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  1. #1
    HMF
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    How do you guys use resting heart rate on a day to day?

    I've been taking my resting heart rate every morning that I have a training day planned because Joe Friel told me to. Normal resting heart rate for me is around 41-42, and that's during a training week. If I haven't ridden the bike in a week it'll go down to 39. Today, it was up around 46 because I went for a massive ride 2 days ago, rested yesterday. Then today I found I just didn't have the legs to do 2x20's.

    I take it every morning when I wake up - I turn off the alarm, stare at the ceiling for a minute or two while I clear the fog, then take count. I can kinda feel when it's going to be higher than normal, and I took note when I saw it was 46 that I might not be able to do the workout planned. Sure enough, out on the road when I started the first interval, my HR on screen was SUPER sluggish to respond, and I felt like I had dead legs, like I was doing a 3-4 minute V02max interval instead of an SST/Z4 interval. I ended up riding Z1/Z2 for an hour and called it a day.

    Anyone else use RHR for anything? Any tips/tricks/wisdom to share?

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    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Tells me that I am alive...

    I have never used it for much but then again I don't look at it often.
    When I was training/racing I had a very low resting (mid 30's or lower upon waking, 40 while sitting at my desk working).

    If it stays particularly high you may be burnt out a little but everyone is different.
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Yes, I check it. If it is more than a few beats above normal I'll tend to back off slightly that day if, as in your case, the higher HR is accompanied by my feeling a bit more tired or stressed than usual.

    FWIW, I have recently started using this. I didn't buy it, they're one of my team's sponsors. It purports to estimate stress (either from training, or illness or whatever) by measuring HR variability - the stressed heart shows less variability in rate between inhaling and exhaling, apparently. And despite my initial scepticism, it appears to work pretty well, giving high readings when I'm well rested and dropping the morning after a hard session. So it might be a useful addition if you're worried about overtraining.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  4. #4
    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    And I though I was fit at low 50's.. I just look at it sometimes to judge my fitness level or how my heart is (nothing crazy going on in there). I've had it down to low 70's while riding though.
    "You lack motivation because cycling is a stupid sport with no upside that takes way too much time out of your life to be mediocre at." - Racer Ex

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    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    What do you do on race day if the resting HR says you need to back off that day?
    cat 1.

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    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    What do you do on race day if the resting HR says you need to back off that day?
    Drope da hamma, dial it up to 400 watts and get them guads going...
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    What do you do on race day if the resting HR says you need to back off that day?
    LOL. As it happens, that was me, yesterday. I raced anyway, badly. But I think the point is to use it to help manage your training load so this is less likely to happen...
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    HMF
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    FWIW, I have recently started using this. I didn't buy it, they're one of my team's sponsors. It purports to estimate stress (either from training, or illness or whatever) by measuring HR variability - the stressed heart shows less variability in rate between inhaling and exhaling, apparently. And despite my initial scepticism, it appears to work pretty well, giving high readings when I'm well rested and dropping the morning after a hard session. So it might be a useful addition if you're worried about overtraining.
    I'm really interested in HRV. Sounds pretty neat.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    What do you do on race day if the resting HR says you need to back off that day?
    Race anyway? Entry fee's been paid bro. I get what you're saying - it's just one metric in the bigger picture.

  9. #9
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    Hmm, I need to re-read a few articles by friel it seems. Mine hovers in the upper 30s lower 40s but I haven't really thought much of my heart rate off the bike. It is very interesting that you see a correlation.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    I use my resting heart rate for watching TV, sitting at my desk, sleeping, etc.. I use my higher heart rates when more physically active. On a fast group ride the other day I used my max heart rate a couple of times, but not for long.

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    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    What's your average heart rate?
    "You lack motivation because cycling is a stupid sport with no upside that takes way too much time out of your life to be mediocre at." - Racer Ex

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    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstang13 View Post
    What's your average heart rate?
    Really doesn't matter as everyone's physiology is different. I have a friend whose resting is something like 28 but his max is in the 160's.
    My resting is a little higher but my max is way higher..
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

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    Senior Member spectastic's Avatar
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    I just measured my heart rate at 40, but my heart rate monitor never reads below 60 for some reason. sometimes, it's stuck at something ridulous, like 54 while I'm pedaling hard, or 164 when I'm on a cool down. And there's always a lag time of like 10 seconds before anything changes. I would take it off, but my watch would still read 94 for a while. I mean I don't see how I can wear it wrong. Does this mean my heart rate monitor is crappy? This is it http://www.amazon.com/Polar-FT1-Hear.../dp/B005VPBG0M

    Also yesterday, I did a 45 mile ride. When I was doing intervals in the first 20, my heart would be in the 170s consistently, and climb up to upper 190s on my hard sprints. But on my way back, no intervals, but I did pedal hard. My HR stayed mostly below 170. I had to pedal pretty hard to get it up to 174. Was this because my legs weren't able to keep up, or was I dehydrated?


    I lied, my HR is more like 46. Forgot to breathe the first time.
    Last edited by spectastic; 07-01-13 at 02:22 PM.
    5/20

  14. #14
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HMF View Post
    Race anyway? Entry fee's been paid bro. I get what you're saying - it's just one metric in the bigger picture.
    Actually I wasn't trying to say anything really, just curious.
    cat 1.

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    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Resting HR doesn't mean a lot to me, and I don't vary my training because of it. HR .vs. power means a whole lot to me. Discussed in another thread.
    My 10 speed Shimano sell-off is in the Classifieds-For Sale section.

