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  1. #1
    Streetfire HopedaleHills's Avatar
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    Heart Rate Monitors?

    Hi Guys,

    How many of you guys use HRMs and what's your opinion. I am asking because I just went through a complete physical and some tests (colonoscomy and scope down the throat for an acid reflux problem) which came out fine, but, I all of a sudden have high colesterol (went from 190 to 270 in 2 years). Doc has me on meds and diet (the diet sucks, no pie ) So two questions

    1. Would a HRM be a good investment? What would it tell me except that my heart is about to blow?

    2. I am guessing some of you have the high colesterol problem, so what do you eat to refuel after a ride. My normal cheeseburgers and beer are a thing of the past

    Tim

  2. #2
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    I have found that by focusing on keeping my HR under control and keeping my cadence around 90 I get longer rides with less fatigue and have improved my speed. Without HR I would concentrate on speed too much and burn myself out. Now I keep the HR under my LT, this means that I might be going 17mph when I would before I would try to keep at 19 but it means I have the energy to go 22 later when I would be still trying to go 19 without HRM. I am gadget nut so I got the Garmin 305, there are a lot of cheaper options.

    As for cholesteral, mine is high as well, >200. Unfortunetly no amount of exercise or eating No Fat (Yuck) would get it under control since it is genetic in my case. The use of statins have helped me, but it took quite a bit of experimenting with different ones until I got the good results without the bad side affects. I am using 20mg of Zocor right now.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

  3. #3
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    I use one, but am not totall sure why! I think the primary use to to keep your heart within certain zones during execise(trraining). I know that if I keep my heart rate below 170 or so on rides I can ride better the next day. BTW I am 50 yo, and have a HR max of 192. I do not think a HRM will tell you of inpending cardiac events.
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I use my heart rate monitor to help me exercise a greater level of control over my training. I make sure I warm up properly (by keeping my heart rate below a specific level); I then train using two levels: 1. 60% of max & 2. 80+% of max. By knowing just where my heart rate is, I avoid overtraining and undertraining. I also use the monitor to see what my resting rate is in the morning when I awaken. This means I must wear it to bed every so often, but the discomfort of wearing it is worth it. (Me and the Mrs. see if we can get my pulse up to the 80% zone before falling to sleep.)
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  5. #5
    Senior Member Skullo's Avatar
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    " I am 50 yo, and have a HR max of 192"


    What formula did you use to establish your max heartrate? Or were were you tests on a machine?

    Skullo

  6. #6
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    For refueling my favorite is oatmeal cookies. Peanuts,trail mix, peanut butter on whole grain bread, or sometimes Hammer Gel.

    With a little label reading you can find a lot of foods with the 4 carbs to one protein ratio for recovery. Complex carbs take a little longer to get into your system, but they also last longer than simple carbs.
    Born Again Bicyclist! I found my Faith.

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    May be wrong be I think it's 160 - age times % = Hr For me 160 - 51 = 109 x 80% = 87

    Hope this helps?

  8. #8
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Don't use one, but considering since a HRM polar is within $10 of a wireless cateye. I just don't know how it would benefit me to have a HRM.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  9. #9
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    My HR is a measured value
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
    The 4 Rs to save the planet

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  10. #10
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    I use an HRM on every ride. I just got used to it being on. On basic execise rides it helps to keep me from riding too hard.
    I also track it on an excel spreadsheet and can look at performance changes over a longer term. When I have been riding consistantly I stay well below my max, but give me a couple of weeks with no riding and I spike. For the record I am 52 and my max rate seems to be 165. No formula, just observation on workouts.
    It also comes in handy working with the cadence function on the bike computer.

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HopedaleHills
    Hi Guys,

    How many of you guys use HRMs and what's your opinion. I am asking because I just went through a complete physical and some tests (colonoscomy and scope down the throat for an acid reflux problem) which came out fine, but, I all of a sudden have high colesterol (went from 190 to 270 in 2 years). Doc has me on meds and diet (the diet sucks, no pie ) So two questions

    1. Would a HRM be a good investment? What would it tell me except that my heart is about to blow?

    2. I am guessing some of you have the high colesterol problem, so what do you eat to refuel after a ride. My normal cheeseburgers and beer are a thing of the past

    Tim
    HRM does not do anything except tell you what your heart rate is now- and panic you when it gets a clitch in the system. If you are on a Beta Blocker then your heart rate will lower in any case and you will not be able to get into the higher ranges. If it is just a Cholesterol pill then no problems.
    What it does do though is give you a range, that you work out yourself, in which you will like to ride in. Good for this point and this is what I use it for. I like to ride at 140-145 and if I drop below 130 then I have to work harder and if it gets above 155 then slow down. Still get to see 165 up the hills but now treat that as my top limit.

    I do not have a high cholesterol but we measure differently over here. Mine has never been high but plenty of exercise and the pills keep me below the magic "5.0" over here. It keeps me down to 4.3 so I do not worry about what I eat. My Cycling tells me what to eat. Whether it be carbs- fats- protein ar all 3 in a pie. Pie is best so give it up for a couple of weeks and then take the healthy option and leave off the cream and the extra sugar. Then you can have 2 portions a ride- providing it is a long ride up a hill on a heavy mountain bike with knobblies.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  12. #12
    Hypoxic Member head_wind's Avatar
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    The HRM is indispensible( sp?). How else would you know if you are alive??

