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Heartt rate and training

RichMTBRichMTB Posts: 599
Before you all start no I'm not a closet roadie :wink:

But have decided an hour on a turbo trainer three nights a week is a good way to get fit fast (or at least faster than trail riding once a week)

So my question is what si the best way to test if I'm getting fitter using an HRM.

As I get fitter should I be able to work harder for a given heart rate (push a harder gear on the trainer for the same heart rate) OR should I be able to work at a higher heart rate for longer periods (eg average 160bpm for an hour rather than 150bpm)

From the responses to the "know it all thread" there are one or two of you that know about this stuff I expect cogent and well thought out responses :wink:
Step in to my hut! - Stumpy Jumpy Pacey

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  • asdfhjklasdfhjkl Posts: 333
    RichMTB wrote:
    So my question is what si the best way to test if I'm getting fitter using an HRM.

    Resting heart rate (i.e. immediately after you wake up in the morning).
    RichMTB wrote:
    As I get fitter should I be able to work harder for a given heart rate (push a harder gear on the trainer for the same heart rate) OR should I be able to work at a higher heart rate for longer periods (eg average 160bpm for an hour rather than 150bpm)

    Sorry for the vague answer but it depends on what you train for. If you train for endurance, that's what'll improve. If you train to push harder at a certain HR, you'll get better at that. In all likelihood though you'll see a bit of both.
  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    Resting heart rate will tell you how fit you are, it will go down if you are improving.

    Working harder for a higher HR will only tell you that your tolerance to lactate is improving.

    If you were using a power meter that would give you an accurate set of figures.

    It is usually quiet easy to see improvements in fitness anyway once your out on the trails,
    the best thing is to never get hung up about it. :)
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • RichMTBRichMTB Posts: 599
    Okay I'll test my resting heart rate.

    Is there a level I should be looking to achieve or is it dependant on the individual?
    Step in to my hut! - Stumpy Jumpy Pacey
  • asdfhjklasdfhjkl Posts: 333
    This chart can give you a rough idea, but these things aren't perfect. I'm "off" the chart (RHR in the mid-high forties). Lance Armstrong is something like low thirties :o
  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    It is slightly age dependant and whether your a man or woman, but average lower 70's to mid 70's.

    Good is in the mid 60's, excellent is around 60 and your an athlete if your lower than 55.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • boneyjoeboneyjoe Posts: 369
    What exactly are you hoping to achieve in your training? Are you preparing for a particular event for example, trying to lose some weight, any other objectives?

    In very general terms, to improve your aerobic fitness (ie your ability to cycle for longer periods burning carbs and oxygen for energy), you should cycle at 60-80% of your HR Range (Range = Max-Resting Rates). This is also the most effective level for fat/weight loss (can't quite rememer the science, but think it has something to do with increasing your metabolism and also burning off fat once the blood sugars have been depleted).

    To improve your anearobic fitness / lactate threshold (ie your ability to push extremely hard for shorter periods, without lactic acid burnout), you need to push above the 80% level. This usually takes the form of interval training, where you push extremely hard for a short period, rest to bring your heart rate down again, push again, repeated multiple times etc. Very tiring, this shouldn't be overdone, or you will risk burn out.

    Its also very important to spend a month or two working the aerobic system before you move onto anearobic work, or you could be headed for serious burnout and illness etc.

    To be MTB fit, I think you also have to include some form of strength training in your workout, as your body will really take much more stress riding offroad than on the turbo. If you can't make the gym, simple bodyweight calisthetics like pushups, situps, squats, calf raises etc, will all be a great help.

    Hope this helps (and if you start getting any chest pains dial 999 immediately! :wink:)

    There are some helpful books on this. Joe Friel has written the MTB training bible, and I recently re-read an older book by John Metcalfe which is pretty good too. Both are avail on Amazon.
    Scott Scale 20 (for xc racing)
    Gary Fisher HKEK (for commuting)
  • RichMTBRichMTB Posts: 599
    Thanks appreciate the advice.

    I'm going to be doing a 4 hour (or as long as I can last) turbo trianing session outside my office in Glasgow for Sport Relief.

    So what I really need is practice on the turbo, if it makes me fitter for riding off road then even better!
    Step in to my hut! - Stumpy Jumpy Pacey
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    RHR is not always an indicator of fitness, some very fit athletes can have what is considered 'normal'. And vice versa.

    I am pretty unfit due to health issues, but my resting pulse is 48!
  • rhyko7rhyko7 Posts: 781
    resting heart rate does not equate to fitness, my resting heartrate is 38 and im no where near as fit as an elite athlete with a higher resting heart rate. its more about how much power you can output for long periods of time with your heart rate at 80-90% of max that, shows how fit you are.
    Dont look at it-ride it! they are tools not f*cking ornaments

    my riding:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/rhyspect

    Some of my Rides Data/maps:
    http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/Users/527337
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