Heart Rate question

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12 years 11 months ago #3372 by robin.mousley
The rough guide for 100% heart rate is 220-your age. In my case that makes 220-46=174bpm.

Recently I have found that my average HR is much higher than it used to be. I used to average about 85% popping over 90% on the odd occasion.

I just did a downwind run and my AVERAGE was 91% (159bpm) with max of 97% (169bpm). That was 11.7km in 51:35 - I was working hard but not racing.

My resting HR is about 55bpm.

My question is - does the fact that my average HR is higher than it used to be mean that I'm more or less fit? If I get more fit will that average come down?

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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12 years 11 months ago #3373 by keithnix
Replied by keithnix on topic Re:Heart Rate question
Hi Rob- a powerful way to calculate your heart rate is to use a formula that takes into account your resting heart rate which varies a lot person to person.

The formula is a little longer but there is a handy online calculator here www.runnersweb.com/running/hr_calculator_new.html

To find out your resting heart rate count your heart rate for 20 seconds first thing in the morning on a day you don't wake up with the alarm.

I run a training facility that uses and records heart rate monitoring for all our sessions here are some of our observations:

> Clients who are sick or who have had a break from training and lost fitness will more easily achieve a higher hr ave.

> Clients who train 2-3 times per week generally find that it can be harder to reach as high an average in a session as they get fitter.

> Clients who come to us and have been training 4-6+ sessions per week but always train hard (like every day is race day) - ie no 60-70% hr sessions- experience an decline in average heart rate per session over time

> Clients who put a lot of hours into training 6-12+hrs and have great nutrition can reach and maintain a higher heart rate in a session due to having built greater strength and endurance

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12 years 11 months ago #3378 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re:Heart Rate question
Rob, it seems as if I understand less and less about heart rate every year.

Your HR is now higher than it used to be during sub-max training runs. Are you more or less fit? I don't know. Lots of variables.

Some things that might increase your avg HR during training could be: that pre-session coffee, shorter paddle, smaller paddle blade, more wobbly in the ski or better stability in the ski, or I suppose more fright in the new ski, more high intensity cross training, illness (unlikely if you feel fine), dehydration, medication, overtrained, undertrained, etc.

I would be interested to know if you experienced the same HR increase in other sports like running, cycling, too. If not, and the increase is only with paddling, then maybe you are now using better technique and bringing more muscle mass into use while you paddle which puts a greater load on your cardiac output.

If you are seeing higher HR's in all sports then I suppose it could be good or bad. The big question would be if your going faster now at that higher HR, then I would guess it's good. If the opposite - you're going slower now with the higher HR, then it might mean one of the above or that your cardiac output is lower for some reason.

But, if you're feeling good, and going well in the boat, then I probably wouldn't worry about it if it's only in the range of about 5 bpm or so.
Erik

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12 years 11 months ago #3381 by Madgus
Replied by Madgus on topic Re:Heart Rate question
Hi Rob,

I think the fact that your average heart rate is higher than it used to be simply means that you are training harder, probably because over time you have developed the musculature and oxygen system to make this possible. As Nell correctly points out as long as you are going faster there is nothing to fear.

Average heart rate is not an indication of fitness. Resting heart rate is! As athletes progress and adapt to the demands of training resting heart rates will usually decrease overtime. Some highly trained cyclists have resting heart rates as low a 30bpm - 5 time TDF Champion Miguel Indurain had a R/H rate of 27bpm.

It is important to closely monitor your resting H/R as a 3-5 beat rise it is normally an indicator of tiredness or looming sickness and a sign to take it easy until it comes back to normal.

Don't know if this helps or not!

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12 years 11 months ago #3383 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re:Heart Rate question
If you've got the time and interest, you might take a look through the posts on the FaCT forum, or even ask Juerg your question. Juerg is a Canadian coach who has been "on the edge" with all that training data, i.e. HR, blood lactate, cardiac output, LV filling pressure, LV relaxation time, etc. His "Swiss-english" can be a bit confusing to read, and he may be a bit too complicated and confusing at times, but I think he's pretty right on the mark.

www.fact-canada.com/cgi-local/discus/discus.cgi

ERik

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12 years 11 months ago #3399 by robin.mousley
Thanks for all the feedback!

