I've finally started using a HR monitor during my riding and would like to get some input on some of the results I've been getting.
Beginning to mid year I had reached a plateau in my weight loss at 193-195 lbs (down from 230) and still want to get rid of another 25 lbs. I felt I was just 'out for the ride' too many times without really having a focus, so I wanted something to focus on to bring the intensity up a bit. I had an HRM, but never had a proper test to see what my max HR was. If I was to go by the generic 220-age, I should be dead according to my HR on the bike. I have a high max HR for my age. One of the trainers at my gym put me through a couple of tests on the spinning bikes, I was able to get to a max of 190 bpm. We are using that as my Max HR.
So, I've been working in these zones:
65%-75% = 123-142 bpm
75%-85% = 142-161 bpm
85%-95% = 161-180 bpm
95% - Max = 180-190 bpm
When I say 'working in these zones' I really mean I have been monitoring my heart rate, not really structuring a workout to work in the zones. My last three months have been about seeing where it goes, trying to raise it, and feel how hard am I working to get it there.
For the first month or two I would do an endurance ride keeping my HR between 170-175 bpm for about 50 minutes and it would be a struggle. As that got easier, I was able to get up to and sustain 180 for about 30 minutes. Now, my last few spin classes I am able to get to and sustain 185 for 30 minutes. The thing is, I don't feel tired (well I don't feel I need to back off, not that I'm not tired) when on the bike, but after a week on the trainer and on the bike (2-3 spin classes for 1 hr, 2-3 outdoor rides for 2-3 hours) I'm whipped.
So, questions. Some admiditly are basic but I have never really done any structured training before, so bear with me:
1. Is the goal of HR training to be able to sustain a higher HR level for a longer period of time? Is this training to "raising your Lactate Threshold (sp?)"
2. How do you calculate your LT? By feeling when it builds up in your legs and checking your HR?
3. I seem to be able to get my HR up really quick now, and subsequently bring it back down to 75%-95% pretty quickly, Normal?
4. I feel it is really difficult to work below 75%, it seems way too easy. OK to stay above that level? if not, how do you back it off (I even start off slow and can't stay there, my legs just want to go).
5. What different workouts could be tried (endurance, sprints, etc.) to structure the week a bit more?
Any other HR training would be great too. Once I get an understanding of this, I might be able to step up to some real training with a power meter (just can't justify the cost of one for my purposes yet!).
As always, thanks in advance for your input.