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  1. #1
    ...need...more...power... Red is Faster!'s Avatar
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    Are there different "peaks" in your cardio?

    I wondered if someone could shed some light on this. I have looked around and can't find anything definitive.

    I have been cycling for about a year and a half. Before that I ran marathons. Not particularly well I might add. 5 plus hour times. 6'4" and 210 lbs 32 YO. Body fat is probabaly around 13-14%. My doctor and some friends conviced me to do Triathlons to spread out the "damage" and I became a certifeid bikeaholic. I go to meetings at least twice a week over flats and rolling hills. I love it!

    So here's the delima. For whatever reason my body has taken to the bike with gusto. I can ride for Hours with no problem. My endurance seems unatural. If I am alone I would be ridding at 18-19mph on flats. Maybe 17.0 avg on hills. I love going of 60 plus miles.

    Winter came so I have been doing Spin classes at the gym to keep in shape during the week. I live in an urban area so dark early morning rides don't really work too well. I use an old set of cycling shoes to make it harder. I have used these workouts to work on form so that I do not bounce and use my entire stroke. Here is the end result:

    I can ride for hours at a lower heart rate (say 140-145). If I go on a group ride, I have quite a bit of explosive power. I can close a gap or speed over short hills with the best of the group. If, however, I need to sustain a burst for longer than a minute, I completely and totally melt down. I get blown of the back and it becomes a solo ride. If the pack gets up to 30-33MPH my day goes downhill quick.

    It seems I have endurance, and explosive power, but that I miss something in between. How can i delvelop this middle ground? What is it called? Any workout sugestions?

    My max cycling heart rate I have seen at 178 (seems low). I breath HARD at around 168. Mid 140's are no problem. They feel like a cool down.

    I have done "intervals" that have consisted of sustained burst for around a minute. The thought of going longer seems impossible. Should I control these bursts more?

    Please, help me feed my addiction! I am looking to make my high last longer and better! Help a fellow Bikeaholic PLEASE!!!!!
    "I am Captain Edward Reynolds of the good ship Sea Stallion. We are hunting Pirates!"

  2. #2
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red is Faster!
    It seems I have endurance, and explosive power, but that I miss something in between. How can i delvelop this middle ground? What is it called? Any workout sugestions?

    My max cycling heart rate I have seen at 178 (seems low). I breath HARD at around 168. Mid 140's are no problem. They feel like a cool down.

    I have done "intervals" that have consisted of sustained burst for around a minute. The thought of going longer seems impossible. Should I control these bursts more?
    Learn to pace yourself. If you're doing 1-minute intervals and blowing up completely, that's fine. Learn to pace yourself so that you can do 2-minute and 3-minute intervals. Do pyramid sets of 1-2-3-2-1 intervals, all at steady pace to complete exhaustion. As you get more fit, add another one in the middle 1-2-3-5-3-2-1.

    Get more intimate with our HR. Learn the highest HR you can sustain for a long time, like 15-20 minutes. This is your LT-lactate threshold. It will actually vary between different gears and RPM because HR is an indicator of your cardiovascular sytem while LT is a gauge on your muscular system. So there's a time-delay. But using HR to monitor LT is good enough for your goals.

    Once you've determined your LT, you'll notice that your intervals are ALL done above LT. It then becomes a matter of discipline and pacing so that you'll know how long you can hold various levels. If you're 3-bpm above your LT, you'll know you can hold it for 5-minutes. At 5-bpm+, you can hold for 3- minutes, 10-bpm+ for 90-seconds, 12-bpm+ for 60-seconds, etc. This will let you pace yourself in the group rides, chasing down breaks, going up hills fast, etc... without going overboard and getting dropped.

  3. #3
    ...need...more...power... Red is Faster!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Get more intimate with our HR. Learn the highest HR you can sustain for a long time, like 15-20 minutes. This is your LT-lactate threshold.
    This makes sense, however this brings up my heart rate dilema. According to age -30 i should be around 188 for MHR. However I have never broken into the 180's on my polar (unless there is interference). On rides I "feel" pretty "strong". The faster guys told me to do shorter more intense intervals. I have seen my max go from 162 to 178 in about 12 months doing this. Is there something I am missing here? I always assumed most "athletes" had a higher MHR.