  16. #16
    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkwaki View Post
    Really doesn't matter as everyone's physiology is different. I have a friend whose resting is something like 28 but his max is in the 160's.
    My resting is a little higher but my max is way higher..
    This was sarcastic, but while on the topic: I find my average speed is higher when my HR is lower. Did Lance Armstrong win 7 tours because he had a resting HR of 27 (apparently)?
    "You lack motivation because cycling is a stupid sport with no upside that takes way too much time out of your life to be mediocre at." - Racer Ex

  17. #17
    Senior Member justadude's Avatar
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    I see resting heart rate as one sign of whether I'm fully rested.
    "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." - Jesus, Matthew 6:21, KJV translation.

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstang13 View Post
    This was sarcastic, but while on the topic: I find my average speed is higher when my HR is lower. Did Lance Armstrong win 7 tours because he had a resting HR of 27 (apparently)?
    It wasn't sarcastic. Everyone's physiology is different, like he said. Endurance athletes tend to have low resting HRs because their stroke volume - the amount of blood pumped with each beat - increases. But their max and average HRs are pretty much irrelevant, they vary massively between individuals that are similarly fit/fast.

    People don't win tours because of their resting HR.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  19. #19
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstang13 View Post
    Did Lance Armstrong win 7 tours because he had a resting HR of 27 (apparently)?
    And his heart was 50% larger than a normal persons. And he never used PED's. Blah blah blah.

    There was a huge amount of BS PR hype with that guy. He won 7 tours because he doped his ass off and the only real opposition was addicted to strudel and Ecstasy.

    Resting heart rate is useful as noted above. I find that with a power meter and good software, after you have enough data points and history it's a bit redundant. Without those tools it would be a good thing to track in a training diary and note if you start to correlate variances with performance.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 07-02-13 at 02:10 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    It wasn't sarcastic. Everyone's physiology is different, like he said. Endurance athletes tend to have low resting HRs because their stroke volume - the amount of blood pumped with each beat - increases. But their max and average HRs are pretty much irrelevant, they vary massively between individuals that are similarly fit/fast.

    People don't win tours because of their resting HR.
    Mine's in the mid-40s. That caused concern when it was checked prior to my prostate biopsy a year ago - apparently, a healthy 60-year-old's resting HR is supposed to be ~65.
    Regards,
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  21. #21
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Resting HR is only an indicator if you "understand" it and can "feel" your own personal body signals.
    I'd avoid using it for anything, other than to make sure you are alive.

    Back in the 90's when HR was the rage, I checked it all the time.
    Really never mattered.
    I'd have good days as long as I was in a rhythm.

  22. #22
    Riding the bike I love. sstang13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    It wasn't sarcastic. Everyone's physiology is different, like he said. Endurance athletes tend to have low resting HRs because their stroke volume - the amount of blood pumped with each beat - increases. But their max and average HRs are pretty much irrelevant, they vary massively between individuals that are similarly fit/fast.

    People don't win tours because of their resting HR.
    My question was, I was mocking the 'what's your average speed crap' But ya I'm not trying to take anything away from this, there is something to be said about HR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    And his heart was 50% larger than a normal persons. And he never used PED's. Blah blah blah.

    There was a huge amount of BS PR hype with that guy. He won 7 tours because he doped his ass off and the only real opposition was addicted to strudel and Ecstasy.

    Resting heart rate is useful as noted above. I find that with a power meter and good software, after you have enough data points and history it's a bit redundant. Without those tools it would be a good thing to track in a training diary and note if you start to correlate variances with performance.
    I never check mine, I try to sometimes but usually I either have a hard time finding it, end up doing something to raise it before I check it, or forget which is what I do best. I have a lot of things to worry about in my life/cycling before my resting heart rate though..
    "You lack motivation because cycling is a stupid sport with no upside that takes way too much time out of your life to be mediocre at." - Racer Ex

  23. #23
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
    Mine's in the mid-40s. That caused concern when it was checked prior to my prostate biopsy a year ago - apparently, a healthy 60-year-old's resting HR is supposed to be ~65.
    Typical freaking doctors. They think average is synonymous with healthy.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  24. #24
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    And his heart was 50% larger than a normal persons. And he never used PED's. Blah blah blah.

    There was a huge amount of BS PR hype with that guy. He won 7 tours because he doped his ass off and the only real opposition was addicted to strudel and Ecstasy.

    Resting heart rate is useful as noted above. I find that with a power meter and good software, after you have enough data points and history it's a bit redundant. Without those tools it would be a good thing to track in a training diary and note if you start to correlate variances with performance.
    yep.

    if i cared enough, i can usually tell how good a workout i'll have within 25 minutes (20min warm up and 5min threshold effort "blow out" effort). If i'm well rested and on good form (and assuming the temp is below 70F, etc, etc), i should be slightly below LTHR after 5min. If i'm tired, it'll be up to 15 bpm below LTHR after 5 min; though at that point, my legs would have a hard time turning the pedals at 95-100 rpm (my optimal range). Except i don't really care enough and often note these things only after a workout.

    In terms of most idiotic to slightly less idiotic pissing contests, avg HR/rest HR > avg speed > avg power/ftp.

  25. #25
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstang13 View Post
    And I though I was fit at low 50's.. I just look at it sometimes to judge my fitness level or how my heart is (nothing crazy going on in there). I've had it down to low 70's while riding though.
    A low resting HR is correlated to fitness, sure, but fairly loosely given all of the other factors that influence it. And the relationship between it and what you see riding is pretty meaningless, it has more to do with what your LTHR is. My RHR is somewhere in the mid-upper 40s, but I have to be going extremely slow - as in, barely even pedaling - to see a HR reading lower than 100 on the bike. It doesn't matter, it just so happens that my LTHR is up around 185, so I run on the fast side of average.

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