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Why racing heart?

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Old October 19th 04, 02:15 AM
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Default Why racing heart?

Normally, I observe a close correlation between my HR
(using a Polor HRM) and perceived exertion (RPE).

But just recently, I have had two episodes where my HR
seems to be noticably higher (by 20-30) than RPE. That
is, I would be totally unaware that my heart seems to
be racing, were it not for the HRM.

I will talk to a doctor about this. But frankly, it
will be some time before I can do that.

In the meantime, is anyone aware of any physiological
or medical explanation for such large disparity between
HR and RPE?

These episodes occurred in the 2nd half of a 5-mile outdoor
bike ride, the same one that I do 2-4 times every week.

There were no unusual adverse environmental factors,
like headwind. Besides, I would expect any unusual
increased effort to manifest itself it in increased RPE
as well. Right?

I was not aware of any abnormal psychological factors
(very high stress), and I do not believe I took any
unusual medications or other stimulants.

I am aware of one or two possible mechanical explanations
related to the Polar HRM. For example, it is not unusual
to see unbelievably high (or low) HR readings when the
electrodes are dry. But I do not think that was the case.
I sweat profusely, although not abnormally so. And shifting
the chest strap to let in moisture underneath did not
remedy the problem.

The apparently high HR could be explained by electrical
interference. But I am very familiar with the route, and
I was not aware of anything unusual that might generate
EMI. Also, the "racing HR" occurred over a relatively
long distance, and it seemed to calm down when I pedaled

(Then again, there was this bright light hovering overhead.
It followed me for some time, then it darted away at the
speed of light :-.)

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