General Discussion Triathlon Talk » swimming and heart rate Rss Feed  
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2011-04-09 5:34 AM

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Master
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Saigon, Vietnam
Subject: swimming and heart rate

Just curious--what is "normal" heart rate after a hard swimming set? Several times in the last two weeks, I have taken my pulse rate immediately after hard swims ranging from 200m to a race pace 1500m effort and gotten results between 110 and 130. I'm counting it by hand (not using a monitor) for 30 seconds and multiplying by 2. I'm a strong but not spectacular swimmer (recent bests in practice are 2:58 for 200m, 6:18 for a 400m trial, 25:53 for a 1500m trial), so it doesn't seem like I'm incapable of swimming at high intensity. The 200 and 400 meters were definitely hard efforts and I was breathing very hard and tired by the end; the 1500 less so--I was trying to swim fairly hard but in control, like I would in an Olympic distance tri.  

I sometimes check pulse rate for run workouts by hand and have been doing it since my teen years-- pretty sure I know how to check my pulse rate. I do hard runs and some bike workouts with a heart rate monitor and pretty consistently hit high 160's to low 170's for harder runs and 160's for hard biking, so it's not like my heart rate is always low.  Resting pulse is usually mid-40's to low 50's.

Any ideas? Even my swim coach is baffled. The only thing I can come up with is that maybe by the time I finish swimming, check my time, and start counting (maybe 10 seconds), my heart rate's already fallen. It does tend to fall quite quickly when running easy (to 110-120) after hard efforts, but not that quickly!  Or am I just a swim underachiever in need of more technique work, or strength training, or something??

 



2011-04-09 7:05 AM
in reply to: #3437250

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Champion
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Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate
Sounds pretty normal to me. 

In the first place, your swimming HR is typically going to be lower than your cycling and running HR's.  The water is supporting your body weight not your muscles. 

Your HR also drops back quicker the fitter you are, so the longer it takes you to measure it, the lower the number.  When swimming, I take my pulse for six seconds immediately on finishing and then multiply by ten.  If I immediately take it a second time it's always lower.  If you're measuring it for 30 seconds it's definitely going to be slowing down during that time.

Mark

 
2011-04-09 7:32 AM
in reply to: #3437250

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Expert
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Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate

x2

Measure for ten seconds and multiply by ten.

Mine is often above 140 during interval work and occasionally above 150. That's huffin and puffin and pushin pretty hard though. My longer swims are usually closer to 130.

2011-04-09 7:39 AM
in reply to: #3437250

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Master
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Saigon, Vietnam
Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate
Honestly hadn't thought of that--my HR is no doubt dropping rapidly while I take it. Most of the masters I train with are less fit and/or less efficient swimmers so their heart rates probably drop more slowly and yield a faster HR. And the two speedy teenagers in our group probably have higher max rates anyway, and more sprint speed/strength to push it higher on the shorter swims. Guess I should try counting just for 10 seconds to get something a bit more impressive!
2011-04-09 7:44 AM
in reply to: #3437316

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Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate
DV 1 - 2011-04-09 8:32 AM

x2

Measure for ten seconds and multiply by ten.

Mine is often above 140 during interval work and occasionally above 150. That's huffin and puffin and pushin pretty hard though. My longer swims are usually closer to 130.

 

measure for 6 and multiply by 10

or measure for 10 and multiply by 6

Do not measure for 10 and multiply by 10

2011-04-09 8:34 AM
in reply to: #3437250

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Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate

I generally measure for 15 and multiply by 4.  Or 20 and multiply by 3.

And yes in swimming your HR is generally going to be lower, for me it's breathing that tires me out and fatigues me, not my HR.  You could easily swim moderate for 1/2 hour, and have your HR only at around 125 - 135, where running it may be more around 145 - 165.  Biking somewhere in between.



2011-06-15 9:48 AM
in reply to: #3437250

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Bedford, NH, USA
Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate

I just picked up a Finis Aquapulse. It has a IR ear lobe heart rate monitor and gives a digital voice message through bone conduction of heart rate every 20 seconds (programmable to 10s - 5min).

I found my HR during 200yd LT sets topped out at 145bpm (swimming 1:40/100yd) and rapidly settled down to the 120s within 20sec and below 100 after 60sec. I'll need to check with a 800yd LT set.

