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Heart Rate

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I went skiing (see TR if you wish)...
I had worn an HR device (just from the record it is a Polar 200, whose chest strap appears to be the only working with my chest scar, other devices did not get their signal through, probably because of the bad contact between skin and strap)
Anyway...the device is not equipped to trace so I had to check it at intervals, I noticed that :
-while driving, as I was apporaching te hill the HR was progressively slowing, till it bottomed to 74 (pretty close to "everyday ops"
-Once on skis, if sitting on the chairlift it was 80-94
-As soon as I was standing and beginning to ski 130
-In the heat of the moment during a run 156-160 only to get nearly immediately down to 104-110 once reached the bottom station of the chairlift.

The 156-160 despite that I was forcing myself to breathe "hard" and regularly during the "action"..
Of cousre I may not be fit as I should, still, I ran on the tapis roulant and went to the swimming pool at least once a week...
As regularly as possible.
Question, knowing that there's isn't anything like the "real thing" to be fit in that, and knowing that I can't force my "dry" trainings
what can I do to try to keep the HR down to 130-140 max during "the action"?
-Yoga/Taiji?
-Lose weight (I'm sligthly over what I should be, let's say 5 kg ) ?
-Should I give up and stop skiing altogether (this is the second season I'm sking after a three years force hiatus) sicne my first time out I'm feeling worse than last year (every ski day costs me the equivalent of next day in bed deadly tired, to put it a bit of drama in)?
Exercise more than what I do (45 minutes jog of the tapis roulant and 700 mt swimming) would mean that I'd have to fight more and more with hunger (swimming increases my appetite , which in turn
increases my weight...)
post #2 of 24
Answer: None of the above:

Just enjoy your self and go skiing more often. My heart rate has always naturally been on the high side, and it's never resulted in any problems. Actually it's lower now that I'm terribly out of shape than it was when I was in super shape. Of course thinking back to those days, I also remember freaking out friends and coleages by changing it at will. Skiing is exciting, it should get your heart going.

And that whole 220 minus your age thing is crap in my opinion; I can recall getting 220 + my age. I guess I'm part bird.

Both my parents have had bypass surgery. Mom showed plenty of symptoms, but the quacks didn't have a clue until she had a massive heart attack. Her heart rate was normal. My Dad's was always slow. I don't have a family quack, and haven't had a check up in decades. Watch me have a heart attack tomorrow LOL!

Disclaimer: I'm not a medical Doctor and the above is for entertainment purposes and not medical advice.

Edit: How long since your heart surgery?
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks Ghost, don't worry about disclaimers and so on...
Surgery it's been in Feb 2005, I stopped skiing jan 2005, I expressly asked the surgeon to delay surgery a week or two so to let me go skiing one last time, talk about being stupid...When they opened it up, bound out that the valve was so thin and in such bad shape that could have broken anytime.
I skied last week of January and the next monday (I think it was Jan 29th) I entered the hospital...in Dec 2005 I skied briefly once (Alpine then in Feb 2006 cross country) just to show myself that I could do it, but I realized that it was not time, yet. Then I waited for a while and last winter (2007-2008) decided the time had come, I managed to ski 6-7 days, which is pretty close to what the average "sunday skier" logs in here, and plan to ski more this year (at least double than that)
But see, last year I did not have an HR with me, and felt ok, this year, the damn thing is making me think too much...
(of course if I were to talk to my doc about this doubt, his answer would be pretty simple "quit skiing")
I guess that I needed just to vent a bit.
Thanks again Ghost.
post #4 of 24
Interesting discussion. Nobody, your love of skiing is at a higher level than many. What is the difference in elevation from your home and your ski area? If it's more than a 1000 meters that could make your heart beat a little faster. You should gain some altitude tolerance as the season progresses. Also, assuming your doctor doesn't object, if you keep skiing, but go slow and stop often to rest you should progress to better ski fitness.
post #5 of 24

your heart rates seem perfect for circiut training

its just about what i aim for on my bike.

if you are not having any symptoms, you are in a good range for building collaterals
post #6 of 24
150-160 doesn't seem unreasonable for an activity like skiing. while jogging, i don't even feel out of breath in that range. do you actually know your max heart rate? ghost is right, the 220-age thing is rubbish. my max is well over 200 at age 37. if you're that tired after a day of skiing, maybe you should take it easier and pack it in earlier. i think a lot of people push themselves past what they normally would because they want to get their money's worth out of an all day lift ticket. think about it, in how many other sports do people go at it for 8 hours a day?
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
Yesterday I went skiing (see TR if you wish)...
I had worn an HR device (just from the record it is a Polar 200, whose chest strap appears to be the only working with my chest scar, other devices did not get their signal through, probably because of the bad contact between skin and strap)
Anyway...the device is not equipped to trace so I had to check it at intervals, I noticed that :
-while driving, as I was apporaching te hill the HR was progressively slowing, till it bottomed to 74 (pretty close to "everyday ops"
Interesting. How long is the trip from home to hill?

