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  #1  
Old 03-13-2015
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Default Heart Rate While swimming

For the last month or so, my emphasis has been on bilateral breathing and different breathing patterns. My other emphasis has been on trying to swimm with more ease, even if it is only one length. I have been able to swim 1 length with a lot of ease and breathing on either the left or right. But when I go to two lengths, something falls apart and I need 10 yoga breaths (or more) to continue. I am also doing a lot of dryland exercises to try and implement breathing more from the diaphragm. Trick is to roll that into swimming.

This morning I took my resting heart rate (which was at 60 bpm). When I got to the pool and after warming up for 5 minutes or so, I swam 1 length and then took my heart rate. (Done manually by the carotid artery for 10 seconds and multiplying by 6). Did this for about 10 individual lengths. Heart rate with each individual length was between 86 and 90. When I went to two length sets, the heart rate was anywhere from 109 to 116. I am 71 and really not too sure if that is bad or good. I realize that the more the heart rate is, the more oxygen is consumed or needed. One thing that I did notice on the 2nd length was that my hips were not as high as they were on the first. More drag?

Anyway,don't know if this heart rate thing is worth pursuing, but wonder if anyone else has experimented with this and what conclusions were drawn?

Sherry
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Old 03-13-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Hi Sherry,

I don't know if paying attention to your heart rate is good or bad, but I thought it was worth mentioning that you can buy something called a heart-rate monitor. The last time I checked, this consisted of a belt which you can put around your chest and a wrist watch which records signals from the belt. Runners sometimes use these things as a training tool. I once saw kids in a pool using them, because the coaches wanted to make sure the kids were getting a good work-out.

Dr. Suzanne may be in a better position to advise you on whether or not this is worth the effort. I just thought I'd tell you about the equipment.
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Old 03-13-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Hi Sherry,

I don't know if paying attention to your heart rate is good or bad, but I thought it was worth mentioning that you can buy something called a heart-rate monitor. The last time I checked, this consisted of a belt which you can put around your chest and a wrist watch which records signals from the belt. Runners sometimes use these things as a training tool. I once saw kids in a pool using them, because the coaches wanted to make sure the kids were getting a good work-out.

Dr. Suzanne may be in a better position to advise you on whether or not this is worth the effort. I just thought I'd tell you about the equipment.
The running chest HR straps suffer from 2 problems: 1) they don't stay in position well for guys when swimming -- for women with 1 piece outfit, the suit may hold it in place, but I don't know if this adds motion artifact. 2) the radio signals (ANT+ protocol) of the Garmin brand don't travel well under water to the Garmin wrist watch which on land would display the heart rate very accurately. The Polar brand may be ok for swimming, I don't know.

There is currently available a FINIS brand device called AQUAPULSE, it clips to your goggles strap like a Tempo Trainer, but there is a little clip on a wire that clips to your ear lobe, and this measures your pulse (blood flow through our ear, actually) and the device announces in a human voice what your heart rate is every 10, 30 or 60 seconds, or whatever you set it at.

The pulse rate is neither bad nor good. It merely is a surrogate marker for intensity of exertion. I guess if you're on the point of death from heart disease then in theory raising your heart rate, or any exertion at all might be considered a risk, but then, so would walking across the parking lot to your car. You have passed the test by successfully swimming regularly, sometime hard, with no ill consequence except transient shortness of breath, maybe, which is not harmful.

I pay a lot of attention to my HR when I run, because I'm a good runner, and this gives me an idea of the intensity at which I'm training, and also how much my heart and body is adapting to the training. I have started to do the same as a newbie biker, but the exertion is much better measured by a (bike) power meter. I initially was interested in doing the same for swimming, but I now realise it is an entirely different situation, and my immediate priority is to develop good balance and efficient stroke technique. How short of breath I am and exactly how close I am to my cardiac limit right now is of much less relevance for me, although it is of passing curiosity; but I'm not curious enough for me to get the AQUAPULSE just yet.

Last edited by sclim : 03-13-2015 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 03-13-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Originally Posted by jenson1a View Post
I have been able to swim 1 length with a lot of ease and breathing on either the left or right. But when I go to two lengths, something falls apart and I need 10 yoga breaths (or more) to continue.
Sherry,

I don't usually measure my heart rate, but the way you describe this, it may be more of a mental/psychological/comfort issue than a physical issue. I don't mean to say it's any less real--I just know from my own experience that my fear of longer repeats stresses me out and makes it harder to relax, and thus my performance suffers, and I get out of breath (and my heart rate goes up, I'm sure). When I re-started swimming in November, this was apparent even with 100m repeats (which now feel short and comfortable to me).

