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  1. #1
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    Headache linked to heart rate

    I went for a ride on my gravel bike today and got a massive headache that started in the back of my head but quickly moved down the sides to my temples. It happened ten minutes into the ride and I was wearing a bluetooth heartrate strap and tracking the ride. It came on at 155ish bpm which is low zone 2 for me. I run hot and average 165 bpm, max 205 seen a few times a year climbing. So 155 is normal warmup.

    This has never happened when riding before, but it did happen Saturday, two days ago, during moderate exertion. It hurt bad on saturday but got a lot better within 5 to 10 minutes of complete rest. I was not wearing the HR strap at the time.

    Today was the first exercise since then and I recognized the pain and coasted, slowed and then stopped for 5 min. I called my wife and rode back home slowly, keeping it under 120 bpm until I was in my neighborhood, where I gently increased my effort and sure enough, at 138 bpm, the headache started coming back. I backed off and parked at home. The aching was 90% gone in 10 minutes.

    Pretty sure it is not dehydration, but it could be a sinus infection. I get them now and then but I am not really congested.

    Btw, I am calling the doc in the morning, but I'm hoping it isn't as serious as it feels. I don't want to know what my head would do under hard sustained effort.

  2. #2
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    Home court ride? I ask because what you describe is EXACTLY what happens to me when I go from my home elevation of ~500 feet to a favorite race that wobbles around ~8,000 feet for a third of it.

    Decided this year that it's time to cross that race off the list permanently, though I love it dearly.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  3. #3
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    I was in Colorado 7 weeks ago now and had no issues there (at 9,500 to >11,000 feet) compared to ~1400 feet here at home.

    I have managed to duplicate the issue with a low heart rate, leading my doc to think that it might be a neck strain issue. Increased heart rate comes along with tightening of the neck muscles. He said it could be either a pinched nerve or blood vessel.

    I'm on some kind of muscle relaxer and aleve. The funny thing is that my neck feels fine. I've had neck issues before - almost 30 years of motocross will do that - but it doesn't feel stiff, crunchy or sore. Fairly normal. I'm sleeping relatively well also.

    Anyway, the doc says nothing strenuous for a week and if it's still happening, time for an MRI.

  4. #4
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    Shoot, I was hoping it was something simple. Best of luck getting it sorted. 30 years of MX is tough on the bod, but also keeps the Fun Hog in all of us happy!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  5. #5
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    I just turned 40. Could a moderator please move this thread back to Rider Down? Who thought it was a good idea to move it to Fifty+ anyway? )

    That is obviously the forum to use for injuries of all sorts, and I don't know the cause of this one yet, but it's definitely preventing me from riding. I was sure it was an issue when riding, and it might be related to my helmet or riding position.

    EDIT: Thanks!!

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