Quote:
The 156-160 despite that I was forcing myself to breathe "hard" and regularly during the "action"..
That is a lot.

The problem I see there is the words 'forcing' and 'hard'. This actually raises heart rate.

Quote:
Of cousre I may not be fit as I should, still, I ran on the tapis roulant and went to the swimming pool at least once a week...
As regularly as possible.
Question, knowing that there's isn't anything like the "real thing" to be fit in that, and knowing that I can't force my "dry" trainings
what can I do to try to keep the HR down to 130-140 max during "the action"?
- Drink more water.
- Practice breathing on the treadmill/tapis roulant.

I think you will find that 'forcing' and 'hard' tend to actually have the opposite effect, breathing is no longer natural or deep.

Ideally, you'd get the breathing practiced so that you naturally breathe like an opera singer, without thinking about it.

- Take more ski lessons to make skiing muscularly easier on your body. (Get an older instructor, not a 19 year old, this makes more of a difference than you would think). This might require a look at your gear as well.

Quote:
-Should I give up and stop skiing altogether (this is the second season I'm sking after a three years force hiatus) sicne my first time out I'm feeling worse than last year (every ski day costs me the equivalent of next day in bed deadly tired, to put it a bit of drama in)?
You are working too hard at skiing. The heart rates you describe are more appropriate to semi-fast running than to skiing.

Skiing is (or should be) much easier and more joyful than running uphill at 15kph.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks all for the replies!

So, let me see, the elevation delta between “home” and the “home hill” it’s about 600m (hill parking lot is at 800 m a.s.l. , home at 267m a.s.l.) then the lifts/majority of the runs base is at 1700 m a.s.l. (covered from the parking lot by cable car in about 10 minutes) so, in total I climb 1433 m over a distance of 37-40 km in slightly more than one and an half hours, according to traffic conditions.
Runs area is pretty flat and wide, with the exception of a “peak” at a 1950 m and a “bottom” (on the opposite “hill” side from where I arrive) at 1340 m (chairlift takes 15 minutes to bring ppl back to the main area, lifts are run at minimum speed on weekdays).
.
At home, while “running” (in fact it’s a slow jog) on the treadmill I practice a sort of interval training :
-walk 5 minutes at 4.6 km/h
-run 2 minutes at 5.6 km/h (repeat 10 times)
-walk one minute at 4.6 km/h (repeat 9 times)
-walk 5 minutes at 4.6-4.2 km/h
During this exercise, for the first five minutes my HR stays 85-90, then in the running phase I have (can keep, manage to keep) observed it to stay below 130 for at least halfway through, then approaching the end of the exercise, to go beyond that as I get more tired (130-136-140).
During the walk phases, it goes down from the running values to 110-100, and in the last 5 minutes it slowly decreases till 92-95 (approx)
.
As for Friday, a thing to take note of, it is that I was alone, and so tended not to pause at all while on a run or not as much as I would have, had I been with other people.
I can’t find out what is my max HR, doc would not allow that test while recovering after surgery (I was exempted from the treadmill test prior to dismissal, despite my asking for, it was deemd too dangerous)…
Granted, this was my first ski day of the season, so I’ve a lot to tweak, mainly I must dry-train more frequently but at a lighter intensity, and lose weight…
.
Symptoms, beyond sore knees and general tiredness for the whole week end…I feel a pointed pain right besides and slightly below my left shoulder blade, and same thing behind my sternum
Both should be congruent with my present conditions (I also suffered from kidneys bleeding this spring, a thing that may have set back a notch or two my general fitness state)…and an alert that I need to improve my general fitness.
Sore shins, I suspect from too much/hard contact between said shins and boots tongue (might be the sign I was working, as Comprex says, too hard at skiing)
.
The breath; it’s always been my main problem; I am a good swimmer, and swimming is one of the way that I employ to regularize it (alas, it also causes my hunger to exponentially increase!!!). When young , while practicing other sports I used, by reflex, to enter a sort of apnoea…even when skiing I tend (tended) to hold my breath as long as the “action” is being carried out.
.
Ski wise I’m sure that as the season progresses I’ll improve.
post #9 of 24
you said you are forcing yourself to breath hard, does that mean you don't actually feel out of breath? because if you don't feel out of breath, you probably are not really working all that hard. you should probably ask your doctor what he thinks if he thought a treadmill test was too dangerous. also, 5.6km/h is barely above an average walking pace, so i wouldn't be surprised if skiing was a little more strenuous than your treadmill workout. if you really want to make it less strenuous, just don't turn
post #10 of 24
I have to agree with comprex that 150-160 is very high, especially if you are "older" (as in over 40).

