Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Heart rate is overrated, or over-inflated

I've had a Garmin watch for about 3 years and it came with a heart rate monitor that I have only just started using in the past couple of months.  I think I am ready to unplug it, not because I don't like it - but because I don't like what it says.
Wearing it on most runs recently a common occurrence on each and every run has got my attention.  I usually start my run with a resting heart rate of about 80 to 90 - but then for the first 1 mile, sometimes a little longer, it spikes up to near 190 and stays there for a mile or more.  This can be on a flat trail or on a steep climb like the Manitou Incline. 
After that initial mile long spike it will then suddenly drop back to about 120-140 or so depending on the terrain that I am running.  For the remaining time in a run - be it 4, 8, 12 or whatever miles the heart rate will slightly climb but not usually get back up much over 150.
What do I do with this info?  I have no idea.  Is it a quirk or a glitch with the HRM or Garmin?  Is my heart about to burst in the first mile of every run?  It happens on my slow and easy runs of 9 ish mile pace too - fwiw.
I'm wondering before I start on a run I should maybe do jumping jacks to get the heart rate up or something.  I like the idea of the data it provides - I think it should help me understand a little bit more or my running / effort.  But, is it really accurate and helpful?  Or maybe I should just unplug it? 

26 long slow miles on the docket for tomorrow, 2 laps of the Falcon Trail at the Air Force Academy.  Wondering how my heart will like that. 

1 comment:

  1. Typically what I see on a HR monitor in the first 10 minutes I disregard. With the dryness of CO, we often get a misreading initially because the HR monitor instead ends up reading some static electricity between you and your shirt. Once things moisten up a bit, this problem usually goes away.

    Additionally, there is some degree of "warm up" that makes initial readings nutty.

    I fix this by a.) not wearing a shirt in the summer b.) moistening the contact between you and the HR strap before the run.

    I expect you will see some "cardiac drift" today.