More HR training questions...

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More HR training questions...

Postby InTheWoods » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:05 pm

Tried searching, didn't really find what I was looking for but I'm sure some of it is out there, sorry...

So I got a garmin 500 for christmas with a HRM and have been watching my HR %Max. I have a couple of questions about how to train with this (there seems to be a lot of different advice everywhere), and also whether my own HR is weird. I'm 38yo, garmin says my max HR is 185bpm (have gotten to 98% of that ... so far) and my resting HR at my desk at work is about 50bpm?! I wouldn't say that I was as fit as the 50bpm suggests though...

Some advice on zone training says to generally stay out of the no-mans land (zone E2) between 75-84%. (eg 1 source, no idea if its any good or not) is ... ur-cycling). It appears this zone is actually where I have been spending *most* of my time, with most of the remainder in the 85-91% zone! I would have been spending hardly *any* of my time <75%.

I'm finding it really hard to keep my heart rate around 70-74% - on the flat this is a fairly pathetic 25kmh give or take and it feels very, very "easy". On small hills I have had to concentrate hard to keep my HR below 75% (often failing and getting to 80% even while trying to be slow). I don't feel like I'm doing anything till I hit 75-80%, at 85% I finally feel like I'm working hard-ish. Going up Mt Cootha I spend a lot of time around 90% but it goes up to 95-96% or so for the steeper bits. Am I weird? Have I mistrained my self previously? Before I got the HRM, I'd say I was sitting at about 80-88% for most of my 13-30km (depending on route) commute, with pretty much none <75%.

From what I've been reading (link above) it was best to spend time developing my aerobic base in zone E1 (65-74%) but this feels like a holiday so I'm not convinced what it is really go to do for me, not too much in zone E2 (75-84%), with shorter periods at E3 (85-91%) and V02 (92-100%). This means I should be doing a lot more riding in E1 with some sprint or hill type segments in E3&V02.

I have no idea if that's a good plan or not. Any recommendations or links that provide good quality advice on this?

My goal is to average faster on the flats and hills - not so much sprinting but sustained efforts between 5-120 minutes long.

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Re: More HR training questions...

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:08 pm

In essence, your observations seem quite astute, and you are right to question what you've been told / read so far. The perceived exertion levels for the HR%s you've quoted do seem to line up well with that HRmax. Nevertheless, make sure that the HRmax you are using to calculate training levels is your own personal actual HRmax and not a number calculated from some generic age based formula (rookie mistake #1 with HR).

The "no man's land" idea is a load of twaddle - that's a good quality intensity level for general aerobic conditioning, and mixed in with doses of higher intensity work will be good for you.

Forget about trying to stay under some HR all the time. It's an overall ride guide, and attempting to ride down to a level for hills is neither sensible, practical, necessary nor good training practice. That doesn't mean you have to smash up every hill either, but don't be concerned about trying to "stay in zone" all the time.

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Re: More HR training questions...

Postby InTheWoods » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:27 pm

Thanks Alex. Good to hear about the no-mans land being twaddle :)

Yes I used the formula for max hr. Closest I've come so far is 98% climbing up Mt Coot-tha.

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Re: More HR training questions...

Postby macca33 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:45 pm

Just saw this thread and appreciate the information that Alex has provided - certainly allays some of my fears that I've been wasting my time for the past 10 weeks, as around 25-30% of my cycling has been in that zone! :D
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Re: More HR training questions...

Postby Puffy » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:42 pm

I've been using HR to make sure I don't over train for nearly a decade and have been in your position (I'm not claiming to be an expert by the way!).

I will echo what has already been said;

Step 1; is find your actaul MaxHR.
I am personally using the MaxHR I have seen. For me it was often found during a squash comp games because I am crap and spend all my time chasing the ball! In my case it is 205 (37yr old male, 77kg FWIW). Having said that, there is no guarantee that is actually my maxHR but going by how shiet I felt after on those occasions I have little doubt. The best way is on a trainer and slowly up the effort every minute. There is a proper way to do this, and you should seek medical advice before doing it. You'll need a helper to tell you when to up the pace and to encourage you to push on. It's hard work and you'll be at your physical limit.

As to training in the lower zones, your fitness levels will impact your road speed significantly. In the last three months when I have gotten serious about my riding I have seen this demonstrated. On our current Saturday route, 100kms, between efforts we cruise at a set speed, about 30km/hr. Now when I first started doing route, HR in these "cruise" sections would be in the low to mid 80% range. Now, I do the same ride, at the same speed but my HR is barely over 70%. Why? Obviously my fitness has increased significantly.

I would encourage you to use the HR monitor to keep a lid on your HR. IE to make sure you're not overdoing it (training at +90% too much) and no worry so much about training in the lower ranges as alex has said (an he's the expert! :lol: ). Use it to measure you're improvement more than setting your trianing to arbitary limits.

I have this book and found it to be very useful for setting training goals but I don't follow it to the letter. The Author has decided there is no otherway to train and so is a bit dogmatic for my liking. Of course you can buy it elsewhere, just that page has a nice blub on it. ... 8750qo9p62
My 2c anyway.

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Re: More HR training questions...

Postby Ross » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:39 am

Puffy wrote:I am personally using the MaxHR I have seen. For me it was often found during a squash comp games because I am crap and spend all my time chasing the ball!

Isn't your max HR on a bike supposed to be lower than other sports such as running?

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