For my fitness, 150-160 bpm would be lower Zone 4. In fact 160-165 bpm is around my LT (lactate treshold). I am 46 years old and my max heart rate is around 180-184. And note that I am in top shape from all the mountain bike riding (and lots of racing) I do.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB View Post
I have to agree with comprex that 150-160 is very high, especially if you are "older" (as in over 40).

For my fitness, 150-160 bpm would be lower Zone 4. In fact 160-165 bpm is around my LT (lactate treshold). I am 46 years old and my max heart rate is around 180-184. And note that I am in top shape from all the mountain bike riding (and lots of racing) I do.
well, i'll be 38 in a couple of months and 160bpm is zone 2 at best for me. it's really got nothing to do with your age and everything to do with your max heart rate, which he doesn't know. and max heart rate has nothing to do with the shape you are in. i would say that if he has to force himself to breath hard, then at 160 he isn't working as hard as he thinks. if you're working at your LT, you don't have to force yourself to breath hard.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by epl View Post
i would say that if he has to force himself to breath hard, then at 160 he isn't working as hard as he thinks.
He has to force himself to breathe -at all-. The muscle tension required for his skiing efforts cues him to stop breathing.

Quote:
if you're working at your LT, you don't have to force yourself to breath hard.
He's got far more muscle tension going than anyone doing purely aerobic exercise, at LT or anywhere else. A better model to use would be that of beginner weightlifters who stop breathing at high weights, and go into oxygen debt after ~4 reps. Their HRs shoot skywards too.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
He has to force himself to breathe -at all-. The muscle tension required for his skiing efforts cues him to stop breathing.

.
I'd be breathing very hard after any fairly high intensity piece of a ski run when my coach noticed I was forgetting to breathe. I had other issues as well, like 'sinking' as a run progressed. We worked pretty hard at getting me to remember to breathe---and stand taller by making it a drill, turn one, turn two---breathe, turn three, turn four--- stand up and breathe!

Now I really have to be working to be out of breathe after a run or run segment---even tho I am not all that fit! No idea where my heart rate is.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Again, thanks for your thoughts, all are very helpful in letting me understand more about what's going on.
Let's say that I don't have to "force" my breathing, rather, I have to force myself to remember to breathe, Comprex, you're spot on on that. Then, if i forget, I'd be breathing very hard after stopping, like
skier_j suggests.
Yeah, that turn one, turn two--breathe, turn three turn four-breathe closely resembles a swimming action : stroke-breathe-stroke-breathe...
I guess that my action should be like :
inspire when extending-expire while flexing (I use the old terminology, if i say inspire while releasing and expire while engaging is it any better?)
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by epl View Post
well, i'll be 38 in a couple of months and 160bpm is zone 2 at best for me. it's really got nothing to do with your age and everything to do with your max heart rate, which he doesn't know. and max heart rate has nothing to do with the shape you are in. i would say that if he has to force himself to breath hard, then at 160 he isn't working as hard as he thinks. if you're working at your LT, you don't have to force yourself to breath hard.

+1. Heart rate cannot be generalized. I, like epl, has always been high. Having just turned 41, My max is still over 200, I don't go anaerobic until almost 190, and like epl my Zone2 is in the 150-160 range. I could sit there all day long.

Now having a family history of heart problems I have been sent a couple of time to the cardiologist to have it checked out and it has always been, you have nothing to worry about.

Everyone's different and you can't assign an absolute number as being low, normal or high. The only one who can help is your doctor.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
.
At home, while “running” (in fact it’s a slow jog) on the treadmill I practice a sort of interval training :
-walk 5 minutes at 4.6 km/h
-run 2 minutes at 5.6 km/h (repeat 10 times)
-walk one minute at 4.6 km/h (repeat 9 times)
-walk 5 minutes at 4.6-4.2 km/h
During this exercise, for the first five minutes my HR stays 85-90, then in the running phase I have (can keep, manage to keep) observed it to stay below 130 for at least halfway through, then approaching the end of the exercise, to go beyond that as I get more tired (130-136-140).
During the walk phases, it goes down from the running values to 110-100, and in the last 5 minutes it slowly decreases till 92-95 (approx)

Ski wise I’m sure that as the season progresses I’ll improve.
This work out lacks intensity. With running, more speed less distance. Get your heart rate up by running 2.5 min. at say 6.75 mph. then rest for 1 min and do it again 5 times. You can lower the time from 2.5 min. to 1.5 if you have to. This is just an example. Get your heart rate up.

