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Jumping Heart Rate, ever happen to you?(16 posts)

Jumping Heart Rate, ever happen to you?gerwerken
Aug 3, 2002 6:31 AM
I just started riding with a HRM, and I am worried about my heart.

My resting heart rate seems to be about 38bpm; however, my monitor turns it's self off at 35 bpm and it almost always turns off after I've been sitting for about 5 minutes. When ever I do anything (like pick up my bike to start riding) it flys up to about 230 then drops back down within a minute to the 80's usually.

While riding I have difficultly keeping my rate over 120 bpm. The maxium I have seen while riding was 220 while really pushing.

I am 21, female, and in very good shape (I ride everyday, hike, and rock climb without difficulty). Is this normal for someone of my age/sex, or is this something I should go to my doctor about.
See a doctor/make sure HRM workspeloton
Aug 3, 2002 6:55 AM
I guess my first question would be to find out what type of HRM you are using. Some are more accurate than others, and some can have wild flucuations. Some HRM's can be affacted by outside sources like power lines, or other HRM's around you. This can give inaccurate readings. I had a HRM a couple of years ago that would do things like you describe. It would read 225 or something I know I can't get my HR up to and I could feel my pulse was much lower. A polar HRM was the cure for me in that case.

On the other hand, if the HRM is accurate I would get checked out by a doctor. High heart rates like that could be a symptom of a condition like carditrachia. Could be harmless, but it's worth getting checked out. Your heart isn't something you want to take chances with.
See a doctor/make sure HRM worksgerwerken
Aug 3, 2002 7:01 AM
I have a Precise Acumen T110 (the only one I could find small enough to fit my wrist). Do you know how reliable they are?
See a doctor/make sure HRM workspeloton
Aug 3, 2002 7:25 AM
Not sure about that one. What I would do is compare your HR on the monitor to what you get feeling your pulse the next time it is saying your HR is spiking up high. How do you feel when your HRM says your HR is up that high? Does your heart feel like it is racing? I know when my old HRM said that my heart rate was at an unusual rate I didn't even consider it because I knew that my heart wasn't racing at all.

If you don't think it's your HRM giving false signals though, I would go to the doctor as a precaution. Stuart O'Grady has had problems like this at this year's TDF, and before the last Olympics. His problem resolves on it's own. It could be nothing. On the other hand, I had a junior at my high school die in the weight room from a heart condition never diagnosed. A doctor could tell you that you have nothing to worry about, or deal with something before it's a problem.

Hopefully it's just your HRM playing games with you. In my experience with some HRM's I wouldn't consider this unlikely.
See a doctor/make sure HRM worksgerwerken
Aug 3, 2002 8:23 AM
Thanks for the info. My heart feels fine whenever my HRM says it is raceing, so chances are it is nothing. However, I think I might go to the doctor just to be on the safe side.
Fit your wrist?Kerry
Aug 4, 2002 3:57 PM
Are you saying that this HRM gets its reading from your wrist instead of from a chest belt? If that is the case, this is probably the source of your problems. Wrist HRMs have never worked well, and this is why they are a VERY small fraction of the market.
Fit your wrist?gerwerken
Aug 4, 2002 4:50 PM
No. It's gets it's readings from a chest belt which sends a signal to a wrist band. I read the rate off of the wrist band. I chose this model because the wrist band and chest strap are made with small people in mind.
re: Jumping Heart Rate, ever happen to you?cyclejim
Aug 3, 2002 8:45 AM
I find it very odd that you can't get your heart rate above 120 while riding, regardless of your very low RHR or physical condition. How hard are you actually riding when you can't get your HR above 120? A 220 MHR is possible at your age for sure, but the inability to sustain a HR above 120 is strange to say the least.
Dont think its anything!ski4x
Aug 3, 2002 9:02 AM
I get that many times when Im riding. Jumping to 230 is common with interference. But it being difficult to keep your HR above 120 seems puzzling though.
Now and then I have had bouts of Tachycardia when riding at a high intensity, which has been checked out by a cardiologist and has told me that I can still race and it is fine. But this is not the case with certain types.(Ventricular)
But even if you do have tachycardia for a short time, your heart will still feel fine. In fact I wouldnt even know different if it wasnt for my trusty monitor beeping at me.
Makes me wonder how many people have it, as many people do not use a heart rate monitor.

But my guess is you're fine.
I can get my heart rate above 120.....gerwerken
Aug 3, 2002 10:05 AM
It just doesn't stay there. If I rest at all, say coast or stop at a light, my heart rate drops very quickly, usually to around 90. 120 is my rate around 16-20 mph, my usual speed, but that still seems low to me. If I'm really pushing, say 30+ mph my rate will be between 180 and 220, but again it drops quickly (less than a minute) back down to around 90.
Another view...KEN2
Aug 3, 2002 11:48 AM
I have read in more than one source that one of the best indicators of cardiovascular fitness is how quickly your heart rate falls to below 100 or so after exertion. Sounds to me like you're just in excellent condition.

I have had those spikes with my monitor at the beginning of rides too, seems to be false readings. I attribute it to poor conduction of the signal until I get warmed up, i.e. somewhat sweaty.
love of biking makes the heart flutterakatdog
Aug 3, 2002 11:33 AM
Once in highschool as I was walking up to my ex girlfriends front door the zone alarms on my monitor started going crazy my heart rate was like 240 BPM. First I thought I was just completely enamoured then realized I didn't have the sensor on. It turns out they had an underground dog fence that worked on the same frequency. Oh well she just got married and I'm still looking maybe I should start wearing the monitor again to see who really makes my heart skip a beat.

Ride on
well my bike is pretty sexy : ) (n/m).gerwerken
Aug 3, 2002 1:15 PM
Aug 3, 2002 8:33 PM
Don't have the problems with HR jumping unless I'm standing over some buried electrical equipment ;-) (happens at the foot of OLH road in the SFBA), but I *did* have the low heart rate thing. Earlier this year, I couldn't get my heart rate up on hilly rides I had done before at a much higher HR.(I've posted on this before.) This, combined with a number of other little things, convinced me to get my thyroid checked. Turns out it was way underactive.
I've already checked that.gerwerken
Aug 4, 2002 5:17 AM
My family has a history of overactive thyroid so I got it checked last year. I was fine. Thanks for the idea though.
re: Jumping Heart Rate, ever happen to you?Cruz
Aug 4, 2002 8:09 AM

I've seen the same with poor HRM's. I'm currently using a Polar, which appears to be very accurate. Apart from this, 220 is not extreme, since your estimated max is 205.

Apart from this, I'd suggest you to get a full cardio test, because that 'll tell you your current VO2Max, HRmax & lactate threshold.

If you're seriously training, this is very valuable information and it might also explain the strange things your HRM is reporting, or it might be concluded that your HRM is not suited for you.