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  1. #1
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    Heart rate and cough

    I'm a slow rider, and trying to get faster. My typical rides are 40-60miles and I average around 15mph. So, I'm paying more attention to my heart rate to see if I can improve my fitness base. What I've noticed is that I start to develop a mild cough that is invariably when my heart rate gets to 91-92% max. It's very reproducible. The cough promptly resolves if I slow down just a little. I have no wheezing during the cough and I never considered myself to have either asthma or exercise-induced asthma. When I get the cough, I don't perceive myself as being short of breath, but definitely feel the effect of being at that kind of heart rate and I typically can't maintain the rate for more than 1-2 minutes. I'm trying to decide if this is simply a cough equivalent for exercise-induced asthma or whether it is just a training effect that I'll get through. I'm wondering if any of the Forum readers without exercise-induced asthma have experienced this and whether it tends to go away with training. (I know I could carry a peak flow meter with me to try to figure this out, but I wanted to get practical info from fellow cyclists)

  2. #2
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    I would visit my Dr if I was in your shoes. A stress test is the best way to check your ticker.

  3. #3
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    Hi Durham,
    I have experienced the same thing! But I cannot offer any medical advice, except that it hasnt harmed me (yet). My cough sets in right after I stop too suddenly, say after a hard interval. I always attributed it to my lungs not being ready to slow down after being at a fast rythmn, but I don't know. I've seen many other people cough while their on the treadmills doing intensity training sometimes too, just a short cough or two like myself. So you're not alone if that's any comfort.

  4. #4
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    That's interesting. Mine starts primarily when I try to get up hills, and is much less likely to happen when I gradually get to HR >90%. I feel quite confident that it is nothing serious, but I don't know if it is something I'll be able to train through until it disappears (though my hunch is that it will go away with training).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ib4it View Post
    I would visit my Dr if I was in your shoes. A stress test is the best way to check your ticker.
    +1, or at least call you PCP & explain what is happening & see if they have recomendations. If you live in Durham, NC you've got access to lots of good MDs

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Durham_David View Post
    I'm a slow rider, and trying to get faster. My typical rides are 40-60miles and I average around 15mph. So, I'm paying more attention to my heart rate to see if I can improve my fitness base. What I've noticed is that I start to develop a mild cough that is invariably when my heart rate gets to 91-92% max. It's very reproducible. The cough promptly resolves if I slow down just a little. I have no wheezing during the cough and I never considered myself to have either asthma or exercise-induced asthma. When I get the cough, I don't perceive myself as being short of breath, but definitely feel the effect of being at that kind of heart rate and I typically can't maintain the rate for more than 1-2 minutes. I'm trying to decide if this is simply a cough equivalent for exercise-induced asthma or whether it is just a training effect that I'll get through. I'm wondering if any of the Forum readers without exercise-induced asthma have experienced this and whether it tends to go away with training. (I know I could carry a peak flow meter with me to try to figure this out, but I wanted to get practical info from fellow cyclists)
    It sounds to me like you are working too hard. Generally, you should either be solidly in the aerobic zone - where you can easily talk, or doing a specific workout (tempo, intervals, etc.)

    You might also look at the sticky field test thread. That's the best way to set your HR ranges.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
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