Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Senior Member dleccord's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    543
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Poor Heart Rate Zones

    Hi guys. I ride my road bike mostly on flats and when I ride around 18-19mph (no head nor tailwind), my heart rate is around 173-179 bpm. Is this normal and how can I keep this down? Is this a symptom of lack in Zone 2 miles? I'm 26 years old and weigh 150lbs. Thanks

  2. #2
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    8,632
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dleccord View Post
    Hi guys. I ride my road bike mostly on flats and when I ride around 18-19mph (no head nor tailwind), my heart rate is around 173-179 bpm. Is this normal and how can I keep this down? Is this a symptom of lack in Zone 2 miles? I'm 26 years old and weigh 150lbs. Thanks
    You have to start at the beginning and first establish your heart rate zones. From there you need to train to a specific zone in order to improve.

    When starting out, you need to try and decouple your heart rate with your mph. The goal over time of course as you alluded is to develop a lower heart rate for a given speed. This will come with training. But it takes discipline to develop into a stronger cyclist versus no regiment and just picking up with your riding buddies. There is no shortcut to being strong. You need to spend many hours in zone 2 and 3 which won't seem like as much fun as up tempo rides when you are competing with your friends on the road.

    I am going to attempt to train with heart rate this season with a bit more discipline and see how it goes. One thing you learn is cycling is largely aerobic. This is why you see so many different body types good at it...little skinny guys and girls can keep up with big muscled guys.

    You mentioned riding along at 18-19 mph. I am over 2x's your age and was out on my ride yesterday when I was passed by a 50 year women...I guess her age in that range...she may have been younger...so I sped up and then I passed her to see what she had. We rode for 5 miles at 22-23 mph. This girl could flat ride. Small and powerful and not young. She obviously has been riding for years.

    If you go over to Slow twitch, many believe and I am in this camp....it takes years and not months to develop speed over long distance. If you train with discipline and then hook up with fast guys, you will likely be as fast as any on the road if you train with better discipline than your riding partners.

    Good luck.

    Heart rate zones and a good link below:

    Zone 1 (60-65% of maximum heart rate): For long, easy rides, to improve the combustion and storage of fats.
    Zone 2 (65-75% of MHR): The basic base training zone. Longish rides of medium stress.
    Zone 3 (75-82% of MHR): For development of aerobic capacity and endurance with moderate volume at very controlled intensity.
    Zone 4 (82-89% of MHR): For simulating pace when tapering for a race.
    Zone 5 (89-94% of MHR): For raising anaerobic threshold. Good sessions for 10- and 25-mile time-trials.
    Zone 6 (94-100% of MHR): For high-intensity interval training to increase maximum power and speed


    Heart rate monitor training for cyclists - BikeRadar
    Last edited by Campag4life; 05-05-14 at 05:51 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah that's kind of high relative to a large group of people. I've been in the same boat. My max was 215. Most long group rides I'm averaging the mid 160's. I'm 29 and weighed about 170, now down to 155.

    I started some zone 2 work over the winter and I think my max has dropped although I haven't fully tested it again. When my weight dropped, so did the work my heart had to do.

    I have my Zone 2 set from about 70-82% of max, most people set Z2 from 70-75%. It's personal preference and based on comfort. I think I pulled those numbers of mine of a bike radar page. They seem to work well for me.

    I wouldn't worry about it, enough riding in Z2 will start to bring your HR down.

  4. #4
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    South Bend IN
    My Bikes
    Merlin Lunaris
    Posts
    8,648
    Mentioned
    48 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A rough estimate of maximal heart rate is 220-age=194 for you. As you become fitter the rate increases, that is the top rate you can reach while your average rate for a given work load decreases. Each person is unique, to determine your maximal rate go all out until you simply can not go any harder. Do 4 or5 attempts and average the number . Then place a copy of the zone numbers on your bars near the computer. I generally ride zone 4-5 and that is a good work out for me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kopsis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    499
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Max HR is really not the ideal way to set your training zones. This is partly because it's difficult (not to mention really painful) to accurately test, and partly because what matters more is your HR at lactate threshold (LT). If you want to reduce your HR at a given power output (i.e. speed) you need to improve the capacity of your aerobic energy system. There are a variety of effective training plans that can help you do that, but they require training in specific zones relative to your LT. Training Peaks has some well written articles on the subject: Power Training Levels | TrainingPeaks

  6. #6
    Successful alcoholic krusty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    877
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
    A rough estimate of maximal heart rate is 220-age=194 for you. As you become fitter the rate increases, that is the top rate you can reach while your average rate for a given work load decreases. Each person is unique, to determine your maximal rate go all out until you simply can not go any harder. Do 4 or5 attempts and average the number . Then place a copy of the zone numbers on your bars near the computer. I generally ride zone 4-5 and that is a good work out for me.
    TBH, I've never found this rule of thumb useful. Theoretically, 220-52 puts my max heart rate at 168. However, I still train in the 145-165 range for distance with my higher efforts (not even TT effort) up in the 185 range for a decent length of time. I have no idea what my actual max is, but it's in the 200 range. Hence, I would first find max if I was to try setting up my own training zones again, or as mentioned, try to figure out a more accurate way to train using LT.

