Our expert says:
I can't obviously say whether or not this is normal, because there is always a chance that your heart rate being high is indicative of a problem. THis is not impossible. HOwever, my personal opinion is that this is not anything to be concerned about. The thing about heart rate is that it is very individually variable. There is no ideal or unnatural heart rate. The fact that your heart rate falls by 70 in a minute indicates that it is actually OK, and it might just be that you have a very high and responsive heart rate during exercise.
To give you an example, we often test cyclists during research. It is possible and has happened that two cyclists, of similar performance ability and age, can cycle at the same exercise intensity, and one reaches a heart rate of 170, and another gets up to 200 or higher. So, that shows how variable heart rate can be.
Do not get caught up in to believing the heart rate monitor as the final authority in your fitness level. The best way to use your heart rate monitor is to use it to compare training sessions from week to week. Therefore, if you train one day doing a particular session, take note of your heart rate. The next time you do the exact same session (say 30 minutes run at 12 km/hour), you should be able to compare your heart rate during the session. If it is lower, then it indicates that you are fitter than before, and your training is going well. If it is higher, then it shows that you are either tired, or training too hard or are possibly becoming ill. This is a sign that you are in need of a few easy training days.
It is important that you don't think of heart rate as the absolute indication of fitness or health. It is the differences between heart rates in exactly the same session that is important, and understanding how your own individual heart rate differs from week to week will allow you to train with great precision.
Lastly, remember that heart rate depends on many factors - hydration, mood, stress levels, temperature and so on. Therefore, if your heart rate is not exactly what you think it should be, don't worry too much. Rather look at long term changes and patterns in heart rate, and try to interpret them as I explained above.
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