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I have been training quite extensively 10Hrs per week, and was about to enter phase two (16 week cycle leading up to the Cape Epic) when I noticed my HR would spike momentarily from 120 to around 160 in my warmup. This seems to be happening all the time now. Today I did a short 20 min ride and this happenned 3 times in that period, even on at the bottom of a downhill where it jumped from 96 to 136 and then back down again.

Based on my concern I had a stress ECG which came back as perfectly normal. My GP said it could just be my HR monitor, however I am aware of the spike because I can feel it happenning, and then check my HR monitor which confirms it? His answer to that is that it can happen the fitter you get?

Any one had a similar experience or can advise?:
 

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i worship Mr T
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JFDI said:
I have been training quite extensively 10Hrs per week, and was about to enter phase two (16 week cycle leading up to the Cape Epic) when I noticed my HR would spike momentarily from 120 to around 160 in my warmup. This seems to be happening all the time now. Today I did a short 20 min ride and this happenned 3 times in that period, even on at the bottom of a downhill where it jumped from 96 to 136 and then back down again.

Based on my concern I had a stress ECG which came back as perfectly normal. My GP said it could just be my HR monitor, however I am aware of the spike because I can feel it happenning, and then check my HR monitor which confirms it? His answer to that is that it can happen the fitter you get?

Any one had a similar experience or can advise?:
i've never heard of that, nor have i ever experienced it....and i typically train 7-15 hrs/wk.

on the other hand, i'm not a doctor so i couldn't say whether or not to trust what your GP said. if you're still worried maybe find a sports med doc to check you out.

rt
 

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DeForest Stump
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JFDI said:
I noticed my HR would spike momentarily from 120 to around 160 in my warmup. :
To spike from 120 to 160 during warmup is something to be concerned about. Any history of an irregular heartbeat?
 

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Hopefully this post will go through...

Set up a treadmill stress test with a cardiologist, or you regular doc. It may just be that your HR only spikes under stress, while exercising, not while at rest.
 

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JFDI said:
Any one had a similar experience or can advise?:
Train up to 12 hrs/week (a little less at present due to a 5 month old daughter but I'm getting back into the swing of things now).

Despite not having experienced the things you have, heart problems are heavily rooted in my family's history and continues to be a problem despite the awareness (lost three more relatives in the past two years).

It's a terrible thing knowing that, in all ways physical, I take after that side of the family 100% but in terms of my personality I take after the other which all seem to live well into their 90's. Perhaps that is my saving grace? Unfortunately few on the other side have made it past 65.

I am only 33 but for some time now I have been actively monitoring my heart in all ways with my doctor and specialist to try my best to stay ahead of the game. I have changed everything from the way I monitor my heart rate to my diet to the way I train. It has only made me a far better rider/racer. I have always had a fear, although I've never breathed a word of it to anyone except my wife until now, of collapsing while riding, training or racing and, as you know, it happens.

In truth, I almost did decided to stop racing after an uncle (who is so much like me even we know we look exactly the same) collapsed with a massive heart attack while having a conversation with my cousin. The paramedics almost lost him (his heart stopped three times) but persisted and got him back. He was only 47 years old! When that happened, I wanted to avoid the extra high racing heart rates and avoid the extra risk but decided that to live my life in fear isn't fair to myself or anyone else. In my case there are signs of the problems starting, at least if you're monitoring the issue, so that is what I'm going on. Left unchecked, it sneaks up and takes you away without warning. So if the signs show themselves I will act to have them corrected so that I don't suffer the same fate as so many of my relatives have.

Despite our difference in symptoms the answer is the same; don't mess around with it. Have it checked out as soon as you can because heart rates that take off like that isn't a good thing. There are many professional athletes including a few MTB and Road professionals who have retired because of it. My father's HR shot up to 205 while watching TV! Scary. I will say that he had just recently had major heart surgery though which really screws up the way the old pump works ;-) Anyway.

