Plays in traffic
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
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I'm just starting with an HRM myself.
I found this online Heart Rate Training Zone Calculator
. Also available as a Windows version for offline use.
Having been cycling for two years now, and having a pretty good sense of my internal limits, I'm finding the advice that maximum heart rate is very personal seems to be true.
I started with the conservative 220 minus age method and came up with 169. The method used on the site I linked above said 173. Using 173 and those calculated zones, well, they feel low and too easy to me.
My average has been running 146 and that feels like a nice, comfortable aerobic pace. The chart says I should be really feeling it and going anaerobic at 146. That doesn't seem to be happening for me until close to 160.
Looking through the stuff Don linked to above, I found a different Max Heartrate formula that takes body weight into account, and it puts my max at 180. Plugging 180 into the chart gets really close to how I feel when I'm out on the bike. I think I'm going to reprogram my HRM based on 180 and see how that works for a few days.
So the advice that formulas are a starting point and only guidelines seems to apply for me. But that could also be because I've been working at for a while to begin with, and am in better shape than I thought.
Other advice that seems to be well taken is that zones for runners are different than zones for cyclists. If I used the 220 minus age method and runner's zones, I'd fall asleep in the saddle from boredom.
Edit: One more thing. I'd seen my doc and had an EEG before I started cycling. Except for a fairly common sinus arrhythmia, my ticker seems fine despite the high risk of coronary artery disease in males in my family. I must take after Mom.
Last edited by tsl; 04-09-08 at 11:45 AM.