Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Racing heart

Well, folks, no sooner had I said that I'd never done 400s or 800s than I went out for a run with the Calgary Road Runners and we did -- 6 x 800s. It was great fun! I did feel like I was going to puke, but I pulled back just enough to stave that off.

When I got home and plugged in my Garmin, I got a heck of a surprise though. Yes, this was the fastest I have worked this year. That's all well and good. The overall pace was about race pace for me. My average overall heart rate was 155, which is lower than what I race at. I usually sustain an average heart rate of about 163 for over two hours in a half marathon, with a maximum HR around 181. Is that normal for a 37-year old?

I'm asking because tonight my maximum heart rate varied from 182 to... get this: 226. WTF???

Twice before I've clocked a max HR at 255, but I assumed the Garmin malfunctioned for a second or two. But tonight I saw the max HR change for each interval and for three of the six intervals, it maxed out over 200 - once at 200, once at 202 and once at 226. I backed off a bit for the last three and maxed out in the 180s.

My resting HR, from what I can figure, is about 59 or so. My blood pressure is generally on the low side of normal... 111/70 or so is about average for me. I had my annual physical in May and I'm fit as a fiddle. And I feel great - especially since I finished off the Accutane earlier this month.

So, running friends, what do you think? Was it a Garmin malfunction? Should I try again next week and see if it continues? Should I go to the doctor, go directly to the doctor, not pass Go and not collect $200?


Journey to a Centum said...

255 and it stayed in your chest?

I think you should slam a couple Beaver Buzz Energy Drinks and try for 300!

Umm seriously if you have another heart rate monitor you might want to wear both to see if they match up. They will probably both work off the same chest strap.

Billy R said...

Hi buddy..probably not even close, but because of my condition which you are very aware of pls call your Doctor and check out potential Tachycardia

..255 is not even close to being right..let's hope the Garmin screwed up... BUT pls ck it out sister!


Love Bill and Tracy

Backofpack said...

Seems awfully high Sarah. I'm with Eric, test it with another HR monitor.

Runner Leana said...

226 does seem really high. I don't know what my max is, but I got up to 186 and someone asked me if I thought I was going to pass out at that rate. I would try a different HRM just to be sure. Hopefully it is just a malfunction!

Legs and Wings said...

Nothing works you like pushing to the edge of puke.

You'll get fast for sure if you allow for decent rest after speedwork. It can sure take a toll on you.

255 is off the charts. Suppose it's right?

I've hit 190 before and just about blew up.

Sander & Liesbeth said...

Hi Sarah,
Found your blog!
Don't work out so hard anymore, it's scary. The others will loop back to you, and they will be glad for the extra rest you provid them. And thank you for not puking, that's a bonus.
I know people that do 210 or 225, that's supposed to be a (high) maximum for really young people. It all shows I was right yesterday: you are VERY VERY young, with the Max HR of a very very young person.
See you, Liesbeth.

Downhillnut said...

Oh SURE, I'm stuck with the flu and I miss your first 400'ers. Dangit, that's my favourite interval distance.

LOL @ Liesbeth's first paragraph and echoing it at the same time. Speed is best built up in the same way weight is best lost - gradually and safely.

I am blissfully and deliberately ignorant of heart rate science, but will run your questions past a coach I know and see what she says.

Dianne W. said...

Karen asked me to read your blog. Your natural heart rate max is possibly very high. I have run with someone who was chatting away with a heart rate of 225. So, interference is always a possibility, but it IS possible that this normal for YOU.

You need more information - in the form of more heart rate tracking. Find the HR where you stop being able to talk comfortably, and the HR where you can't talk at all.