  13. #13
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p8rider
    I use an HRM on every ride...
    Been using one again since Jan of this year. I'm totally enamored of it. Almost every ride I do, it teaches me interesting things about myself. I could easily ride without it, but using it always adds another interesting level to my ride, that doesn't detract at all from the purpose I;ve set for that ride.

    Don't have much to offer on High Cholestrol, other than experiences of others in our family.
    As for 'recovery', I just eat 'normal'. Which means as little processed stuff as possible, balanced carbs, proteins & fats.

    Lots of water sometimes with juice or a lemon or lime slice, no soft drinks. Glass of Merlot or Cab every evening. Plenty of coffee, sometimes tea. A real beer works wonders (forget the Bud pisswater). Anyway, best of luck with taming the issues.

  14. #14
    Love to ride! starship's Avatar
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    I also use a HRM, Polar CS200CAD.

    I "train" between 60% & 80% of max. My max is 220-age or 168. However, my wifer has SEEN her heart rate at 179, so we use it for computing her zone.

    http://www.machinehead-software.co.uk/cycling.html

    This link is to a nce software to cacaulate training zones.
    2010 Jamis Allegra 2X
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  15. #15
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HopedaleHills
    Hi Guys,
    1. Would a HRM be a good investment? What would it tell me except that my heart is about to blow?

    Tim
    Guess I really didn't address your question, except to say I use and like my HRM.
    Since returning to cycling, and making cycling a very broad activity, part of it, for me, is 'fitness' and race oriented. I use the HRM not only to determine my AT threshold and associated 'zones', but also to note how certain types and levels of riding activity affect me. Since heartrate (within individual context) is a direct indicator of how hard you are 'working', it informs me of how I am 'feeling' on any particular day, whether just touristing around or doing some training.
    Since I really have no particular specific goals anymore for my cycling (I've pretty much reached my 'weight', fitness and 'back into racing' objectives), I don;t particularly worry about any tight fitness plan or training regime. But I do go out on some days with specific goals in mind for 'speed' or tempo or strength work, mostly to keep some level of higher performance going. The HRM helps in monitoring if I'm getting those days done properly. It also confirms days when my body just isn't going to stand for a training session, so I back off, make it a tourist bimble instead.

    From an overall cycling view, its helped in getting the point across that 'recovery' after an effort is a slow process these days, at my age, so itz helped me better gauge my 'efforts' both in competitive environments as well purely fun and tourist riding (actually itz all 'fun' anyway). Because of that I can ride more often with much younger, stronger competitive rider groups and still be able to hang in well.

    Having it has made me a better climber - relative to my current abilities and compared to strengths and weakness from a younger age.
    Using it has made longer rides easier to 'manage' and century+ days are much easier overall than they were without it. Over the period of a 6+ hour day, my body goes through many phases, it helps alert me when its time to moderate a bit. It's also a constant reminder to water and fuel the engine.

    Its never 'made' me quit a ride plan, but its often helped me make it through the ride plan with a positive outlook and finish. There were days when I was younger, when the last hour of a ride was a 'match of death'. I don't have those anymore - they're mostly a remembrance of a younger, stupider and yes, stronger age.
    there are no discomforts to wearing and using it all day
    The only glitch is that sometimes low power lines and what would seem to be some radio waves will momentarily block the signal. They don't screw up the reading or the recorded numbers, they just block the signal for some amount of time, usually in seconds.
    at $35, my nashbar HRM was a 5 'flowerpower' buy

    would I ride without it? Course, hell yes
    but why?

  16. #16
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    Whenever I ride past a military base in my area, my HRM goes nuts! Do any of you servicemen or women have a plausable explanation before I go online with a tirade about mind controlling radio waves being transmitted by the goverment???

  17. #17
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HopedaleHills
    Hi Guys,

    How many of you guys use HRMs and what's your opinion. I am asking because I just went through a complete physical and some tests (colonoscomy and scope down the throat for an acid reflux problem) which came out fine, but, I all of a sudden have high colesterol (went from 190 to 270 in 2 years). Doc has me on meds and diet (the diet sucks, no pie ) So two questions

    1. Would a HRM be a good investment? What would it tell me except that my heart is about to blow?

    I think so. The ideal way to ride is to watch your heart rate and cadence and let speed take care of itself. If you're interested in improving your cycling then a HR is a must. BTW, my age is 53 and my max is 194 and was measured during a tough spinning exercise on a trainer.

    2. I am guessing some of you have the high colesterol problem, so what do you eat to refuel after a ride. My normal cheeseburgers and beer are a thing of the past



    Tim
    I also have high cholestrol and hundreds of miles on the road and diet changes didn't do much good for me. I have to take some light meds to get mine reasonable. Just eat sensibly???

