Heart rate going out of control

I got back from training in europe last week. Completed 6 successive 20h weeks of z2 base with not too much intensity followed by 27h week in the 6th week which did feature a bit of racing on 15 and 30 minute climbs.

The issue that I am currently seeing is that my heart rate is going nuts very quickly despite how trained I am. I’m talking about reaching 200bpm which is a few beats below max in intervals that have an RPE to me of roughly threshold maybe low V02 max.

Coming back I had planned to take a straight week off and see if that would help, it really didn’t as I rode today outside and found that my heart rate is still running super high even in short intervals, I’m getting to a point where my arms are going numb way before my legs are ready to give out. I’m not thrilled by this and was wondering if anyone had any advice. Is it overtraining, lack of conditioning, damage to the heart from drinking so much caffeine, etc.

Go see a doctor.


Turn off your HRM.

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How old is your HRM? Specifically the strap if you are using one. Whatever you do, don’t turn it off. Something is either wrong with your HRM or it’s telling you something about your body and time to discuss with doctor. Don’t be an ostrich with your head in the sand. Eyes wide open.


Yes I have considered this, it is fairly new one that I had to buy at decathlon 7 weeks ago because I forgot my more expensives at home.

Do you track HR outside of cycling via a watch/ring/band? Anything else weird?

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This is the only correct answer.

Numb arms & high heart rate… Don’t wait to see if it “gets better.” Get checked out. In fact… call now if you haven’t already.


To the OP… 1000% THIS. Yes, it COULD be an HRM issue as a couple others mention (and maybe you can take a minute to try another HRM to rule it out), but a potential heart issue is something that should NOT be taken lightly. After all, it can literally KILL you if left untreated.


What’s your resting heart rate. How quickly do you get to 200bpm. How long does it take to get to ‘normal’, post workout. Do you experience skipped or extra beats during the day, not exercising. What’s your blood pressure. What’s your diet, caffeine, alcohol, herbals, CBD, etc.

A cardiologist is going to want to know some/most this stuff.

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A safe bet would be overtraining, but See A Doctor.

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He gets numb arms from position before his legs ache. This is a red herring, nothing to do with cv health.

The only “symptom” he has is perhapts a high reading from his HRM.

Why cant people just check HR on their own. Like two fingers on your wrist or neck and a 10 second timer. Zoomer thing?


Maybe you’re right. But I’d still rather have a doctor check me out than advice from random people on the internet.

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Exactly! When I do recovery rides wearing mine it sometimes starts counting double. My wife was concerned. I told her to take my pulse. She was no longer concerned.

If in doubt - triangulate.

To the OP: once you’ve done the above, either buy a new HRM or go see the doc as appropriate.


You don’t mention your training history but a 30% increase in volume week-on-week with additional intensity is ambitious. As is 6 weeks at 20 hours per. There’s enough there to suggest possible overtraining but if you are concerned enough to post here then seeing a doc will be well worthwhile. If you have to pay, it’s money well spent; if you dont they’ll be happy to see you as they’d rather catch a problem before it becomes a crisis even if the likelihood of it being a problem is in fact tiny.

TL;DR: don’t stress but do go see a doc.

And please update to let us know you’re safe and well.

Well I was doing 6.5w/kg out of the saddle, it is a little bit difficult to ride with one hand and sync up the clock.

I thought you said at threshold efforts you are seeing near max HR. So I am left to assume that you can put out 6.5w/kg for 20-60minutes which is usually considered the threshold range.
I personally have no problem manually checking my HR on a 20 minute threshold effort. But yes, at VO2 max its hard to do that.
At the end of the day if your HR monitor is showing near max HR at 6.5 w/kg standing intervals, I think thats normal.
If suddenly on a 20min threshold effort you are maxxing your HR then I may be concerned.

That was more happening on longer days doing threshold efforts on longer climbs after a couple of hours of riding easy.

They haven’t said why they get numb arms.

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Go see a doctor – Could be atrial fibrillation. Heart flutters when it’s not pumping correctly and blood pressure can lower leading to numb extremities. A-fib is a risk factor for stroke so def get it checked out sooner than later. I’d stay out of the red zone until you get the OK from a doc.