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Altitude heart rate spike?
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All,
Yesterday at the Leadville Trail Marathon, my Garman 920XT indicated I had a heart rate spike while climbing and descending the main peak, which tops out at 13,300 feet. Graph here: https://www.strava.com/activities/1041780092. Basically, I'd been keeping my heart rate steady around 140 the whole morning. At about 12,700 feet, my watch indicated a heart rate spike at first to 170-180, then over 200. I didn't feel terribly different, but I was concerned enough to ask a buddy running with me to give me a 15-second count while I counted my heart beats. My manual check suggested around 130bpm, so I kept heading up the mountain. The watch indicated about 180 while I was atop the mountain for a few minutes, then went back up to over 200bpm as I started down. When I got below 12,600, it all went back to normal, around 130-140bpm.

Questions:
1. Anyone know of HRM watch-related issues at altitude? My buddy also had a similar spike, but shorter and not as dramatic. Basically same place, same time. Watch issues or similar physiological responses?
2. The brief elevated rate was approximately 150% of what I'd expect. I do have an otherwise harmless arrhythmia. Any chance a HRM would particularly pick that up only over a certain altitude and is that what it would look like?
3. The wind was howling at the top, could clothing slapping against a HRM make it malfunction like that? Obviously there could be other external signals interfering as well, but the seeming altitude-dependent nature of the spike seems peculiar.

Thanks for any thoughts!
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Re: Altitude heart rate spike? [shumphries] [ In reply to ]
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HRM artifact. Don't worry about it.
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Re: Altitude heart rate spike? [shumphries] [ In reply to ]
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I get HR spike artifacts on both my chest strap and scosche, it just happens. Usually it's just like you said, really at 130 but showing 180ish. Chest strap is better and usually only screws up the first few miles before sweating. Scosche is more iffy but usually screws up if the strap isn't tight enough but sometimes just does it for the hell of it. Resetting usually fixes it (turn schosche on/off or move strap down until it stops reading then move back).
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Re: Altitude heart rate spike? [shumphries] [ In reply to ]
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At that altitude it is crazy dry you may have lost a good connection between the strap and your body. I'm in highlands ranch and it happens to me sometimes too.

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De Soto Sport Athlete
Formerly Draketriathlon
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Re: Altitude heart rate spike? [Grant.Reuter] [ In reply to ]
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me and my buddy race pikes peak. he can drop a low 17 min 5k and me floating in 18s. he shot himself in the foot by using heart rate to pace himself... was going too slow that I beat him. HRM is unreliable at altitude. he should have easily destroyed me if he went off of RPE instead


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
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