open topic, for anything cycling related.
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It was a little chilly riding today. It was only 23C at 6am.
Seriously though, it was a pleasant change to the high 20s we had earlier in the week.
We stopped mid ride for a guy to fix a puncture so I stopped my HRM and gave it a quick check (you know how it is, the fascination of a new gadget) and my max HR was 201 !!!!!!!! surpassing my previous high of 189 during a race. Is it possible to attain higher HRs when getting fitter? I'm getting used to accurately estimating my HR but I certainly didn't think it got that high.
Maybe it was the cold weather
We'd only ridden 11km, all flat except the last 100m which was up and down a very small hill (10m high). We (group of three) were riding at about 31-32 km/h and I was at the front the entire time. I'll have to attach the HRM to the handle bars so I can keep an eye on it.
Fair point, only one other rider was wearing a HRM and he is significantly older than me.
I would have known if I was up to 201 and I don't believe I was.
It's possible to get funny readings, though it's only happened to me one. However, if your previous 'high' was an observed on, not from some lab test, it's possible you've just never pushed it that high before. Stick with your old figure unless you do it again.
Definitely sticking with the one figure. When I'm that high I'm anaerobic and totally out of breath and that just didn't happen today.
It does pay to keep a track of these. It may be that your real max is higher than you think and that can shift the 'zones' around a bit. In my case, the 'zones' reckon I can go harder than I thought and, in practice, I reckon they're about right and that is not only helping me control my training, but is helping me to learn what my body is telling me (a lot of the indicators are fairly subtle).
But it's only relevant if you're using the HRM and the 'zones' to modulate your training.
Real world worth?
But it isn't fantasy world either, it's a guide.
Fascinating stuff, but it should never alter the basic adages that if your opponent is front, you need to go harder and if you're feeling stuffed, you need to slow down.
I'm still sticking to the calcuation "Are my legs r****d ?" no = ride faster yes = hang in there.
Burn plenty of Glycogen
Last edited by mikesbytes on Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A helmet saved my life
There are a variety of ways.
The traditional is to take your age away from 220 - that means my max should be 220 - 50 = 170 ... except that my actual max is at least 185
The best is to go to a sports lab and do a stress test. Basically, they wire you up to a machine that goes 'beep', then try to work you to death. This gives a dead accurate maximum heart rate ... and there are doctors on hand to make sure you aren't actually 'dead' Seriously, if you can afford to do it, do so.
For the rest of us, it's a matter of working hard and reading the results. A suggested method is to warm yourself up thoroughly (essential), then start climbing a long, steep hill, and when you can't go any further, sprint as hard as you can - the HR recorded will be close to your max. Make sure your GP approves before you attempt this - you want to know that 'my max is' as opposed to your relatives knowing that 'your max was'
Personally, I'm using my 'observed max HR'. Over a series of climbs up very steep hills that have pushed me to my utter limit, I've found that my HR maxes out around 185-187. So that's what I'm using ... for the moment.
The 'zones' are a series of zones based on a percentage of your max HR. These cover 'recovery' - the lowest level, aerobic work outs (where you're supposed to be burning fat and exercising your lungs and heart), anearobic where you're burning glycogen and making everything work hard, and extreme. There are a lot of articles about this on the net. There is a link to a very good article within a thread in the Training section of this forum, I just don't have time to chase it at the moment. The articles on the Polar website are very good too.
Basically, you decide how hard you want to work during a training session and use your HRM to keep you at that effort. It can also help in normal riding to - I'm attempting my first century tomorrow and to avoid burning out, I'm going to keep my HR well in the aerobic zone, in my case, I'm aiming for 140. Your HRM is a tool you can use to measure and control the effort your putting into a session.
Reply mk 2
Read this thread, all the way through. It starts from people asking your questions, then works its way up to being rather serious.
Heart Rate Monitors and Riding.
And here's a link to that article I mentioned (from the above thread actually )
Thanks for those links Richard.
You'd have seen in a couple of posts that my HR usually sits fairly high, and I believe I have a HRmax of >200 - I've seen it hit 200 playing squash - so it's probably a little above that. I'm also not at a fitness level where I probably should go trying to find out how hard I can push myself without some paramedics/cardiologists on standby.
From my rides so far (ticked over 300km today!) I suspect that I'm probably pushing a little hard, and I've set up my HRM to beep at me between 139 and 158 (70-80%) to hopefully slow me down a bit and not overdo it (I felt off after my last commute).
So now riding to HR (70-80%) and cadence (80-90rpm) and the speed and time will be what they will be. If I can keep those two figures the same, then I can just use average speed as an indicator of improvement
I think it's important to find out where your max HR is, if for no other reason than it skews your whole thinking. For example, I wasn't making any sense of those 'zones' with respect to how I was feeling until I settled on what I think my max is and recalculated where I wanted to be working. Theoretically, it doesn't make any difference, but if you expect to feel shattered and don't, or expect to feel comfortably tired but are knackered, it makes it hard to learn to read your body. It's important to learn how to read what your body is telling you and the HRM and cadence meter are tools that help you interpret those messages. This is particularly important if you are unfit because the messages get blurred in so many other things.
For example, I can now guess my HR fairly accurately by how I'm breathing and feeling, but it bears no relationship at all to any description of your breathing that I've read nor are the differences particularly large. Same thing with effort on the pedals - you need to be able to feel what your knees, thighs and feet are telling you and the cadence meter is a great tool for helping you gain that understanding.
It all takes time and fitness and weight loss and thought to make it work for you though ... and I'm still getting it so wrong I'm glad I've got my thing that goes beep
Bloody hell, I can't even type!
That should have read "Definitely sticking with the EARLIER figure."
Well Sunday I went out on my own and rode the exact same course at a hotter time of the day and I pushed hard. I accelerated fast at the lights and hit 39km/h at one point. I stopped at the same spot and checked the HRM. This time my max was only 166 which is much more realistic.
I was either picking up the old guys HR or it was just one of those twilight zone things.
PS - As you can see from the two edits I still can't type.
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