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Well today was the first ride with the polar.
First impressions were that the chest strap was quite comfortable and didn't move around at all for the duration of the ride. I had problems seeing most of the small stuff on the screen but the heart rate , cadence and speed were large enough to make out without needing to wear my reading glasses.
It was interesting to see how the daily ride stacked up when riding with the hrm. I set off leaving out the shorncliffe loop, thinking that i would ride normally and set the display to show % of max heart rate, the limits between 60% and 80% and keep an eye on it.
There was a stiff 8-12kph headwind for most of the ride to the nundah crit track so it was time to knuckle down and make the best of it.
Normally i would just go as quick as i could for as long as i could, recover a bit then pick up the pace again, but this ride the hrm kept saying "slow down!" . It was a task to keep it under the 80% and it was just too slow to even try for the 70% and maximize that fat burning zone so i placed my faith in the fact that I would burn more total calories.
Doing a standing sprint up the dump hill i hit my max hr for the ride of 95%, i felt that! . On shultzes canal I reverted to the normal ride style and found for most of the stretch i was hovering around the 85%, on the way back it was tail wind so i kept it at 80%, spinning up the dump hill this time it was 84% and averaged 74% through the windy bits in the wetlands.
Stats for the ride
Duration 1h 50 mins
Hr max 95% - 165bpm
Hr avg 80% - 139bpm
Time in zone - 1hr 10 mins
Speed avg 27kph
Speed max 38kph
Cadence avg 87rpm
Cadence max 112rpm
Having the Hrm tell me when i was going anaerobic was a big plus, i could say to myself okie ill do this but keep the time i'm in this zone down to something realistic then back off. As a result i arrived home at the end of the ride with a bit of zip left in the legs instead of my tongue dragging on the floor.
Got the first ride logged on the website and salted away and the coaching program on the web has scheduled a ride complete with hill intervals for tomorrow , 15 mins warmup at 50-60% then 1 hour at 70-80% with 3 minute power intervals uphill doing a cadence 50-60 followed by 7 mins recovery at 80 uphill or 100 downhill, repeat 4 times and then a 20 min cooldown ride 60-70%. I can see now where a wind trainer would come in handy, its going to be hard to find a bit of road that meets that profile!
A ride for 1hr 50 mins (1.83 hrs) for 41 km <> 27 km/h according to my maths? Isn't it more like 22.4 km/h ?
I must be missing something.
Probably that duration includes when you were stationery, where the average speed would only include when you were actually moving.
Burn plenty of Glycogen
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I'd be looking at your 'max' HR. Not only does it sound a little low, your experience suggests to me that you may have it a bit low. Of course, you may be right too
I found that when I started with the HRM, it didn't seem to make much sense. However, once I'd determined what my max was (okay, close to it) and adjusted my thinking and zones to suit, it suddenly started making a lot of sense.
I haven't done the ownzone setup yet Richard so i've gone with the polars max heart rate of 174 (220-46) Im still 23kg's over my ideal weight and still haven't given up the smokes , so i feel that 174 is probably safe territory for now. That sprint up the dump hill was to push myself hard over a short distance and checkout what the hrm had to say and it felt like 95% heheh.
What will be interesting to see over the coming weeks will be the theory that with training the fat burning aspects of the 60-70% range can be extended into the aerobic range. This is really what im looking for in the short future, ive taken a month off dieting and gone for leg muscle building and to a certain extent it has worked i feel much more powerful on the bike, but now i think the best gains i can achieve will be to get another 10kg off without going overboard and loosing muscle mass.
I've given up on the Ownzone business. It depends on how you warm up. If you do it as per their instructions (which is fun when you start your rides down hill like I do), the Ownzone it comes up with is fine, but I found it varying too much. Once I had a clear idea of where my real max lay, I recalculated my zones based on those percentages shown on the Polar site then manually fed the overal zone I wanted to work in into my computer.
As it happened, even with the new figures, I was always bouncing over the top limit when sprinting or climbing a small hill so I eventually increased that a bit further (about 5 bpm I think) to get rid of that bloody beeping. I'd noticed that normal 'strenuous' exercise would push me up to that point and it was only something sustained that pushed me over that point and that's when that beep becomes useful. Mind you, at that point, I know I'm working hard and am watching the monitor anyway. I'd like to turn the beep off but that would also kill all the other beeps (like the timer) and I like having them.
When I plan a ride, I work out before hand how I want the ride to work for me - if it's purely recreational, I ignore the HRM, if it's a recovery ride, I keep things very low, etc.
One of the things that confused me at first was this business of aerobic and anaerobic according to those zones - the top of the aerobic range just wasn't working me hard enough, I felt like I could do more. That was using the 220 - 50 (my age) formula which was all I had to go on (and it seemed pretty darned scary to me). However, once I'd observed my HR peaking and holding at 185/187 on long, steep hills, I increased my max to that, then recalculated my zones.
The top end of my calculated aerobic zone went up, not a hell of a lot, about ten bpm effectively but on the next ride, that's what it felt like - it felt like I was working hard but could do it for an extended period. I now work at 140 - 150 bpm for my 'training rides' (I'm riding for fun, not to win sheep stations ... or any races for that matter). Those last for nearly two hours without a problem (though I do feel tired of course). If I want to ride all day (such as my 100km ride recently), I keep in the 130-140 bpm range and if I'm trying for a workout as well, I'll make sure I stay in that range. A recovery ride is below 120 which is just ticking over with barely a layer of sweat, and 30km at that rate the day after a long ride helps my recovery tremendously.
So, get the best feel for your max that you can (you'll probably find your observed value getting higher for awhile as you learn to read your body). Once you get close to your real value, you'll start to get a feel for what's happening and all of sudden, it all makes sense.
The HRM isn't the best instrument for measuring how much effort you are putting in, but it's still very useful and I certainly find that mine helps me control my effort.
Warm ups. Now that I've turned off the Ownzone, I don't get that little count down at the start of a ride, which doesn't matter because I use a warm up I got from a bloke in England.
Take off easily and run your HR up to 120, then take it easy (still pedalling) and let it drop back to below 110.
Run your HR up to 130, then let it drop back below 110 (okay, I cheat and let it go below 120 )
Run your HR up to 140, and let it drop right back.
Up to 150, and let it drop right back.
After that, no matter what I'm planning to do, I feel strong and fresh and my body is working for me. It takes a bit over five minutes but by cripes does it make a difference.
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