    I'm not exactly riding fit at the moment, either.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dleccord's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    543
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I recently did a hill climb and I was at the point of pulling over to rest. My heart rate on that hill was 197. Is this max heart rate or LT heart rate? And when I ride in zone 2, what happens when I accidentally dip into zone 4 or zone 5 for a second?

  8. #8
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
    My Bikes
    1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix
    Posts
    13,749
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dleccord View Post
    I recently did a hill climb and I was at the point of pulling over to rest. My heart rate on that hill was 197. Is this max heart rate or LT heart rate? And when I ride in zone 2, what happens when I accidentally dip into zone 4 or zone 5 for a second?
    That is not your max HR unless you were getting tunnel vision and on the verge of passing out. Try harder next time.
    Quote Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
    never underestimate the idiocy of BF.

  9. #9
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Goleta CA
    My Bikes
    a bunch
    Posts
    3,011
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dleccord View Post
    Hi guys. I ride my road bike mostly on flats and when I ride around 18-19mph (no head nor tailwind), my heart rate is around 173-179 bpm. Is this normal and how can I keep this down? Is this a symptom of lack in Zone 2 miles? I'm 26 years old and weigh 150lbs. Thanks
    a heart rate of the mid to upper 170s, for almost all riders, would mean they're getting into an anerobic state. It's not a on/off switch, so some can motor on for quite some time, others (like me) have to back off after some time. Pros can stay at that rate while in a peloton at 30+ mph. Riding alone they'll likely be able to keep up at 26-28 mph (road not TT equipped). Everyone else less so.
    Francesco Moser maintained an avg 174 for his hour record (30 yrs ago...), velodrome, TT position, 51.15 kph for the hour.

    If you are 'maxed' when you ride at that heart rate, then that's prolly right...
    If you're not feeling 'maxed', then I would check your Heart Monitor, because the reading is likely very much off...

    Whatever speed you can maintain, on a roadie, flat with no preceivable headwind (other than apparent wind) is a factor of your fitness. To ride faster, you need to train (ride more often) at faster paces, and spend more time 'near' that AT/LT.

    You can use zones, or use a determined 'LT/AT' and ride near that.

    Weight only means something relative to overall structure/mass (and climbing). I know a few guys who can motor well on flats, and are 20-25 lbs heavy for their frame... but bog down on the uphill.

    18-19 is a really solid, good 'average' for a ride, but if that's just a velocity number that you see when you're HR is in the 170s, then not so great.

    heart rate zones - meh... they can be guidelines for training, but you can do the same even if you don't put numbers in 'zones.

    if I'm riding 130s-140's HR, I'm likely out for a steady, longish ride and not lookin to stress myself, enjoying the bike time. If I'm staying 150 to 165, I'm mostly hammering when I can and humpin up every uphill I can find...

    for comparison - if I'm on mostly level terrain, small ring (39), riding a mid to upper 70 inch gear, at 19.5/20 mph, my heart rate is gonna be 145 ish - I'm 65, 165 lbs, 5' 10.5" and currently lacking much in the way of miles or riding time (currently about 100-120/wk...) If I was riding more and harder, the heart rate at that pace would be 140 ish...
    My Last tested AT/LT (last year, with a bunch of strong miles in the legs) was at HR 163/164..., now more likely to be at 160 ish...

    need to ride harder/stronger/faster to be faster. ride in a fast experienced group, do intervals, spend one day a week attacking longer, harder climbs, at your strongest effort, get rid of the extra lbs. These all have worked for me.

    Don;t get me wrong about zones and Heart rates. I believe strongly in heart rate based training. I just don't do the II, III, IV thing...

