Reasons for a sudden hike in HR?

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  • #61608
    davelockyer101
    Participant

    I’m trying to figure out reasons why my HR has jumped and remained high in recent months. I often run the same series of local loops and have analysed data since Jan 2021. In November it looks like my HR jumped about 15-20 bpm on the same course at the same pace and it’s remained high ever since. I’ve had some cardiac related tests which haven’t identified any issues. There have been some life stresses but these have settled down. The only other thing I’ve noticed is that my breathing has been a bit laboured. I am of course following this up with my GP but wanted to ask if a ventilation issue would result in a hike in Heart Rate? Part of me even wonders if I may have had a mild bout of Covid which has left me with lingering breathing issues which are yet to clear up…

  • Participant
    bback on #61627

    Are your breathing issues only when you exercise or also at rest? Definitely get cleared by a doctor. Lots of odd infections beyond covid happening these days. Any lack of oxygen including breathing issues will make the hr go up.

    Participant
    davelockyer101 on #61629

    At rest also. Just feel What I can best describe as being slightly asthmatic. Strange because it’s years since I’ve had any asthma. The weird thing is that the hike in HR is much more noticeable when out running trails. I do quite a bit of work on the Elliptical and my stats on this have maybe gone up slightly but are comparable. Just trying to figure this out…

    Participant
    dcgm on #61669

    “The weird thing is that the hike in HR is much more noticeable when out running trails.”

    Allergies? You notice anything funny when you just go for a walk in the area?

    What about something stupid like a change in surface (if it got muddy/icy/slick in November) or temperature?

    (Obviously if you’re not used to the heat you’ll see lower pa:HR, and maybe you’re in the southern hemisphere or something. I could swear I’ve also noticed depressed pa:HR when the combination of weather and clothing leaves me _really_ cold. I have no explanation for this and I don’t think I’ve heard it from anyone else, but I suppose there’s a reason the fastest marathons are run at 50 Fahrenheit in Berlin and not -10 Fahrenheit in Svalbard.).

    Participant
    davelockyer101 on #61675

    Some good questions. It’s an all weather track so not much variation in terms of surface etc.. and my HR has been pretty consistent een with weatehr variations. If anything it should go down in the Autumn due to the cooler weather. I’ve attached some of the data where I’ve isolatd runs done on this particular loop and some comments that may or may not be relevant.

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    Participant
    davelockyer101 on #61774

    As an update, I’ve been drilling into this a bit more and it turns out I replaced the soft strap of my Garmin HRM at the time that the HR data jumped. I really shoul dhave noticed this! I’m wondering if this might be a factor (there’s a been a mix of health things going on too which may have been distracting me) and have ordered a new strap. It looks like witht he new strap the HR accuracy is not too bad when at low Zone 1 on the elliptical or on a flat course but when I introduce some undulation and things start to get into Zone 2 the strap accuracy starts to deteriorate. That’s my latest theory anyway…. Will try the new strap and report back 🙂

    Moderator
    Jane Mackay on #61778

    Dave, do you moisten the strap (spittle works better than water) before putting it on? In cold, dry weather my Wahoo strap shows that same pattern of working ok at Z1 heart rates but then spiking ridiculously high when the heart starts to work a bit harder. It seems to be because it takes a while before moisture reaches the surface of my skin from the exertion and so early on in the workout there isn’t enough moisture there to accurately conduct the electrical signal of the HR. My Polar H10 is more accurate (the working part of the strap has a much larger surface area) but I moisten it anyway in dry cold weather because it will also sometimes go haywire.

    However, if your strap is giving wacky readings for more than ten minutes or so, this might not be the problem. Have you also tried changing the battery in the monitor? It’ll be interesting to see what results you get with the new strap.

    Participant
    davelockyer101 on #61804

    I think the strap may not be working properly. I do try and keep the batteries fresh and replace thos when I start to get some spiking in the data. Thanks anyway. Like you said, the straps can be a bit tempermental, especially when dry…

    Participant
    bback on #61806

    Equipment can surely make a hr reading spike. It won’t make your breathing go up. If running on a track the only breathing increase would be running harder due to a low reading from the monitor. But then you should see an increase in speed or distance over a set time.

    So two different things going on? A medical and equipment problem? Or perhaps an equipment problem leading to increased effort and you not paying enough attention to what’s happening from run to run?

    Either way multi problems at one time can be frustrating to fix.

    Participant
    brianbauer on #61879

    do you track respiratory rate? I have seasonal allergies that pop up from time to time and the biggest signal is my respiratory rate. after that, temperature matters quite a bit. when its hot( above 80F) or cold(below 20F) my HR goes up higher during exercise.
    eg. in mild conditions my respiratory rate while running/racing is under 20. this past weekend I had a skimo race and my respiratory rate was 40…it was 5F and windchill of 0F. my HR during this race was also about 10bpm higher than normal for similar efforts in mild weather.

    Participant
    davelockyer101 on #62171

    So, I’ve replaced the strap and can eliminate that as the issue as my HR is still elevated. Pretty frustrating as what would have been a Zone 1 run is now upper Zone 2. I’m wondering if it is after stress induced rather than any underlying physiological issue. I guess this is similar to an overtraining scenario? Can stress trigger a sustained elevation in heart rate and what’s the protocol for recovering from this?

    Participant
    davelockyer101 on #63983

    Update – Still trying to get to the bottom of this. I’ve had an ECG which didn’t show anything and am awaiting results of an Echocardiogram. The HR settle down for a few weeks but recently began to spike again when exercising. What would usually be a relatively moderate Zone 1 effort sends it up into Z3/Z4. My respiratory rate doesn’t seem to change (I’m not panting at what is above my LT). Am hoping the echocardiogram sheds some light on things when I sit with the cardiologist to discuss the results….

    Participant
    davelockyer101 on #66345

    Update on this – I got to see the cardiologist after the echocardiogram and he diagnosed ectopic heart beats and gave me the all clear to resume training. I explained about the hike in HR when exercising and he suggested I throw away the HR strap and not worry about it. I haven’t done that and my HR is still a good 10-15 bpm above where it should be when exercising. Running feels like harder work than it should but I’m getting out and gradually building up some moderate volume hoping it will settle down. I’m wondering is I should go back to some very low Z1 activities (which will be power walking)
    and wait for the HR to settle down?

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