December 29, 2009

Heart Breaker...

Dream maker... just like the Pat Benetar song (which I can rock out on Guitar Hero, btw)! LOL. This post is actually about my HR. I was very pleased to open a Garmin 405 on Christmas Eve. I was even more surprised when I saw my average HR for my run the next morning. See, the HRM is going to be a love/hate relationship. I've always been curious about my HR, but never tested it b/c I've been afraid. Yep, afraid that I'm doing something wrong or afraid that something is wrong with me. So, you can imagine how I feel now that I really do think something is wrong after seeing that my HR has been in the 153-163 range on EASY runs!!!???!!! After doing a little reading, here are some possible reasons for my elevated HR:

1. I am stressed. I'm not stressed beyond belief at this moment, but in general, the past few months (well, actually all of 2009) has been stressful. This stress has led to fitful and short nights of sleep. We all know that has a cumulative effect on performance, maybe my HR, too?

2. The extra clothing is causing small misfires in the HRM. On all 3 runs where I wore the HRM, I had on more than one layer. Hhhmmm.... just something to consider.

3. I'm doing my runs too hard. I really don't think this is it. My pace is within line of my recent marathon time.

4. I've read that a person's HR can be elevated 6 to 8 weeks AFTER a marathon. San Antonio was Nov. 15, so this could be the case.

5. Caffeine? Oh, please, don't let this be it. I drink 2 cups of 1/2 caf in the morning, and usually have one diet coke in the afternoon. Actually, I always have a diet coke in the afternoon. I can't teach math without one. Seriously.

6. Maybe I just have a higher HR. I haven't tested my max yet, but I guess it's possible that I just have a very wide range between resting HR and max HR. (Resting is 39 bpm.)

That's all for now. I'm going to continue to track this HR thing, and continue reading about it.

Happy New Years, everyone!!!!


  1. i've never actually used a hrm before so i can't really give sound advice but i'm sure that your stress level has so much to do with it. too much stress (like youve experienced in recent month) is definitely not the greatest thing your body wants.

    but my avg heart rate is around there for easy runs too and i don't feel like i'm working too hard either. let us know what you find out!

  2. Rebecca, that's not so high! You don't know your max so how can you put a value judgement on it? My max is 198 and my low is 48 so 153-163 is right in the midst of aerobic range for me. If you're using the formulas, forget about it, the only way to know your max is through testing. And congrats on the low HR, very cool that you're below 40!

  3. I use mine sporadically and my HR is always elevated. I was diagnoses several years ago (12?) with mitral valve prolapse so it might be due to the heart murmur, but I do think some people just have higher HRs.

  4. Happy New Years!! I wouldn't worry too much about the numbers...see how consistent it remains over time...

  5. My heart rate is around there for easy runs too. I think you are fine.