    In short, I have no idea what my LT is, but I would guess it's between 148 and 158.

    The pyramids make a hell of a lot more sense compared to some other advice I have gotten. Thank you!
    "I am Captain Edward Reynolds of the good ship Sea Stallion. We are hunting Pirates!"

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red is Faster!

    In short, I have no idea what my LT is, but I would guess it's between 148 and 158.
    Seems like we're exploring the same thing. Take a look and see:
    Lactate Threshold

    Regards,
    SEA

  5. #5
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Sounds like you first need to find your max-HR. It's probably higher than the 178bpm you've seen. To find it, do a rising-rate sprint (about 30-seconds). Start sprinting at 90% effort, spin it up to about 110rpms, then shift up. Then increase effort to 95%, then 98%. For the last 10-seconds, push as hard as you can for as long as you can. After you collapse, monitor your HR, should hit max about 5-10 seconds after you finish the sprint. My guess is you'll see 185bpm or so.

    This matches up well with your 168bpm "breathing hard" effort which is probably close to your LT.

  6. #6
    Oldbie bike racer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red is Faster!
    ... I can ride for Hours with no problem. My endurance seems unatural. If I am alone I would be ridding at 18-19mph on flats. Maybe 17.0 avg on hills. I love going of 60 plus miles.

    ...I can ride for hours at a lower heart rate (say 140-145). If I go on a group ride, I have quite a bit of explosive power. I can close a gap or speed over short hills with the best of the group. If, however, I need to sustain a burst for longer than a minute, I completely and totally melt down. I get blown of the back and it becomes a solo ride. If the pack gets up to 30-33MPH my day goes downhill quick.

    It seems I have endurance, and explosive power, but that I miss something in between. How can i delvelop this middle ground? What is it called? Any workout sugestions?

    My max cycling heart rate I have seen at 178 (seems low). I breath HARD at around 168. Mid 140's are no problem. They feel like a cool down.

    I have done "intervals" that have consisted of sustained burst for around a minute. The thought of going longer seems impossible. Should I control these bursts more?

    Please, help me feed my addiction! I am looking to make my high last longer and better! Help a fellow Bikeaholic PLEASE!!!!!
    I know this is an old thread but since no one answered your question correctly I'll try to fill in some blanks. From your description you have a relatively high percentage of slow twitch fibers. Of course you also have some fast twitch type 2b (sprints), and I'm sure you also have some 2a fibers but you're not training them appropriately. This is why you're not good at efforts that typically call upon a person's 2a fibers to do what they do best-go fairly hard for up to 2-4 minutes, maybe a bit longer.

    First of all, don't worry about what your MHR is. Knowing it will offer virtually no usuable information for your training and pretty much any good cycling coach would not prescribe training based on MHR, much less a MHR based on a statistical average like 220-age.

    You can do the 2x20 minute tests, or a 30 minute test, or something similar to estimate your LT. If you do a max effort 30 minute TT then your actual LT would be near that HR or slightly below it since LT by most definitions equates to your max effort over a period near 45-60 minutes, and for a slow twitcher like you, it would be 50-60 minutes.

    Once you have your LT number the most efficient way to train your 2a fibers is to aim at the range of about 8-15bpm below your LT HR. Many cyclists and coaches refer to this range as "tempo training". You can do these as intervals ranging from 6-30 minutes each, but to start out you'll probably want to do a work interval near 8 minutes, times 3 efforts, with 4-5 minutes rest between the work intervals. Do these sessions 2-3 times per week and add one or two minutes to each work interval each week. Every third or fourth session can be done on long gradual climbs for the work interval. Use a hill and gearing that allows you to stay above 60 rpm's without going above the HR range. By the time you've done these for four weeks you'll see major improvement in the weakness you've described. Eventually you can do 2-3 of these on the flat followed by 2-3 on a climb, during the same ride.

    These intervals also provide nearly the maximum amount of training stress for your slow twitch fibers as well so you probably don't need to do more than one 3-4 hour ride per week in an attempt to train your ST fibers. If you only have time or energy for three hard (ish) rides per week then skip the long ride every other week for awhile until you've trained your 2a fibers to perform better.

    -Warren

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