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How Long Until Heart Rate Normalize After Ride?

Old 08-30-18, 09:13 PM
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5kdad
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How Long Until Heart Rate Normalize After Ride?

I once remember hearing someone talk about your fitness level might be indicated by how long it takes your heart rate to get back to a "normal" range after you ride. Or put another way, if your heart rate is still up a certain percentage after a few hours after you ride, then you might want to backing off a bit on your time or intensity.
Anyone familiar with those figures? The rate of increase and the amount of time after a ride? Today was a rainy day here, so I turned on the Vuelta a España, and spent two hours on my Airdyne bike. Four hours later, my heart rate was still a bit above 100. My normal rate is in the 70's.
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Old 08-31-18, 06:37 PM
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I just check Garmin Connect and it usually only takes me less than 10 minutes before my HR goes back to normal. After a ride, my 2 minutes heart rate recovery is about 30-35 BPM (I keep my chest strap until then to make sure the data is legit). My resting HR is in the low 50s and my workday HR is about 75 BPM. My riding HR is averaging at 145-155 BPM. I'm 55 years old. When I start riding back in the Spring, it would take me over an hour before it goes below 100 BPM but as the rides pill up, my recovery HR goes down.
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Old 08-31-18, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 5kdad View Post
I once remember hearing someone talk about your fitness level might be indicated by how long it takes your heart rate to get back to a "normal" range after you ride. Or put another way, if your heart rate is still up a certain percentage after a few hours after you ride, then you might want to backing off a bit on your time or intensity.
Anyone familiar with those figures? The rate of increase and the amount of time after a ride? Today was a rainy day here, so I turned on the Vuelta a España, and spent two hours on my Airdyne bike. Four hours later, my heart rate was still a bit above 100. My normal rate is in the 70's.
I'm sorry ... HOURS????

When I finish a ride, even a really intense one, my HR is back to normal within minutes.


You might want to seek medical attention.
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Old 08-31-18, 08:52 PM
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According to this article:
https://www.livestrong.com/article/4...eturn-to-base/

"Measure your heart rate again a few seconds before you stop your workout. Then keep measuring at intervals of about one minute. If your heart rate is 190 during exercise and your resting heart rate is 80, it could take you several minutes for your heart rate to return to normal."

According to this article:
Heart Rate and Health | Berkeley Wellness

"Your heart rate drops most sharply in the first minute after you stop exercising; it should then fall about 20 beats a minute—a drop of less than 12 beats a minute is considered abnormal. This “recovery heart rate” is measured as part of an exercise stress test."

Here's another article which you might want to read:
https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/...ousand-words#1
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Old 08-31-18, 09:19 PM
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Dehydration leading to elevated core temperature. When my wife overheats while riding (I cannot make her drink enough) her HR will take 15-20 minutes to drop below 100bpm, and often up to an hour to return to normal.

I've done it to myself a few times. HR will stay ~100bpm for up to an hour. I just drink and drink and drink and it comes down. I sometimes get the feeling that either most of the folks on this forum never push themselves very hard... or I'm pushing myself too hard too often. One or the other. Maybe a little of both.
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Old 02-23-20, 05:17 PM
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Heart Rate

Originally Posted by 5kdad View Post
I once remember hearing someone talk about your fitness level might be indicated by how long it takes your heart rate to get back to a "normal" range after you ride. Or put another way, if your heart rate is still up a certain percentage after a few hours after you ride, then you might want to backing off a bit on your time or intensity.
Anyone familiar with those figures? The rate of increase and the amount of time after a ride? Today was a rainy day here, so I turned on the Vuelta a España, and spent two hours on my Airdyne bike. Four hours later, my heart rate was still a bit above 100. My normal rate is in the 70's.

​​​​​I know your post is s few years old, but it fits what happened to me yesterday, 2/22/2020. I pushed really hard yesterday for about 8 miles into a head wind. When I got home I started checking my heart rate, which is usually runt 72 resting. I was at a hundred and stayed there for three or four hours. Somewhat alarmed I even thought about going to the ER. Just wondering how your situation turned out. Thanks in advance, hope everything was good with you.
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Old 02-23-20, 06:46 PM
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Interesting topic and interested in responses.


