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Training without HRM for a 100 mile ride

secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,631
edited April 2015 in Road beginners
I want to train for an imperial century (once my back recovers :evil: ) - but don't have an HRM, and all the training guides seem to base their regimes on one.

Anyone got any top tips on training without an HRM?

It's just a hill. Get over it.

Posts

  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    I promise you, you don't need a HRM to ride 100 miles.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,015
    Google RPE. Think it stands for rate of perceived effort. A means to judge level of effort a similar way to HRM without the gadget.
    When I unwisely took up running I used to judge effort by trying to sing aa line from a favorite song. If I could easily sing it I upped my exertions, if I could just gasp out the odd word I could reduce the effort depending on the required training level for that session. I just sounded like a right nutter, but it didn't matter as I was running at night in winter along a towpath in the countryside so no-one to see or hear me.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,749 Lives Here
    Get out on the bike as much as you can...!
  • JayKostaJayKosta Posts: 635
    For a 100 mile ride, you'd do well to keep the pace at a level where you can easily talk in full sentences, and that a slightly faster pace would feel like noticeably more effort.

    For a 'recreational century', speed is not the concern - being able to stay on the bike and keep pedaling for multiple hours is enough of a challenge. Also be sure to have a plan for getting plenty of water and food throughout the ride.

    Don't use a '1 hour' saddle on a 7 hour ride ...

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Back in the day cyclists never had heart rate monitors, power meters or even speedos and they done ok.

    I have a speedo, and thats it. But i am not a pro rider, i just think its more shite to take away the enjoyment of actually riding a bike...
    Just my opinion of course.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • woolwichwoolwich Posts: 298
    The Audax manual used to have a training plan of sorts for long distances. Basically ride for a long as comfortable, take a few days of, ride further, take a few days of, repeat. I am not being sarcastic it works.

    Look after your back mate. A century ride is reasonably manageable with a little fitness but could be miserable of you don't let it heal properly or set your bike up well.
    Good luck
    Mud to Mudguards. The Art of framebuilding.
    http://locksidebikes.co.uk/
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    As others have said, just ride your bike. Don't suck all the pleasure out of it by bothering about all that other s***e.

    You aren't racing, you aren't training, you are riding for pleasure/sense of acheivement.
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    fudgey wrote:
    Back in the day cyclists never had heart rate monitors, power meters or even speedos and they done ok.

    I have a speedo, and thats it. But i am not a pro rider, i just think its more shite to take away the enjoyment of actually riding a bike...
    Just my opinion of course.

    That's exactly what I had when I first rode a 100 miler - an early Avocet "computer" that gave me time and speed, and average speed IIRC. I just did some gym work, mainly legs and cardio stuff, but all round workout (decent core strength helps keep the weight off your hands, though back then no-one mentioned core strength), and rode my bike - no further than about 30 miles before I did the 100. I took it slow - average was not more than 10mph - but I enjoyed it :D
  • CYCLESPORT1CYCLESPORT1 Posts: 471
    If you started racing / riding in the early 70s like me, or before, you just rode the bike, get the miles in, you are not a Pro going for the Hour Record
  • ShtukkaShtukka Posts: 59
    My feet are firmly in both camps.

    - Sure, just get on the bike and ride. Ignore Heart rate, ignore cadence, just get out there and roll. You will get stronger and provided you eat and drink enough you'll make 100 miles. Cycling makes long distance easier than running because you don't have to support your weight with every step.

    - The angst comes when we want to feel that we're squeezing the best possible improvements from our limited available time. Training using (insert gizmo X) will make your time efficiency improve by Y%, but X may cost a lot of money and Y will probably be small. Far smaller than just making it simple and fun and just roll.

    Going back to the OP (and his 3000+ posts) suggests that perhaps it is time to make a small investment in a cheap HRM, where a basic Polar is £20-£30. From there, my advice would be to follow Chris Carmichael's New Century plan in Time Crunched Training Program (TCTP). And if you're *sure* that you don't want to buy a HRM then that plan can also be used with RPE alone.
  • Man Of LardMan Of Lard Posts: 903
    As per Shtukka - I have an HRM... could I ride without it, sure I could - but what it has shown me over the last 18 months is that my peak heart rate has dropped (I can no longer push the highs that I did at the start) but my average heart rate has increased (along with my average speed etc).

    I reckon it's more than worth getting an HRM - it needn't be anything outrageous - http://www.decathlon.co.uk/onrhythm-50- ... 01692.html - there you go £13 - the price of a couple of innertubes.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    If its just 100 miles - not a race or anything - then no you dont need a HRM or power meter.

    Just ride the bike ride the bike.

    Work on endurance and making your weekend rides longer each week.

