Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Yuma, AZ
Bikes: 2005 Specialized Roubaix Elite, 2005 Specialized FSR XC Comp, 2008 Blue T16, 2009 Blue RC8, Fetish Cycles Road Bike
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I would say it's probably less than 180+ if you're shutting down at that point. You should be able to sustain at or just under LTHR for a little while.
The threads on HR training abound here. You have a couple options to consider when you start wanting to train with HR. Some people train against max HR, which is how I started back in December. After a little bit, I took advice and read Friel's training bible. Now I train on zones based around lactate threshold and get much better workouts. If you want to "train" to improve, I seriously recommend Friel's book. I looked at a couple others but was completely happy with what I got from Friel.
Realistically though, because I'm not training to race, I use my HRM as a limiter more than anything else. I'm riding solely to accumulate miles this year. If I'm going to do a long distance ride, I have a number I try to stay under so that I can maintain my pace for the entire ride. If I'm riding laps or doing "sprint" work, then I try to force the hear rate to a number to get the effective workout.
Measuring lactate threshold isn't really so tough. There's a lot of scientific ways to do it. I find the 40k TT one to be the easiest, and after a couple tries I got a good round number that works for me. Again, I'm not training to race TTs, so my number is only for me. If I take a full out 50k hammerfest, my average HR ends up being around 167 total. My 40k TT rate (only taking the middle 20 minutes) works out to be closer to 174-175, so I'm using 175 as my LTHR.
The other way to see if you're training poorly is to document your training thoroughly. My personal training plan improved greatly once I started documenting it more thoroughly.
Finally, the "how do you feel" test always works for me too. If I start to feel sluggish on the bike for no apparent reason, the reason becomes apparent as overtraining I think. So, I take a little break.
Envision, Energize, Enable