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HR too high?!?

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Old 03-08-2013, 09:42 PM   #1
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Question HR too high?!?

Sigh...why do I do this? I have been happily plugging along with my workouts for almost two years now. And then I bought a heart rate monitor this week...

I don't really care how many calories I burn, because I maintain by listening to my body, etc. But I have really been struggling with my workouts, because I always feel like I am fatiguing so easily, and/or that my output is way too high so early into a class like Boot Camp.

I look around during classes (I take a huge variety) and it always "seems" like I am working harder, but who knows? I am type A and I cannot bring it down from 110% ever. it's almost embarrassing, because I will burn out and have to leave a class early. The instructors are always like, "You should be at a 6 out of 10 now." And I'm thinking, "SERIOUSLY?? 1-9 exists? I'm dying already!"

So I took a Zumba class today. My fave, but not my usual Instructor. I got a good workout, I wouldn't call it "crazy". My average HR for the hour was 175. high rate was 197. I am a 31.


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Old 03-08-2013, 10:49 PM   #2
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That's me too. Sometimes the formulas are *way* off in the case of average heart rate for some people. When I first bought mine, I was running an 8k and had almost exactly what you had: 198 at the end of the race.

It's possible the monitor had a weird spike, which occasionally happens. My workouts now average about 165, and I hardly ever see those high numbers anymore. I've seen a lower avg when I was fitter, though. Maybe in the 180s when it is very hot outside and I'm running. But the time I had the reading like yours, I watched the thing go up and up, so it wasn't a spike. It was when I first started.

What will tell you how you're doing is a) the average heart rate, which should go down as you get fitter, and b) how high it gets when you're working hard, which should also go down over time. Also important is how long it takes your rate to go down after a workout. The less time it takes, the fitter you are. You can't compare people either because people's ranges are all different. Stupid machines are always telling me my HR is too high, but it's not for my range, and I've been keeping a spreadsheet for a long time.

Keep a record over time. That will tell you more than one reading, especially if the usual formula is off for you, and it sounds as if it is. The monitor could also help you pace yourself. I know that thing about having to go all out or nothing.

You sound like you're quite fit now, so maybe the thing is to use it to pace yourself. It's a more real measurement than feeling.

Last edited by tea2 : 03-08-2013 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:19 PM   #3
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I think that sounds a little too high. There's different formulas for determining maximum safe hear rate. Haskell and Fox =220-age, Tanaka, Monahan and Seals =208-(0.7 x age) and the most recent one I could find, Gulati which is specifically for women =206-(0.88 x age). With any of those formulas you went above the max. It might be safer to back off a little.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:34 PM   #4
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wtf? It's probably genetic. I have the heart rate of a professional tennis player. And that was when I was clocking over 280lbs. They gave me a sleep test, heart scans the works. Nadda. Just chill. Some people just tick a little quicker or slower than most.

Last edited by IanG : 03-08-2013 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:16 AM   #5
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I've trained and raced with HRM's for a very long time... and it definitely takes some time to adjust your training based on the data that you're receiving from them... but it really is worth it... especially, if you're overdoing it in your workouts... which by the way you're describing it, sounds like what might be going on...

Now I'm not sure exactly what your goals are, but I'd say if it were just a few workouts per week at that intensity than it probably wouldn't be a problem... but it sounds like all of your workouts are like that... and that's just not the most effective way to train...

It hard at first to slow down... but trust me, it really does make a difference in the end... I still have to slow down and sometimes actually even walk during some of my training runs to get my heart rate back to where it needs to be... but I just remind myself that it is serving an actual purpose... and that's that it's better for it to happen in training than to be forced to walk during a race...
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:46 AM   #6
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If you otherwise have no heart problems, there is NO DANGER is your heart rate being any number.

I am 40 and when I run my heart rate is ROUTINELY 190 BPM.

"I'm through accepting limits, cause someone says they're so. Some things I cannot change but 'til I try I'll never know!" ~ Wicked ~

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Old 03-09-2013, 04:33 PM   #7
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Thank you for the replies! Seem good ideas to ponder.

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