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High maximum heart rate?


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Old 31-10-2009, 07:57 PM   #1
CanalRunner
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High maximum heart rate?

Hi there,

thanks for all the useful info and feedback on my previous question. For a variety of reasons over the summer I slacked off a little with training and although I was running my 5k route in about 31 minutes or so before July, I slacked back to just running some variation on my usual route about once or twice a week, 30 to 40 mins per seesion approx. I did want to get back into some kind of structured routine, so when I saw a special offer on some winter jogging clothes plus a heart rate monitor at lidl I dove in and spent the money, with a view to getting back on track literally and figuratively. What I discovered when I used the heart rate monitor has been quite shocking!

To be brief, my heart rate goes over 190 beats per minute very frequently when I am running. I have not managed to measure my resting heart rate when I wake up(I am not a morning person and always forget to - will have to wear the monitor to bed some time) but a typical rate for me when drinking my morning coffee would be somewhere in the high 60s. My heart rate goes over 190 when I am still at a very comfortable jog, and I have done the talk test ad infinitum - Just this morning I peformed my own neighbourhood monologue quite comfortably(I noticed I took the occasional deep breath, a technique I have perfected from yoga, but nothing else unusual) while running down a main street, while my heart was apparently beating at 196bpm.

Obviously this is pretty scary to me. I am a 31 year old female and am more active and fit now(despite the summer slacking) than I have ever been in my life. I am not overweight, do not smoke, eat reasonably well. And while I have always had a natural tendency to walk faster than anybody else my size or gender(I am a 167cm female who usually comfortably keeps pace with 190cm plus males), I have never noticed anything else odd about my physiology. By the way, i did check how much my heart rate fell in the 2 minute cool down period after exercise - having tested this several times my heart rate typically falls by between 45 to 55 bpm in the 2 minutes following a jog. Let me add that my mother checked the accuracy of the heart rate monitor and found it to be pretty much dead on - she is a former nurse with a lot of experience of taking heart rates and she estimated a heart rate of 120bmp 5 minutes post exercise when the monitor showed 124.

I will be asking my general doctor to refer me to a cardiologist to get all of this checked. In my previous general check ups nothing unusual has ever shown up and I have always been given the 'perfect health' all clear. I guess my questions are

1. Have you ever come across people with naturally high maximum heart rates like this, who did not have any underlying cardiac disease or risk.

2. Would you consider it harmful for me to continue to jog my 5km route as I have always done without any difficulty. Or should I opt for longer sessions where I alternate between jogging(with 190bmp plus heart rate) and paced walking(where it usually falls back to a more acceptable 165bpm level)? Thanks for any advice...
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:06 AM   #2
TheEd
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Hi canalrunner, before replying could you also add your weight, please?

you have your height at 167cm now if we could see the ratio

you were running 5km in 31 minutes which shows a decent level to develop further

we have always recommended a check up before the starting of an exercise program and even with the top athletes I have coached we always recommended a check up so we have something to refer to if and when things become complicated with performance and other.

Over to you

TheEd
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:35 PM   #3
CanalRunner
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Glad to oblige. As of this morning I weigh 65.9kg. I did get a general check up around the time I took up running earlier this year. Heart rate and blood pressure were normal and nothing unusual showed up in the blood test either. I appreciate your time and advice...
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:47 PM   #4
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Hi Canalrunner please note this is a general response according to BMI - Body Mass Index

according to your height and weight you have a BMI of 23.6

BMI
Underweight Below 18.5
Normal 18.5 - 24.9
Overweight 25.0 - 29.9
Obesity 30.0 and Above

--------------------------

if you were found to be in the overweight category then it could be attributed to weight however we would strongly recommend going to your doc and to ask for a stress test

by getting the results from this test it should put all your fears to rest and you could then train without too much fear

Cheers

TheEd
ps.. rather safe than sorry
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:35 PM   #5
CanalRunner
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Thanks for taking the time to reply - for some reason today my heart rate stayed in the 167 - 180 range for most of the session, but I will be keeping a close eye on it and making sure I get a heart stress test. I'll keep you posted....
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:39 PM   #6
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good stuff CanalRunner

remember to be a little more cautious on hot days and especially if there is high humidity

enjoy your running

TheEd
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