Training & Nutrition - long post with performance #'s
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04-04-06, 12:29 AM
This was originally a long post but I keep having to re-type it because it won't load up. Basically, the teacher keeps using me as a example for different exercises in a physical education class. The teacher is a former long distance cyclist so she keeps asking me to be the class example with my training numbers, specifically heart rates. She asked me my max HR and HR that I am comfortable exercising at and I told her 200 and 170 respectively. Everytime I tell my own personal numbers all the jocks sit in the back and talk about how full of sh*t I am. I just want to know from some more experienced cyclists if the numbers I get my feedback from are totally wrong or out of whack.
First my info, I am a 24 year old student and have been riding semi-seriously since high school and have been riding fairly hard the past 2.5 years(12-15K year). I bought a trainer this year for the first time since I have been cycling and am trying to put some of these numbers together.
I bought a Travel Trac magnetic trainer(with watts), Sigma Sport PC-7 HRM, and an Astrale 8 computer in Sept. I have been riding 1.5 to 2 hours a night, 5-6 nights a week since then.
Tonights ride(average hard ride):
2 hours, avg HR of 179(I reset the average after the warmup) and max of 191, avg watt 311 and max of 576, cadence was between 97 and 105 the whole time. I just switched the resistance to raise or lower output and/or HR.
Basically they, the jocks, say that these HR numbers are impossible. They claim that lactic acid buildup will force me to quit within a few minutes. As long as I warmup properly, and spin rather than mash, the burning in the legs is not a problem. I just want to know if the numbers I have given seem to be all screwed up, possibly because of equipment innacuracies.
Well, I can't tell you a lot, but I'm 57 and my HR has topped out at 183 (never checked it before I was 53). I've looking into a training approach that emphasizes aerobic development and the figures used for finding the max AEROBIC HR is basically 180 minus your age (so 156 for you) and then add or subtract based on certain other factors. As I recall, in your case you would add 5 since you are pretty active in exercising, so that would bring it up ot 161.
Now, since that would be your max aerobic level, surely you could go well above that for some extended period.
Mine is 128, but I ride my first 12 miles typically averaging 146 and that isn't a major effort - just fairly aggressive - tires me out, but avoids real exhaustion. So certainly I would guess your 161 aerobic max would translate into 180+ with a anaeobic effort. I don't know about 2 hours - mine is more like 40 minutes, but then, I'm a lot older and wasn't exercising before taking up biking 4 years ago.
A friend of mine is 23 and he said he thinks his max HR is over 200.
I was emailing him about this issue the other day and here is what he told me:
"When I do flats at a 20-23 mph on a calm day I my heart is at 135 to 145 depending on wind conditions. I hit 155-160 and above when I'm going 25 and above. I hit my 170's when I'm pacing 28- 30 and above. Last night I hit 35.6 and held it for a good minute and my heart was at 178 and on my last cog. I could have pushed a little more but the winds helped out a lot."
So, he apparently couldn't average 179 for very long. He's a strong rider - works out all the time and loves to climb really steep hills aggressively - but he's only been riding a bit over a year.
I'm curious - on that ride you mentioned, how far did you ride and how fast did you average (and what was you max speed on the flats)?
They do sound a bit on the high side, not inconceivable but rather high unless you are an Olympic class athlete. 300w average for 2hrs is pretty impressive from a gonzo point of view. 12k mi per year is certainly a professional level of riding. Your recovery must be equally impressive to allow you to function in grad school classes. Might do to get an independent check on the heart rate setup to squelch the doubters in your class. Do you ride competitively?
04-04-06, 07:07 AM
Thanks for the good responses. I don't ride around many other cyclists so I am just happy to get some feedback of the numbers. The only one that gets me is my HR. I have been doing this since last fall and it dosen't bother me yet people tell me that this would be quite difficult to complete even for some very experienced cyclists.
04-04-06, 08:34 AM
Enter a race or two....if you drop the field, then you'll know you're doing something right.
Like others have mentioned, your numbers do sound a bit high but not terribly. I am 30 and my max heart rate is around 190, my threshold level is 167. I have been training pretty hard and my threshold wattage (30 minutes) is 297 using a powertap sl.
If you can hold 311 watts for two hours you are an animal!
04-04-06, 12:12 PM
Your numbers sounds about right. I was at the peak of my performance and had done 6-years of racing when I was your age. I didn't measure watts, but my HR numbers were similar to yours. My average HR for LT training would be around 172-175bpm, max around 197bpm or so. Those jocks are idiots, typical muscle-bound meatheads who know squat about aerobic conditioning. I say bring your trainer & bike to class and give everyone a real live demo. Then have them hop on and see what their numbers would be, HAH!
If you're in good shape, there's nothing weird about your heart rate numbers. For somebody who's 24, a 200 bpm max is certainly within normal variation (even 210 is within normal variation), and being able to do 85% of that for a fair bit of time is also normal.
My max is around 170, and I can ride for extended periods at 145 (my 85% rate).
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