Heart Rate - Warning Atrial Fibulation

Often when out training on the bike i would get feeling in my throat that was like my shirt collar was too tight, i assumed it was exercise induced asthma and never really perceived it as an issue as it would disappear once the session was over.
With the Covid lockdown i started riding on Zwift and noticed thanks to the BPM on display that when an episode occurred my heart rate would shoot up from the normal @160 to over 200 BPM (Peak was 241).

I visited the cardiologist to find out if i should do anything about it ?
I wore a ECG HRM for 24 hrs and had a few minutes of High BPM in a zwift session for them to review and due to my low heart rate drugs were not an option.

An ablation was attempted but they could not find the source (after injecting you with andrenaline to rasie the bpm) so diet etc are my only options atm.

It would be a nice feature to provide an indicator of an abnormal HR so that an early intervention may be made.

Surely not too hard to tell there is a problem ?

Not sure how this would work as I have the opposite, always struggle to get my heart rate up and have to kick start it with a 2 min hard effort after 15 mins into warmup, from then on my heart reacts as normal. So what would zwift recognise as “normal”, ie unreactive HR or the one reacting to harder efforts.
I don’t think Zwift are medically qualified to tell us we have a problem is the general gist.

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This was my first thought too. I also don’t think Zwift wants to get into the role of providing medical advice. And if this was something they started pointing out, I’m pretty sure it would only be about 2 minutes before they were sued by someone who had an issue that their algorithm didn’t pick up.

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Thanks Rob, my resting heart rate is low 40’s and normal max is @165 what’s your max heart?

I appreciate that it may not detect if you have a normal Sinus rhythm but when it has jumped by 40 - 60 bpm when outputting the same power is not normal.

Either external RF interference or your HRM is picking up additional beats

The training program rewards you for Heart Rate Peak Performance so me holding 220bpm for 20 mins is seen by the program as a positive, next i will try to hold 240 plus for 20mins as the encourage.

Glitches in the HRM or the signal can cause large swings in your HR. There would be a lot of false positives. You would need to have a high-end medical HR monitor and not the consumer based ones everyone uses.

I also agree that is isn’t not something that Zwift should get into.

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But an Apple Watch.

I would say most people using Zwift at home have their equipment working well and consistently - riding externally you are subject to interference. The high end monitors will give you more information on the different electrical impulses being generated but basically still show Atrial Fibrillation.
Getting an email with a warning eg Please Check your HRM as it shows a high reading instead of a Well done …

  • your max heart rate 210 BPM

Keep up the good work!

Today’s Plan Coach

I would say it is the responsibility of the rider to seek medical attention.
We all know where our pulse tends to range for a given activity.
If the HRM shows wild readings AND the rider feels fine, then it is likely (but not guaranteed) that the caused is a faulty reading of some kind.
We had a similar thread a few weeks ago.
But, if the rider has physical symptoms, such as the OP, and the HR is wacky, you need to see a doctor.
Automated home BP monitors will show a pulse and indicate if it is irregular but it gets hard to accurately determine regularity when the pulse gets above 120 on the home machines.
The consumer HRM may also have difficulty determining rhythm regularity at such fast pulses.
We are routinely riding at 2-3 heartbeats per sec.
That’s just crazy thinking what our bodies are doing as we go from lounging on the couch to a full sprint in a bike race.