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Re: heart rates & recovery

In a message dated 12/24/98 3:47:17 AM Pacific Standard Time, fmechelh@c-s- writes:

<< When I do a workout on the trail what I call strenous (you may not agree
that is
 real stressfull from your race experience?), i.e. 7 minutes with HR 160-190,
 then slow down to walk, the HR drop very constantly - at first very quickly,
 I don't see any plateau, neither with Natja nor Ligeira. Even if I record the
 every 5 seconds and make a graphic printout afterwards. >>

Hi, Frank--

I think what you are seeing is pretty typical in aerobic athletes that are not
overstressed.  Can't remember the details, but seem to also remember something
like that in some work done years ago by Dr. Jim Coffman--not being an
academic, though, I don't know that I could lay hands on the actual papers...
The "plateau" that I typically see is more of a recovery end stage--which is
why it concerns me when horses "hang" at a number like 68 or 64.  Have already
posted my comments about what someone had observed as "training" horses to
recover to 64--we found horses hanging at that number, too, until we dropped
criteria to 60, whereupon we found that riders rode a notch less hard, brought
horses to us in better shape, and the horses merely passed the number 60 on
their way down to lower numbers.  Those that hit 60 and plateau--or go back up
to 64--I have found tend to slow up on the next legs of the ride (unless it is
the last vet check where we see it, whereupon we see poor recoveries at BC in
many cases), so I DO think it is significant.

Another interesting observation that has stuck with me--several years ago,
Kerry Ridgway vetted a ride in Australia and wrote an article observing that
the Australian horses fairly consistently continued to recover on into the
40's after meeting criteria, whereas ours did not.  I am happy to report that
ours DO, given different ride strategies and asked for lower overall
recoveries.  Our mistake here, IMO, was making criteria too high, and having
riders ride right to the edge to meet those high criteria.

Heidi Smith, DVM

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