Swimming and distance running will move you in the opposite direction. It's ok to do them, good to do them, but you need intensity.
post #17 of 24
I read an article about hunting a few years ago. It seems that a lot of middle age hunter suffers heart attacks. It's not because they are exercising so hard. In fact, they are usually sitting in a tree stnd. It's the sudden adrenaline rush that gets 'em.

So what I 'm saying here is that your problem may not be conditioning, it may be that you get overly excited or anxious. Just a possiblity but it may be worth looking into. I seem to remember seeing a heart rate monitor reading fram a world cup downhiller and their pulse was up around 200 during the run. Not an overly aerobic thing, skiing, but it sure gets the heart pumping.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
Not an overly aerobic thing, skiing, but it sure gets the heart pumping.
I guess that's my point. Aerobic exercise is healthy, heart healthy. Aerobic training is steady state in nature - lower heart rate that can be maintained over distance. But intensity training will push your heart rate up. This is good for skiing, IMHO.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
Thanks Ghost, don't worry about disclaimers and so on...
Surgery it's been in Feb 2005, I stopped skiing jan 2005,
Dude, that was like 4 years ago. You should have made some progress by now. Why won't your Doctor allow a little more beats per minute?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
But see, last year I did not have an HR with me, and felt ok
There, you go. Problem solved. Those darned monitors make your heart rate increase! It's brought on by worrying about your heart rate. Stress isn't good for you. Forget the monitor....

Disclaimer: Above is for entertainment purposes only; I am not practising medicine without a license.
post #20 of 24
Your heart rate is only interesting if you know what your anaerobic threshold (AT--the point at which your body starts synthesizing the chemicals to fire your muscles without oxygen & producing lactic acid as a byproduct) is. Until you know your AT, your heart rate is just an arbitrary number. As others have said 220 minus your age is garbage. I'm 40 and my max is over 200 and my AT can still be in the 190s. 150 for me is a recovery workout.

You say you are doing interval training, but unless you know your AT, you have no way of knowing if what you are doing is actually effective. Unless you are willing to go do a Conconi test (and do not try that without talking to your doctor), there is really no reason to use a heart rate monitor. You would be much better off gauging effort on relative perceived exertion (RPE). For interval training (which again, you shouldn't do without clearance from your doctor) you should be breathing hard and it should be *painful* to make it through your two minutes.

As others have mentioned, aerobic training isn't super helpful for skiing because skiing isn't an aerobic sport. Interval training is good (*in moderation*) as it will raise your AT. Ski-specific exercises like squats and lunges are also great as they will increase your muscular endurance for skiing.

Also, you need your carbs if you are going to ski. When your body isn't getting enough oxygen, it synthesizes ATP (the chemical that fires your muscles) using glycogen. Glycogen gets created and stored as a result of eating carbohydrates. Once you burn through your glycogen, you "bonk" which results in extreme fatigue. This may be why you can't get out of bed the next day. It is worth noting that you have about a 30 minute window after exercising where your body will replenish glycogen at a higher rate. Ingesting carbs within the window is the best way to ensure an adequate recovery of your glycogen stores.

Really, the best thing you could do would be to take a ski conditioning class. Doing so will teach you the kinds of exercises that you need to do to target skiing. I guarantee it will make a huge difference in your enjoyment of the sport.
post #21 of 24
informative
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post
Also, you need your carbs if you are going to ski. When your body isn't getting enough oxygen, it synthesizes ATP (the chemical that fires your muscles) using glycogen. Glycogen gets created and stored as a result of eating carbohydrates. Once you burn through your glycogen, you "bonk" which results in extreme fatigue. This may be why you can't get out of bed the next day. It is worth noting that you have about a 30 minute window after exercising where your body will replenish glycogen at a higher rate. Ingesting carbs within the window is the best way to ensure an adequate recovery of your glycogen stores.
This is interesting. I just started back on the South Beach Diet (Phase 1) in order to shed a few pounds. And since then, I bonk easily. Should I be increasing my carbs as I increase my activity level?
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
ski conditioning class, right, I was taking that "before"...I had planned to restart taking those this fall, but I decided for the alternative treadmill / swimming /walking as much as possible...

Ghost, believe me, summer 2006 I wasn't still able to walk steadly/climb stepladders (imagine a village by the seaside in Liguria, with narrow alleways) without needing to stop to catch my breath at regular intervals.
Summer 2008...I think I've posted some pictures of me on the hill in Suedtirol I use(d) to : ski...http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=71747
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buddah Bar View Post
This is interesting. I just started back on the South Beach Diet (Phase 1) in order to shed a few pounds. And since then, I bonk easily. Should I be increasing my carbs as I increase my activity level?
Personally, low carb diets just rob me of energy. I cannot do them if I'm working out at any level.
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