I am having trouble figuring out where my heart rate zones should be and
how best to obtain aerobic conditioning in order to build speed.
I am 41, 5'10 about 245 pounds (big heart attack gut). This will begin my
second year of cycling. My primary goal right now is to lose 10 pounds
(for starters, so I can wear pants comfortably) and then to focus on
building speed. I did well achieving my endurance goals last season,
feeling comfortable at the end of 50 miles and doing a couple rides that
were close to 60 miles. At the end of last season, I could get to about 14
to 14.5 mph with some exertion. Got weight below 230. Right now, I can't
even get to 14 without a lot of exertion (which is fine as a means to an
end, but by the end of the Spring, I'd like to be able to maintain at least
15 mph for rides of at least 50 miles). Longer term goals are to get weight
below 200 and get solo speeds to 17 mph (comfortably).
Due to weather and schedule/family considerations, my training for the next
month will occur on a stairstepper with the exception of one or two rides
per week. I used an indoor trainer once, hated it with a passion and
besides I don't have any money for one.
I am using the stepper for aerobic development. Additionally using weights
for some core weight training, (legs back and abs) to build some strength.
(I enjoy working with weights for my legs, they are enormous, as is the
torso that rests atop them, I have the physique from my mother's side of
the family, whereas my siblings and father are much more "chicken-legged",
mine are like tree trunks, I am not in the least bit slender, I am built
like a truck, my father called me "Tank" for years.)
I know I will get some heat for this, but I just am much more comfortable
working out in a gym than ruining a perfectly good bike ride by focusing on
zones and timing and intensity while out riding. I like the bike for the
fun of it and just and am so uncertain as to how to use it in real world
situations to train. If I had the money and time, I'd hire a trainer.
Below 135, I am sweating and able to talk with no difficulty. Perception of
exertion: I feel like it's a waste of time.
From 140- 150 bpm, I am reasonably comfortable, feel good that I am working
this hard but not really pushing hard, sweating very heavily (when you're
245 and italian, it doesn't take a lot of effort to induce profuse
sweating) and able to converse with only moderate difficulty. No one talks
to me, how should I know!
At about 150 bpm I am working "hard" but am still able to consume my drink
without trouble. Can talk briefly.
At 155-160 it's pretty hard to drink (just small quick sips), I feel like I
could continue at this pace indefinitely (or at least a half hour).
162-169, I can feel soreness developing in my calves afer a minute (I assume I am now above LT) and am unable to drink
at all because I can't catch my breath long enough to swallow. Exertions
between 162-169 at this pace are hard after a few minutes but I generally
will do intervals of 20 mins, cool down for 5 at about 140 bpm then 14 mins
and cool down again and then 8 mins and a final cool down. Each successive
interval is increasing the perception of exertion. I intentionally allow
only a partial cool down between intervals.
I can do exertions of 170-175 bpm for about 3 mins and then cool for 3 then on
for 3. It's very uncomfortable. High perception of exertion.
Above 175 bpm I feel like I might hurl and feel maximum exertion. Unable to
continue after a minute or two. (well, I could put up with it a little
more if, like, people were shooting at me, but I wouldn't do it for no
reason) Heart rate does not stabilize, it just keeps going up for as long
as I do it at that level.
Any recommendations (other than to get out on the bike) on how to use the
stepper to raise LT and hopefully use aerobic conditioning to build speed.
I am not sure what my max heart rate is (probably between 190-210, I
usually use 190) and am concerned for my health of attempting an all out
effort to find out. I have a nature that generally allows me to work
through pain and knowing myself, I would work through the pain right up to
the point when the ambulance/coroner gets called.