I'm still confused and I think the only way forward is to do some proper training for the next few months and then see what happens to my HR - both at rest and under load.

I'll post my findings!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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12 years 11 months ago #3412 by Dicko
Replied by Dicko on topic Re:Heart Rate question
The trouble with paddling and heart rate is the number of variables that enter the equation. With running and cycling, for example, the effort is essentially the same. You mark out a course and apart from wind and heat things don't change to much.
With surf ski paddling every day is different. Have you changed equipment in the last 6 months. A more unstable boat,
a faster/ slower boat, or a different paddle will change your numbers. The fact that it's getting colder will have a bearing cos your tickers also trying to keep you warm.
Heart rate monitors are a good idea and you should use them as a guide, but with ski paddling on any given day the distance you paddle and the time it takes will vary considerably. The only thing you can control is the intensity at which you paddle.
On race day the variables (bar boat choice) affect everyone.

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12 years 11 months ago #3421 by mikefitz
Replied by mikefitz on topic Re:Heart Rate question
I hate to admit it but I've been using a heart rate monitor for over 25 years. It's one of those geeky things that makes training a little more interesting. I've made a few observations which I will share:
1. If you want to see a really high heart rate, go to France for a month, drink heavily every day, don't even think about exercise. Next enter a race when you return home. You will discover abysmal performance, but probably set a new record on your device.
2. For an unresponsive heart rate without having to die, try a 24 hour event. Similar effects can be observed with lots of intense volume over a short period. If your heart rate won't go up, well you're probably tired. Most peoplem don't need a monitor for this one.
3. Different sports have different heart rate ranges. It takes many years of training in a given sport to develop ones full potential, and the ability to hit high heart rates and fully utilize the cardiovascular system for that activity.
4. Heart rate ranges are quite variable from person to person and there seems little correlation with performance.
5.I am surprised at my own findings whilst paddling. I've been at this sport for 5 years and now my heart rate is highest paddling. Max for me is 177 and I can sustain 170 for 30 minutes in our Tues night races. In my other sports of mountain biking and cross country skiing I can get to 173 or so, but would die trying to maintain 165. I wonder if the paddling position and activity aids venous return? Or maybe lactate is more efficiently metabolized by the not fully engaged major muscles? Perhaps my buddies have messed with my machine and my heart rate is only 130!
Mike

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12 years 10 months ago #3422 by Dale Lippstreu
I have paddled with a heart rate monitor for the past 10 years and have monitored the results closely. The following summarizes my clear conclusions:

1. Attaining a high heart rate is not a sign of fitness unless you can sustain it. After a layoff I can reach a high heart rate quickly but cannot sustain it. My best racing performances relative to my peers always coincide with a higher that normal average heart rate.
2. I can reliably predict my race performance by how easily I can get my heart rate up before the race. If it takes long or I battle to get it up to racing levels it is a pretty sure sign that I either have either over trained or am going down with a cold or flu.

Logic suggests to me that for any given paddler using the same equipment heart rate correlates directly to work rate and work rate correlates directly to performance. The only variable in this ?closed system? is the possibility that the paddlers cardio vascular system can become more efficient so that a higher muscle work rate can be sustained at a lower heart work rate. While this must undoubtedly be the case both elevated heart performance and improved cardio vascular efficiency derive from increased fitness so it just a virtuous circle.

So to go back to the nub of Rob?s question. The fact that he sustained a heart rate of 91% for an hour suggests he was pretty fit. What it is not stated, but what I know, is that he was paddling less than usual at the time. So how can he be fitter is he is paddling less? The very probable answer is that when he does train a lot he most probably overdoes it in terms of intensity with the result he actually starts out with reduced capacity i.e. less fitness.

