Training & Nutrition - LT as a percent of MHR
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03-10-09, 02:18 PM
I've been training with a heart rate monitor for about 6 months now. I haven't done much besides actually record the numbers until now. Now I'm trying to make sense of all this data so I can adjust my training.
I just recently did the 20 minute TT LT test suggested by Friel and came up with an average of 190 bpm.
My first race was on Sunday and I averaged 184 bpm for 50 minutes without feeling completely wasted afterwards.
The max I have ever seen while cycling is 202 bpm. I'm not sure if this is my true "max" or not.
Based on these numbers, is the fact that my LT is 94% of my MHR a good thing, bad thing, irrelevant, or apples to oranges? Or is my max possibly incorrect?
I'm asking because it seems like other people I have talked to, their LT is a lower percentage of their MHR. Is this another one of those things that is varies from person to person?
Thanks in advance :)
03-10-09, 07:40 PM
Varies. Many people are at about 90%. I don't think it's meaningful. Your max might very well be higher. All that said, high lactate tolerance and the ability to burn lactate efficiently is a very, very good thing. Putting in time at LT is what does it.
03-11-09, 07:25 AM
Thanks. That's helpful. All this HR stuff can be somewhat confusing at first.
It is very very difficult and painful to get anywhere near your true max, so I would say you have not seen your max yet. As for doing 50 minutes at 97% of your LT, that is not unreasonable at all. With more training your tolerance will improve and your "pain threshold" will improve and you should be able to spend more time at or over LT.
03-11-09, 02:12 PM
^^^ agreed. And, your LTHR will be different depending on your activity. So, if you had actually gone to a lab to get your MHR, and even if it was done on a pedal ergometer, and if you could really calculate your LTHR from that MHR, it would be different from your LTHR on your bike on a trainer. Or your bike on the road on a TT. You just have to resign yourself that your LTHR is just an estimate, that it's exercise modality-specific, and that it will change over time, even from day to day. That's not to say that LTHR training is worthless- far from it, but its variability is one reason why it needs to be estimated periodically, and why the zones are ranges, not single values.
03-11-09, 03:12 PM
I think if you're training based on HR, what you really need to check and re-adjust zones is LTHR. Friel gives a methid for finding your zones based on that, and if you did Friel's test, you're all set. At this point its not really necessary to determine your MHR, IMO.
03-11-09, 08:50 PM
Sweet. Very helpful. I do have Friel's method for determining zones. Haven't really been using them as the basis for my training. Time to focus my training a bit more.
The point of doing the field test is to determine your LT so you can set your zones more effectively.
One training effect is to push LT to a higher percentage of max heart rate, so if you see it go up over time, that's a good thing.
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