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Heart rate

ShadescpShadescp Posts: 34
I recently bought a CS300 Polar bike computer. Inputing my user data (age, height, weight etc). It estimated my max HR as 185 bpm. I did a couple of road tests, and this was pretty much confirmed, though i was a little tired when i did the latter. Im 36 yes old.

My training guide advises:

Stamina/aerobic rides - 70-75 %
Extensive endurance - 75-80%
Intensive endurance (is that same as tempo??) - 80-85%

The weird thing is that when I do what feels like moderate 2hr ride on the flat averaging 18-20mph, im consistently getting average HRs of 82-85% or 155-160 bpm. This sounds high and yet it just doesn't feel like im really exerting. When I tried to cycle at 70-75 % for aerobic it just felt unnaturally slow.

I do a lot of cycling and other stuff, but would not describe myself as a fit road cyclist. My best time in a 10 mile TT is nothing special at 26:50 minutes, though ive only done a few.

Maybe my max HR is more? Perhaps I should repeat my road test and push harder?

Posts

  • Your training guide (presumably comes with your Polar) is just that, a generic training guide that needs to be suitable for a wide range of people. On top of that each coach, or sports scientist may have a different training paradigm. For e.g., with the HR scheme that i use up to 70% HRmax is a recovery session.

    It looks like your Polar estimates HRmax by something like 220-age (which should give 184 b/min). However, this, and most other equations used to estimate HRmax have standard deviation (or is it SEM) of ~+/- 15 b/min, which means that the estimate can be a long way out.

    Not that i bother with HR anymore (other than an odd test to see what my max is for a 'laugh') but at 38 years i can still reach 197 - 200 b/min depending on my training status (HRmax decreases as you get fitter). It's also exercise modality dependent (as is VO2max).

    In short if you want to know what your HRmax is you'll need to test yourself and find out (although it would be contraindicated in some circumstances). You should then, perhaps, ascertain what your goals are and find some good HR zones (but be aware that on any given day HR can vary at a specific intensity due to various factors)

    ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • SlurpSlurp Posts: 220
    Not that i bother with HR anymore (other than an odd test to see what my max is for a 'laugh') but at 38 years i can still reach 197 - 200 b/min depending on my training status (HRmax decreases as you get fitter). It's also exercise modality dependent (as is VO2max).

    Decreases? Wouldn't HRMax increase as you get fitter?
    ---
    If I\'m not making any sense, it\'s because I\'m incoherent.
  • nope goes down by up to about 10 b/min

    ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • binlinusbinlinus Posts: 305
    Shadescp wrote:
    Maybe my max HR is more? Perhaps I should repeat my road test and push harder?

    Max HR is difficult to find. A better test is to ride a flattish course that will take you about 20 minutes non-stop. Do a warm up for 15 mins then start your HR monitor stopwatch and make sure it records av HR and ride as hard as you can for 20 mins non-stop. Stop the clock after 20 mins. You should then have a record of your av HR for that 20min non-stop flat out ride.

    This figure you get is at, or just above, your threshold HR. It'll be about 2-3 percent above your HR. So say you get a figure of 175, divide that figure by 1.03 which gives you about 170. You'll need to re-test every now and again but it'll do to get you started.

    This 170 HR is what you should be able to sustain for an hour and is a benchmark for cyclists using a HR monitor.

    To work out your zones download this paper from Andy Coggan
    http://www.midweekclub.ca/articles/coggan.pdf and read pages 15 and 16 and set your zones from the HR column. Read the explanation for each zone.

    Andy will probably get a google alert to this post and he'll come back and crit my post for something like "power is better" and "I only use HR as a guide"... :lol:

    HTH

    Bin
  • while i can't speak directly for Andy, i can say that
    1) Andy wouldn't advise such a test (20-mins for power or HR)
    2) Andy doesn't use HR (as a guide), or really at all (IIRC one of our chats)

    Additionally, ascertaining ~98% of 20-min avg HR to be equal to ~1-hr TT HRavg is somewhat incorrect. Firstly, it would be different for everyone, and secondly, for myself, my avg HR from a 25-mile TT is often *higher* than during a 10-mile TT, due to 1) the time taken for HR to rise in response to the exercise intensity, and 2) CV drift

    Ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • binlinusbinlinus Posts: 305
    while i can't speak directly for Andy, i can say that
    1) Andy wouldn't advise such a test (20-mins for power or HR)
    2) Andy doesn't use HR (as a guide), or really at all (IIRC one of our chats)

    Additionally, ascertaining ~98% of 20-min avg HR to be equal to ~1-hr TT HRavg is somewhat incorrect. Firstly, it would be different for everyone, and secondly, for myself, my avg HR from a 25-mile TT is often *higher* than during a 10-mile TT, due to 1) the time taken for HR to rise in response to the exercise intensity, and 2) CV drift

    Ric

    Hi Ric

    I wouldn't argue with you about that. But in both your posts you've not given any practical advice. The guy's got to start somewhere. Would you agree that what I suggested is a lot better than trying to find maxHR and following the polar hrm bit of paper?

