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Slowtwitch Forums: Triathlon Forum:
swimming HR v. running HR ?

 

   


luckytotri

Dec 9, 12 7:16

Post #1 of 19 (1284 views)
swimming HR v. running HR ? Quote | Reply

Background: I've been running for 20+ years, and I've been swimming for less than two.

When I run, I can sustain a HR of 165 for a couple of hours, no problem. I mean, I definitely feel like I'm working, but it's a totally doable endurance effort feeling. I swim with the masters three days a week, ~3000yds/day. I often feel totally maxed out in the pool, but when I check my heart rate it's in the low 140s. (FWIW, on a 2+ hour ride I try to keep my HR around 150, more than that and my legs can blow up.)

It makes sense to me that it would be harder to get your heart rate up in the pool because you're non weight bearing and not doing weight transference, but I don't know why my perceived exertion is so much higher? Is this indicative of bad breathing technique? Lack of swimming specific fitness? Other?
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N. Dorphin

Dec 9, 12 9:06

Post #2 of 19 (1240 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [luckytotri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

luckytotri wrote:
Background: I've been running for 20+ years, and I've been swimming for less than two.

When I run, I can sustain a HR of 165 for a couple of hours, no problem. I mean, I definitely feel like I'm working, but it's a totally doable endurance effort feeling. I swim with the masters three days a week, ~3000yds/day. I often feel totally maxed out in the pool, but when I check my heart rate it's in the low 140s. (FWIW, on a 2+ hour ride I try to keep my HR around 150, more than that and my legs can blow up.)

It makes sense to me that it would be harder to get your heart rate up in the pool because you're non weight bearing and not doing weight transference, but I don't know why my perceived exertion is so much higher? Is this indicative of bad breathing technique? Lack of swimming specific fitness? Other?

Breathe every 15 strokes; your heart rate will definitely go up. ;-}

No, seriously, it's most likely to be a function of the fraction of your maximum cardiac output that the particular activity uses, which is a function of the size of muscle groups employed in the given activity (S, B, or R). The general trend is that running, which uses more/bigger muscles, will require a higher cardiac output, and thus heart rate, to reach threshold. Cycling will use less, and most triathletes will start making more lactate/protons at a lower heart rate, which is why cycling threshold HR tends to be lower. I'm not sure if swimming necessarily follows this trend, but it would certainly make sense if it did.

Unless you're the Hulk.
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luckytotri

Dec 9, 12 9:27

Post #3 of 19 (1218 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [N. Dorphin] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Thanks for the response. That makes sense re. the HR. Do you have any insight as to why I feel so much more maxed out in the pool even though my HR is ~20bpm lower than when I'm running (and not feeling maxed out at all)?

And, no I'm not the hulk, but I am a sit on the bottom of the pool mesomorph ;)
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Trying to fight gravity on a planet that insists


N. Dorphin

Dec 9, 12 9:40

Post #4 of 19 (1203 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [luckytotri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

luckytotri wrote:
Thanks for the response. That makes sense re. the HR. Do you have any insight as to why I feel so much more maxed out in the pool even though my HR is ~20bpm lower than when I'm running (and not feeling maxed out at all)?


Multifactorial. Depends on your swim experience versus other disciplines, the type of workout you do, your comfort in the water, probably other factors, too.

luckytotri wrote:
Thanks for the response. That makes sense re. the HR. Do you have any insight as to why I feel so much more maxed out in the pool even though my HR is ~20bpm And, no I'm not the hulk, but I am a sit on the bottom of the pool mesomorph ;)


Ability to sit on the bottom of the pool is a function of bodyfat%. ;-}

I also have the mixed blessing of being a primary mesomorph. Great for moving furniture, a little more challenged for pure speed.
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Stubbornness is not a widely recognized talent, but it's the only one I've got.
endorphins-for-breakfast.blogspot.com/

(This post was edited by N. Dorphin on Dec 9, 12 9:40)


ericmulk

Dec 9, 12 9:54

Post #5 of 19 (1186 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [luckytotri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

luckytotri wrote:
Background: I've been running for 20+ years, and I've been swimming for less than two.

When I run, I can sustain a HR of 165 for a couple of hours, no problem. I mean, I definitely feel like I'm working, but it's a totally doable endurance effort feeling. I swim with the masters three days a week, ~3000yds/day. I often feel totally maxed out in the pool, but when I check my heart rate it's in the low 140s. (FWIW, on a 2+ hour ride I try to keep my HR around 150, more than that and my legs can blow up.)

It makes sense to me that it would be harder to get your heart rate up in the pool because you're non weight bearing and not doing weight transference, but I don't know why my perceived exertion is so much higher? Is this indicative of bad breathing technique? Lack of swimming specific fitness? Other?

Are you checking via counting in the pool vs the HR monitor on the run and bike??? If so, your method of of measurement could be affecting your readings, especially since the HR goes down very fast for well conditioned athletes. Also, counting is pretty inaccurate once you get above 2 beats/sec or 120 beats/minute. In any case, perceived effort is everything, really, when you think about it. I put away my HR monitor years ago.

"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."


luckytotri

Dec 9, 12 10:08

Post #6 of 19 (1178 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [ericmulk] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Yes, I am doing a six second count, starting w/ zero in the pool v. HRM on the bike and run. But when I spin or am on the trainer, I'll check my count against the HRM, and it's usually right on.

