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Old 07-31-07, 04:00 AM   #1
Durham_David
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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)
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Old 07-31-07, 10:37 AM   #2
ib4it
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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.
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Old 08-05-07, 10:38 PM   #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.
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Old 08-06-07, 03:57 AM   #4
Durham_David
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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).
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Old 08-06-07, 05:55 AM   #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
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Old 08-06-07, 10:15 PM   #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.
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