    Have you got the same google alert as Andy? :D

    Bin
  • with the people i coach who don't have power meters, i use HRmax to determine HR training zones. However, i don't feel it really matters what system you use (e.g., HRmax or HRavg)... what's more important is

    1) you understand that training sessions in one system may not be transferable to another (e.g., zone 1 in system X; could be zone 3 in system Y). Follow one set of training ideas
    2) you need to test yourself in some way rather than estimating or guessing the starting point
    3) testing yourself may be contraindicated for some individuals
    4) not all systems are good; or some systems (training zones) could be too generic (e.g. possibly the problem with the OP)
    5) there's probably a number 5, but it's too late for me to think of it ;-)
    6) the way i test, either for MAP or HRmax to ascertain my training zones is here http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=powerstern
    7) what's wrong with HRmax?
    8) did i mention i like HRmax for non-power meter users?

    Ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • binlinusbinlinus Posts: 305
    7) what's wrong with HRmax?
    Ric

    Well just like "Power at LT is the most important physiological
    determinant of endurance cycling performance, since it integrates VO2max, the percentage of VO2max that can be sustained for a given duration, and cycling efficiency. As such, it is more logical to define training levels relative to an athlete’s threshold power, vs., for example, power at VO2max (just as it is more logical to define HR-based training levels relative to threshold HR vs. maximal HR)." http://www.midweekclub.ca/articles/coggan.pdf

    But if you say HRmax is ok, that's fine.

    Bin
  • it's where me an Andy differ. I use MAP, which Andy also agrees is fine (see his 8 deadly sins)

    ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • ShadescpShadescp Posts: 34
    Thanks for the links and papers. They look very useful.

    For me, my bpm are:

    140-150 (76-80% max) - Easy cycling/recovery
    150-160 (80-86% max ) - Moderate cycling
    165-170 (89-92% max) - Starting to work and labour but can maintain it.
    170 is my heart rate when im making a long, steep climb during XC mountain biking. If I push just a little over that I go anaerobic. Or is my av.HR during a 10 -mile TT.
    170-175 (92-95% max ) - Threshold.
    184 - Max

    Obviously I know the bpm are correct, as I know how I feel for each rate, but those percentages seem very high. I guess it doesn't matter as i can just go on bpm, but do you agree that the percentages seem weird?
  • binlinusbinlinus Posts: 305
    Shadescp wrote:
    Thanks for the links and papers. They look very useful.

    For me, my bpm are:

    140-150 (76-80% max) - Easy cycling/recovery
    150-160 (80-86% max ) - Moderate cycling
    165-170 (89-92% max) - Starting to work and labour but can maintain it.
    170 is my heart rate when im making a long, steep climb during XC mountain biking. If I push just a little over that I go anaerobic. Or is my av.HR during a 10 -mile TT.
    170-175 (92-95% max ) - Threshold.
    184 - Max

    Obviously I know the bpm are correct, as I know how I feel for each rate, but those percentages seem very high. I guess it doesn't matter as i can just go on bpm, but do you agree that the percentages seem weird?

    These figures seem ok. A couple of comments I'd make is that the lower end figures are too high. Recovery rides should be done at much less than 140bpm. This sort of ride you may do the day after the 10 mile TT or very hard workouts, or later on the same day as the hard workout.

    The other observation is that you don't seem to be doing rides longer than 2 hours. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you were to, say, go on a four hour ride then you'll probably find you'd have to ease back a bit on the intensity.

    You don't have any figures for shorter high intensity intervals of 3 to 6 minutes at 94 to 96% of max.

    So most of your riding seems to be clustered around the tempo and threshold levels. Which seems to make sense because you are neither doing long endurance rides nor short high-intesity intervals.

    If you want to improve your 10 TT times you may want to do some 5 minute intervals at above 93%. Say 5 x 5 minutes with five minute recovery in between.

    But you need to pick a system to use and stick with it and test. Either use Ric's system which you can find in the link he gave with an explanation of the zones or maybe Andy Coggan's system from the link I gave you (or another system -- but I'd avoid the bit of paper with the HR monitor). Take your pick.

    HTH

    Bin
  • ShadescpShadescp Posts: 34
    Okay great.

    I guess i'm what you would call a recreational cyclist without a training focus. I recently got into the club and time trail scene. I realised that I actually do more riding than many of the club riders yet am a weaker cyclist (except for xc mountain biking).
    I plan to follow a structured, progressive training programme over the forthcoming Winter.
    Tempo rides, interval training and heart rate zones are all new to me, but im getting there.

    thanks again 8)
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