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Hight Heartrate, genuine or faulty HRM?

ewan323ewan323 Posts: 15
edited April 2009 in Health, fitness & training
Just recently got a Cateye HR200 and have notice my heartrate sits really high compared to others I ride with. I've reached 202 bpm after a hard climb but I did not feel as if I was exerting myself too much I was still able to talk though I was breathing hard. and I regularly sit up in the 190's. As soon as I get on the bike my heart rate seens to sit at least up a 140, even when gentle cycling, this does not drop below 110 much. on a 3 1/2 hour ride tonight I averaged 163 over he cycling time.
I have tried the meter on in the morning just after waking and its read down to 58 when resting at this time. I don't know if its the unit thats faulty or if I just run with an elevated rate compared to others.

I should mention i'm 26, 12 1/2 stone 5'11" . Been cycling for about a year and a half though I've upped my efforts a lot since the beginning of winter and. I'm usually out three times a week 20 miles at a time of fast pace XC with plenty of decent climbs with longer rides on a weekend. I wasn't in the best of fitness before I started cycling but I think I'm getting there now and even when my heart rate is up at this I do not feel exhausted I can keep it up there for a while.


  • Ditch WitchDitch Witch Posts: 837
    Heart rates are like opinions. Everyone has one and their all subtly different.

    HR is affected by all kinds of things like ambient temperature, fuelling, hydration and how rested you are.

    202 does seem high, but it's not impossible, particularly on a hard climb. Provided it quickly drops again, I wouldn't worry about it.

    The way Joe Friel (triathlon coach) explains it, your body's HR will leap when it needs to quickly access quick release fuel. At this stage, you will burning almost pure glycogen, so it's difficult to maintain that high HR for more than a few minutes. It's like Nitro :lol:

    The only way to alter that is to do lots more long, slow climbs which will make your body more efficient at burning fat as fuel. But, a b.stard of a climb is going to hurt, no matter how fit you are :lol:

    Your resting HR is very good, so I wouldn't stress it. Just keep wearing the monitor and get to know how you work :)
    I ride like a girl
    Start: 16.5.x Now: 14.10.8 Goal: 11.7.x
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  • GraydawgGraydawg Posts: 673
    The key to this is what is quoted below.
    Provided it quickly drops again,

    As long as your HR drops back quickly then I wouldn't worry about it ;)

    Don't get obsessed with the numbers - I did that with my BP and it gets a little OCD.... :roll:
    It's been a while...
  • myopicmyopic Posts: 692
    I think your theoretical max heart rate is 220 -your age. This has pretty much worked for me all my life (I'm now 48). In extreme bursts you can exceed the theoreticial max, but usually only for very small periods as other factors tend to kick in and slow it down again, lack of oxygen and missed beats being the most common. Not usually a problem. Note also that your heart is not at its most effiecnt when working at its maximum.

    Basically the fitter you are, the lower your resting heart rate and the faster it will return to normal after exercise. The lower it is at rest, the more spare capacity you have avaiable when you need it. Of course, as the rest of your fitness and strength improves, your heart deosn't need to work as hard anyway, so older riders with a good level of fitness for years may not actually have a heart rate as high as yours.

    That said I've had occasional problems with my Polar HRM reading things whcih I know are impossible (eg max recorded as 230bpm) but only when I've been out on my bike, never in the gym, spinning classes or running outdoors. I think this might be attributabel to interference from something I've ridden past or under (power cables? Or from my mobile phone.
    You don't need eyes to see, you need vision
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Heart rates really do very between people. Resting pulse can be high in some individuals who are incredibly fit, or low in unfit people, but the general trend is the lower the fitter you are.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Miguel Indurain RHR was 28bpm!!!!
  • Ditch WitchDitch Witch Posts: 837
    28! :shock:

    The 220-age thing is theory at best and, while it does work for some people, should not be taken as gospel. HR is too personal a thing.

    The only way to be sure is to take a HR test which involves warming up, then going like the clappers for 10 minutes. But your cycling max will be lower than your running max, for example.

    HR, like metoblism, is one of those things that just doesn't follow simple rules.
    I ride like a girl
    Start: 16.5.x Now: 14.10.8 Goal: 11.7.x
    Specialized HardRock Pro Disc 04
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    There are some other forumlae too, but all of them have a degree of error and a SD.

    My RHR used to be 48, but is artificially low now due to beta blockers.
  • JoycieJoycie Posts: 127
    or get someone else to test who normally wears another type of HRM and see if they notice a difference?
  • Ditch WitchDitch Witch Posts: 837
    Oh sure, come up with a technical solution, why don't you. What's the fun in that? :lol:
    I ride like a girl
    Start: 16.5.x Now: 14.10.8 Goal: 11.7.x
    Specialized HardRock Pro Disc 04
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