My cycling LT HR is 162bpm, so this is lower by 17bpm. Given my HRmax is 190bpm, that's about 9% lower for swimming than cycling. Not unreasonable.

Swimming 2mi open water at 1:45/100yd in a wetsuit, my HR ranged between 115-125bpm.

2011-06-15 10:23 AM
in reply to: #3550228

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Elite
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Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate
MaverickNH - 2011-06-15 7:48 AM

I just picked up a Finis Aquapulse. It has a IR ear lobe heart rate monitor and gives a digital voice message through bone conduction of heart rate every 20 seconds (programmable to 10s - 5min).

I found my HR during 200yd LT sets topped out at 145bpm (swimming 1:40/100yd) and rapidly settled down to the 120s within 20sec and below 100 after 60sec. I'll need to check with a 800yd LT set.

My cycling LT HR is 162bpm, so this is lower by 17bpm. Given my HRmax is 190bpm, that's about 9% lower for swimming than cycling. Not unreasonable.

Swimming 2mi open water at 1:45/100yd in a wetsuit, my HR ranged between 115-125bpm.

Why would you want your HR while swimming? (Of course, I don't believe in taking your HR at any time until finished, so...)

How did you measure your LT HR, and your HR Max?

John

2011-06-15 10:28 AM
in reply to: #3437250

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Champion
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Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate
Yeah, i would suggest HR has no real place in swim training and I train with HR bike and run.
2011-06-15 10:30 AM
in reply to: #3437250

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Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate

measurements vary:

60x1, 30x2, 15x4, 20x3

Don't compare HR's from other modes (bike, running, rowing etc.)

The pool HR's are going to be lower. The water provides pressure that helps blood flow return to the heart easier.

While swimming your are also in a horizontal state-reducing the work the heart has to do.

Combine water pressure and horizontal state = generally accepted 17bpm reduction in HR.

Take HR at the wrist not the neck. Less likely to pass out.

Good luck

2011-06-15 10:57 AM
in reply to: #3550304

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Master
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Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate

bryancd - 2011-06-15 11:28 AM Yeah, i would suggest HR has no real place in swim training and I train with HR bike and run.

I also use HR to train on the bike and run but I can't agree with your statement on the surface.  I would imagine you could use HR training for the swim but it would require a monitor and the ability to view current HR's very quickly without interrupting the effort.  If a person could come up with a way to do this it would be just as beneficial as HR training for the bike and run.

Maybe you are saying that using similar tools in the water as on the ground are less practical.  If so I agree with you.  But on principal, HR training could be done in almost any sport.



2011-06-15 11:10 AM
in reply to: #3437250

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Pro
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Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate
I would ignore your HR and concentrate on your Power numbers
2011-06-15 11:19 AM
in reply to: #3550393

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Champion
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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate
DirkP - 2011-06-15 9:57 AM
Maybe you are saying that using similar tools in the water as on the ground are less practical.  If so I agree with you.  But on principal, HR training could be done in almost any sport.



No I am suggesting it's almost a useless metric in the pool. Pace and RPE are much more important in swim training. HR is great for training AT/LT and VO2 max as it provides a framework for your pacing and effort based around those key numbers. In the water, due to the lack of load on the body, you might be able to last a few min. at you run or bike LT. You just won't be able to get your HR into any sembelance of "Zones" to actually creating a training protocol. In fact I would challenge anyone to find a widely accepted swim training protocol that is HR based. It doesn't exist and for good cause.
2011-06-15 11:35 AM
in reply to: #3437250

Member
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Bedford, NH, USA
Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate

I do, in fact, calculate SwimScore power using PhysFarm's RaceDay 2 software. It's the equivalent to TSS for cycling. I can input my times using a SwimSense watch to measure time & distance and get pace and power for each set. Good metrics.

Heart Rate is simply another interesting aspect. Some, like Emmett Hines, http://www.h2oustonswims.org/ ,have a lot to say about training with HR.

2011-06-15 11:40 AM
in reply to: #3550489

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Champion
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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: swimming and heart rate
MaverickNH - 2011-06-15 10:35 AM

I do, in fact, calculate SwimScore power using PhysFarm's RaceDay 2 software. It's the equivalent to TSS for cycling. I can input my times using a SwimSense watch to measure time & distance and get pace and power for each set. Good metrics



Yeah, that's an interesting system and approach.
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General Discussion Triathlon Talk » swimming and heart rate Rss Feed