In your case it may be nothing but have it checked by a specialist ASAP to be sure, you just never know.

Cheers and good luck,
Ska!
 

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I had a scare (re: heart pain) this summer so had it checked out with a scan and the treadmill fatigue thing (don't know the correct name). An ecg is not nearly enough to determine any problems.
 

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I see this during my warm-ups as well sometimes. It's all my HR monitor though. Things that I have found that cause it are:

1. Not a good "connection" between me and HRm monitor
Solution: Lick HR Monitor strap, ensure strap hasn't loosened and put on as early as possible to allow the strap to start working well before starting out.

2. Low battery in HR monitor strap. This will also cause a non-signal during the warm-up period at times.
Solution: New battery

3. Zipper and/or pack strap blowing into the wind and striking HRM strap.
Solution: Zip up.

I'd try these, #3 is very easy to overlook. I first noticed it running in which my HRM would indicate close to my turnover rate, it was my zipper hitting the strap and causing a signal to be sent. I guess the impact on the HRM strap is a similar signal as a heart beating in a chest.

After I'd warm-up and get a strong "connection" though my heart beat seemed to overpower the zipper effect. At least it seemed like it did.
 

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nepbug said:
I see this during my warm-ups as well sometimes. It's all my HR monitor though. Things that I have found that cause it are:

1. Not a good "connection" between me and HRm monitor
Solution: Lick HR Monitor strap, ensure strap hasn't loosened and put on as early as possible to allow the strap to start working well before starting out.

2. Low battery in HR monitor strap. This will also cause a non-signal during the warm-up period at times.
Solution: New battery

3. Zipper and/or pack strap blowing into the wind and striking HRM strap.
Solution: Zip up.

I'd try these, #3 is very easy to overlook. I first noticed it running in which my HRM would indicate close to my turnover rate, it was my zipper hitting the strap and causing a signal to be sent. I guess the impact on the HRM strap is a similar signal as a heart beating in a chest.

After I'd warm-up and get a strong "connection" though my heart beat seemed to overpower the zipper effect. At least it seemed like it did.
+1

I've seen erratic readouts during warmup.
Like Nepbug mentioned, improving contact on the strap should help. The electrolite gel is most consistent.
 

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fsrxc said:
+1

I've seen erratic readouts during warmup.
Like Nepbug mentioned, improving contact on the strap should help. The electrolite gel is most consistent.
I have had those spikes too when poor connections occur but in this case he says he can feel it coming on. I think it's more than a HR monitor issue.

Ska!
 

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warm up spike

If you are young (teenish), it may be normal. If not, read no further. I have coached hs cross country/track for 20 years and have noticed the same thing among many of my athletes. MD's chime in at anytime please. A teen's heart is very flexible, especially compared to my 55 year old heart, and has the ability to zoom up and down and around at various speeds. The walls are thinner, and when a sudden demand is placed on them, a warm-up for example, they can zoom right up there. That is one reason a warm-up is important. It allows your heart and body to understand what you are about to ask of it and adapt. Try this sometime. Run a 200m dash cold (don't pull anything!) and observe what your heart does and how long it takes your heart to recover. Run one once you are warmed up and observe what happens. Again, just food for thought as I am far from being an expert. I have just noticed the same phenomenon among young people I know.
 

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JFDI said:
I have been training quite extensively 10Hrs per week, and was about to enter phase two (16 week cycle leading up to the Cape Epic) when I noticed my HR would spike momentarily from 120 to around 160 in my warmup. This seems to be happening all the time now. Today I did a short 20 min ride and this happenned 3 times in that period, even on at the bottom of a downhill where it jumped from 96 to 136 and then back down again.

Based on my concern I had a stress ECG which came back as perfectly normal. My GP said it could just be my HR monitor, however I am aware of the spike because I can feel it happenning, and then check my HR monitor which confirms it? His answer to that is that it can happen the fitter you get?

