Irregularity in HR after workouts

  • Creator
  • #42381

    I started training with a chest strap hrm mid march, and have noticed a consistent pattern that goes against my understanding. I’ve read that when fatigued, it’s common to have to run far slower than usual to stay under AeT. Or simply, after a hard workout run (intervals/tempos etc.), the next day on the recovery/easy aerobic effort, HR at a given pace should be higher than usual, right?

    Example. If 155bpm is 9min/mile pace. The day after a hard workout, i should expect 155bpm to be slower, at say 9:30 to 10 min/mile pace. But the opposite has consistently been occurring. The run following the workout (<24 hours later), my 155bpm pace is faster than usual, down to <8min/mile. Running at 9:30min/mile pace my heart rate drops as low as high 130s. I’m seemingly running faster, whilst more easily staying under AeT, the day following a hard effort.

    Two days after the workout, that 155bpm pace is back up to about 9min/mile pace, despite feeling recovered and fresh enough for another workout effort. If i don’t do a workout for a few days/week, this pace:HR ratio is maintained.

    This has been consistent with 2 HRM chest straps, and over multiple weeks containing 2 workouts. I guess i’m curious as to how to pace my recovery runs, and if the faster pace post workout are still actually aerobic efforts? It’s great if they are, as i’m able to run further in the time i have, but besides not making sense, it seems to good to be true.

  • Participant
    Dada on #42403


    I think it’s the other way around, so what you observe is correct. Hard training is yielding higher resting HR and lower HR for the same effort.

    I think the reason for the higher resting HR is that you left homeostasis. The lower HR at effort is probably due to fatigue and your heart is not able to keep up bc it’s still tired due to stress from the day before.


    Anonymous on #42405

    I’m not sure I can help here. I’ve never seen anything like what you are describing. If your perceived exertion on the 155HR @ 8min/mile pace runs is similar to the the PE when you run a few days later at 155 @ 9min/mile that is truly confusing.

    I wish I could offer some insight and I will be thinking about this.


    Anonymous on #42408

    I haven’t seen anything like this either.

    1. What is your current weekly training load?
    2. How long have you been training at that volume?
    3. What’s the training volume in the last twelve months?
    4. Each week, what is the distribution in high-intensity minutes (above aerobic threshold) to low (below aerobic threshold)?

    Andreas on #42415

    I thought Dada had it right in the first answer but now I’m confused as well. Josh never talks about PE so I assume his reasoning is purely based on the HR measurement and defined AeT HR. Don’t know what was changed in the original post when it was modified though.

    I’m experiencing the same thing. I don’t know if I’ve actually seen a post here in this forum that clearly states that what Dada said is true but I thought there were a few that at least are hinting in this direction.
    My training plan calls for a Z2 max run the day after my long run and sometimes my HR for the Z2 max run is lower for the same power that I normally run at. This usually coincides with when I don’t get adequate rest after my long run (when the real world limits my couch time). However, my perceived effort is roughly the same for the same pace so I’m trying to limit myself based on PE (thus running with a lower HR) instead of pushing my HR up to the “defined” AeT HR. HR usually catches up to PE after a while. But I find it incredibly hard to judge the effort based on PE so I’ve started to back off when I’m feeling like this and instead doing a mid Z2 run.

    So, two questions:

    1. Is it true what Dada says? Lower HR while running a known trail at the same pace the day after a hard workout is probably due to fatigue?
    2. And if so, does it mean that you most likely are running in Z3 if you at this point increase your pace so that the HR measurement matches the defined AeT HR?

    I’ve been working under the assumption that the answer is yes and yes but it would be great to get it clarified.

    joshuawperry on #42416

    1. 10-14 hours running a week, which usually translates to 70-80mpw w/10-15000ft of ascent.
    2. This volume has been fairly consistent since December, besides 1 month off.
    3. Last years training was higher volume but overwhelming very easy running, and included more cross training, ME and core work (training for Long Trail/PCT/Arizona Trail FKTs). Average volume for the first half of the year as 22 hours a week. I then spent 5 months hiking on various long distance routes and trails. November was spent recovering, and then i started training again in December.
    4. I’m doing 2 workout runs weekly, which excluding warm up/cool down, usually last 30-45 minutes each. Strides or hill sprints once a week (10-15 minutes?), and might spend another 30-60 minutes above AeT on my long runs, depending on length. So at most 2h45m above AeT

    joshuawperry on #42417


    PE is slightly higher at the 8min/155bpm pace, than at 9min/155bpm pace, but not by much.


    PE is similar, but my reasoning was based purely on HR measurements/AeT. The original post was edited to add the last paragraph, and to fix errors. But it is as you are describing, and your questions are what i’m trying to find out too.

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