I haven’t been running consistently this past year, and now I am building back into some semblance of a consistent pattern.  As I do this, I am noticing a strange and kind of crazy spike in my heart-rate in the first few minutes of my run. I first noticed it back in November or December that month’s attempt to run consistently, and I saw it again.

Basically, in the first five minutes of a run, my heart rate spikes to nearly my max heart rate. It gets into the upper 170’s when my max heart rate is probably about 182-186. The thing is, I don’t even really feel it racing that hard, especially considering that most of the time it is happening on a nice downhill slope.

Here’s what I’m talking about, in this case today it hit 186:


So what could it be?

I’m calling it a lack of warmup for a body that isn’t used to it, event though it is new to me. I’ve been running an average of 20 miles per week for 8-10 years prior to this past year when I lost that average because of work schedules.  With significantly less base fitness, I think it is plausible that my body simply can’t start without a good warmup.

Below is arguments and evidence I used.

My first thought is that it is a heart rate monitor problem, with electric static or bad lead connections, similar to this from runnersworld.com:

I suggest it is due to static electricity.  It is quite common.  As soon as you start sweating then it stops.  To help avoid those spikes I spray the insides of my synthetic running shirts with Static Guard.  You’ll notice this problem is worse in the winter than in the summer because of the lower dew point resulting in drier air.


if the static guard doesn’t correct the problem, i might suggest that it is that monitor is having a hard time registering your pulse becuase you may have slightly low blood pressure.


Note that when I start running after a few minute walking warmup, my cadence is about 160, so I can’t rule out that explanation.  These are from both indoor and outdoor runs, but always running shirts, always wet leads, all from a Garmin HRM.

Screenshot from 2015-03-10 00:24:42


I’d be more concerned if your heartbeat wasn’t faster at the beginning of your run then after you had warmed up.   It’s perfectly normal.   Think about it, you are going from no exercise to stressing your body.


. In the meantime a had a physical with a full blood test.. Come to find out I’m iron deficient.. The doctor prescribed me a Iron supplement and a week later I’m seeing major improvemnets. I’ve had issues with this in the past but it’s also affected in daily life (Energy ETC.) So that’s why it never occurred to me this could be the problem.


And then this from RunningSystems.com

A lot of people who run with heart rate monitors often see their heart rate spike at the beginning of a run, only to subside after a mile or two. This kind of spike only happens if you didn’t warm up long enough.