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Hi All,

I'm looking for insight on my slow heart rate recovery problems after a workout partner told me he was concerned about it. I'm 28 years old and have been in very good shape my whole life. I've never been a very accomplished runner, but I can still put down a near six minute mile. I am in shape with weight lifting as well and most people would describe me as extremely athletic.

But, despite all that, I've always had problems with high heart rates and very slow heart rate recoveries. My heart rate tends to jump to high levels very quickly and sometimes does so even with lower intensity workouts. Typically, I do high intensity workouts and have attributed this to simply "pushing myself hard" for long periods of time. After getting a smart watch a couple years ago, it was more clear that there were heart rate differences between myself and my peers who are in similar shape.

As an example, the picture below is an 8 mile run that I did a few days ago. There were two 500' climbs that were pretty steep, followed by about a half mile of smooth, gradual descent. By the time we reach the top of the climb (indicated by the first heart rate peak), mine and my running partner's heart rates were >180. Half-way down the decent my partner reported a heart rate of 155 while mine was still near 180. There was some recovery, which is clear from the graph, but not as much as I would expect given my pace and the decline. There is a sharp dip in my heart rate where I made it below 160, but that corresponded to a mid run water break that we took.

Additionally, it took forever for my heart rate to come all the way down to resting after the run. It took about 2 hours for my heart rate to finally drop below 100. I actually never got sub 60 (which is my resting heart rate) until I went to bed that night. Note that this run was immediately followed by sitting in a car for about an hour.



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So, is this normal? I do worry about maintaining such a high heart rate over long workouts, especially as I start to get older. I did have asthma as a kid and sometimes it does still bother me seasonally, but running has help alleviate most of those symptoms.

Thanks!
 

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Just to confirm - you're sure the readings from your watch are reasonably accurate? My watch has a wrist sensor which isn't too bad, but some are better than others.

Assuming they are, I'm going to repeat what I've said in 2 other health-related posts I've just replied to - perhaps see a doctor? They might just say it's nothing to worry about. If they don't, they'll either tell you what you can/should do about it, or send you to someone with specialist knowledge.
 

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I have a Fitbit watch which is accurate while resting or walking but shows my heart rate way too high when running, so I never use it for training.
My Garmin with chest strap is far more accurate.
 
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