If that's what is going on, I'd suggest that it's important to avoid practicing struggle or discomfort as you work through this. Do what you can do comfortably, even if it's only a length at a time. Prioritize feeling that comfort, and BASKING in it, and noticing exactly how it feels to be comfortable, and start to try consciously creating that feeling even when you test yourself on longer repeats. Can you go one length, then turn and take two more strokes, and maintain that comfort? Good. Then next time, try three more strokes, etc. I think maybe your mind will gradually find relaxation and you might be able to break through this barrier if that's what is going on.

I did this fifteen years ago when I trained myself to swim 50m underwater on one breath--go 20m, then take one more stroke. Next time, 2 more. Any time I started feeling out of breath or panicky, I'd back up a step or two. It takes time, but it works pretty well for me.
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Old 03-13-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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This is not really the season for it, but I have found that open water swimming has a very calming effect on my stroke, because I stop trying to measure SPL or time and just SWIM. You may have to wait until summer to try it, but this might be a good way to try to find a comfort zone.
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Old 03-14-2015
igorner igorner is offline
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Hi,
Working on an ambulance , I have discovered that you should take a pulse for at least 30 seconds to get an accurate read. This is also consistent with my training as an EMR and is also upheld by firefighter paramedics and coast guard medics that I work with.

So, take a pulse for 30" and multiply by 2.
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Old 03-14-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Hi,
Working on an ambulance , I have discovered that you should take a pulse for at least 30 seconds to get an accurate read. This is also consistent with my training as an EMR and is also upheld by firefighter paramedics and coast guard medics that I work with.

So, take a pulse for 30" and multiply by 2.
That's not really true for fitness purposes, though, because pulse rate drops too rapidly during recovery. A 30-second pulse check would give you a far lower (and much less accurate) reading, because by the end of the 30 seconds, your heart rate will have dropped quite a bit from when you stopped exercising. A 10-second check will give you better results for this purpose.
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Last edited by Tom Pamperin : 03-14-2015 at 01:46 AM.
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
That's not really true for fitness purposes, though, because pulse rate drops too rapidly during recovery. A 30-second pulse check would give you a far lower (and much less accurate) reading, because by the end of the 30 seconds, your heart rate will have dropped quite a bit from when you stopped exercising. A 10-second check will give you better results for this purpose.
I would agree with Tom. We're talking different purposes here. The 30 second pulse count sampling interval is appropriate for illness monitoring because the extra degree of precision is valuable in the context of generating the database of the progress of subtle but significant illness. The shorter 10 second sampling interval is required in this context because of the rapid decay of the peak heart rate that occurs immediately after a surge of exertion. The error associated with a shorter sample is acceptable in the context of an even greater error with a longer sampling period.
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  #9  
Old 03-14-2015
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
Sherry,

I don't usually measure my heart rate, but the way you describe this, it may be more of a mental/psychological/comfort issue than a physical issue. I don't mean to say it's any less real--I just know from my own experience that my fear of longer repeats stresses me out and makes it harder to relax, and thus my performance suffers, and I get out of breath (and my heart rate goes up, I'm sure). When I re-started swimming in November, this was apparent even with 100m repeats (which now feel short and comfortable to me).

If that's what is going on, I'd suggest that it's important to avoid practicing struggle or discomfort as you work through this. Do what you can do comfortably, even if it's only a length at a time. Prioritize feeling that comfort, and BASKING in it, and noticing exactly how it feels to be comfortable, and start to try consciously creating that feeling even when you test yourself on longer repeats. Can you go one length, then turn and take two more strokes, and maintain that comfort? Good. Then next time, try three more strokes, etc. I think maybe your mind will gradually find relaxation and you might be able to break through this barrier if that's what is going on.

I did this fifteen years ago when I trained myself to swim 50m underwater on one breath--go 20m, then take one more stroke. Next time, 2 more. Any time I started feeling out of breath or panicky, I'd back up a step or two. It takes time, but it works pretty well for me.
Funny you mentioned this, because after I got back from swimming yesterday, the same thought occurred to me. Also, I thought it might be a good idea to stop just for a few seconds after the first length and then go on.

It is encouraging that you have gone through this and that this slow process paid off for you. Will give it a go and see what happens.

Thanks so much for your input

Sherry
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  #10  
Old 03-14-2015
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Danny, Sclim, and Ignorer

Thanks for your input also. Actually a heart rate monitor wasn't my concern. The Aquapulse sounded great, but I have a hearing impairment--so much so that I don't hear the TT. Werner came up with a file which is made up of a series of beeps that can be downloaded to an underwater mp 3 player and that works just great.

The other thing is that after I posted my original post, I realized that my resting heart rate was taken on land. Had I taken it in the water, it probably would have been much lower. The heart rate measurement was done just as a tool, like what is your spl, to try to id where my problems were in my swimming. Not much luck with that!

Like I said in OP, the only thing I really noticed was that on my second length, my hips were not as high as they were in the first length. have to work on that also.

Thanks for all the input

Sherry
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