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  #1  
Old 06-25-2014
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Default Heart Rate Measurement

I know there are several heart rate monitors for swimmers, but wonder how accurate is taking your heart rate manually--carotid artery in neck?

I read on the internet that your rate is typically 10 bpm lower in water than on land. Does that mean if you take your rate and it is 110, it is really 120?

The reason I ask is that I read a post by Mat Hudson regarding dps, lower spl, and how it affects oxygen level. It seems that I get more winded when doing lower tempos and lower spls. If my heart rate is increasing, that probably means that my stroke is at fault. ? .

Any ideas?

Sherry
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenson1a View Post
I know there are several heart rate monitors for swimmers, but wonder how accurate is taking your heart rate manually--carotid artery in neck?

I read on the internet that your rate is typically 10 bpm lower in water than on land. Does that mean if you take your rate and it is 110, it is really 120?

The reason I ask is that I read a post by Mat Hudson regarding dps, lower spl, and how it affects oxygen level. It seems that I get more winded when doing lower tempos and lower spls. If my heart rate is increasing, that probably means that my stroke is at fault. ? .

Any ideas?

Sherry
No, 110 is 110. But for the same effort sensation your HR will be lower in teh water. If you are using HR for swimming, only compare it to your resting HR and your HR while swimming, not your HR while running or cycling. There are several physiologic reasons for this which are kind of cool.

I'm not quite sure how to address the rest of your question but it sounds like you are holding yoru breath with lower tempos (breathign less frequently) and /or getting into "power" territory by trying to swim at too low of an SPL. "stroke at fault" is a really generic question...aren't all of our strokes at fault to some degree?? :)
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2014
jafaremraf jafaremraf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenson1a View Post
I know there are several heart rate monitors for swimmers, but wonder how accurate is taking your heart rate manually--carotid artery in neck?

I read on the internet that your rate is typically 10 bpm lower in water than on land. Does that mean if you take your rate and it is 110, it is really 120?

The reason I ask is that I read a post by Mat Hudson regarding dps, lower spl, and how it affects oxygen level. It seems that I get more winded when doing lower tempos and lower spls. If my heart rate is increasing, that probably means that my stroke is at fault. ? .

Any ideas?

Sherry
Hi Sherry

I swim long and slow most of the time and feel out of breath if I breathe every 3rd stroke, whereas if I breath every 2nd stroke (alternating sides every length) I am a lot more comfortable. Then if I try and lower my SPL even more I get out of breath and feel I'm working harder. It sounds similar to what you are experiencing and I think Suzanne's response about sums it up - more power is needed at slower rates. What is your own breathing pattern?
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2014
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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I have been doing some bilateral breathing (every 3rd stroke) just to try to get some symmetry in my stroke. But if I am swimming at a slow rate 1:50 and slower, I breathe every 2 strokes. It would seem that at a slower rate you should be able to swim all day, just like walking. So it is back to the question of how efficient is your stroke.

Sherry
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Old 06-25-2014
dprevish dprevish is offline
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Sherry,

How much do you feel the need to kick when you reach that rate? The reason I ask is that for myself as the TT descends to below (or is it above) 1.45 even the very act of breathing gets a little harder due to sheer time between breath cycles. Then just add to that that any balance issues that you have begin to surface. At that slow of speed my body at least begins firing the legs more than when I am moving at a faster rate. I'm finding at least that about 2.8 to 3.2 is an "easy swim" to me. This is a reflection on my level of skill; I hope to find as my balance improves, so will effort at descending speeds.
Even though running is far different than swimming in mechanics, if you run, try the same concept: Attempt to drop your pace to a loping 75-80/spm and feel the work that you legs and whole body is laboring at as opposed to say 90/spm. There is a rhythm to everything I think.
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Old 06-26-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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@CoachSuzanne: Regarding the several physiological reasons why you should only compare swimming HR with resting and swimming HR and not with HR while running or cycling, I'd be interested in some elaboration. I can see that perceived exertion might not correlate directly with work output, but wouldn't that change from individual to individual, and with experience and hopefully, improving swim efficiency? The horizontal position supported by water pressure may affect the underlying work of driving the circulating blood, (less I would imagine); and I would suppose also there is less work required by the muscles in supporting the body compared to running. But wouldn't the maximum HR achievable by running also be attainable by high exertion in the water?

I am familiar with HR as a gauge of running exertion during training and competition. I am considering getting a swimming HR monitor to help keep me in check as I gradually ramp up my exertion as my whole stroke breathing gradually becomes more confident at the waterline, so a rough outline of what to expect would be useful.
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  #7  
Old 06-26-2014
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Dave

Question--What do do you mean when you say "At that slow of speed my body at least begins firing the legs more than when I am moving at a faster rate. I'm finding at least that about 2.8 to 3.2 is an "easy swim" to me." What does 2.8 or 3.2 mean? Can't be the TT setting?

