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  1. #1
    E. Peterbus Unum
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    Avg Heart Rate and Commuting

    I started using a Polar hrm and have noticed some interesting facts (or rather observations).

    Fact/observation 1
    When riding on the weekends for training rides, I tend to stay 10-15 bpm below my buddy's heart rate when exerting the same effort. I attribute this to commuting the last 2 years (on my third year this month). I should also point out I am 60 pounds heavier than my buddy too.

    Fact/observation 2
    I have also noted that my commute in to work has a slower average heart rate than my ride home. Of course, my average speed in is slower too! For example, Ride in: avg speed-16 mph, avg hr-137. Ride Home: avg speed 16.5-17.0, avg hr-148. Is a half a mile per hour speed average that much of a difference?

    Anybody else notice any other interesting facts or observations on heart rates and how commuting has impacted (for the good) your heart's health?

    txbiker

  2. #2
    tlc
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    No idea what my hr is on the commute, but three months or so of commuting nearly every day (25m r/t) has seen my resting heart rate drop from 70 to 60, not far off the 56/57 it used to be before ten years of booze/****/sloth. Not that I don't still get some booze/****/sloth in wherever possible...

    My ride in is about 15mph average, home is 16.5mph average. Probably because I'm awake by then. I hate mornings.

  3. #3
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    On my MTB I'm generally a lot higher overall than I am on my flat-bar-road-hybrid thing. Also my peaks can be higher on the road-thing, but who knows.

    I'm still playing around with it, but I need to have it shock me into staying out of the "red zone" so long

  4. #4
    Back after a long absence joelpalmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxBiker View Post
    Fact/observation 2
    I have also noted that my commute in to work has a slower average heart rate than my ride home. Of course, my average speed in is slower too! For example, Ride in: avg speed-16 mph, avg hr-137. Ride Home: avg speed 16.5-17.0, avg hr-148. Is a half a mile per hour speed average that much of a difference?

    txbiker
    I suppose it could be depending on whether or not you had to put out just a little bit more energy to raise your avg speed. What about highest speed on the two? You might have a good sprint somewhere in the ride home, or like mine where the ride to work is down and the ride home is up about 80-100 feet (not much, but enough on a three speed) so the speeds are similar but a lot more effort going home.

    You have gotten me thinking though. Since my ride is so short (3 mi RT) I haven't actually worn the chest strap for the computer, I may have to do it tomorrow just to see.
    When the going gets weird the weird turn pro
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  5. #5
    E. Peterbus Unum
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    Quote Originally Posted by joelpalmer View Post
    I suppose it could be depending on whether or not you had to put out just a little bit more energy to raise your avg speed.
    That is a good point. I should point out that in Texas, the afternoons can have a significant pick up in wind speed. Since I like to keep my average speed at 16 mph or better, I guess my afternoon rides have me pushing harder to keep the tempo going and fight the wind. As for elevation changes.....this is east Texas - flat!

    txbiker

  6. #6
    In the wind mercator's Avatar
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    I've been a dedicated commuter for a little over a year now. I don't usually track my hr on a commute - need a new battery for the monitor.

    My resting hr has always been pretty low, but it has now dropped into the 38-42 range. I have been getting that dizzy thing when I stand up too fast as well (postural hypotension).

  7. #7
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxBiker View Post
    Anybody else notice any other interesting facts or observations on heart rates and how commuting has impacted (for the good) your heart's health?
    Every time I go in for some medical procedure where my pulse is taken, I get the same comments... "is your pulse always this low?" (resting, typically around 48)?

    I just smile and say yes.

  8. #8
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    If I only had a heart!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  9. #9
    Senior_Member2 diff_lock2's Avatar
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    My rest rate is like 80... but the machine was upstairs... and im fat. And at the store i saw a work out bike for display and it had those pads for your palms, and i did a little short sprint with out tiering my self out, and it was around 120 probably climbed a bit afterwards.

  10. #10
    Senior Member swwhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxBiker View Post
    Anybody else notice any other interesting facts or observations on heart rates and how commuting has impacted (for the good) your heart's health?

    txbiker
    I don't actually FEEL like riding a bike for commuting is that much exercise, compared to jogging or swimming...BUT...

    Ever since childhood I have had this little phenomenon where suddenly my heart rate jumps up to a high speed for about 15 seconds. (I did go to a doctor, he said not to worry.) Forty years ago in the teenage years, it might happen twice a year. As time went on it got more frequent. At the age of 50, when my physical condition was obviously worse and I would try a little jogging now and then to improve it, I could get the heart palpitations as often as every day. Then I started riding to work five years ago at age 52, and now, after five years of that, the heart palpitations are down to once every month or two.

    So something is happening as a result of riding my bike, and it seems to be a good thing.
    Riding in search of the simple life.

