Went to the gym yesterday, concerned about heart rate

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by PatrickGSR94, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. PatrickGSR94

    PatrickGSR94
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    I went to the gym near my office yesterday for the first time in almost 2 years I think. I plan on going there to spend some time on the elliptical on my "off" days from walking/running, i.e. Tuesday/Thursday. I was wearing my VFF's as I didn't want to risk any problems with staff if I was BF.

    So I was on the elliptical for about 25 minutes, kept my HR up around 145-155 the whole time. The little chart on the machine said 80% of max HR for a 30 year old should be about 152, I'm 32, so not bad.

    After that, and I don't plan on doing this every time, I got on the treadmill, just curious what it was like to walk and run on the TM with a mid-foot strike. I ran for 90 seconds at 10-11 min/mile pace, and after that my HR was up to 176! I'm no doctor but that sounds a little dangerous. Is it? Or am I just being paranoid?

    *edit* also I did not feel much of any pain in my left leg while on the elliptical or while running on the TM. I'm starting to think my left calf issues are because of the crown in the road.
     
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  2. randicoot

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    Hi Patrick,If your chest

    Hi Patrick,

    If your chest strap isn't tight enough and you are bouncing even a little the HRM can reflect your cadence. Try pushing the strap to your chest for 10-15 seconds to see if your HR goes back to normal. Or just check manually at a pulse point.
     

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  3. PatrickGSR94

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    Sorry, should have specified.

    Sorry, should have specified. I was using the hand sensors on the TM. I don't have a HRM. After 90 seconds I stood on the sides of the TM, lowered the speed back down, then grasped the sensors to check HR. It was at 176, then started dropping as I was cooling down (walking).
     
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  4. dutchie53

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    Iwas out of town working for

    Iwas out of town working for the last 2 weeks, so the only running I could was on TM. I kept my HR low, but I noticed that even 1% incline height would get the HR up by about 6. So would a pace setting, a .2 increase again would change the HR up about 6. You just have to dial in your speed to your HR. I have seen the spike that concerned you usually on my garmin when I start out and after a 1/2 mile it drops and levels off. Hope this helps.
     
  5. Phil Hart

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    Remember that anything other

    Remember that anything other than a calibrated HM attached to you is guessing and can be wildly off. So first see if your data may not be skewed. There is nothing magic about a heart rate or a monitor to count it. They are just indicators of your aerobic fitness level, which is unique to every indidivual

    The best check for heart rate (old soldier speaking here who trains soldiers without the option of HMs) is your breathing. If you're gasping, then you need to back off. If you can carry on a normal conversation easily and steadily, you likely need to work harder to get a solid workout. If you can carry on a conversation in small sections and are breathing hard without dying, you're probably where you need to be for a heart rate-driven, intensive but sustainable cardio workout that will maintain and, over time, slowly increase your cardiovascular fitness level. The results are to reduce your resting heartrate, decrease your recovery time after exercising, and lower your heart rate relatively if measured at the higher levels of exertion.

    If you want to do the slow-and-steady thing to burn calories without increasing your heartrate above your target zone, go with the fairly easy breathing at a slower pace.

    Hope this is helpful for you.
     
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  6. NickW

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    Hi Patrick,If I remember

    Hi Patrick,

    If I remember correctly from reading some of your other posts, you are still doing the walking and running for 60 or 90 seconds right? Just trying to remember all the facts so I can be of the best help to you. What Phil said is right with the heart rate monitor on the treadmill. It does however give you a guesstimate which probably isn't too terribly far off. If when you run you are consistently feeling like you did on the dreadmill at 176 beats per minute that could be why you are struggling to run for very long in your normal walk/runs. This also means that you are out of the "fat burning" zone for someone your age. Now, I always used to train at high intesities for long periods of time and did the Seattle to Portland bicycle race in one day (10 1/2 hours of ride time) with my heartrate up over 170-180 nearly the whole way, so it can be done. I don't believe it is recommended though to train at that high of intensity all the time.

    I've learned after two back surgeries and putting on 40 pounds of weight that I cannot train at that high of an intensity anymore. I think you might be better served to slow down a little bit and try to get your heartrate into the 140-150 range and learn what that feels like so you can replicate that feeling out on your runs and walks. It feels like you're getting no where I know, but in the long run your body will thank you and pretty soon you won't be walking much but will be out there running nearly the whole time. Good luck and I hope this helps.
     
  7. Blind Boy

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    There's very little danger in

    There's very little danger in getting your heart rate up. Also, keep in mind that heart rate charts are almost always way off, the formulas are about as close to reality as BMI is for weight, good for statistics but useless on an individual level. Most people are within about 20 beats above/below what the formula says in terms of heart rate.

    As for what it means when your heart rate climbs way up high as soon as you start running, it's usually a sign of poor aerobic conditioning and the way to fix that is to go slow and go long. Keep your heart rate at about 75% or less if you know your actual max or 150 if you don't and go out for an hour or more. Anytime your heart rate climbs above your limit by even a single beat, slow down immediately. In 5-10 weeks you'll probably see a significant improvement in how fast you're able to run at any given heart rate.
     
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  8. PatrickGSR94

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    Nick,I currently go out and

    Nick,

    I currently go out and walk a 1-mile loop, for 2 laps. About 10 minutes after starting, I run for 2 minutes (about 0.2 miles) and then walk the remaining 0.8 until I'm back at that position again and do another 0.2, then walk the rest of the way back to the office.

