HR. What is normal

8 years 5 months ago - 8 years 5 months ago #14057 by Dicko
HR. What is normal was created by Dicko
For the last 18 months I have been using a heart rate monitor.

Basically, I used to paddle till I was knackered, and that worked well until I developed a heart arythmia one day when I was a couple of K's out to sea. I bought the monitor to make sure I didn't push too hard.

Anyway, I eventually had surgery to correct the problem and promptly lost 12 beats off my maximum HR. There goes my professional paddling career (that and a lack of talent).

What I would like to know is what HR level people race at. Do elite paddlers race at 95% or 100%. Do midpackers race at 85% etc.

For example my max HR is now 162 bpm. I can sit on 140 for 5-6 kms.
I can sit on 150 bpms for 2kms.

In the last race I went in (the Duel) my HR sat between 158 and 162 the whole race. It took 2 weeks to recover.

What % of HR does everyone else race/train at.

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8 years 5 months ago #14061 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Re: HR. What is normal
I have recently been paying a lot more attention to my heart rate in an attempt to see when I can attack the group when racing marathon and when I need to recover.

In a recent race where I was lucky enough not to have many other good paddlers there I used my heart rate to signal when I could attack and it really helped to drop a few paddlers. Without knowing what my HR was doing (thanks to my garmin) I may have been happy to just sit with the pack.

This is what I discovered, my comfortable 12-25km race pace is about 165bpm.

I can maintain 170 over this distance too but I am really sitting just below lactate tolerance threshold. I am able to push up to 180bpm for short periods (attacks from other paddlers of 30 seconds or so) but then I need to sit at 170 for about 5 minutes to clear the lactate. The ability to go again shortens with each attack if repeated every few minutes to the point I will blow up trying to go again.

Another interesting thing is that the speed difference between 165 and 170 bpm is only about .2-.4 km/hr.

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8 years 5 months ago - 8 years 5 months ago #14062 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: HR. What is normal
When racing I try to keep my HR at 90% or just under, however at times it gets up to 100% of max. Mostly it ranges between just under 90% and 95% of max and I can hold that pace for about 1 hour 30 (16km) and finish strongly. I'm not even a mid packer in a ski race but win most sea kayak races (guess it depends on your competition eh?)what I need to do to go faster would be more years at it would be a good guess, probably another 3-4 years will show speed improvement if I keep at the progressive training.
As AR has noted, a lot of extra effort does often not pay off in any great extra pace. Comes down to your lactate threshold. Push too hard and it can be counter productive. I do however have a good tolerance for lactate build up and I found the same thing when I raced MTB's seriously and could push at high heart rates for long periods. Guess it comes down to the training you do and the preparation to perform at certain intensity's. Saying that, its frustrating to me that I'm still so slow.

Re training, I train at all intensities on different days and different periods of the season, anywhere from 65% to 95% of HR, but also 100% effort for shorter sprints where your HR does not get up much past 85% due to the short duration of the sprint.

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8 years 5 months ago #14063 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: HR. What is normal
When you said it took two weeks to recover, exactly what took two weeks to recover?

Your really rewriting the books on HR with your condition, so any normal answers don't really apply.

I wonder if your current HR is what it should always have been and that the arrhythmia for some reason always showed a higher reading than normal on a monitor that wasn't smoothing the data at all.

My own suggestion would be to get yourself a lactate monitor and do some research with that to find what your lactate threshold is on a land based paddling machine.
Once you have accurately established your HR at threshold that way, you will have no more guessing.

This is assuming that you don't have some strange quirk to your HR now that you have had surgery.

But if you do, a lactate versus heart rate versus power data set will at least show it up and guide you into further research if need be.

What did the surgery involve?


Another thing is that a lot of paddlers use a slow stroke that always has a lower initial HR that steadily climbs with workout duration at the same perceived effort.

This is because at sub maximal efforts there is always a smaller contribution of purely aerobic and a portion of anaerobic metabolism that takes a while to stabilise when using such a low cadence.
It's like climbing a big hill on a bike in a big gear, feels great at the start and the HR stays low, but in the end it catches up with you, versus spinning up the hill in a little gear in which the HR rises rapidly and stays at the same level, but is maintained without a rise over time.

You should have a similar HR over 2km as your 6km paddle, only a small increase for the shorter event.
Your increase of 10 beats to me suggests the too big a gear scenario.

So my suggestions are a smaller paddle/shorter paddle to get your revs up.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
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8 years 5 months ago #14066 by Geofff
Replied by Geofff on topic Re: HR. What is normal
I've only done a couple of races and am still trying to get a handle on paddling to a heart rate. Over a 14k race I averaged about 80-85% of my heart rate however it wasn't until the half way mark that I realised I probably had a bit more 'in the tank' and so increased my rate for the last 7k. Next time I'll aim to start a bit faster a maintain the rate.

I also did a 52k race and averaged about 72% for the race. I'm not sure if this was a good pace as I think I stuffed up the carb intake as I went through a patch at about the 35-40k mark where my speed dropped (heart rate only dropped a very small amount) and I felt as though I just didn't have any energy. Next time I'll try and average a very slightly higher heart rate however up the carb intake.

Happy paddling!

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8 years 5 months ago #14067 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: HR. What is normal
At 72% it would indicate that your body is not great at utilising fat for energy, perhaps you do too much hard training with little base work?

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8 years 5 months ago #14068 by JamieMc
Replied by JamieMc on topic Re: HR. What is normal
I have only doen a couple of races so far, but my heart rate stays between 185-198 the whole race usually. I have noticed that on the ski my core is working hard with balance & works the body a lot more compared with my white water training in a slalom boat. I had the same with my run training, as my technique & running fitness improved my heart rate come down a bit. If i can keep below 180 & save 20 bpm for getting on runs or catching people ill be sweet. Resting pulse in the very low 40s. Ski paddling is an awesome workout.

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8 years 5 months ago #14125 by Geofff
Replied by Geofff on topic Re: HR. What is normal

Kayaker Greg wrote: At 72% it would indicate that your body is not great at utilising fat for energy, perhaps you do too much hard training with little base work?


Unfortunately I think you're right regards my ability to burn fat although I just rechecked what my max heart rate is and supposedly it's lower than what I thought (who would have thought you have to update it every 5 years or so). Apparently I did the 52K race at 80% of my max heart rate and the 14k race at about 87%. I did another 14k race on the weekend and payed a lot more attention to the heart rate and managed to maintain 90% throughout. Although it was bloody hard, I think it was due to being flat calm and hot.
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