Personally, at 51 years old, decades of not really working out, and now, 3 years of consistent lifting and cardio, resting heart rate dropped from low 70s to under 60. My heart rate will get to around 150 or a little higher during cycling/cardi or even heavy lifting. It will drop of within ten minutes to under 100. But, it can definitely stay a little elevated for a couple of hours after a hard workout. Plus, I think that eating, something we tend to do within an hour after training elevates your heart rate a little.

Usually by bed time it’s normal and definitely the next day. But I think I’ve seen that if you push hard, your heart rate can stay elevated for hours or even to the next day.

I guess it just depends on how well trained you are. I don’t doubt there are many very well trained cyclists here who can ride like 20mph for hours. They consider this “normal” for them but it’s really pretty amazing if you can do that. And I can see someone like that would see their heart rate go to normal pretty fast.

But, for me, as long as it drops down under 100, usually at least 80, within an hour or two, and is normal by morning, I don’t worry.

Hope I’m right about this but definitely not giving anyone advice ; )
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Old 02-23-20, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by CyclingBK View Post
Interesting topic and interested in responses.


Personally, at 51 years old, decades of not really working out, and now, 3 years of consistent lifting and cardio, resting heart rate dropped from low 70s to under 60. My heart rate will get to around 150 or a little higher during cycling/cardi or even heavy lifting. It will drop of within ten minutes to under 100. But, it can definitely stay a little elevated for a couple of hours after a hard workout. Plus, I think that eating, something we tend to do within an hour after training elevates your heart rate a little.

Usually by bed time it’s normal and definitely the next day. But I think I’ve seen that if you push hard, your heart rate can stay elevated for hours or even to the next day.

I guess it just depends on how well trained you are. I don’t doubt there are many very well trained cyclists here who can ride like 20mph for hours. They consider this “normal” for them but it’s really pretty amazing if you can do that. And I can see someone like that would see their heart rate go to normal pretty fast.

But, for me, as long as it drops down under 100, usually at least 80, within an hour or two, and is normal by morning, I don’t worry.

Hope I’m right about this but definitely not giving anyone advice ; )

Thanks for the quick reply.
My heart rate was normal this morning, so I think I just need to take it easy till my fitness level is a little better. I'll talk to my doctor about it next time I see her, but it seems like a lot of folks experience what you and I did, and as long as it's normal the next morning seems like most think that's okay. Of course if I have any chest pains or any other signs of a heart attack I go straight to the ER. At 65 it was probably a mistake trying to keep up with a younger group of riders in a strong headwind. Thanks again, and stay strong!
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Old 02-24-20, 03:28 AM
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I'm 52 years old.
My fitness level has dropped a lot in the last couple years, but nevertheless, I did my first Zwift race a couple weeks ago.
Over 44 minutes, my average HR was 167bpm and max was 175bpm. I gave it all I had!!

In about 200 metres, my heart rate dropped from 170 to 136, and when I got off the bicycle, it was below 100 bpm several minutes later.

If my HR stayed high for hours, I would certainly be worried!!

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Old 02-24-20, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
If my HR stayed high for hours, I would certainly be worried!!
I agree.
An interesting article on the topic. Some other sources suggest the drop in the first 10 seconds after the end of your exercise is the true key indicator.

https://www.berkeleywellness.com/fit...nd-your-health

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Old 02-24-20, 08:01 AM
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Zwifting indoors ≠ riding a bicycle outside.

I pay as close attention to HRR as anyone, and can say that dehydration is factor #1 in recovery rate... exactly as I said back in 2018. If your heart rate stays elevated after effort, take in more water.

No matter how much you drink, if you put in particularly hard efforts, it's still going to happen every once in awhile. I don't even need to pay attention to the numbers until I'm into my 3rd or 4th hour, at least at this time of year. I can't use up
the water I've got in an hour or two. I could go absolutely full gas for an hour (like an FTP effort) without a drop of water and be absolutely fine-- I think most people could.

If someone gets elevated heart rate from riding for an hour at any intensity... to the cardiologist with thee.
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Old 02-24-20, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I'm 52 years old.
My fitness level has dropped a lot in the last couple years, but nevertheless, I did my first Zwift race a couple weeks ago.
Over 44 minutes, my average HR was 167bpm and max was 175bpm. I gave it all I had!!

