Running Heart Rate

I recently bought a new running watch that records my heart rate.  I walk 5 minutes and then I start jogging.  I use to run but at 70 I jog.  I start out slow but my heart rate spikes to around 152 and then spikes down.  This lasts maybe 30 seconds.  My heart rate then sort of levels off and my average will be around 138.  So why does my heart rate spike?  Thanks


Possible causes of spike in HR

by crustyg - 2019-07-30 12:46:03


Without knowing a lot more of your medical history it's not easy (or wise) to diagnose you remotely.

But as you have a dual-chamber PM and you are/were a runner, there's a good chance that you have a tendency to arrhythmias, so it may well be that you're seeing a brief period of heart-muscle producing an increased HR, which subsides after a short while.

Also, running watches *tend* to be less accurate than chest-straps (usually a wrist device is a pulse-oximeter and they tend to perform poorly under exercise, while chest straps are a lead I EKG, which normally do pretty well, especially as the pacing artefact of a bipolar lead is pretty small, unlike the much bigger pulse of the older unipolar leads which can look like a separate QRS complex, so give false readings).

Do you feel unwell during the first period of high HR?  If so, then perhaps you are having some form of tachy which reduces heart pumping efficiency for a short time.  If not, then why worry yourself!


by Tracey_E - 2019-07-31 10:14:00

Go by how you feel, not what the monitor says. They aren't that accuate for us. It could be your pacer settings, it could be exertion causing the spike, but if you feel ok I wouldn't worry about it. If you don't feel well when it happens, ask for a stress test so they can see what is happening when you run. 

I do run/walk intervals, my rate spikes up as soon as I start to run, 160-165 then drops off as soon as I walk back under 150. My average is usually low 150's at the end, according to my watch, which may or may not be accurate.  

It may not be your heart.

by AgentX86 - 2019-08-01 08:40:11

Never trust sport watches to be anything more than a toy. By their nature, they're inaccurate and unreliable. You can get to know yours to know when it's lying but lie, it will. If you're concerned about your heart rate, and you probably shouldn't be, test it manually against a stopwatch. No automatic home system is going to be perfect, particularly for those of us with arrhythmia and/or pacemakers.

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