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Old 11-04-02, 11:52 AM   #1
lshield
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New HRM ???

I just bought my first heart rate monitor. This weekend I went out on as short test ride with it. I downloaded the data to my computer. Now I am looking at the nice little graph the software give me and I am thinking, what does it all mean?

My Data:
I calculated my max heart rate to be 185.
I am almost 41 and I weight 178 lbs (about 8 lbs then I should).

The data you see is from a short hilly ride I do when I donít have much time to ride.

To me it looks like I am keeping my HR right about where it should be.


Does anyone with more experience with HRM have any comments?
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Old 11-04-02, 12:36 PM   #2
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The colour areas represent different metabolic zones. That is, zones of intensity where different metabolic pathways are used to produce energy. I'm not quite sure how you have your zones calculated, but mine are

1 - up to 55% [blue]
2 - up to 65% [green]
3 - up to 75% [yellow]
4 - up to 85% [orange]
5 - up to 95% [pink]
6 - up to 100% [red]

I've calculated my anaerobic threshold [the point where my body produces energy anaerobically] at about 88%. I can spend about 90 minutes there [as in a cyclocross race], but it hurts like Hell. Mostly, I train above AT in intervals.

So... what does this mean? Time in zone 3 is low-aerobic, endurance training -- base miles, recovery, etc. Time in zone 4 is high-aerobic, endurance type training. In these zones, you improve your cardio-vascular fitness, burn fat reserves, etc. Most people can work below TA indefinitely. Time in zone 5 is anaerobic, usually interval training. In this zone, you're training for maximum effort, using raw muscle power. You can train your body to use aerobic pathways and push your AT higher by training with intervals. This is called "threshold training."

There's not really much benefit in training above 95%.

You owe it to yourself to get a book, like the Sally Edwards book, or one of the Joe Friels books. They explain this stuff better than me.

Judging from your graph, I'd say you were putting out maximal effort -- really working hard -- for most of the time. You probably experience an oxygen debt at about 15 minutes, and your muscles probably started feeling sore and tight around 25 minutes. You would not be able to maintain this level of exertion for much longer than the 42 minutes without great discomfort, and you were probably gulping for air for a lot of the time.

BTW... your max is probably higher than 185.
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Old 11-04-02, 03:32 PM   #3
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I'm interested in seeing your comments in response to Velo's post. A lot of what goes on during exercise can also be interpreted based on "perceived exertion." Some of Velo's comments pertain to that. I would assume those color bands would adjust as different max heart rates were entered into the monitor?

I agree with Velo. If your true Max is actually 185, then that graph shows you are working really hard, at least for that one ride.
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Old 11-04-02, 06:11 PM   #4
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I used a formula to get my max heart rate. I too think it is low.

Is there any other close to 40 year old riders out there that know there max HR?

It seems like it should be closer to 200. At 8 to 16 minutes into the ride I was riding some rolling hills, not breathing hard but keeping a good spin rate. At 20 minutes into the ride I climb a short hill. My bike mis-shifted and I had to hammer for a few seconds to get my spin back to where I wanted it. After that I was breathing hard but not max-ed out.
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