Frightening HR!!!

here's one for the experts...

my wife's HR is off the scale when she runs and i want to understand why and if we should be worried, be careful etc etc.

here's the data:

age 45
height 5'4
weight 8'7
fitness decent

resting HR 85
alleged MHR - 170
running HR - 180 doing a 10m/m

i have never come across this situtaion before and can't find any guidance elsewhere on the web.

any thoughts/experiences?


  • Max HR varies from person to person. Your wife's max HR is (presumably!) a fair bit over 180. Nothing whatsoever to worry about.
  • Forget the stuff about calculating her MHR - its impossible for her max to be 170 if she's hitting 180.

    If she didn't use a HRM - she'd be fine.

    She must have a high MHR - her resting one is high to begin with.

    If she's got any worries - get a checkup, but just from these figures - I can't see anything to worry about.
  • a resting HR of 85 seems a little high for someone who you describe as "fitness decent". It may be worth checking the HRM is working properly
  • I've had my max Hr up to 195, resting at 46bpm. I'm 40 and fit. Never had any problems cardiac wise and no history in the family.

    However, I do have very low blood pressure, 92/56 where most people are in the region of 120/80. This may have a bearing on the wide range of heart rate when exrecising
  • yep

    maybe the resting HR is a bit overstated.

    that's when standing on the treadmill before setting off, so there's probably a bit of tension in there etc.

    i'll try to get a reading tonight whilst lousie is watching TV or the same!
  • I'm no expert, by resting HR sounds high - is that actually resting or just middle of the day having been walking around and just sat down reading? The advice for a true resting HR is first thing in the mooring just woken up.

    You also say alleged MHR? Is that working on 220ish minus age? This is very deceptive there can be huge variation either side of this. true max HR is the maximum the heart will actually go to - so far for your wife it's 180, but sounds like it would go higher.

    The book everyone raves about for HR training is Heart Monitor Training for the Complete Idiot. I've found it very informative.

    If you're both worried however, it's always worth a trip to the GP.
  • That's not a nice name to call her. Shame on you. ;-)
  • Maybe a visit to the GP to check her BP would be a good idea?

    What's the diet like? Low-sodium, plenty of water/ fresh fruit/ vegetables, low in processed food/ diet drinks?

    And presumably a non-smoker too?

    In my book her rhr is at least 10bpm too fast.
  • It's not her resting HR - see WwR's second post.

    Perfectly normal. Honest!
  • It's not necessarily a bad thing. Don't panic too much as there are some people out there who do have higher heart rates than the average. Our friend Spans being one of them. By all means, see the GP, but as I say, don't panic just yet.
  • Oooops, my apologies.

    RHR is of course your heart-rate when you first wake before getting out of bed.

    In that case probably nothing to worry about! The MHR calculation is just an approximation, so I wouldn't set too much store by it, from what I can tell it's quite unreliable. In any case your MHR is no indicator of health, just handy to know if you train by HR zones.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Sitting HR is about 10bpm higher than lying down, standing can be another 10bpm higher.

    I can easily get to 170+ at less than 10m/m, unless I'm going downhill.

    Unless she feels dizzy or exceptionally short of breath, it doesn't sound as if there's anything to worry about.
  • My average heart rate whilst jogging (approx 10 minuite mile) is 205. GP didn't seem to think this was a problem.
  • Does low blood pressure as Damo suggests have an effect on hr in general? I have low blood pressure 110/60 on average and a rhr of 48. Even though I'm pretty fit my heart is around 170/180 when jogging at a steady pace. Would be interesting to know.

    I will have a look at that guide too.
  • Fin -- you've not got low blood pressure ;o) and your RHR is fine.

    My 2p...

    For your health... it isn't how high your heart rate goes to during exercise... it is how quickly it slows down afterwards. That is, if the heart recovers quickly then I would say that the MHR of 170 has probably been calculated wrong. The age/ sex things are a bit hit and miss in my book - simply because it doesn't take into account individual characteristics which might influence the HR.

  • Just note that the numbers for max HR are estimates based on measuring lots of people and trying to find a rule that fits them all.

    It not right for everybody. Your max HR is whatever you measure it to me. You can either have it correctly measured at a fitness centre where they will get you to execrise under controlled conditions, or you can measure it yourself if you think can you are fit enough, BUT ONLY IF YOU ARE FIT ENOUGH. If you have any doubt, don't do it.

    Warm up throughly, and go to a base of a long hill (you are stuffed if you live in the Fens). Run up the hill hard for 20 seconds, stop and jog back to the bottom. Note your max HR during the run. Repeat 3 or 4 times. As you become tired your max on the runs will start to become less and the previous run will have acheived your max.

    That's your true figure. The book mentionn by DBD is very useful.

    I became a HRM bore, then realised that having a machine telling me what to do was spoiling my enjoyment of just being out there running. So mines gathering dust. Anyone out there want a free HRM and book?

  • all VERY HELPFUL STUFF - thanks so much for this!!
Sign In or Register to comment.