Worrying HR

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02/01/2013 at 22:04

Here's a HR graph from a 10k run I did today, I was doing some sprints so I expected my HR to go up but not this much. Should I be worried? I thought it could be me adjusting the monitor but looking at the graph going up quite steadily rather than a spike, makes me think it might be accurate.  All comments appreciated.



seren nos    pirate
02/01/2013 at 22:10

if I'm running fast my heart rate is always over 170 which is where yours seems to average,racing a 5k and its in the 180s and above.......start of a race higher again....

i suppose it depends on where yours normally is  as to whether this is unusual

03/01/2013 at 08:47

Mine's done that when the monitor moved around on a run.  I think you'd have noticed if your heart had spiked so sharply.

cougie    pirate
03/01/2013 at 09:48
If you didn't feel it jump - then I think it didnt happen. Surely you'd have felt it of its jumped 60 beats ?
03/01/2013 at 14:34

Nothing wrong with that at all. I always get a spike rise to start off with and someone did explain once what was causing it but it was no problem.

Your clothing can affect the HRM too but I have been unable to change mine so just accept that I will never get a correct average heart rate for the first mile of a run.

03/01/2013 at 18:32

My average HR for the whole run was 161 which is about right, it was 166 when I ran the same distance 5 mins faster. I don't think that it spiked that sharply to dismiss it as miss reads it climbed quite steadily for 2.5 mins then down at a similar gradient for another 2.5mins. I did use to suffer panic attacks (palpatations) but I certainly noticed them. I'll have a read around to see if I can find any explanation, I have a Dr's appointment next week so I'll ask there.

A similar thing did happen last week without sprinting at all but it was the begining of a virus which stopped me running for a week. My last 2 runs had a small rise at the begining but nothing like this.

Part of me agrees with you cougie but I didn't notice the steeper 'jump' from 60 to 150 when I started. So I really don't know.

Thanks for the input.

04/01/2013 at 14:05

I often find the first few minutes have a much higher heart rate and then it settles down. Its a bit like having the choke on in your car (ok, I'm old we don't have manual chokes any more) until the engine gets warmed up and then it settles down to its normal rhythm. I think we also take a few minutes to get in to our proper pace and can often set off a bit faster than we realise.


07/02/2013 at 12:44
I had some traces like this which alarmed me so I looked online. Once I had waded past all the people telling me I was about to suffer some major cardiac event, I found some post suggesting that the HRMs aren't the most reliable at the start of a run and that they can be affected by what you wear.

So, I experimented with a few things and found the following:
- when my HRM said my HR was 160+ (from RHR of 50 after 200m of gentle jogging! but sometimes it used to do it gradually over a few minutes) my HR when taken manually was about 110
- if I was really really diligent in moistening the contact pads on the HRM it rarely seemed to happen (guessing that once you start sweating the contact is much better)
- if I wore a cotton t-shirt it never happened
- if I wore a "technical" top it happened quite frequently

So, my conclusion was that it was something to do with the strength of the contact between the pads and my chest and also the nature of the top I was wearing, presumably something to do with static and the like,

Interestingly, I bought new everything (Garmin and HRM) to see if it was better, but it was worse. Other people have confirmed this. The newer HRMs seem to be even more sensitive to this static effect than the old ones.

Not everyone suffers from this though. I guess that an individuals body composition and their trainers (how much of an earthing effect they have) and all sorts of things will make a difference.

Just my own experiences....
10/02/2013 at 20:09

Thanks elstead, I went to the Dr's and had an erg done, it came out as fine.

He suggested the same as you, that the monitor is not right. I did try a manual hr test but it was going to fast to count properly with cold hands.

seren nos    pirate
10/02/2013 at 20:13

ER.interesting in what you say about static........i suffer from static a bit normally and always wear technical t-shirts.........i always have really high rates at the start .....( stay fairly high in races )......might explain the very high readings at the start.......although I wear it on the way to the race and it seems to keep normal then

11/02/2013 at 10:37

I often record a very high HR in the first half mile of a run. Never thought to worry about it as it's normal for me and I feel fine.

11/02/2013 at 17:16

Looks exactly what Elstead said.  Sweat is a great conductor and once you start sweating it doesn't dry up till you stop and cool down.  Even wetting your HRM strap it is amazing how quickly the body will dry it out and hence the bad readings till you start sweating which might be affected by the pace of your run and also ambient temperature.  Current weather it's probably a couple of miles before you build up a sweat.

12/02/2013 at 22:10

I've just had a letter from my Dr saying he's relooked at my results and has got me an appointment at the hospital, so I do hope it's the shirts.

13/02/2013 at 11:30

Well I was happy with what the Dr previously said, but he's the expert and has the ECG results if there was no problems with it I can't see why I'm being refered. Although I am convinced it's the shirts. Maybe there's another problem unrelated to what I reported, Ive no idea.

20/02/2013 at 16:09

Would be interested in what they come up with.  When is the appointment?

20/02/2013 at 20:30

mine always spikes at the start and then settles down...unless it is causing you pain etc, I wouldn't be too concerned. A HRM isn't supposed to be bang on accurate - more of a guide I'm guessing.

Dustboy    pirate
20/02/2013 at 23:49

Mine very sensitive to early spikes, nearly always get a trace like that. You need to be sweating really. Mine also rises gradually liek that (when it's behaving itself). As you get a bit more knackered, I think it rustles up a bit of extra go to start repairing the damge you have done. Utterly unscientific but it seems to make sense to me.

Don't worry Seth, get it checked then happy days

21/02/2013 at 01:06

Hi Seth


I think you are wise getting it checked out and at least your Dr  is taking you seriously and quite right too.   I have had odd things happen on my HRM but im not bothered by it.  The technology cannot be relied upon, and I would erg you to change the battery in it.  Mine spikes up and down making it look right odd, sometimes saying I have 42 bpm, when ive checked it and its more like 70! 

26/02/2013 at 16:37

15th of april for appointment, I won't be stopping training but at least it will be before first marathon attempt may7th. So hopefully I'll survive before big effort.

I don't think there will be any problems but who knows, nothing to lose getting it checked.

26/02/2013 at 19:43

What do you mean stop worrying? The Dr refered me, shall I tell him some bloke on the internet told me I'm ok so I won't bother with his recomendation.

Someone asked when the appoinment was so I answered.

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