Any one had a similar experience or can advise?:
You could ask for a Holter Monitor, which is a 24 hour ECG recorder you wear. Wear it on a workout to see if you can capture the problem on "tape".

Also, read up on arhythmias - there are many causes, some fairly benign (some not!). A significant portion of the population has occasional extra or "skipped" beats.

I get a fluttering sensation under my sternum when I lay down to sleep at night during the summer when I am exercising a lot. I went through the works, test-wise: ECG, Holter Monitor, ECG, Stress-Echo and they found nothing but a random extra beat or two. Of course, I had not felt the fluttering the night I wore the monitor (the appliance never misbehaves when the repairman is watching). The doc decided either had nothing or a benign intermittent atrial arhythmia that is actually more common in athletes. Has to do with the vagus nerve and is not known to convert to a permanent arhythmia.

Also, since you are exercising so hard, make sure you are getting enough electrolytes to keep the electrical system functioning properly. Good luck - I hope everything is fine for you.

Kathy
 

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And I thought I was the only one.

About a month ago, I had an event that was similar. I had been feeling a little light headed and/or dizzy now and then. I ignored the symptoms until I fainted while driving. Daughter wouldn't let me drive - she took me directly to hospital - after a couple of days on my back and many tests, the doctors found nothing. Hospital referred me to more specialists.

Wore the "Holter Monitor" for 24 hours - Dr. found only low sleeping heartrate.

I am now wearing an "event recorder" for 30 days - theory being that I'll have and "event", push a red button, record heartrate, upload via telephone, Cardiologist will have event data to study.

Alternatives listed by Doctor at last visit; if too low Dr.can put in a pacemaker. If too high Dr.can perscribe drugs. If "arythmia" due to bad electrical signal, Dr. can "Zap" that area of heart and eliminate extra beats.

I've been riding with a "sport" type heart rate monitor consistently for the past 10 years. I know what my heart rate should be. While riding immediately before this last experience, I had seen a spike in my heart rate (from what should have been 160-170 to 246). However, I didn't feel anything unusual. I'm hoping that spike was the "sport" monitor's problem, rather than me.

If we eliminate that spike, then my fainting could be due to low blood pressure. I'm holding out for a diagnosis of "orthostatic" or "postural" hypotension. Simply a fall in blood pressure when standing up suddenly. When I was dehydrated after a long ride, my already low blood pressure just dropped a little too low.

If you can feel your heart racing at the same time you see it on your monitor, your situation is a more real than mine is. Get another opinion. See a specialist. Get more tests. The doctors I have seen have all reacted very stongly - they tested me again and again. I'm still being tested.
 

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Final chapter (hopefully)

I rode hard Sunday a week ago and had some dizziness immediately afterward. The "event" monitor I was wearing caught it all. I downloaded it to the Doctor's office, he called Monday to schedule surgery on Thursday, I was in at 6:30 and out by 4:00pm.

Turns out I had "supraventricular tachycardia" or an occasional electrical misfire. Treatment was an ablation which cauterized the misfiring area of the heart. I'm supposed to be fully cured at this point.

I'd say if you have dizziness - follow up with the doctor. Go to a specialist. The procedure is very expensive so keep that medical insurance paid up to date.
 

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Crusty3764 said:
I rode hard Sunday a week ago and had some dizziness immediately afterward. The "event" monitor I was wearing caught it all. I downloaded it to the Doctor's office, he called Monday to schedule surgery on Thursday, I was in at 6:30 and out by 4:00pm.

Turns out I had "supraventricular tachycardia" or an occasional electrical misfire. Treatment was an ablation which cauterized the misfiring area of the heart. I'm supposed to be fully cured at this point.

I'd say if you have dizziness - follow up with the doctor. Go to a specialist. The procedure is very expensive so keep that medical insurance paid up to date.
Wow! Glad to hear it was quickly diagnosed, then fixed!
 

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Does your warm-up ride go under any high voltage power lines?

Kn.
 
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