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Heart rate and exercise induced raised blood pressure

orraloonorraloon Posts: 7,579
Wondering if anyone has insight or links to a 'simple' guide on how to gauge exercise intensity vs raising systolic blood pressure 'too much'. Been digging around, found lots of scientific papers but, conscious that this is a how long is a piece of string question, I'm trying to work out if / how I should adapt my training to keep HR below certain level to reduce the effects of high blood pressure spikes.

Context. 18 months ago I suffered a popped vein in my eye, a Branch Vein Retinal Occlusion to give it its full name, consultants reckon likely that the cause was raised blood pressure and a weak point in the vein wall. Been through eye treatment programme which was showing good progress, also been prescribed amlodipine to manage blood pressure though I may only have white coat syndrome and get stress induced BP spikes such as when a nurse reads my BP, home monitor readings are in normal range. However, this week got hit by another haemorrhage in the same eye, which is a total pi55er, back to the start on the treatments.

To the issue. I discussed with the eye emergency doctor whether I could have caused this 2nd burst by putting in too much effort on the TT through the winter. I'd been following BC exercise regimes, enjoying them, doing sessions 3-4 times a week, feeling the benefit. Recently been doing the sweet spot intervals, staying in low HRZ4 for the hard work parts. Asked him if this was too much for my eye problem. Of course, he couldn't give me a definite answer, but suggested that I do reduce the intensity. I'm off to see the GP practice nurse on Monday for my 6 monthly tests and review, but doubt will get much informed input.

I'm wrestling with what to do with the TTraining. Is there a linear type relationship between heart rate and systolic BP? Is there a danger zone? Do I just drop my efforts down to say stay in zone 3 and not push HR higher? I don't want to back off and drop fitness unless I am putting myself at risk.

Awkward eh. Views welcome.


  • hdowhdow Posts: 163
    I don't think you find any published information on the topic. It would be difficult to control the research and possibly too much work

    However there is some stuff out there. As you start to exercise increases in systolic blood pressure are blunted by blood vessel dilation which allows the blood to flow easier to the working muscles. So always do a really thorough and progressive warm up before any hard workout to get those vessels dilated - get those cheeks rosy and a bit sweaty. This is only a guess but building your training towards race intensities over time may help improve this vasodilation response.

    Also, thinner blood flows better so keep properly hydrated
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