HR issues after recovery week

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  • #35840

    It seems as though after every recovery week, the first workout back is impossible to keep the HR in check. It has been consistently happening every time and I am curious as to how to approach these days. I think I know the answer but I would like to see what you guys think.

    For instance, after 3 high volume weeks, I took 3 days of recovery (1 hr a day total including warm-up, 35-40 TSS per workout of 15-25% treadmill walking). Today, my first workout after that 3 day block, HR shot up to 150 as soon as I headed up a steep hill, at the same pace that was more like a 140 HR during the training cycle. Is this due to HR suppression of some level during the high volume weeks (20hrs, which is pretty norm for me)? Maybe this is the normal paces for that HR?

    Or is this just a normal issue people have? Should the first workout back after a recovery week be a hard interval day or something of that nature since the HR does not want to stay down anyways? And the legs feel great to do something like that? Then swing back into the normal lower HR routine.

    Another concern with this is how to taper for my A goal ultra races this year. I know my legs feel great after a few days of recovery, however, if I am targeting a certain HR for the first half of the race before I just go by feel, it is going to be a very frustrating first half if my HR is not where it should be for the given effort level (if that makes any sense).

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    Rachel on #35937

    Are you sure you are fully recovered? Three days of recovery that have hour long workouts would not be recovery for me, but we are all different. Have you looked at your overnight HR rate or tried the Rusko orthostatic test? I’ve noticed my overnight HR tends to rise over a 3 week build cycle, then goes back down to lower end of my range during my recovery week.

    Anonymous on #35959

    What Rachel said. Three days of recovery after several 20-hour weeks is not enough.

    Not every system recovers at the same rate. Just because your legs and mind feel ready to go, that doesn’t mean that everything is ready to go. I would take at least a week between build periods.


    * How long have you been training at that volume? As you alluded to, perhaps it’s too much right now and you’re getting into Overtraining Land during your build weeks.

    * What are you using to determine what is a “normal” heart rate for a given pace? Where is 140-150 in relation to your aerobic and anaerobic thresholds?

    Should the first workout back after a recovery week be a hard interval day or something of that nature since the HR does not want to stay down anyways?

    That sounds too aggressive to me… at least until you know more.

    Anonymous on #36005

    Here’s a couple of other possible things to consider:

    Is you HR chest strap clean? Wash/rinse it with hand soap 1x/week. That can give crazy HR readings especially at the beginning of a workout before you are sweating much.

    High HR with low effort is a good sign that you are recovered well. Low Hr with high effort is the best sign that you are tired/not recovered.

    I always can tell when my athletes are going to have a good race. During their worm up they can’t keep their HR down. But they feel snappy and good so effort is low.

    If these first workouts are done with the same perceived exertion as others with low HR then I’d guess you are somewhat recovered. But HR will be suppressed during big build weeks do to accumulated fatigue.

    Can you compare your rate of climb or pace between the 140 and 150 workouts?


    Anonymous on #36022

    Rachel, feeling very much recovered. Resting HR dropped down into the 40s after the 3 recovery days.

    Scott S, I have been training at this volume for a while, last year back when my CTL bumped up to 150, I was consistently at 20hr weeks and not further down than -30 form except for a couple weeks. CTL dropped to 80-90 over summer/early fall when I dropped training volume to <10hr weeks and mostly not training, just cycling mostly with occasional hikes/runs. October time frame I started bumping volume and running back up. At the time of this recovery week, my form was -40 towards the end, and after 3 days it was at +5. CTL back up to 125-130.

    As far as HR’s go, I had my tests done last year at Boulder. 135 was the last HR taken before lactate rose from baseline (1.0), 151 was at 1.3 and that was where fats/carbs were equal. 169 was 1.9 (AeT* depending on the definition used) with around 25-30% fat still, 178 was AnT where fat metabolism ended and lactate went to 3-4+

    Scott J, HR monitor is clean! I’ve read all the issues about them and had plenty of issues of my own before but it has been very consistent since I switched to the polar chest strap *knock on wood* . Your answer makes sense as like I said earlier, according to TP my form went from -30 to 40 range up to +5 in those 3 days.

    Pace of climbs: I did 45′ incline at 145bpm HR during mid-cycle. I was consistently at 53-55ish if I kept my HR below 138. Then yesterday, it was at the 53-55ish mark and 145-150 HR felt almost identical to the effort level of 138 mid-training.

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