    And yes it's pretty hard for me to go for 2 minutes right now. I don't necessarily mean to go at a 10 min/mile pace, but I feel like I have a pretty decent barefoot form and it seems kind of difficult to go slower than that without affecting my form negatively.

    So a HR that high is actually counterproductive for fat burn? That's something I didn't know. Maybe I should just try to measure my HR myself by touch, for 15 seconds and multiply by 4.

    I'm fine walking at about 20 min/mile pace. But it seems like almost anything faster, where I get into the "running" gait, i.e. both feet off the ground for a split second, just wears me out quick.
     
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  9. NickW

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    I am just coming back from an

    I am just coming back from an injury where I have been off for 3 weeks and my cardio has fallen off. For me running at 146 beats per minute or lower today I was running at a 14:30 minute per mile pace downhill, but on the way back up I was at 17 minutes a mile. It's very slow but I know it's also best for me right now. Now, I'm not telling you to never go high intensity, I personally believe that would be foolish. I do think you need to build up a base first that you can work from though, and then do the high intensity speed or hill workouts after that. Sounds like you are making good progress though, glad to hear it. I remember not too long ago you could barely run 30 seconds, and now your up to a full two minutes. That is awesome!
     
  10. sloutre

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    I'm so unconfortable on a

    I'm so unconfortable on a treadmill that just looking at the machine makes my HR go up. Maybe the tradmill makes you nervous too. Try going at a comfortable pace with smooth breathing for a minute or two and ignore the numbers for now. Your endurance will increase slowly.

    I don't know what it your specific goal (endurance, weight loss, speed, fitness) but I find it more motivating to reach a certain fitness base first, for example being able to walk/run around your mile loop for 30 min and increase the running part. Once you're at that goal, you can tune your training to work more specifically toward your goal.

    Less than 2 years ago I could not run at all without my HR going up the roof. The only way to keep it in the 150s was to walk. I was out of breath within 30 sec of running. Now I don't know what my HR is doing but I can comfortably run over 10 miles.

    It sounds like you make good progress so far, don't worry about numbers and keep going.
     

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  11. Barefootandagel

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    Patrick,I know this isn't

    Patrick,

    I know this isn't what you want to hear but if you struggle to keep form at slower paces then it definetely indicates a technique skill problem that I would recommend you make a point to fix. Once you have your technique down at the slow paces then you will be able to build your aerobic base properly. Currently I think you are deceiving yourself about how good your barefoot technique is......
     
  12. Woodsman

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    Hi Patrick,Make sure you are

    Hi Patrick,

    Make sure you are doing a good 10-15 minute warm up. I have only been keeping track of my heart rate for a few weeks, but I noticed that warming up properly makes a real different, especially as you get further into your workout.

    Also as others have said, the hand grips aren’t always that accurate. I have also had the signal from someone else’s HR monitor highjack the display on my machine; although this is rare because hardly anyone use them.

    I’d look into getting a HR monitor for yourself. It was a great investment for me and I now wish I got one when I started running years ago. They can be had online for under $100. You can ask at the gym to see if there is a brand that is compatible with their equipment.

    regards

    Brian
     

  13. PatrickGSR94

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    I always walk for at least 10

    I always walk for at least 10 minutes before starting to run. In the case of the gym, I was on the elliptical for 25 minutes at a steady 150 HR, before running on the TM.
     
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  14. Barefoot TJ

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    Have you posted your question

    Have you posted your question on our Ask the Docs forum? Your heart is nothing to mess around with.
     
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  15. Barefoot TJ

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    Sorry.  That was the mommy in

    Sorry. That was the mommy in me talking.
     
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  16. palouserider

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    And here's another mommy

    And here's another mommy thinking the same thing. :)

    It definitely can't hurt to hear what the doctors have to say.
     
  17. PatrickGSR94

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    Went again today due to cold

    Went again today due to cold and rainy outside. Started with a 3.0 mph warmup on the TM for 10 minutes. Then I did a slow run for 2 minutes at 4.5 mph. Not too bad there, HR only got up to 160 according to the machine's sensors. After that I did 20 minutes on the elliptical at around 4.0 mph. First half HR stayed around 140, 2nd half I went closer to 5.0 mph and maintained HR of about 150. Overall pretty good workout I think.

    Only thing is I've noticed is that when I get up to around 15-20 minutes on the elliptical in VFF's, the area around the base of my middle toes (usually left side) starts getting tingly. Not sure if that's due to my forefoot being in constant contact with the foot areas on the elliptical for so long as opposed to lifting my feet off the ground when walking or running.
     
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  18. BarefootGburg

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    Treadmill runnning is not

    Treadmill runnning is not like regular running. I would not read too much into a high heartrate the first few times you are on a treadmill.
     
  19. NickW

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    Patrick, that tingly feeling

    Patrick, that tingly feeling you're describing sounds similar to the feeling I get just before my toes start hurting when I've run with vff's in the past. For me, it's because my toes can't splay properly due to being constricted from the material of the vff's. Pain always goes away for me pretty quickly once I take them off and go barefoot for a while. Maybe this is what's happening for you?

    160 isn't too bad for your HR on the treadmill unless you're trying to work on low heartrate stuff. How did it feel? Did it feel easier than the last time when it had shot up so high on you? I would still recommend getting even just a cheap heartrate monitor so you can have a consistent reading if you're all that worried about your heartrate. I think you can find them at Target or Walmart or whatever you have close for pretty cheap now a days. I actually just looked online at Target.com and found their cheapest one for $36. Right now I don't know that you need anything fancy and this one is as basic as you get. Hope this helps.
     

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