across the road centerline. All in all you simply won't be able to stay at a
    "prolonged" max. very long even if you wanted to.

    Dennis Noward
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    Hi Sian,

    Don't want to worry you but I spent hours over my supposed max HR and didn't feel bad at all - I was chatting away to my husband etc. My previous max HR was 165 and I was over 200 but still able to breathe through my nose etc. I put it down to a faulty HR monitor, bought myself a new one and saw similar results. I've since been diagnosed with an Atrial Flutter; a non-life-threatening condition which should be fixed within about 2 months. On a typical ride, my HR goes from 50 upto 125 within about a minute and then just stays around there unless I go up a hill. If I really put in some welly it can be over 250. I'm currently under orders to not go over 120 and it feels like I'm stationary!

    I'm sure that the advice of the guys&gal above will be absolutely true for you and there are no underlying problems. However, if you're worried, perhaps it is worth getting checked just for your own peace of mind so you know that you can safely train for your big event.

    Good luck
  • richardjallenrichardjallen Posts: 691
    popette wrote:
    Hi Sian,
    If I really put in some welly it can be over 250. I'm currently under orders to not go over 120 and it feels like I'm stationary!

    250 sounds incredibly high. :shock:
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    HI Richard,
    Yes! That's what I thought too - certainly too high to be a correct reading so I ignored it, thinking it more likely due to interference from a mobile phone mast of whatever. I had good news today that there is nothing actually wrong with my heart so when I get the shock thing done, that should be the end of it and I can immediately resume full training. I'm also expecting my max HR to be return to 165 ish when I'm fixed.
    :D
  • sian_csian_c Posts: 101
    Thanks everyone for your information.
    It all sounds very 'obvious', but just needs someone to tell you! :lol:
    I'll be heading out for a good session again soon (this time with more 'energy' on board - snacks & drinks, which didn't help last time :oops: ) & will just "go with the flow".
    Happy cycling!
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