  11. #11
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I notice my heart is beating when I'm working hard. Beyond that, it'll have to keep track of itself.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  12. #12
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    I've got a HR monitor to keep tabs on my cardio health and condition. I wear it once a week or so. I typically have a 5 day per wk bike commute with 30 mile RT. It's not flat either, my commute has about 900 to 1000' elevation gain + loss in each 15 mile direction and I average about 14.5 mph. I slow down a bit on hot afternoons.
    Rest HR is often in the 40s or low 50s. Walking at moderate pace HR is 70s and 80s. HR for bike commute averages 113 to 118, with peak heart rate at 142 to 145. I try to keep max HR below 150. Keeping my HR at these lower rates helps me recover between the short rest intervals between 15 mile commute rides. I could ride faster but I don't, cause I'll pay for it later in the week. HR monitor helps to keep me from pushing too hard on a daily commute schedule. If my commute was flatter or shorter, probably would not be as useful, but I like my commute routes.

  13. #13
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    I also find that my avg. HR is significantly lower (by about 10 bpm) during my afternoon commute than it is in the morning. Interesting.

  14. #14
    Laid back bent rider unixpro's Avatar
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    I wear a HR monitor pretty much every day just because I want to track my cardio development. My average HR during a ride is currently around 124, with peaks around 150. It doesn't seem to make much difference if I'm coming or going. Distance is just under 14 miles each way. I'm a clyde at 5'6" and about 210 pounds.

    Resting at my desk its generally below 60. I've measured it in the 40s when I'm completely vegged out on a weekend.

  15. #15
    E. Peterbus Unum
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    Quote Originally Posted by unixpro View Post
    I wear a HR monitor pretty much every day just because I want to track my cardio development. My average HR during a ride is currently around 124, with peaks around 150. It doesn't seem to make much difference if I'm coming or going. Distance is just under 14 miles each way. I'm a clyde at 5'6" and about 210 pounds.

    Resting at my desk its generally below 60. I've measured it in the 40s when I'm completely vegged out on a weekend.
    I am a clyde too. I am 6' and 245. I don't know what my resting heart rate is, but I do plan to find that out. The last couple of days have been super windy on the ride home and have hit new highs on beats per minute. But, at any given stop sign or stop light, I recover pretty quick.

    Thanks for the insight everyone. I plan on using it more and more to get a more accurate view of my heart and cardio conditioning over several months!

    txbiker

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    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxBiker View Post
    Fact/observation 2
    I have also noted that my commute in to work has a slower average heart rate than my ride home. Of course, my average speed in is slower too! For example, Ride in: avg speed-16 mph, avg hr-137. Ride Home: avg speed 16.5-17.0, avg hr-148. Is a half a mile per hour speed average that much of a difference?
    Could be, I spend a lot of time racing mountain bikes and training, what I and my racer buddies notice is that after a certain point there is a massive diminishing return interms of effort/speed. For example, at 155bpm, I can ride fast, at what feels like no effort. To go to 175avg, which is where I race at on good days, I'm likely only faster by 2 minutes over an hour (if that makes sense, in races I always think of time back or ahead per hour of racing). Your experience seems similar.

  17. #17
    Laid back bent rider unixpro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxBiker View Post
    I am a clyde too. I am 6' and 245. I don't know what my resting heart rate is, but I do plan to find that out. The last couple of days have been super windy on the ride home and have hit new highs on beats per minute. But, at any given stop sign or stop light, I recover pretty quick.
    Sounds like you're in pretty good shape, then. My HR drops at lights and signs too and goes below 100 pretty quickly after I get off the bike (when I take off the monitor).

    Quote Originally Posted by TxBiker View Post
    Thanks for the insight everyone. I plan on using it more and more to get a more accurate view of my heart and cardio conditioning over several months!
    What kind of monitor do you have? One of the reasons I bought the Polar F6 was that they have a site that lets me upload my log, then check things out on a weekly, monthly, or longer basis. I can go back a few months and see what I was averaging then and look at what I'm doing now and see good improvement.

  18. #18
    E. Peterbus Unum
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    What kind of monitor do you have? One of the reasons I bought the Polar F6 was that they have a site that lets me upload my log, then check things out on a weekly, monthly, or longer basis. I can go back a few months and see what I was averaging then and look at what I'm doing now and see good improvement.
    I have a Polar M61. It was a Father's Day gift and I am FINALLY using it (I guess I am a bit slow on these things). I see a plug access on the left side of the watch. I may need to do some research to see about the possibility of downloading files.

    txbiker

  19. #19
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    i used a hr monitor for a week or so. Average about 160bpm, at 140 i feel slow and at 180-190 i get winded. Average 16-17mph on my 6 mile commute. No difference in mph in the AM vs. the PM. Resting hr is around 50.
    Cheers
    beer-bottle target

  20. #20
    Senior Member Itsjustb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercator View Post
    My resting hr has always been pretty low, but it has now dropped into the 38-42 range. I have been getting that dizzy thing when I stand up too fast as well (postural hypotension).
    Holy cr@p! 38-42??? People think I'm insane for having an rhr ~50. I get that dizzy thing every so often already; if I dropped to your rhr I'd be passing out left and right!

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