Heart rate monitoring

huwsparky

Über Member
Location
Llangrannog
Yesterday I went out for a ride and noticed my heart rate was much higher than usual. My Max from the 1000miles odd I have used one for is 191bpm.

Every ride I seem to record between 189 and 191, but yesterday I hit 198bpm. Is there an explanation for this other than the HRM not working properly? I did try hard, but then I always do. I'm a 34 year old male so 190 odd does seem about right.

I do wish I understood more about the logic/physics of heart rate monitoring!
 

Booyaa

Veteran
That does seem very high, unless you are going flat out all the time.

A higher than normal heart rate could be that you are fighting an infection of some kind. Best to get to the docs if you have any concern about your heart though.
 
OP
huwsparky

huwsparky

Über Member
Location
Llangrannog
That does seem very high, unless you are going flat out all the time.

A higher than normal heart rate could be that you are fighting an infection of some kind. Best to get to the docs if you have any concern about your heart though.
I've not been feeling the best but my heart does always seem high compared to other people I know that use one. My average yesterday on a 25 mile route was 176. It's usually between 160 and 170. I can ride all day at 160bpm with 170 being tough but sustainable on rides of up to 3.5 hrs.

I have a slow friend who I do ride with occasionally but the average speed is only 12mph, I do get quite bored riding at this pace but that keeps my hr down to about 135 average. Maybe I should ride more at that pace for my own good.

May be a good shout going for a check up though as I have no idea if something is wrong etc.
 

Tin Pot

Guru
Most likely the HRM , not your heart.

The internet is littered with queries on HRM readings.

Averaging 160bpm all day sounds unlikely. I'm not fit, but I can't average over 150bpm for a couple of hours on the bike.

Are you using a chest strap?
 
Location
Loch side.
Heart rate differs wildly from person to person and predicting at what rate your heart should pump based on your age, fitness, gender, looks or preferred beer is futile.
Also, heart rate is useless data unless you train according to a plan where you replace heart rate with perceived exertion and record your improvement or degradation throughout the season. It is a bit like cadence....so what.

Nevertheless, you measure your heart rate and don't understand what's happening. Firstly, you have no idea whether you were actually working harder during that period of measurement. Only by regularly riding the same route, meticulously timing it and measuring your heart rate on it, can you even begin to establish a pattern. For what you are describing, it is just noise.

Elevated heart rate can predict an infection, such as cold or flue but then only if you take it first thing in the morning and record it and, understand the reading in relation to what you did the day before. If you had a hard day on the bike, your heart rate will be slightly elevated the next morning.

Even taking your heart rate in the morning requires a special routine, too long to outline here.

If you really want to get into it and understand what the readings mean, read up on it, otherwise, just go for a ride and have a beer afterwards and forget about the useless data.
 
OP
huwsparky

huwsparky

Über Member
Location
Llangrannog
Most likely the HRM , not your heart.

The internet is littered with queries on HRM readings.

Averaging 160bpm all day sounds unlikely. I'm not fit, but I can't average over 150bpm for a couple of hours on the bike.

Are you using a chest strap?
I'm using the Garmin strap with a Garmin edge 500.
 

Citius

Guest
May not be useless data if there is a health issue

Get it checked with your doctor
I wouldn't be rushing off to the docs having recorded a meagre 7bpm higher. As Yellow Saddle says above, it's quite likely that 198 is a genuine reading and that it is simply a closer number to your actual MHR than the previously-recorded number. As said, without knowing your true MHR (or LTHR), using a HRM is a fairly meaningless pursuit.
 

screenman

Legendary Member
Funny how things change, 20 years ago HRM was the only way to train it seems. Personally I still used one and like the information it gives back, for testing I use a calibrated turbo session.
 
OP
huwsparky

huwsparky

Über Member
Location
Llangrannog
Thanks all. I don't really have any reason to doubt my HRM as when I'm resting it measures absolutely spot on.

I don't really see it as useless data as I can see a clear pattern of my fitness improving in coronation to my heart rate. I just think I'll put it down to being I'll as I'm not feeling that great and not been on the bike for almost 3 weeks, I have ridden every week prior at least once for months. I was just surprised to see that kind of variation over my 'normal' HR readings.

I went out for a ride earlier, only gentle and my average was 154, for me that's very easy riding, that's just how I'm made I guess.
 

screenman

Legendary Member
Thanks all. I don't really have any reason to doubt my HRM as when I'm resting it measures absolutely spot on.

I don't really see it as useless data as I can see a clear pattern of my fitness improving in coronation to my heart rate. I just think I'll put it down to being I'll as I'm not feeling that great and not been on the bike for almost 3 weeks, I have ridden every week prior at least once for months. I was just surprised to see that kind of variation over my 'normal' HR readings.

I went out for a ride earlier, only gentle and my average was 154, for me that's very easy riding, that's just how I'm made I guess.
When you look at what SA is doing on 85bpm it shows you where we can be.
 

david k

Hi
Location
North West
If it felt easy, then it probably was. But the 154 HR don't mean jack unfortunately - not without an upper reference point.
Doesn't have to mean anything it can just add interest to your post ride reflection. We are not all Olympic athletes , if he wants to use it he can, using it the data for each time means he can relate similar rides, probably for interest

Why must everything be Olympic standard or nothing, two extremes! What's wrong with doing stuff just for fun?
 

Citius

Guest
Doesn't have to mean anything it can just add interest to your post ride reflection. We are not all Olympic athletes , if he wants to use it he can, using it the data for each time means he can relate similar rides, probably for interest

Why must everything be Olympic standard or nothing, two extremes! What's wrong with doing stuff just for fun?
Post-ride reflection? Two similar rides (presumably on different days) will probably not compare anyway, because the conditions may be different and he may be riding into a headwind one day, with a tail wind the next. So expecting to be able to compare HR data in that context is equally meaningless. You might as well look at your wristwatch instead.

I just don't see the point in buying an HRM and then making no attempt to understand what it is telling you.
 
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