Fitness and heartrate queries for a noob

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Fitness and heartrate queries for a noob

Postby Kaldek » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:33 am

Hi folks,

I've just started cycling for fitness and fun. I'm 38, married with 3 kids and I weigh 80kg (1.78m tall). For years, I was 71kg and it didn't budge until with more kids and some other life changes I became more sedentary than usual, hence the 80kg weight. Anyway, I wanted to hear your opinions on fitness. First up, I've never been a sports guy and have never really "exercised" for the sake of it. Cycling works for me because I'm a motorbike nut and I need a machine of some sort to be involved to keep me interested. Running....oh god don't talk to me about running. Yawn.

So here's the thing. When cycling, my muscles tire very quickly and I also cannot get my heartrate up. If I try and push, my legs just stop responding to me and so I'm stuck in this weird zone where I can cycle but I just cannot burst at all, I just feel completely empty. Is this just because I'm unfit? I do feel like I'm getting a workout because I'm puffing like mad and after the ride my legs feel like jelly. I'm riding 6km at a time right now with a couple of hills but only about 30m elevation changes.

Should I just keep working at it or is there something else I should be doing now to get my heartrate up even with the jelly legs. Longer rides with more consistent cadence/rpm and less bursting?

Anyway, your advice and experience is much appreciated.
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by BNA » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:49 am

BNA
 

Re: Fitness and heartrate queries for a noob

Postby r11ss » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:49 am

I would guess that your leg speed (cadence), could be too slow. Get in a lower gear and spin, that should get your heart rate up. If you have cadence on your computer try to keep it up at 90

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Re: Fitness and heartrate queries for a noob

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:20 pm

Kaldek wrote:Is this just because I'm unfit?

Yes.

Kaldek wrote:Should I just keep working at it

Yes, provided you are healthy. Good cycling fitness take months and years of consistent work.

Just gradually increase what you do, add 10-minutes per week to what you do until you have no more ride time available and then do more challenging routes with hills.
Keep it fun.
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Re: Fitness and heartrate queries for a noob

Postby bychosis » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:44 pm

r11ss wrote:I would guess that your leg speed (cadence), could be too slow. Get in a lower gear and spin, that should get your heart rate up. If you have cadence on your computer try to keep it up at 90

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Read your post and thought sounds like not spinning fast enough before reading this reply. Try to 'get on top of your gear'. That is try to get in a gear where it is easy to spin and keep spinning, rather than pushing hard to turn the pedals in a higher gear. You dont need a cadence computer, I counted my rpm, compared it against my watch and came up with a comfortable 80rpm for cruising and 90rpm for working and I would consider myself a spinner not a pedal masher.
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Re: Fitness and heartrate queries for a noob

Postby wombatK » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:45 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Yes, provided you are healthy.

Good idea to get discuss with your GP - at your age some checks on blood glucose level, cardiac
fitness and other conditions would be really worthwhile. Lack of HRM could be good luck, or
a not-so-good indicator of underlying troubles.
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Re: Fitness and heartrate queries for a noob

Postby Kaldek » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:17 pm

Thanks for the replies folks! I did some reading and talking to some co-workers who are mad keen cyclists and we all agreed that upping my cadence and keeping it consistent would be a good idea.

When I got home tonight I was itching for a ride, so when I got the chance to go out I changed my style from mashing to a cadence that feels good to me; it felt close to two rotations a second, so maybe about 90-100? I kept this cadence pretty much the whole ride and doubled my distance as well. At the end of the ride I felt great and wanted to keep going! Heart rate was definitely much higher too (not that I measured it precisely but by feeling my artery I could tell it was ticking over much quicker).

I think right at the end I started to get a buzz and I'm sitting here now not 5 minutes later feeling all "wheeeee!", if that makes sense.
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Re: Fitness and heartrate queries for a noob

Postby Kaldek » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:33 pm

Well it seems I have made a liar out of myself. So much for "I can't get my heart rate up", because I started using a heart rate monitor today and I peaked at 180bpm and averaged 158.

I guess that means my maximum heart rate is somewhere above 180 because the only thing protesting today was my legs. Measurement = Science!
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