My Progress

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Did you know that ellipticals stop your workout program...

... if your heartrate hits 200 bpm? Yeah, neither did I before this evening's workout.
Story time! So I was doing my thing as usual, plotting along, listening to my tunes, nodding to people as they left (the equipment is by the back door nearest where most of the research and sales people park) when I noticed I was keeping a faster pace than I normally would. Typically I start out at about 7.5 mph until my heartrate reaches my low target (155 bpm), then slow down to between 6 and 6.5 mph for the remainder of the ride, which is a 45 minute workout and a 5 minute cooldown. I guess I was pushing closer to 6.5-7 because at the 44 minute mark, I was already at 4.85 miles (whereas I'd normally only be at 4.7 miles at 45 minutes).

As I was doing the math in my head to figure out how far ahead I was and how close I was to pulling 5 miles in 45 minutes, this song came on. I immediately fell into stride with the song, pumped up by my success for the workout and the energy of the song. For the record, that song is 158 beats per minute, so I was doing 79 rpm on the elliptical at that time, which, for that stride length, is almost exactly 10mph. I've never gone that fast on the elliptical before and today I was doing it for the last minute of my workout.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see if I made it to that 5 mile mark before the workout hit 45 minutes. As soon as I hit 10 mph, my heartrate started ramping up from my usual 165. I watched it tick up to the 190s almost immediately. I was wrapped up in the moment and didn't feel strained at all. My eyes were moving from one readout to the next: speed, 10mph; time, 44.28; pulse, 191; speed 10.1; time, 44.31; pulse, 192. 192I thought to myself that's my maximal heartrate!Well, it was when I first determined it a couple of years ago by running up a hill as hard and as fast as I could (and when I did it back then, I thought I was about to die). Well, I guess it's not my maximal heartrate anymore, because it kept going up: 193, 194, 196, 197, 199... Sweet! I'm gonna break 2--beeeeeyooooooop.

OK, it didn't actually make a sound (not that I'd have heard it over the music), but it makes for a good story. It just shut off. No timer, no speed, no pulse readout, no calories burned.... I slowed down my stride and pressed enter; it prompted me to select a workout. I set it to "cooldown" and watched my heartrate go back to sane levels.

Don't worry, I'm pretty sure I didn't cause any lasting damage. It wasn't even that high for a full minute. I never felt like I was in pain, just excited, driven, on an endorphin/adrenaline high. Any fitness experts know if your maximal increases as you improve your health and fitness? I'd like to think so... I just hope Carla doesn't scold me. ;)


Brandi said...

Yes, your SAFE maximal heart rate increases with your fitness level. Which is why you were able to do so much more, at a faster pace and not die :)

Also, from an engineering standpoint and a fellow numbers nerd, I think its hilarious that you do all that math in your head AND you remember how far you usually run at certain points in your workout WHILE you're working out...I think we're hopeless :)

bbubblyb said...

Yea, I'm a numbers person too. I loved your story but kept worrying you would end up passed out on the floor at the end. I was glad to see that didn't happen. The suspense was making my heart rate go up lol. Way to go on your great workout.

MizFit said...

huh. I never knew that and I never wear a HRM (I always do perceived exertion).

now Im longing to know more about how you felt.
as in what would you RATE it on the RPE scale.