I could have told Rob this over beer but thought I would put my thought gems out for wider comment.

Dale

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12 years 10 months ago #3423 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re:Heart Rate question
Your HRM experience seems to echo mine, Dale, and you've provided a great explanation - along with some personal insight. Plus, I think I recall once hearing Rob describing his training as something just short of "all intervals all the time."

I have the opposite problem because I have adapted a training regimen of too much base and no high intensity intervals. I can easily get my HR up to marathon race pace, but there is almost no reserve on top of that. For instance, I can race at 167 for a couple of hours, but 170 is the max for me, whether paddling, running, cycling. And, at 44 yo, it's a bit low considering that my max has always been avg or a little high.

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12 years 10 months ago #3424 by robin.mousley
Here's an interesting article from the NYTimes website:

well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/can-yo...x-minutes-a-week/?em

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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12 years 10 months ago #3425 by YBA/Jim Murray
Great if you are a rat. The fitness definition seems narrow and inadequate for an endurance athlete.
I believe training to be an adaptive process that needs time and a variety of stimulae. To me that means a combination of specific strength training, some cross training ativity during periods of non competition and the most time spent doing the sport activity.
Maybe 75 to 80% of the time should be low to medium intensity, the rest to higher intensity and intervals. That doesn't mean you forget about speed while doing "easy" work. Speed has always to be kept in mind. A very easy workout on flat water concentrating on technique will help develope speed. Fartlek or speedplay is still a great workout.
Heart rate usd as a training tool is great. but infers fitness and has, as said by Dale and Eric, many variables affecting it's rate. A better inference of fitness is lactate threshold measurement, but is hardly practical for most.
Perhaps the most important performance indicator is not LT or heart rate, but heart (sisu, courage) and the ability to push through pain.
Just some general opinions/thoughts.

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12 years 10 months ago #3426 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re:Heart Rate question
Here is the link to that Gibala article. Pretty dry reading. I started nodding off right away:

jp.physoc.org/content/575/3/901.full

I've seen this principle discussed several times over the years. In the study above, they evaluated a few parameters in non-athletes and over 2 weeks. 2 weeks only! How much fitter can a person get in 2 weeks! The problem isn't so much in the quality of the study itself, but in the interpretation and extrapolation of the results. My guess is that if the researchers continued the study for 6 months, a year, 2 yrs . . . they would have seen far different results in practical endurance as well as with the specific things they measured.

This study got legs in multiple magazines because it suggested a shortcut to fitness, and like "weight loss pills", it doesn't exist . . . legally anyway. I think much of the Cross-Fit training is similarly fad-ish and will be short lived if it is made to form the foundation of aerobic fitness.

Erik Borgnes

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12 years 10 months ago #3427 by YBA/Jim Murray
What I mean by cross training, other activities is something like XC skiing in the winter plus regular strength training through the year. Fifty years ago I attended a flat water training camp with Hungarian Blaho Kalman (oops-dated self). He strongly recommended some time in the week to play low intensity soccer with the paddling team. That was and is impractical for most.
I strongly believe some play at other activities helps to maintain mental freshness and to maintain, develop overall fitness.
My comments here are for the serious recreational paddler and citizen racer.
Perhaps we need a definition for the term "fitness"-one that is useful for us laymen?
J.

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12 years 10 months ago #3428 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re:Heart Rate question
Jim - simple misunderstanding. Cross training = good. I completely agree with you there. "Cross Fit" training is something entirely different. Like Stand Up Paddling, it's taken the US by storm - sort of. Proponents pretty much discount most all types of traditional aerobic exercise in favor of very high intensity intervals, oftentimes done with non traditional weightlifting.

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12 years 10 months ago #3429 by Dale Lippstreu
The findings of the studies under discussion are not confirmed by either experience or common sense.