In about 200 metres, my heart rate dropped from 170 to 136, and when I got off the bicycle, it was below 100 bpm several minutes later.

If my HR stayed high for hours, I would certainly be worried!!

I think "high" is a relative term here. My impression is that when they say it stays a little bit high for several hours/the rest of the day, they're talking like 10 bpm or less above normal.
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Old 02-24-20, 12:10 PM
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Hrr

Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
I think "high" is a relative term here. My impression is that when they say it stays a little bit high for several hours/the rest of the day, they're talking like 10 bpm or less above normal.

Thanks all, I'm heading to the cardiology department today to get an idea of what is going on, if anything. At 64 it was not a good idea to try and keep up with a group of younger riders for as long as I did. My heart rate did drop pretty quickly from my max, then leveled off to around 100 bpm for about 2-3 hours. After that back to normal, and then normal the next morning. I was riding almost everyday last couple of years, but have dropped off to just a few rides a week at low intensity during the fall and winter. No doubt I need to work back into shape and shouldn't have push so hard after an extended layoff. Thanks again for all the thoughtful comments, and i'll post what the doc says when I get time. Best, Tony
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Old 02-24-20, 01:21 PM
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The problem with responding to Tony's post is that we don't know what his conditioning was before the layoff, how long that was, what his morning resting and standing HRs were and are, how long a ride this last one was, temperature, climbing, none of that. Thus we can't really analyse what his HR issue was or to what it was due.

My guess is the same as DrIsotope's, dehydration. That fits the circumstance perfectly. Most folks don't realize how large an effect that has on HR, especially on someone whose plasma volume is down due to lack of aerobic exercise.

I don't see a problem with older riders chasing younger ones. I've done that every week for the past 20+ years and have gradually gotten better at it.
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Old 02-24-20, 05:25 PM
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Hrr

Cardiologist said everything was good. EKG was normal and examination was perfect. She said she would have been worried if it was still over 100 the next day. Said normal can range between 70-100, athlete's even lower. So according to her I was still in the normal range, especially considering I've been slacking off for three or four months. She suspects dehydration, being a little out of shape and pushing at what was probably close to my max heart rate for a prolong period was the issue. I have order the Polar heart rate sensor for future rides to avoid riding over my max HR. So all is good, just have to remember to drink lots of water and keep an eye on the monitor, and let the youngsters cruise on by. Don't think I mentioned this before but this was only my third ride on the new Allez, and the first time I really put the pedal to the metal. Silly how I sometimes forget I'm not a kid anymore. But when I'm on a bike I sure do feel like one! Thanks again for all the thoughtful comments!!!
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Old 02-24-20, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tony Sisco View Post
Cardiologist said everything was good. EKG was normal and examination was perfect. She said she would have been worried if it was still over 100 the next day. Said normal can range between 70-100, athlete's even lower. So according to her I was still in the normal range, especially considering I've been slacking off for three or four months. She suspects dehydration, being a little out of shape and pushing at what was probably close to my max heart rate for a prolong period was the issue. I have order the Polar heart rate sensor for future rides to avoid riding over my max HR. So all is good, just have to remember to drink lots of water and keep an eye on the monitor, and let the youngsters cruise on by. Don't think I mentioned this before but this was only my third ride on the new Allez, and the first time I really put the pedal to the metal. Silly how I sometimes forget I'm not a kid anymore. But when I'm on a bike I sure do feel like one! Thanks again for all the thoughtful comments!!!

Good to hear. It’s fascinating to consider the reason for the prolonged yet “normal” elevation. Not from the standpoint of “why”, as you said, you ran up your hr to relatively close to capacity trying to keep pace for a long time.

But what is the heart doing in its elevated state all that time after the workout? Is it recovering itself? Is it that at a cellular level, the mitochondria (lol) are so depleted that the heart is working overtime to get them replenished?

You should “annoy” her and ask her, she may just want to show off her knowledge. And I’d be curious as well ; )
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Old 02-24-20, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CyclingBK View Post
Good to hear. It’s fascinating to consider the reason for the prolonged yet “normal” elevation. Not from the standpoint of “why”, as you said, you ran up your hr to relatively close to capacity trying to keep pace for a long time.

