Our expert says:
There's no problem at all having a high heart rate, provided you have no other symptoms like chest pain. It's difficult to make a diagnosis during exercise, especially a race, because you expect to feel out of breath. So normally, we say that being out of breath during daily activity is a sign of a problem, but when you are doing a race and 'pushing it to the max', then you expect to be out of breath. In fact, if you weren't out of breath, you would not be racing properly! We often test athletes in the laboratory and i can assure you that you are not that far away from the norm - many athletes we test during max exercise can reach 190 or more, and so you are maybe 5% above this, that's not a problem at all. 110 before the start is not a problem either - your body produces hormones that raise your heart rate before you start, and then the 180 to 190 is fine too. You have to keep in mind that the normal heart rates you will read about are all worked out for the general population. In otherwords, 200 minus your age is a typical heart rate maximum, but there are many people above this and many below it and so you can't apply general equations to individuals. Unless you have problems with breathing during normal activity, I would not worry about this at all.
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