    If you can get out in the week - ride shorter and faster.

    Have fun.

    Eat cake.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,631
    marcusjb wrote:
    I promise you, you don't need a HRM to ride 100 miles.

    Any tips? Given that you've ridden a few centuries, according to your website :)

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    secretsam wrote:
    marcusjb wrote:
    I promise you, you don't need a HRM to ride 100 miles.

    Any tips? Given that you've ridden a few centuries, according to your website :)

    I've ridden a few over the years (actually closing in on 100 for my Eddington number quite quickly now).

    Don't get hung up on speed*

    Get comfy

    Enjoy it/Don't take it seriously

    Visit interesting places and decent cafes.

    It is only a bike ride.

    *(to start with)

    I would argue that anyone with even a little bit of fitness, who wants to, can ride 100 miles with only a little bit of practice before. If you take speed out of the equation, 100 miles on a bike is not particularly difficult provided you want to do it enough.
  • Heart rate training is very effective (and predates the invention/widespread availability of pulsemeters/HRMs), but its main usefulness is in concentrated zonal work - training your body. If you train a lot using HR, it can be very useful for pacing, but if all you want to do is ride a fixed distance, you can do worse than follow the old fashioned method of training regularly and increasing distance. One downside of the technology is that it's easy to get out of practice at listening to your body.
  • secretsqizzsecretsqizz Posts: 424
    Eat porridge
    My pen won't write on the screen
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    marcusjb wrote:
    secretsam wrote:
    marcusjb wrote:
    I promise you, you don't need a HRM to ride 100 miles.

    Any tips? Given that you've ridden a few centuries, according to your website :)

    I've ridden a few over the years (actually closing in on 100 for my Eddington number quite quickly now).

    Don't get hung up on speed*

    Get comfy

    Enjoy it/Don't take it seriously

    Visit interesting places and decent cafes.

    It is only a bike ride.

    *(to start with)

    I would argue that anyone with even a little bit of fitness, who wants to, can ride 100 miles with only a little bit of practice before. If you take speed out of the equation, 100 miles on a bike is not particularly difficult provided you want to do it enough.

    Get comfy has got to be the biggest thing - I rode to Paris with family last summer. I've done medium distances (50-60 miles) quite frequently so happy with our planned split of the ride into two days (2x60 miles) .... what I didn't bank on was the time in the saddle - other family members being slower than I'm used to riding distance and frequent stops meant both days had a long time in the saddle - and that wasn't overly comfortable - I'd had enough at the end of each day.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,631
    Eat porridge

    nah, it made me fat, didn't you know?

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Assuming time allows, just increase the length of your weekend rides gradually and don't worry about speed. Once you are able to do 80 miles in comfort, another 20 on the day shouldn't be too much of a stretch. And use the training rides to perfect your eating / drinking strategy. I like fig rolls and jelly babies myself for a little and often approach.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    If you plan to just do it by working on base endurance, then you can go on a set route and just time it, RPE will give you a good guide to effort.

    HR monitors are good for tracking fitness improvements over time and countering the lazy slacker tendency that we all have from time to time, where we ease off the effort and pretend we are working hard.

    You can get apps for most phones that will help you with pre and post ride snapshots, these are helpul to ensure your resting is dropping and your recovery working. High bpm for long periods post work out is an indication of underlying problems for example.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    As you get used to your riding you know when you're putting in a big effort or if you're taking it easy. You don't need a HRM to tell you that. The key is just to take it at a steady pace, don't sprint up hills in the big ring etc, just dial it down a notch from what you would normally do on a ride that only lasts a few hours.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    If you dont know your body well enough to instinctively feel the right amount of effort to ride long distances then you arent ready to ride 100 miles in my opinion. Either you dont do enough exercise or you dont have enough cycling experience.

    This isnt elite level 'marginal gains' where you need to be that precise.

    I went on a cycling trip for a week where there was a guy constantly pacing himself with a heart rate monitor and it just seemed to suck the fun out of it and I am sure he could have gone faster but wasnt letting himself.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,167
    I did my first imperial century rides last year (having done a load of metric centuries), didn't use a HRM to train, I just rode a lot and at one point decided it was stupid that I hadn't done a 100 mile ride so went and did one.

    If you follow marcusjb's advice you won't go far wrong, I found his blog pretty good too (so much so I went out and bought the same bike he has, apparently :) )

    I do now have a HRM (I got a Garmin for Christmas for the navigation), and the HR monitoring is pretty useful and interesting, especially if you have a tendency towards being a bit of a geek. It's useful if you decide to do any proper training on a turbo or rollers over the winter, and when you get used to it you can get some useful mid-ride information. But you certainly don't need one.
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