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Thread: Base Ride HR %

  1. #1
    Senior Member VT Biker's Avatar
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    Base Ride HR %

    I have searched and searched, but have not found this definitively answered.

    (a) For base riding, what is the % HR typically which you should ride at? 50-60%? 60--70%? 70-80%.

    (b) The one book I have also tells you to calculate your HR this way:


    (Target Heart Rate) / ( HR Max - HR Rest)


    Is this how everyone else calculates their target heart rate?

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    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    I believe you want to stay in the 70-80% ranges (try for around 75% average or so)....you don't want it to be a recovery ride, but you also don't want to be near your LT. At least that's what I did over the winter. Seemed to work well.
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    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    When I used an HRM, I just went with % of max.

    For "base" riding, most seem to use 60-80% of max as this qualifies as zone 2-3...

    Friel and company base their HR zones on your LT HR. This is calculated by doing a 30-minute TT effort and recording average HR for the LAST 20 minutes of the effort.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VT Biker
    I have searched and searched, but have not found this definitively answered.

    (a) For base riding, what is the % HR typically which you should ride at? 50-60%? 60--70%? 70-80%.

    (b) The one book I have also tells you to calculate your HR this way:


    (Target Heart Rate) / ( HR Max - HR Rest)


    Is this how everyone else calculates their target heart rate?
    THR as max hr - resting hr would have me firmly in threshold work...I don't think that's a good metric.

    If we define base as Z1-Z3 then something like 60-70% of MHR is reasonable for me, based on power levels.

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    Ride at the highest heart rate that lets you maintain that workload throughout the current ride (e.g., 3 hours) and lets you complete the planned near term planned volume (e.g., 12 hours/week). As long as you're able to do the volume, there's no benefit to holding back.

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    Outgunned and outclassed
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    As long as you're able to do the volume, there's no benefit to holding back.
    yes. in the very long term this is true. But finishing a 16 hour base week exhausted when two more follow before a rest week is not a good idea.

    to the OP, most training programs use some percent of LT HR, as drpete described.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VosBike
    to the OP, most training programs use some percent of LT HR, as drpete described.
    But it's easier to adapt a general formula to your specific situation if you understand the underlying rationale.

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    Senior Member VT Biker's Avatar
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    I have a clarifying question. My max HR (based on my experience with the HR Monitor) is the following. Now – if I go as hard as I can for three hours, that usually puts my HR arounf 165 – 173 bpm. If this is the case, I will clearly be at a much higher HR than the Zone 2/3 would state I need to be.

    Are you suggesting that “Base” rides are not effective, and that I should stay in the 165 – 173 range?

    191 191 191
    0.6 0.7 0.8
    114.6 133.7 152.8

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    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    My max HR is pretty close to yours, and during easier base rides, my HR averaged in the 130's....during "harder" base rides (but still pretty easy), my heartrate averaged in the 140's.

    The biggest difference I am noticing this year now is, on the longer rides with more intensity, I can "last"....whereas last year, I could ride hard for a certain duration of time, but would be dead by the end of it.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

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    I do most of my "base" rides at LTHR - 20 bpm, which puts me in the top of "Zone 2". Friel put out an article on this last year and dubbed it the AeT or Aerobic threshold or something like that IIRC. This is a little less intensity than the Coggan L3 sweet spot, but I've found it to be very effective. On group rides where the intention is long "base" miles, everyone will have diff HR #s, you can generally tell if you're in the correct intensity by the amount of conversation, if some talking going on, you're probably where you need to be. When it gets quiet and all you hear is breathing, it's probably up a couple notches too high.

    Base training zones - you'll get 100 different answers on this, it's annually the hottest topic of debate on internet training forums. Good luck sifting through the info.

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    Senior Member VT Biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    My max HR is pretty close to yours, and during easier base rides, my HR averaged in the 130's....during "harder" base rides (but still pretty easy), my heartrate averaged in the 140's.

    The biggest difference I am noticing this year now is, on the longer rides with more intensity, I can "last"....whereas last year, I could ride hard for a certain duration of time, but would be dead by the end of it.

    GW: thanks so much. That is exactly where I stand now. I will start out on some group rides as clearly the stronger rider, but by the end, I lose steam. I guess you could argue I have trained my system for crits. But I have trained for crits if they had a CAT 6 or CAT 7 level. So I need to almost re-work my training program, spend the next 6 weeks base riding, and hope this helps my overall performance. I worry I have hit a plateau in regards to my anaerobic system, and until I move the base up, I will not improve. But my concern is that I worry I will ride below a heart rate level that provides even the Zone 2 benefit.

    I was usually riding at around 145 - 155 bpm for my base rides. So it sounds as if I was riding at too high a hear rate. Thanks for the advice. It is greatly appreciated.

    Brad

  12. #12
    faster than your mom bodaciousguy's Avatar
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    I would do days all in the 70% and then do days with only 80 percent.

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    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Hitting the low/mid 150's isn't so bad either....and when you're nearing the end of base, you'll want to get in that range on some rides during the ride. I was just posting up my averages If you're AVERAGING 155 bpm though...then I'd say you're going slightly too hard.

    Here's a listing of my HR averages on a few rides back in January:

    148
    134
    145
    144
    141
    139
    140
    137
    129
    130
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
    If you're AVERAGING 155 bpm though...then I'd say you're going slightly too hard.
    Given the variability of heart rate and different levels of fitness and goals between riders, I am very reluctant to make any judgements about proper training heart rate for anyone I don't know very well.

  15. #15
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle
    Given the variability of heart rate and different levels of fitness and goals between riders, I am very reluctant to make any judgements about proper training heart rate for anyone I don't know very well.
    True....I was going off of my observations in regards to myself.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  16. #16
    Now Racer Ex Vinokurtov's Avatar
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    I find Perceived Exertion (PE) to be a pretty good indicator for my base rides. Normally as soon as I start breathing a bit hard I'll look down and be above my base zone HR. If I hit the higher PE and my heart rate is down, it's almost always a day when I'm going to have trouble getting my HR up on intervals. For me it's much easier to moderate the top of that zone than the bottom.
    "I may not be as strong as I think I am, but I know many tricks, and I have resolution" - Santiago

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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle
    Given the variability of heart rate and different levels of fitness and goals between riders, I am very reluctant to make any judgements about proper training heart rate for anyone I don't know very well.
    yeah 160 is the top of zone 2 for me.
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