    EDIT... FYI, I have Afib , so I don't do much time at 178 or above - at 180ish+ my Afib often kicks in... Once I hit the mid 170s, its just a matter of minutes before I back off - per my doc' recommendations), but doin the weekly hammerfest is still in the cards - I just suck more wheel than I used to...
    Last edited by cyclezen; 05-05-14 at 02:23 PM. Reason: jus causs
    Golden rose, the color of the dream I had
    Not too long ago
    A misty blue and the lillac too
    A never to grow old

  10. #10
    Beer >> Sanity bikerjp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Colorado
    My Bikes
    2014 Evo DA2, 2010 Caad9-4, 2011 Synapse-4, 2013 CaadX-disc
    Posts
    3,449
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dleccord View Post
    I recently did a hill climb and I was at the point of pulling over to rest. My heart rate on that hill was 197. Is this max heart rate or LT heart rate? And when I ride in zone 2, what happens when I accidentally dip into zone 4 or zone 5 for a second?
    It may be close to your max HR. LTHR is different. This is how I estimate max HR for the purpose of setting HR zones. It's not precise because it's pretty hard to actually hit a max HR without passing out. If you think this was about as hard as you could go then you might be close. Maybe 205 is a good estimate. Use the formula posted above to calculate zones. If you are using a Garmin, Garmin Connect will do this for you and sync it to your device.

    As for not staying in zone 2 on a training ride I don't think anything happens. In fact, I've read that it's good at times to do 10 min hard efforts every hour of a zone 2 ride. It's pretty hard to hold a certain HR for a long period of time. I go more for average.
    Climbs like a stone, descends like two...

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts
    3,012
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
    A rough estimate of maximal heart rate is 220-age=194 for you
    And that estimate is completely worthless for setting zones because the average comes with a standard deviation of 12 meaning two sigmas in either direction span from 170 to 218.

    As you become fitter the rate increases, that is the top rate you can reach while your average rate for a given work load decreases. Each person is unique, to determine your maximal rate go all out until you simply can not go any harder. Do 4 or5 attempts and average the number .
    That's also useless for setting zones which should be based on the point at which lactate production exceeds your body's ability to process it since LTHR varies as a proportion of VO2max.

    The simplest estimation of lactate heart rate is the average over the last 20 minutes of a 30 minute time trial; although Chris Carmichael has an alternate zone system built around a pair of all-out eight minute efforts that are psychologically and logistically easier to handle.

  12. #12
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    8,632
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
    a heart rate of the mid to upper 170s, for almost all riders, would mean they're getting into an anerobic state. It's not a on/off switch, so some can motor on for quite some time, others (like me) have to back off after some time. Pros can stay at that rate while in a peloton at 30+ mph. Riding alone they'll likely be able to keep up at 26-28 mph (road not TT equipped). Everyone else less so.
    Francesco Moser maintained an avg 174 for his hour record (30 yrs ago...), velodrome, TT position, 51.15 kph for the hour.

    If you are 'maxed' when you ride at that heart rate, then that's prolly right...
    If you're not feeling 'maxed', then I would check your Heart Monitor, because the reading is likely very much off...

    Whatever speed you can maintain, on a roadie, flat with no preceivable headwind (other than apparent wind) is a factor of your fitness. To ride faster, you need to train (ride more often) at faster paces, and spend more time 'near' that AT/LT.

    You can use zones, or use a determined 'LT/AT' and ride near that.

    Weight only means something relative to overall structure/mass (and climbing). I know a few guys who can motor well on flats, and are 20-25 lbs heavy for their frame... but bog down on the uphill.

    18-19 is a really solid, good 'average' for a ride, but if that's just a velocity number that you see when you're HR is in the 170s, then not so great.

    heart rate zones - meh... they can be guidelines for training, but you can do the same even if you don't put numbers in 'zones.

    if I'm riding 130s-140's HR, I'm likely out for a steady, longish ride and not lookin to stress myself, enjoying the bike time. If I'm staying 150 to 165, I'm mostly hammering when I can and humpin up every uphill I can find...

    for comparison - if I'm on mostly level terrain, small ring (39), riding a mid to upper 70 inch gear, at 19.5/20 mph, my heart rate is gonna be 145 ish - I'm 65, 165 lbs, 5' 10.5" and currently lacking much in the way of miles or riding time (currently about 100-120/wk...) If I was riding more and harder, the heart rate at that pace would be 140 ish...
    My Last tested AT/LT (last year, with a bunch of strong miles in the legs) was at HR 163/164..., now more likely to be at 160 ish...

    need to ride harder/stronger/faster to be faster. ride in a fast experienced group, do intervals, spend one day a week attacking longer, harder climbs, at your strongest effort, get rid of the extra lbs. These all have worked for me.

    Don;t get me wrong about zones and Heart rates. I believe strongly in heart rate based training. I just don't do the II, III, IV thing...