Agreed re. PE. Would love to figure out what I'm doing wrong so that it isn't always so freakin' exhausting.
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Trying to fight gravity on a planet that insists


ericmulk

Dec 9, 12 10:15

Post #7 of 19 (1171 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [luckytotri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

luckytotri wrote:
Yes, I am doing a six second count, starting w/ zero in the pool v. HRM on the bike and run. But when I spin or am on the trainer, I'll check my count against the HRM, and it's usually right on.

Agreed re. PE. Would love to figure out what I'm doing wrong so that it isn't always so freakin' exhausting.

Your less than 2 yrs of swimming says it all, as almost no one becomes really comfortable in the water until after around 5 yrs or so of steady, consistent (i.e., year-round, 3-6 days/wk) swim training. It's all about time in the water. The reverse is true for swimmers when we start running, as it took me about 5 yrs to feel comfortable running for long periods of time.

"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."


luckytotri

Dec 9, 12 10:17

Post #8 of 19 (1167 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [ericmulk] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggggggggggg!

Damn it.
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Trying to fight gravity on a planet that insists


WyoWill

Dec 9, 12 10:45

Post #9 of 19 (1144 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [luckytotri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Also, you don't quite have the gravitational effect to help your ventricles to fill so your C.O is going to be lower until you build a "swimmers heart." To get the HR up now, try a different beat kick like a 4 or 6 beat


Bmanners

Dec 9, 12 11:09

Post #10 of 19 (1127 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [luckytotri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Might core temperature come into effect also? Biking you have winds of at least around 15 - 28 mph hiring you. When running air is hitting you at 7-11 mph hitting you. In a 65 degree pool your core temp is not heating at all like it is when running and biking. Try swimming in one of them hot tub current pools. I bet your HR flies right up there.
I am betting a lot is lack of swimm specific fitness and texhnique. I swam from 8 years old to 16-17 years old 4 seasons a year for that man years. Took 20 some years off. Although I am not fast as I was swimming distance is still feels easy .
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Kayrehn

Dec 9, 12 11:30

Post #11 of 19 (1115 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [luckytotri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Can't remember exactly the details in my sports physiology class, but what iI do know is that max hr for and running is lower. General estimate of max hr for these 2 has to be by subtracting your age against 220 instead of 210. body position of swimming aids in venous return and hence is a contributing reason for the phenomenon.


hhtdp0

Dec 9, 12 12:50

Post #12 of 19 (1083 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [Bmanners] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

65 degree pool?


luckytotri

Dec 9, 12 13:32

Post #13 of 19 (1063 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [hhtdp0] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Haha...yeah, when I saw 65 degree pool all I could think was "hells to the no." You sickos who voluntarily swim in a 65 degree pool are not right in the head. And, yes, I'm impressed.
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Bmanners

Dec 9, 12 13:32

Post #14 of 19 (1063 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [hhtdp0] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Idk 68-70 ?? but you get the meaning the bodies core temp is not heating up as fast and is being cooled as opposed to biking and running in 80 to 100+ temps with high humidity on top of it.
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urbantriathlete

Dec 9, 12 18:37

Post #15 of 19 (992 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [Bmanners] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

65 degrees will be tough to get the muscles up enough to do much sprint work - just pound out the garbage yardage when the temp is that low.

Otherwise - for the OP - don't be in a rush to train with hr, i assume you likely won't stop in the middle of a 1.5km swim and check your hr to see how well you are doing? Keep putting in the time in the drink, plenty of speed work and focus on lengthening your kick off walls, breathing every 3 or 5- a nice balance this will get you "swimmer" fit and increase your top-end speed, which is helpful for a tri but also probably not where one can achieve maximum time save. If the OP is dead-set on improving swim, hit the weight room, add lots of core work, push ups/ pull ups, plus some high-rep work with full range of motion lifts - clean and pulls, etc. This will build up the muscles used in swimming.
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phog

Dec 9, 12 19:47

Post #16 of 19 (959 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [luckytotri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

The idea that swimming is easier because it's not weight bearing is not quite there. the reality is that swimming calls on more muscle groups than the other two disciples and as a result you max out much quicker, but in the process you are using a wide variety of muscles that are not conditioned. Two years into swimming means your swim muscles are just not efficient. So lots of lactate production as opposed to your running or riding thresholds which will be way more efficient.

I was a swimmer, so no problem handling and maxing out heart rates, but as most will tell you. Swimmers can't run and runners can't swim. So be glad the swim is the smallest part and keep practicing. If you get halfway decent you will always beat the swimmer as they max out their HR on the run and explode.


luckytotri

Dec 9, 12 20:11

Post #17 of 19 (945 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [urbantriathlete] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I don't think strength is my issue, though maybe a hindrance. I'm a 38 yr old woman. I can do 9 full pull ups and 40 chest to floor push ups. My strength to body weight ratio is decent. But I totally agree that I just need to get more comfortable in the water :)
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duffman

Dec 9, 12 20:54

Post #18 of 19 (924 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [luckytotri] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I think it's about time you posted some pics to your profile with all your questions...haha. doing pull ups/push ups doesn't mean shit in the pool. my brother started swimming and quit after a couple of months cause it kicked his ass too...and he could bench over 300 + squat 500 a few years before as a college football player. you just have to keep at it. do speed work sets, kick sets, pull sets, you will get stronger and fitter.
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luckytotri

Dec 9, 12 21:10

Post #19 of 19 (914 views)
Re: swimming HR v. running HR ? [duffman] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Yeah, you're right. My anonymity on ST is so invaluable though :) I'll get right on that, just as soon as I figure out how to swim a nice, smooth easy 100 on the 1:20 ;)
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Trying to fight gravity on a planet that insists

   
 
 
 



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