Monday, July 5, 2010

Heart Rate

I have to admit, I don't use the suggested high end/low end heart rates when I'm on the exercise bike each morning. I find I hardly break a sweat if my heart rate stays between 130-165. So I just push myself enough that I do sweat a bit. I have a routine I use to keep my heart rate up. I set high and low "load" targets as measured by the bike's "load indicator", whatever that means. High = 4.5, low = 2.5. I stay at high for four minutes to spike my heart rate. Since I can't maintain 4.5 for 20 minutes, I then go two minutes at low and repeat that 4 min:2 min cycle three times. I start with a 1 minute slow warmup and that leaves 1 minute for a sprint at the end.

My heart rate ends up fluctuating between 160 - 230. Enough higher than suggested that I wonder if it should concern me? There really doesn't seem to be any physical distress though, just a good invigorating workout.

Except . . . every time during the third repetition of the cycle I know I should be at high speed from 7 mins to 3 mins, then low from 3 mins to 1 min on the countdown timer. But every time . . . every time . . . I've confused it and gone high speed from 7 mins to 4 mins. After about 30 seconds at low speed I always catch it and tell myself I won't do it next time. But I do.

It's not a big deal in terms of the workout. Just means the last bit goes 3 mins fast/2 mins slow/2 mins fast instead of 4 mins fast/2 mins slow/1 min fast. But I think it's interesting to note the effect of heart rate on brain functionality. At least I think that's what I'm seeing.

Fortunately, as exciting as my calculus reviews are, they don't quite get my heart pumping that much.

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