    EDIT... FYI, I have Afib , so I don't do much time at 178 or above - at 180ish+ my Afib often kicks in... Once I hit the mid 170s, its just a matter of minutes before I back off - per my doc' recommendations), but doin the weekly hammerfest is still in the cards - I just suck more wheel than I used to...
    Hey Zen,
    Good comments as always. You ever feel the urge to train with a powermeter?
    Thanks

  13. #13
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Goleta CA
    My Bikes
    a bunch
    Posts
    3,011
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    Hey Zen,
    Good comments as always. You ever feel the urge to train with a powermeter?
    Thanks
    as a gearhead, there's always that urge. But really there's no upside for me. It's a real monetary commitment, scraping a bunch of wheels I already have and like, then the commitment to make 'use' of it.
    I'm in that gray zone where you still want to have some competitive edge, without the commitment to 'licensed' competition - that time is past. Around here we might have 5-6 races a year within reasonable drive distance. Otherwise everything else is 2+ hours drive, one way. That's a whole day commitment to ride 45 min. I just don;t have that need anymore. I like the 2 hr Sat or Sun Hammerfest with the younger guys who are in competition - enough for me. Then another hour of steady pace and I've got a great ride and done by lunch.

    I totally understand the desire to do the full competitive thing, and there are plenty guys our age who are stoked to compete regularly, and train hard. I applaud them. Me, I'm good just where I am. There's so much to do, besides cycling.

    C4L, How about you?
    Golden rose, the color of the dream I had
    Not too long ago
    A misty blue and the lillac too
    A never to grow old

  14. #14
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    8,632
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
    as a gearhead, there's always that urge. But really there's no upside for me. It's a real monetary commitment, scraping a bunch of wheels I already have and like, then the commitment to make 'use' of it.
    I'm in that gray zone where you still want to have some competitive edge, without the commitment to 'licensed' competition - that time is past. Around here we might have 5-6 races a year within reasonable drive distance. Otherwise everything else is 2+ hours drive, one way. That's a whole day commitment to ride 45 min. I just don;t have that need anymore. I like the 2 hr Sat or Sun Hammerfest with the younger guys who are in competition - enough for me. Then another hour of steady pace and I've got a great ride and done by lunch.

    I totally understand the desire to do the full competitive thing, and there are plenty guys our age who are stoked to compete regularly, and train hard. I applaud them. Me, I'm good just where I am. There's so much to do, besides cycling.

    C4L, How about you?
    I feel pretty much the same way. At some point if I off my Campy UT crank I may pick up a Stages PM with say a DA crank...but no immediate plans.
    This year I plan to try and train a bit with a HRM...just ordered a Garmin Edge 500. My issue is...I am not a regimented guy per se. I am detail oriented but am a bit free spirited and working harder than I do at cycling would detract from the fun. I like to ride with fast guys and if I can keep up with the A Group, I am OK. I am not going to be the fastest guy in the group, nor am I willing to ride 200+ miles a week in dedicated heart rate zones and do a lot of intervals to get there.

    Before I moved there was a guy I used to ride with on occasion who is our age and was the fastest guy in the state for his age. We had some good talks and I told him when I looked at him and me side by side, we looked identical. Same 6' tall body, long and lean..same proportions and muscle tone and yet he could smoke me on a bike. We used to race ocassionally for fun..short spurts up hills and he had a bit more power and he could sustain a higher average speed because of better aerobic capacity. But we may have been more different between the ears. Cycling was his life. When he wasn't training, he was racing or traveling out of state to races. He routinely rode 50 miles a day. He spent a lot of time in the gym as well. He was commited to being as fast as he could be. I like to be decent fast but am unwilling to pay the price to put everything like you into my cycling. He told me that if I worked with him one full riding season...he could transform me as a rider into being as fast as him. Perhaps closer to him...but he is a special rider that is freaky fast for his age. I will also tell you that his knees are completely shot and I wouldn't trade places with him.
    Cheers Zen.
    Last edited by Campag4life; 05-06-14 at 04:50 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
    As for not staying in zone 2 on a training ride I don't think anything happens. In fact, I've read that it's good at times to do 10 min hard efforts every hour of a zone 2 ride. It's pretty hard to hold a certain HR for a long period of time. I go more for average.
    I would agree going hard every know and then during a Z2 ride can be a good thing. I also think that a 2-4 hour ride in only Z2 is great workout. Read Chappel's "Base Building for Cyclists" and you'll understand why. Has a lot to do with how your body uses fat for fuel and as a result gets really effecient, over time, using fat a the major fuel source. That effeciency then can be translated into faster cycling speed at your given HR.

    I don't use power, so I won't write about an increase in average speed only to get raked over the coals for it. All I can say is I have done this "base building" and seen some nice gains.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •