This, uh, heart rate thing, and zones, and averages

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
What would be everyone's prediction for my average heart rate for this ruck outing?

Saturday, I took a 1.6 mile walk (according Google Maps) while wearing a backpack that weighed about 65 lbs.

I'm 64 years young and weigh 151 lb. Me, a few pounds for clothes (flimsy MA shoes, cotton t-shirt, light sweat pants), and the backpack totaled 219 lbs. on the scale.

The Polar app has, in the past, measured my heart rate as having a 174 bpm maximum, which I know is somewhat higher than the age-based max prediction, but I also know lots of folks here have higher-than-average maximum heart rates.

My wife walked with me the entire time (yes, she is that nice to me ...) and we chatted the entire time. I asked her if my breathing sounded labored at all and she said no, it never did. She did observe that my gait looked like I was "slogging" a little towards the end - when she said that, I was able to walk a little more perkily (is "perkily" even a word?) but I also noticed that the perky walk felt more tiring so I switched back to semi-slogging.

After a few folks chime in with their opinions/guesstimates, I'll tell you what the average and the max were. I'm just curious, since I'm pretty new at the HRM thing, if my numbers seem normal.

Thanks in advance.

-S-
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Waaaay too little info to make an accurate guess Steve.
  • Pace?
  • Terrain?
  • Ambient Temperature?
But... if it were me.. (we are close to the same age / weight) and if it were on flat mostly level ground at around 20C my avg HR would have been about 109. +/-
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Pace? Walking, 3 mph. 32 minutes to cover 1.6 miles.

Terrain? Flat with 3 small hills. If I read Google correctly, each hill had about 20 feet of net elevation change.

Ambient temperature? Pleasant, 65 degrees F or so, so 20 C is close enough.

-S-
 

Al Ciampa

Level 8 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Unless you’re on meds... 105-110 max, 95-100 avg.

Nothing to disclose :D

Your breathing as an indicator almost doesn’t matter because of your practice. The only question relative is how much type 2 did your brain need to recruit to move the load? More type 2, higher HR.
 

Al Ciampa

Level 8 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Waaaay too little info to make an accurate guess Steve.
  • Pace?
  • Terrain?
  • Ambient Temperature?
But... if it were me.. (we are close to the same age / weight) and if it were on flat mostly level ground at around 20C my avg HR would have been about 109. +/-
Brian, 3 mph for 1.6 mi over relatively flat hardball in cool temps?... + 109 avg? That high? I wouldn’t have guessed that for you.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Brian, 3 mph for 1.6 mi over relatively flat hardball in cool temps?... + 109 avg? That high? I wouldn’t have guessed that for you.
65lbs and mountain boots.... (oh yeah and at close to 1,000M el, but I should be altitude adapted at this point) but I admit I am guessing a bit. Last year when I was Alpine training I was doing about 5km with up to 30kg, but at some days close to 40C and my HRavg was around 120. I went back and looked at my detailed records.

The ambient temp makes a big difference I find.

I will be rucking again in another month or so, I will report back then.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Drum roll, please - and the answers are:

142 average, 160 max.

The part that confuses me, because of what I've read, is how 142 bpm and fairly relaxed breathing happen at the same time. I think even 142 was a little low because it takes a little while to ramp up and a half-hour walk isn't that long. Most of time, when I asked my wife what my HR was - she had my phone - the answers were usually 146 or 148, and they stayed there pretty consistently.

Your breathing as an indicator almost doesn’t matter because of your practice. The only question relative is how much type 2 did your brain need to recruit to move the load? More type 2, higher HR.
Can you use a few more words on this subject? My "practice" here being my Buteyko practice?

-S-
 

Bret S.

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Steve, my guess is similar to Al:
95 avg
105 max

I just did a similar ruck:
56 lbs
35 min
1.97 mi
about 3.5 mph or 17.75mi/minute
There were 4 hills with 40-50 ft gain, temp 65
Result:
108 avg
126 max

Edit: While I was typing you posted results, I thought the HR would be lower with your Buteyko, then again I was 6 lbs shy of 1/3 body weight, you were 15 lbs over 1/3 BW.

Questions:
- Do you do similar rucks sometimes?
- How has the aftermath affected your training?
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
Drum roll, please - and the answers are:

142 average, 160 max.