But what is the heart doing in its elevated state all that time after the workout? Is it recovering itself? Is it that at a cellular level, the mitochondria (lol) are so depleted that the heart is working overtime to get them replenished?

You should “annoy” her and ask her, she may just want to show off her knowledge. And I’d be curious as well ; )
It's simple. Dehydration means a decrease in blood volume. Nevertheless, the same amount of blood has to reach all your tissues, so your heart has to pump harder to move the smaller amount. Imagine a circular hose with a pump. You're measuring the volume of water which passes a particular point. If the hose is smaller (lower blood volume), the blood has to move faster to move the same volume past your measuring point. Thus the pump runs faster. The "athletes heart" has larger chambers, thus more capacity, thus is not bothered as much by dehydration.

I once did a 105° 3000' pass climb (third pass of the day). I became severely dehydrated. Luckily I had a known source of water and a bit of shade. My normal resting heart rate was 46. Sitting in the shade, I was at a steady 125. I sat in the shade and drank water until it dropped below 100, then continued on up. I made it fine, but that was a hard climb, luckily the last long pass climb of the day. If it'd been life-threatening (no shade, no water) I could have hitched a ride.
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Old 02-24-20, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tony Sisco View Post
Cardiologist said everything was good. EKG was normal and examination was perfect. She said she would have been worried if it was still over 100 the next day. Said normal can range between 70-100, athlete's even lower. So according to her I was still in the normal range, especially considering I've been slacking off for three or four months. She suspects dehydration, being a little out of shape and pushing at what was probably close to my max heart rate for a prolong period was the issue. I have order the Polar heart rate sensor for future rides to avoid riding over my max HR. So all is good, just have to remember to drink lots of water and keep an eye on the monitor, and let the youngsters cruise on by. Don't think I mentioned this before but this was only my third ride on the new Allez, and the first time I really put the pedal to the metal. Silly how I sometimes forget I'm not a kid anymore. But when I'm on a bike I sure do feel like one! Thanks again for all the thoughtful comments!!!
You can't ride over your max HR. That's why it's max. It's very difficult to find one's max HR. There's no formula, but there is a method. After riding hard for an hour or two, start up a long hill, watching your HR. Don't start fast. Just gradually increase your speed. If your HR stops going up, go harder. Keep it going up. When you eyes start to pop from your head and blood seems like it'll start from your eyesockets, keep going harder. Eventually everything kinda goes black and you almost fall over. Note that HR. I used to have a system for it, don't bother anymore.

The simpler thing is to find your lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR). There are many ways to do it. The easiest for the not-in-great shape is to use the CTS method: https://trainright.com/cts-field-tes...-calculations/
Having that HR, you can calculate your training zones. A good way to check on that is to gradually increase intensity on a long climb until you begin to pant uncontrollably. Than back if off until you can breathe deeply again and increase to panting again. Note your HR just below where you start to pant. That's about LTHR. I do a lot of riding at ~90% of my LTHR on long hard rides and usually average about that on such rides. I also do rides at lower efforts.
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Old 02-25-20, 12:05 AM
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Hrr

No hills in New Orleans, but thanks for your comment.
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Old 02-25-20, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I'm sorry ... HOURS????
When I finish a ride, even a really intense one, my HR is back to normal within minutes.
You might want to seek medical attention.

Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I'm 52 years old.
My fitness level has dropped a lot in the last couple years, but nevertheless, I did my first Zwift race a couple weeks ago.
Over 44 minutes, my average HR was 167bpm and max was 175bpm. I gave it all I had!!

In about 200 metres, my heart rate dropped from 170 to 136, and when I got off the bicycle, it was below 100 bpm several minutes later.

If my HR stayed high for hours, I would certainly be worried!!
Your data seems contradictory or am I misunderstanding? What his "high" and "normal" for you? What's your AM resting HR before exercise? What is you resting HR one hour after you finish your hard workout?
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Old 02-25-20, 12:38 AM
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I raced in my twenties. Resting rate rate was so low I could not find my pulse in the morning. If I could, I was not recovered from the previous day. I used that as an indicator that I should back off that day unless I was in a major building block of training, planning a multi-day event or going through the depletion stage of a carbo-load. I don't take my pulse very often now but I do have a good awareness of my HR and note it after rides. Unless it was really out of whack, it would never occur to me to go to the ER simply because I'd pushed a little harder than I had trained for. I'd just take that as a reason to ride more. (Perhaps not tomorrow.)

