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  1. #1
    Junior Member duc_181's Avatar
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    HR response over long or consecutive rides

    So I've searched this topic out on the net to no avail. Wondering if people have seen the following:

    Over a long ride (for me, that's ~50 mi.), I notice my heart rate doesn't ramp up as quickly on climbs as it does earlier in the ride, and it also seems to recover more quickly/easily. I also notice this effect on the next day's ride - average HR is lower for a given effort level, speed, familiar climb, etc. My RPE isn't any different (I don't feel tired).

    I know I'm not realizing new levels of fitness over the course of a single ride, or even several in a row, but is the aerobic system somehow becoming more efficient over the length of a ride, or is this just fatigue setting in?

    I've looked back at data where I rode consecutive days (several in a row, which is hard for me given my schedule) and have noticed it's at the end of these blocks of rides that I set my fastest times in Strava... and those times normally coincide with a lower average HR for that climb.
    Any insight?

  2. #2
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Even if they don't hurt, you're burning up your legs and putting out less power. That puts less demand on your heart, so your HR drops.

  3. #3
    Junior Member duc_181's Avatar
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    I'm inclined to agree with you, but how do you explain the faster times in Strava?

    I think it's a pretty handy tool - hills that I've ridden many times with the date, elapsed time and average HR. E.g. the day after a hard 60 miler, I went 20 seconds faster on a 5 minute local climb (>5% faster), with an avg HR that's 10 bpm lower than my previous best (5% lower). I'm assuming, after a week of hard riding, I'd be cooked and wouldn't set PR's.

    Just find it interesting and wondering if it's common among riders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duc_181 View Post
    I'm inclined to agree with you, but how do you explain the faster times in Strava?

    I think it's a pretty handy tool - hills that I've ridden many times with the date, elapsed time and average HR. E.g. the day after a hard 60 miler, I went 20 seconds faster on a 5 minute local climb (>5% faster), with an avg HR that's 10 bpm lower than my previous best (5% lower). I'm assuming, after a week of hard riding, I'd be cooked and wouldn't set PR's.

    Just find it interesting and wondering if it's common among riders.
    I've had good results on back to back rides in the past. I have also observed higher HRs for the same power after a few days off the bike. If you have a few days off and then ride two days in a row I would expect the HR on the second day to be lower. I don't know why but I assume the stroke volume of your heart goes up for some reason (cardiac output = stroke volume x rate).

    If you're seeing 5% power jumps it also sounds like you are on an upward slope of increasing fitness. Those jumps become harder to obtain as the years go by.

  5. #5
    Junior Member duc_181's Avatar
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    Interesting about the reverse effect after rest... I'll have to look for that.

    On your 2nd point - Ya, I'm a relatively new rider (2nd season) and making my first attempts at some structured "training" (intervals, hill repeats). Learning the ropes and trying some CAT5 races. So ya, hopefully I'm seeing some beginner gains. That being said, I'm 35+ with fam, job, etc. so I'm not expecting the world riding 7-8 hrs/week... on a good week.

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