I have a year-round 14 mile one-way commute early in the morning, and my commute is my only way to train for longer distances in the nice weather. But it's tough to do intervals that early and dampen my enthusiasm for the commute; and right now it’s still too dark to read my stopwatch. So here’s an alternative I find easier to accomplish:
Originally Posted by Dermbrian
RATING OF PERCEIVED EXERTION SCALE
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
* On RPE scale, 10 times the number is equivalent to heart rate. For cardiovascular effectiveness, one should exercise to ~ 60% of maximal heart rate: Max HR = 226 – age (for women), 220- age (men).
RPE scale* Jim's scale
• 6 - resting 10-20
• 7 - very, very light 20-30
• 9 - very light 30-40
• 11 - fairly light 50 (usual pace; my 60% Max HR)
• 13 - somewhat hard 60
• 15 - hard 70
• 17 - very hard (Lactate threshold; 80 (my Max HR)
breakpoint between hard but steady
breathing and labored with gasping)
• 19 - very, very hard 90-100
Actually, that above full post is specifically directed towards the benefit of intervals, and how I would monitor them with RPE, rather than a heart rate monitor or power meter. The above abbreviated version describes my usual regimen in prior years. Included in the full post is a reference to an excellent broadcast from a radio talk show that has inspired me to take up intervals when it gets lighter on my commute.
But IMO just riding at a slightly greater RPE I think is more beneficial than just cruising, and more tolerable than "pushing."