I mash the pedals. Even on longer rides I don't get much cardio out of it. From all my reading the lack of cardio is related to my low spin rate. I know I can't go down the lowest gear and spin my brains out at 1 mph and get much out of it so I have to find an effort that gets my heart rate in the proper zone and have at it. I don't have a heart rate monitor but I will get one here soon.
So.... today I went for a short ride (just under 13 miles) and tried to stay in gears where I felt I was spinning more than I normally would. If I felt I was powering it too much to get the spin I backed off. If I was spinning too much I kicked the gears up a notch.
Wooo buddy my legs feel like I did a 30 mile ride the way I normally spin. Historically I'm a power guy. In baseball I was middle relief or closer. Threw hard for 3-4 innings MAX. 6'2" but played the post. Power lifter over endurance. And so on. This probably means I lean more towards slow twitch muscle or maybe it means I just never trained properly, who knows?
Any advice, other than what I'm doing now, to train yourself to get a higher HR?