Should I worry about my heart rate being so high?

I'm a pretty fit 54-yr-old and have been running all my adult life. I have a resting pulse of around 44bpm. I ran a 10K race this morning, feeling like I really struggled but still did a middle-of-the-pack time of 56:44. I felt exhausted after and am still feeling very tired.

When I looked at my stats, the second half of the race my pulse seemed to go through the roof [188bpm at one point].

Should I worry, or does it just show I'm tired and need a break for a few days? I have felt a bit run down after a week's holiday where we walked miles [one day was 15M], included 2x 5K runs; followed by a 5K when we got home; gym / rowing machine and yoga sessions since then. Reading that back - maybe it's obvious and I just need to give myself [and my sore knees!] a proper rest?



  • I don't think you can read much from one race and one bit of data.

    The HR rose during the race as you'd expect and the peak seems to be on a hill ? 

    I wouldn't worry at all about it .if you didn't have the hrm you'd be happy ?

    As you say yourself you're a bit tired. You can't expect to race at your best when you're jaded .Take a few rest days and have a better preparation for the next Race ,?
    The HR data is meaningless unless you know your MHR.   

    For a 10km an average of 90% MHR wouldn't be unusual.
  • ftm42ftm42 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for those comments. Re MHR there are conflicting views. If I use 220-age I get MHR= 166, so 188 seems way high?
  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    that's only because 220-age is just an indication - no relevance to actual MHR at all!!!!!!

  • ftm42ftm42 ✭✭✭
    I hope not. Otherwise I died out there!
    Did you use a chest HRM or a wrist sensor HRM?
  • There's no point in using that 220-age thing to work out your max.  And CLEARLY it's wrong if your HR is already higher than it. 

    And you'd not die if you went past your max.  It'd just show you that your max was wrong. 

    It's when the heart stops that you need to worry. 
  • ftm42ftm42 ✭✭✭
    SHADES - I use a Garmin wrist watch
  • ftm42ftm42 ✭✭✭
    I hope that fact that my heartrate went so high just shows I was trying hard!
    The wrist HRM's are not accurate and show lots of random readings.  They're only accurate when the body is at rest.  If you look in the info on your Garmin it will tell you that.   So nothing to worry about getting high readings. 

    You'd need to use a chest HRM if you want accurate data.
  • SHADES said:
    You'd need to use a chest HRM if you want accurate data.

    Or not - my HRM (chest strap) often shows HR at around 220 for a mile or so at the start of a run before settling down, which is clearly nonsense.  But my ECG has a T-wave inversion which I suspect is fooling the HRM into thinking HR is higher than it actually is.  Not tried a wrist one but I'd be interested to see if it showed the same thing.

    Regardless of the accuracy of the actual numbers, HR drifting up during steady exercise is an indicator of overtraining and the need for a bit of a rest and recovery.  But so is feeling run down after a hard period of training, you don't really need a HRM to tell you that!

    Dave - a high reading at the start of your run is very common and usually means that the chest strap isn't tight enough and there would be no sweat that early into a run to help. Tighten the chest strap and wet the contacts and it should be fine.

    Cardiac drift is not necessarily a sign of overtraining, it's also a sign of lack of fitness, a few months base training will sort that out. 

    But the originator of this post was running a 10km race and you would expect HR to climb during a 10km race due to effort.
  • I tried those tricks with the chest strap Shades, poor contact was my first thought but that wasn't it.  It would happen regardless, even after having it on through a warm up on  hot, sweaty day.
    Dave - that's unusual then, but at least it settles down for the important part of your training.
  • ftm42ftm42 ✭✭✭
    Been out for a jog round the block this morning, primarily to test out my knee, which I now fear has 'gone' again.

    Maybe the high heartrate at the 10K was an early warning that I have been over doing it? After a week in Spain, walking miles every day, which my heart can cope with but my legs can't, I have been very stiff and sore all the time. Looks like I may have overdone it [for me] - even though if you looked at my training log you'd wonder why my non-running hubby claims I'm obsessed! I don't have any fun runs / races coming up until a 10K 16 June, so I'll give myself a full week off and just stretch for a bit.
  • ftm42ftm42 ✭✭✭
    Cheerful Dave - what's a T-wave inversion?
  • ftm42 - after the main peak in an ECG trace is a smaller one called the T-wave.  There's an abnormality in which that bit is inverted.  There are lots of potential causes, including genetic heart conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy so if they see it the docs will send you for further tests pronto.  However mine is not permanent, it's exercise-induced and therefore not genetic.  If I stop training for a couple of months it disappears.  A fairly common trait in elite East African endurance athletes apparently, which fairly obviously I'm not.
Sign In or Register to comment.