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Old 02-25-20, 02:34 AM
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Never "peaked" heartrate-wise on a bike, but back in the day did it countless times on tougher distance runs in the hills. Back then, morning resting pulse was generally sub-50bpm, and "max" HR I ever saw was in the neighborhood of 185-190bpm a few times, and that was only for brief stretches of climbs or passing other competitors. Can't recall heart rate failing to drop down to normal, sedate walking rate (~70-80bpm) within a minute or two, no matter how rough the peak rate. Assuming no dehydration, and assuming we didn't throw all caution to the wind and run far harder than we should have.

One "epic" run took everything out of me, and I spent the next several hours dehydrated and coping with the after-effects. Heartrate was above 100bpm for a long while, post-run, until I got hydrated and fed. But that was the one anomalous day I can think of, over ~15+ years of competitive running.

In my early 20s, there were a few runs we often did at a very hard pace, climbing over the ridges [at less than 1800ft elevation], resulting in pulse rates in the neighborhood of 175+ bpm, sustained of 155+ bpm. It was the rare run where the pulse would stay above 100bpm after two minutes. So, dropping ~80 points or more in a couple minutes was normal. Being dehydrated never helped, of course.

These days (many decades later), during relatively harder cardio, I often peak at ~145-150 bpm for modest periods, with sustained in the range of ~135-140bpm or so, dropping to sub-80bpm (after stopping) within a minute to a minute and a half. (A long way from going from 175bpm peak to ~80bpm, but not all that bad for an older fart.)
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Old 02-26-20, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by BengalCat View Post
Your data seems contradictory or am I misunderstanding? What his "high" and "normal" for you? What's your AM resting HR before exercise? What is you resting HR one hour after you finish your hard workout?
How is my data contradictory? The two statements I made matched. In both, my HR returns to normal within minutes.

High is, as I indicated, my average HR on the 44 minute ride was 167bpm and max was 175bpm. I'm not sure how much higher than 175 I could go these days.
Normal is somewhere in the 70s ... like most people, I imagine.

As I indicated, in about 200 metres (less than a minute), my heart rate dropped from 170 to 136, and when I got off the bicycle several minutes later, it was below 100 bpm. Within, say, 10 minutes it was back to normal. I imagine it would be normal an hour later too ... unless I was up doing some housecleaning or something in which case it might be in the 80s or so.
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Old 02-26-20, 07:57 AM
  #24  
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As I've said before and apparently need to say again, poor heart rate recovery after an activity of less than say 3 hours indicates a problem. Because unless it's 115º outside, or you left the house already dehydrated, it's pretty tough to dehydrate in a short amount of time. 44 minutes? Only if you've just now been rescued from being lost at sea. For several days.

I mean, if you parked your bike in front of a space heater, and deliberately Zwifted without water for a few hours, it might happen.

Nine times out of ten, an elevated resting heart rate post-activity is due to dehydration.
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Old 02-26-20, 07:33 PM
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My heart rate was crazy when my thyroid problem was out of whack. Sometimes my resting pulse was around 100. And it would take hours after a bike ride to dip below 100.

But now, about a year after it's more or less under control, my resting HR is around 65. It'll hit 160+ during vigorous bike rides but usually drops pretty quickly, although it still tends to stay over 80 for a couple of hours.

Also depends on whether I needed Sudafed for sinus congestion. That tends to elevate my resting and active HR about 10 bpm, although it doesn't seem to affect my maximum heart rate.

And I've been using an HRV app to monitor it as part of my usual fitness routine. Helps notify me when I need to rest and when I'm good to push harder. So far, after several weeks of near-daily use, it's been remarkably accurate.

Interval training has helped too. After about a 30 minute warmup I can see during rides that my HR elevates appropriately with effort, and quickly drops when appropriate. Still takes me a long time to warm up so the HR stabilizes, but my cooldown period is less critical than it was.
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