  18. #18
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    Here is how I use a HRM.
    On a trainer, under very controlled conditions, I find a sustainable HR. For me (age 64) that is HR 120 at 17 MPH at 90 RPM for one or more hours.
    I sprint every 15 minutes for 2 minutes to get the HR to 135-140.
    Next I go touring or group rides. Often my HR is much lower due to rolling terrain, wind or just easy riding. The knowledge that I can sustain the above HR on a trainer gives me the confidence to ignore burning legs or just sluggish feelings and ride more aggressively.

  19. #19
    Legs sore, butt sorer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illini Trekker
    May be wrong be I think it's 160 - age times % = Hr For me 160 - 51 = 109 x 80% = 87

    Hope this helps?
    Just went over this with a health coach the other day (and even found the envelope I scribbled it on!).

    Max Heart Rate = 220 - your age.

    They recommeded a training range of 60% to 80% of MHR.

    Now, if you REALLY want to get geeky, getcherself a pulse oximeter to measure your blood oxygen saturation, too!

    Take a look at your diet and see what fats you're getting. The only really evil foods are the trans-fats, the "partially hydrogenated" stuff. Essentially, they're sythetic saturated fats and the human body can't figure out what the hell to do with 'em. (So use lard in the pie crust, not vegetable shortening. ) Try cutting back on the saturated fats by using olive or canola oil instead of butter where you can. Stuff like that. It may or may not help the cholestrol level, but it won't hurt.

  20. #20
    On the road again
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    Tim, good question. I have been using a HRM since last fall. I take an "extreme spinning" class in the fall and winter where the instructor demands you wear one to make sure you are working at the levels she has built into the workout. On the road I use it off and on, the on being when I'll be doing a particular hard workout, helps be better understand what zones I'm in and really tells me my true level of workout versus my perceived level. I plan on using it more; it worked really well in the spinning classes. Not sure what impact the meds have on heart rate during exercise.

  21. #21
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    The 220- age is not accurate. I found a web page some tme ago and it was a cardiologist looking for a formula while enroute to a conference. It is rare that it fits anybody. One need to get HR max tested to find out what yours is.
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  22. #22
    Streetfire HopedaleHills's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies! I ended up getting a Garmin Forerunner 301. It is a HRM with GPS. After a ride you can plug into your computer and it maps you NR again'st the speed, distance, elevation, and or grade. It also creates a table of how much time you spent in each zone, it's a five zone device. On my 5 mile training loop I spent the majority of the ride in zones 3 and 4, with a little bit in zone 5 on one of the tough hills. So it seems like my training loop is a decent workout. I can't wait to take it on a longer ride but the rain here is not cooperating.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie
    Whenever I ride past a military base in my area, my HRM goes nuts! Do any of you servicemen or women have a plausable explanation before I go online with a tirade about mind controlling radio waves being transmitted by the goverment???
    This is a well known problem; though I found out only after buying a moderately expensive Polar CS200cad. I can not speak about other monitors but the Polar goes crazy anytime there is high EMR (Electo-Magnetic Radiation). In other words, anytime there are strong radio waves, overhaed powerlines, transmitters, etc. Here in Switzerland my Polar NEVER completes a ride without getting erroneous readings. Why? Because most road cycling routes eventually run parallel to a major train line which fries the heart rate data and puts the meter in pause mode; thus screwing up your mileage and time readings as well. I have also been adversly effected by overhead bus powerlines, radio controlled signal lights, and traffic control monitors along the freeway.

    I have heard that the Garmin 305 Edge is not suscepitble to these problems but it is expensive ($400?). I also did not have the heart rate monitor disruption when I was using a Siemens HRM. And of course, my ride data was not effected by ERM when I was using a much cheaper computer that was wired.

    All in all I like having the HRM. It tells me when I am just grannying along and when I am really hammering it; pick it up or slow it down.

    A+
    Last edited by clupica; 07-07-06 at 03:45 AM.

  24. #24
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    I have the garmin 305 and I ride about 10K of my ride right under high power lines which I can hear crackling above me. Never have a problem with HR spikes or drops. I know some people reported some problems with static electricity depending on what they were wearing but it never gets dry enough down here for static electricity to be a factor.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

  25. #25
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    I use the cheap Polar and training wise it has been a godsend for me. I established rates based on basic endurance, aerobic endurance, typical road race intensity, speed training above aerobic threshold, and anerobic sprint/intervals. It has helped my training be more time efficient, and like last night, shows me when I need to back off a bit. I can sustain 150-155 bpm for 1/2 hour or more, and can recover at 144, but last night 144 felt like all out effort with 130's needed to recover. So I backed off and rode easy. It levels the playing field when training against and with the wind, puts you in touch with what is going on inside. And while I'm not fond of it doing so, it shows you when you laze out on your intervals, and speeds up the warm-up phase when you first start. I wear it every solo work-out, and during the long endurance rides it keeps me from pushing too hard early and makes the efforts more managable. I rode for years without one, but find having one keeps the focus more in-tune throughout the day. I'd say one is a good investment if your goal oriented and want to see positive feedback in something other than just 'feeling better' after a hard ride...

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