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Running heart rate

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 girlymonkey 10 Mar 2020

I have a Garmin watch with a heart rate monitor. I often have a wee look at my heart rate after a run, just because I find it interesting. I deduce no real info from it other than some runs make my heart beat faster than others and I like the pretty heart rate graph!

Is there an advantage to pushing so that your heart rate rockets or keeping it lower? Does it make any real difference? It went up to 200bpm today, whereas my normal top is around 170 - 180. My resting heart rate is usually mid to high 50s, sleeping is mid 40s. Does this mean anything or did I just run a bit harder and that's fine?

 petemeads 10 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

If the watch has an optical sensor, the 200+ reading is probably spurious. My old heart peaks at 165 according to the HR strap I use but that would be for a sprint finish at 5k, my fancy Fenix with optical HR leapt to 188 whilst jogging steadily uphill a few weeks ago - rubbish!

I am happy to accept optical data whilst walking, I put the strap on when running and biking. The strap also tells me how my stride is balanced L/R and how much I am bouncing up and down, an added benefit for a little extra discomfort.

MrsPete uses a Scosche optical sensor on her upper arm, this sometimes locks onto cadence rather than HR and reads 170-175 for a few minutes at the start of a run. 

Don't worry!

 Roadrunner6 10 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

200 is high, but it's possible.

I use a HRM to control easy runs rather than to run hard. I use pace when running hard but afterwards check HR data.

But if I'm out for an easy 10 miler and I'm running easy which is 7:30-7:40 pace and my HR is 130 or so, I back off. For me 130 bpm is high and a run when I'm normally running at sub 7 min mile pace. Typically I'm either stressed, ill or tired if it is too high for tha effort level.

In a hard race I'm at 145-155, depending on the length of the race and my max is around 163 or so by the looks of it.

Don't get too concerned with how high or low yours is in relation to other people's HR. It really doesn't mean that much.

 tlouth7 10 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Heart rate is a tool that is often used to tailor effort levels, rather than an end in itself. You aim to run intervals at some specified heart rate zone not because there is a benefit to making your heart go that fast, but because there is a benefit to running at the effort level that results in that heart rate.

Generally if you wish to increase the speed at which the sudden increase in HR occurs (the anaerobic threshold) then you will need to do some training above this threshold. If your running occurs well below this and you want to increase the time you can go for (e.g. marathon training) then there is little need to ever go above it.

PS the two commenters above me seem to have extremely low max heart rates. In my youth I regularly got to 210 with a chest strap, nowadays more like 200. 

Post edited at 13:47
 Roadrunner6 10 Mar 2020
In reply to tlouth7:

Yeah mine is low, but a good friend who is a similar fitness has a similar low RHR, yet his max is 180. I've a longer history in running but its just so variable. Another friend who is mid 40s can hit 190+. It's why HR tables are pretty meaningless unless they suit you by chance.

I now follow mine out of interest.

Re dodgy data, mine seems to take about half a mile to settle down, so I just look at general patterns, not the average unless the whole data set looks good. Odd spikes of 180 or so early on seem common but it slowly settles back, I think as it moves around a bit and gets a regular signal. Like others I wonder if it's getting confused with cadence.

 gazhbo 10 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

I would take the Garmin readings with a massive pinch of salt.  Mine still gives a reading on the handlebar of my bike!  I think when running they often record cadence rather than heart rate.

 stevevans5 10 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

As others have said, it depends what your goals are. If you want to get faster then you'll need to push it (in a safe and measured way). This will either be running at your threshold level and/or intervals where you push higher for a short period of time. On the Garmin site there are loads of training plans you can send to your watch with the heart rate zones to aim for, some of these could be a good start? 

Agree with the above comment about accuracy though, my forerunner optical heart rate is very inaccurate for me, I have the chest sensor which works well.

 girlymonkey 10 Mar 2020
In reply to petemeads:

I have always wondered how accurate the actual numbers are but assumed they are mostly consistent with themselves. Maybe not though!

My big jump today was at the end of a long (for me) run before breakfast, so I could believe it as my body may well have been starting to struggle by then. I was certainly aware of my heart pounding as I went up over the railway bridge.

I wasn't worried, just intruiged!

 girlymonkey 10 Mar 2020
In reply to stevevans5:

My goals are to be able to run a Munro by the end of the year. Not sure what that means for heart rate! Lol

I guess I was wondering whether it meant my fitness was improving if I was able to keep pushing a bit more than usual to get my heart rate up higher than usual or whether it was a sign that my body was struggling more than usual!

 petemeads 10 Mar 2020
In reply to tlouth7:

My low max HR is probably because I am 69...

In reply to gazhbo:

I have a Tomtom watch and the optical heartrate sensor seems very good. Hardly ever a rogue reading and the recorded rate usually climbs progressively from 140s to 160s as I get tireder and have to work harder, so it's very unlikely it's reading anything it shouldn't be.

 SebCa 10 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

A good general guide for HRMAX is 220- your age.

As others have said if its optical don't worry too much about it, I use HR training in quite a big way for long runs and find it balances my body and keeps me basically ticking over. 

When you do some reading on the subject most people who don't use a HR monitor to train predominantly train in Zone 3 which is above your endurance zone. 

HR can also be a great tool for knowing when you body just needs a rest! 

But there is also a lot to be said about running to feel, listen to your body and encourage rest where appropriate. But I will still be going to my intervals session tonight with my HR monitor on and Foot pod!

5
 Wainers44 10 Mar 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

It's more relevant to use the Garmin to just compare how your HR varies,  accepting that the thing should at least be consistently inaccurate,  ish!

I know that mine typically records my resting at 38 to 42, varied normally by what time I eat and how warm it is. When running my HR is consistently 130, but in warm weather that can go to 140. How that does or doesn't compare with others isn't really that important!

 wbo2 10 Mar 2020
In reply to SebCa:

> A good general guide for HRMAX is 220- your age.

No, it's very inaccurate.   If you train using bad data to set limits then its likely less effective than not using it at all

1
 Roadrunner6 10 Mar 2020
In reply to wbo2:

Exactly, it works by chance with some people but if I tried to hit those zones from that I'd be dead.

1
 Yanis Nayu 10 Mar 2020
In reply to wbo2:

Yep, I reckon it’s wrong more than it’s right. I’m 49 and my max HR is 195. 

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