Heart rate doesn't go up when I go up

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  • #42594

    Hi there,

    I’m coming off of my base period and going into the sport-specific period. I’ve been doing about 12 hours of training a week. I’m planning to climb Rainier again in about a month. On Saturday, I did 5000 feet of gain with a 18 pound pack, at about a 1200 feet per hour pace. I felt like I was going as fast as I could. I have exercise-induced asthma, it’s allergy season, I was wheezing, my legs were burning, I was sweating… and my heart rate was in the 90s, in recovery zone. My heart rate was higher on flat sections and going down because I could move faster.

    TNFA says I should do a work out of 1/2 max elevation gain and 75% of max weight, which for me is 2500 feet and 26 pounds… and it says I should be in zone 3. My heart rate gets to maybe 110. What am I doing wrong?

    I had a similar issue around this point in my training last summer.


  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #42595


    I doubt you are doing anything wrong. I suspect it has much to do with your asthma and allergies.

    While 90bpm is the lowest I’ve heard of for this type of workout I would forgo the HR. Clearly you are working as hard as you able. HR is not a great indicator of intensity when the muscular load is very high like in weighted pack carries. If you read the articles on this site or some of the forum posts regarding this type of muscular endurance training you will read repeated references to not using HR as any sort of guide to intensity in these workouts.

    The determination of intensity should come from the perceived exertion and local leg muscle fatigue.

    I hope this helps,

    Shashi on #42596


    Can you please confirm if you are using a heart rate monitor with a chest strap?

    rachelkroberts11 on #42597

    Scott- thanks. I’ve been doing pack carries as part of base training for a few months, and my heart rate was higher when I started in the winter- when I was in worse shape, and the allergies were not as bad. I expect some of this is just getting in better shape.

    Shashi- I am using a chest strap.

    Dada on #42603

    Hi Rachel,

    I have the same problem. In allergy season top of Z1 fells so damn hard but the HR is very low. I found out that has almost nothing to do with our lungs. Our body feels sick. I found a workaround, but check with a doctor first:

    Besides my normal asthma drugs, I take 5mg of Prednisolone on longer alpine training days. That’s a totally different world and gets me closer to winter season.

    If you find another relief, let me know, since the Cortisone makes me vulnerable to infections.

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