Balance doesn't seem to be a big problem for me and my kick is almost non-existent. In fact am having a hard time getting the 2bk as a habit.

The reason I originally asked the question about heart rate is this. I had asked a question to Mat Hudson about dps. I thought the longer the stroke and lower spl, the less breaths one takes--maybe a reason for feeling breathless. He replied that there were more variables than that. Less energy expended meant a lower heart rate and therefore also less need to supply oxygen to the muscles. My thought was that I needed to measure heart rate to see if it was increasing or decreasing. If it was increasing, Then that longer stroke was either inefficient or not optimal for me. If heart rate was decreasing and I was still breathless, something was wrong with my breathing pattern.

Guess I didn't make that very clear in my original post, but thanks for the input.

Sherry
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  #8  
Old 06-26-2014
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Coach Suzanne

Like sclim's post I too am curious about what you said:

If you are using HR for swimming, only compare it to your resting HR and your HR while swimming, not your HR while running or cycling. There are several physiologic reasons for this which are kind of cool.


Sherry
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
The horizontal position supported by water pressure may affect the underlying work of driving the circulating blood, (less I would imagine);
True

Quote:
and I would suppose also there is less work required by the muscles in supporting the body compared to running
True


Quote:
. But wouldn't the maximum HR achievable by running also be attainable by high exertion in the water?
Why would it given what you've already stated above? What would the conditions be that the HR Max could achieve the same as when you are using more muscles and half the blood is being pumped against gravity? HR is a dependent variable...it depends on the oxygen demand of the working muscles, and on other factors such as preload. Preload is greater when the blood is not returning against gravity, body weight is supported and the muscles won't ever recruit as many fibers as compared to running or better yet, XC skiing.

You may have heard the terms VO2 Max vs VO2 Peak? VO2 Max can usually only be achieved on a treadmill test, and then not by everyone. ON a bicycle ergometer test, VO2 Max is not usually reached and the maximum VO2 Reached on a cycle test is referred to as VO2 Peak.

In swimming it's even more dramatic.
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Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle


Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 06-27-2014 at 04:57 AM.
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  #10  
Old 06-28-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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@CoachSuzanne: I'm limited by only reading, and not much practical application experience. I was aware that VO2max was affected by the total mass of muscle performing high level work. Consequently, at least at the last time I remember reading about this, cross-country skiers as a group had the highest VO2max, although an individual, Jim Ryun, the mile-runner, had the highest recorded VO2max. The identity of this athlete (who has since gone on to a long and distinguished career in US politics!) may give you an idea how long ago I read this! That record has long ago been eclipsed by all kinds of people, including Lance Armstrong.

I knew that VO2 while swimming (as it is in any sport) would be driven by muscle uptake; my thought was that although gravity was not a penalty, water drag certainly was, and had the potential to more than offset the lessening of the gravity penalty. I had unrealistically assumed that the body would just keep on upping its exertion until it hit its threshold, which I had assumed would be limited by the cardiorespiratory limitation corresponding to the VO2max. I had forgotten that the VO2max was a total package in the sense that it was the maximum rate of O2 consumption during exercise of a specific nature, and that specific exercise also gave an idea of the muscles involved in generating that VO2max value; somehow over the years I had forgotten that the muscles were part of that total package, and therefore they were part of the bottleneck preventing further increase.

I also never thought too much about what exactly the limitation of HRmax was (except that at age 66 my own running HRmax of 181 gives lie to the often quoted 220 minus HRmax formula which is much too conservative, likely for safety reasons, and this value may be modified by training, and genetics, maybe.) As you point out, O2 uptake and HR is a result of the total workload generated by the total muscle mass involved. My initial, mistaken, view was that as long as the pump is capable of putting out so much volume (and I have no way of knowing what my stroke volume is and how it changes at different rates and with different activities), I could keep on exerting until I reached the same HRmax. But I had totally ignored the limitations of the muscle mass generating that O2 demand, which in turn drove the Heart Rate, which, as the 3rd item in the chain was not necessarily the limiter of total exertion that I thought it was, and in swimming, is likely not.

Regarding terminology, then, VO2max is the highest VO2uptake that an individual can achieve, using all the tricks in the book, which means, usually, running on a treadmill, or with a moving collection platform on a track, right? Assuming that this VO2max, by definition cannot be improved upon, then VO2peak is the term reserved for the maximum VO2 uptake recorded during various other activities, such as bicycling or swimming; is my understanding correct on this?

When you said "in swimming it's even more dramatic" what exactly did you mean?
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