Without any scientific basis whatsoever I define fitness as ?the capacity to sustain physical output over time?. The variables are thus output level (intensity) and duration. The clear evidence is that you can train for either and have very different kinds of fitness.

Imagine attempting to do the Southern Shamaal (230km) on a training program of doing intervals on Sandvlei (a local lake)! Or attempting the Dusi (a local river canoe marathon involving long and demanding portages) on the basis paddle training only. It not only required that a training program for the Dusi includes a lot of running but also that training runs are done carrying a canoe or similar weight. As some well known coach once said training has to be in the manner of execution.

So fitness is not abstract as suggested by the studies. Athletes A & B may have equal potential and have committed the same time and effort to training, but if the race is marathon and A has trained for sprinting and B for distance, its pretty clear who will win.

At fitness (at least as defined by me) is also time specific. B may have trained too hard or too often to recover between sessions so that he arrives at the start with his reserves depleted. By my definition he is less ?fit? on the day even though he may be in great condition in 2 days time if he takes a break. I have long subscribed to the ?no gain without pain? school of thought and it took me a long time to realize that training is as much about recovery as it is exercise. Unfortunately at age 54 the ratio of the former to the latter is declining!

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12 years 10 months ago #3431 by Madgus
Replied by Madgus on topic Re:Heart Rate question
Just a bit of a correction Nell - Cross Fit doesn't "pretty much discount most all types of traditional aerobic exercise in favor of very high intensity intervals," although the premise behind it is intensity based. Cross Fit actually encourages people to take on new sports and learn new skills and has been adopted by many endurance athletes.

I have been doing the WOD's (work out of the Day) now for over a month and in that short time have noticed massive increases in high end fitness, core and overall strength. Cross Fit coupled with my normal paddling regime has increased my paddling speed noticeably, that's not to say that I couldn't have increased it doing other things but I find for me and for others I paddle with it helps generate really good increases in performance. For people that think they are fit and strong give a workout a try, I guarantee you will find it challenging if not humbling. www.crossfit.com

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12 years 10 months ago - 12 years 10 months ago #3432 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re:Heart Rate question
Magdus, yes, I exaggerated a bit by inferring all "proponents" when I should have said "many proponents". In any case, this is from the Cross-Fit "start here" web-page:

"World-Class Fitness in 100 Words:
Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports."

I think it's probably a great adjunct to overall fitness training - as you've discovered, too. The trouble is that over the past year, I've encountered a number of athletes (including non-paddling friends), who have completely dropped all long, slow, endurance exercise and have picked up the mistaken idea that short and intense Cross-Fit types of workouts will entirely substitute for their aerobic base fitness - forever. A few articles similar to the one by Gibala have provided the justification to support their decision.

Not that aerobic exercise is the end-all . . . but I believe it needs to form the base of the training pyramid if the races are aerobic-based.
Last edit: 12 years 10 months ago by nell. Reason: correction

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12 years 10 months ago #3435 by Madgus
Replied by Madgus on topic Re:Heart Rate question
Thanks for clearing that up Nell - I agree with what you are saying.

Cross Fit has its place but nothing will ever replace time spent training the systems you need to develop to compete in your chosen sport. For me Cross Fit makes the strength side of my training fun and varied - you never know what is going to be thrown at you from one day to the next, which helps to aleviate boredom and keep the body guessing.

Anything that makes me stick to my program instead of sitting in front of the computer has got to be good as far as I'm concerned. Wait a minute...

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12 years 10 months ago #3438 by YBA/Jim Murray
Eric, I agree with your last statement. The diet and training program must be for very athletic squirrels, though. The three main food groups are missing; coffee, donuts and beer.
Dale, you are quite right too, with all you say. I am sorry to say athletic perfomance does not improve with age. Joy in paddling remains the same at 65 as 15 or 45 though. I think that once past fifty the key is to keep at it but be wary of injury. It does take longer to recover.
Fitness is when you are comfortable and happy in the boat, the paddle is neither too big, too short, nor too long.
J.

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