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Old 05-18-10, 05:52 AM   #1
cyclinfool
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Stuck in Z3 hell

This morning my training partner could not ride, we had been talking about being more rigorous about our interval training, for the past month or so we have just been out riding in the mornings, doing some sprints when we felt like it, no HRM. So this morning I decided to use the HRM, I would not have my buddy to push me. What I found was alarming, I was stuck in Z3 hell. Yes I could push myself into Z4, I could stay in Z4 for awhile but there was hell to pay getting into Z5 and no way could I get close to max. I guess I need to strap on the HRM for a few weeks and break out. My speed is real good for this time of year, so that probably means if I can push up to more time at target I can get another 10% and by the time I hit my peak later in the summer I should be logging stronger rides than last year. Now if I can only shed that extra 10 lbs I gained last winter that will be worth yet another 10% due to the rolling terrain. Some how I think that part will be harder than breaking out of Z3 hell.
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Old 05-18-10, 07:21 AM   #2
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Training with someone helps alot when getting to Z5 is my goal. I have a couple training partners who will ride my intervals with me. I recall a hill repeat workout a while back this spring where I was to ride intervals up a moderate hill for 3 minutes hitting Z5 by the end of the interval. The first week I did the workout solo and did hit the Z5 HR right near the end as planned. The next week one of my partners did the same workout with me. He is a competitive bugger and on the first interval I was at Z5 less than 1.5 minutes into the interval. We talked about not riding as hard on the next interval and from then on I was hitting Z5 about 2 to 2.25 minutes into the 3 minute interval. One odd thing about the 6 intervals we did together is that the finish point was within 50 meters on all 6 intervals. He is the same partner who when we did a 1.25 hr Z3 ride, over my 7 turn graveyard crit circuit, pushed our average speed for the interval to 21.1 mph. My HR was just below Z4 but still in Z3.

One thing that I have found out is that to do any Z5 work a really good warmup is vital. I will usually ride for 20 to 30 minutes up to Z3 then do a couple 1 minute Z4 intervals to get the heart pumping. After the Z4 intervals I'll do some short 15 to 30 second Z5 intervals then back off into some forced tempo paced riding to keep the HR up for 2 more minutes in those micro intervals. Keep in mind that on the short Z5 intervals my HR never reaches Z5, it's the intensity of the effort. After all that I'm ready for the "pain" of the Z5 intervals.
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Old 05-18-10, 05:04 PM   #3
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I would not be too sure if you are in z3 hell or not. As you get in better shape, it gets harder and harder to raise your heart rate as there are other limiters and heart rate is highly influenced by hydration, rest, caffein, temperature and etc. Here is a z5 workout on a hill recording power and heart rate. Note that the max heart rate recorded at z5 power is around my threshold heart rate. It takes 1/2 of the interval to get the HR up. If I were using HR as an indicator, I would conclude that I am at z4 for the last part of the interval. These are 5 minute intervals.

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Old 05-18-10, 07:00 PM   #4
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Hermes,
Interesting plot - seemed like you backed down before cresting the hill on the 2nd and 3rd climb? Was that just your time limit in that interval?
You may be right, but I know we have been slacking off - we both have commented to each other that we need to pick up the pace. Maybe it will be harder to hit Z5 but I know I can spend more time in Z4 than I have been. I am going to need to be able to do that in about a month for the assault on Whiteface - 33 days to go.
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Old 05-19-10, 05:00 AM   #5
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cyclingfool, Z3 is not all bad, your workouts should include Z3 work that equals the length of your event or race. My workout tonight is to get 2.25 hours of steady Z3 riding accomplished. This is how I tricked my riding buddies into accompanying me. http://www.xtranormal.com/profile/2291743/
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Old 05-19-10, 05:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
cyclingfool, Z3 is not all bad, your workouts should include Z3 work that equals the length of your event or race. My workout tonight is to get 2.25 hours of steady Z3 riding accomplished. This is how I tricked my riding buddies into accompanying me. http://www.xtranormal.com/profile/2291743/
For sure, but we need to spend a little more time in Z4 with a few pushes to Z5, all Z3 and a little Z4 does not make a workout that will expand your limits.
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