The part that confuses me, because of what I've read, is how 142 bpm and fairly relaxed breathing happen at the same time. I think even 142 was a little low because it takes a little while to ramp up and a half-hour walk isn't that long. Most of time, when I asked my wife what my HR was - she had my phone - the answers were usually 146 or 148, and they stayed there pretty consistently.
I didn't respond earlier, but this is about what I would have guessed. However, that's based more on how your original post described the situation and set up the question more than any physiological reasons. The emphasis in your description on relaxed breathing and comfortable talking, juxtaposed with the heavy pack and your wife's description of your gait seemed like a set up for a higher HR than might be expected relative to the breathing.

I have no idea what it means, but I was curious about the reveal as a test of my parsing of your original post ;-).
 

Al Ciampa

Level 8 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Drum roll, please - and the answers are:

142 average, 160 max.

The part that confuses me, because of what I've read, is how 142 bpm and fairly relaxed breathing happen at the same time. I think even 142 was a little low because it takes a little while to ramp up and a half-hour walk isn't that long. Most of time, when I asked my wife what my HR was - she had my phone - the answers were usually 146 or 148, and they stayed there pretty consistently.



Can you use a few more words on this subject? My "practice" here being my Buteyko practice?

-S-
Correct. As you grow more tolerant of CO2, activity doesn’t provoke the same ventilation as previously.

Your results... you’ve never performed direct heart training, eh? There’s nothing “wrong” or unhealthy with the results, by the way, but if you were asking me, I’d like to see less of a HR response to this activity.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
142 average, 160 max.

The part that confuses me, because of what I've read, is how 142 bpm and fairly relaxed breathing happen at the same time. I think even 142 was a little low because it takes a little while to ramp up and a half-hour walk isn't that long. Most of time, when I asked my wife what my HR was - she had my phone - the answers were usually 146 or 148, and they stayed there pretty consistently.
Looks like my guess was pretty good. :)

I think the HR is higher because of the weight. You're basically doing a continuous farmer's carry with 2 x 16kg. This is load bearing (if not "lifting") and will bring the HR up accordingly. HR increases while lifting (grinds, get-ups, etc.) are driven by different things than they are during aerobic steady-state, and breathing won't necessarily correspond to heart rate. When rucking with as much weight as you were, you are basically doing both types of exercise at the same time.
 

vegpedlr

Level 6 Valued Member
I don’t understand what’s going on here. HR response is totally individual. The number doesn’t really mean much, so why guess someone else’s response? The point of HR is for training to help maintain the goal intensity, whether that’s MAF, LT, VO2MAX or whatever. It can also be helpful with pacing in longer races to avoid going out too hard and burning matches too early. Nasal breathing or the talk test can be misleading, as that capability can be developed with practice at higher heart rates.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Questions:
- Do you do similar rucks sometimes?
- How has the aftermath affected your training?
I am just getting into this. Hoping to take a crack at the Inman Mile in the Fall. I did it once before, 5 years ago, under less than ideal circumstances. Hoping to make another attempt.

I'm fine - went out again yesterday weighing 230 in total for 1 mile, about to go out again today with Saturday's weight for a longer outing.

-S-
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I don’t understand what’s going on here. HR response is totally individual. The number doesn’t really mean much, so why guess someone else’s response?
Yes it does vary by individual, but it does indicate meaningful things... sometimes several things at once (some up, some down) which can be misleading. But in a general sense, the amount of work one can do at a given HR using steady state aerobics CAN be indicative of aerobic base / aerobic fitenss / cardiovascular health. I submitted in my previous post that rucking with 70 lbs is not purely "steady state aerobics" so there are other factors ... but it still mostly is.

The point of HR is for training to help maintain the goal intensity, whether that’s MAF, LT, VO2MAX or whatever. It can also be helpful with pacing in longer races to avoid going out too hard and burning matches too early.
True, but that's so that you can train within your own capability, so that you adapt and change in the desired ways, which in this case are usually "greater aerobic fitness." So things do change over time -- namely, as you train at the correct intensity like MAF, you get to be able to do more work at the same HR.

Nasal breathing or the talk test can be misleading, as that capability can be developed with practice at higher heart rates.
Agree.
 

Boris Bachmann

Level 6 Valued Member
I've been using a Polar HR monitor lately in my training as well. I think you may need to adjust the settings - its calculated HR max for me is considerably lower than the maxes I've been regularly hitting in training.
 
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