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Old 08-14-06, 12:22 PM   #1
firenze956
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First Ride with HRM -> Confused

So, I just went out for an hour with a new HRM (Sigma PC14) and I could not seem to get into the target zone. My average HR for the hour was 149 (85% of max - I'm 47) but my cadence was right at 90 for most of the time.

Now, admittedly, I've just gotten back into cycling after a 15 year absence and neither my base miles nor my cardio fitness is where it should be.

Question: Assuming that the HRM is providing accurate results, should I focus on form (i.e., keeping a good cadence) or back off until my heart rate is in the target zone? I think the answer is to just shut up and ride and things will normalize, but I'd like to do it right.

Thanks!
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Old 08-14-06, 12:58 PM   #2
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What "target zone" are you trying to meet? In other words, what is the goal for your workout session?

- aerobic ride (continuous)?
- lactate threshold ride (continuous or can be done as 'cruise intervals')?
- lactate tolerance ride [intervals]?
- VO2Max ride [intervals]?
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Old 08-14-06, 01:35 PM   #3
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You need to find out your REAL max HR, but until then, you can use 220-47.

85% of max sounds good to me. That is aerobic.

What is your target? What was your max for this ride?
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Old 08-14-06, 01:47 PM   #4
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it takes a little time to get used to it. roads will go up and down, you'll have to stop for traffic sometimes, there will be headwinds, etc. all those things will influence your heart rate. i tend to focus more on cadence these days.

maintaining a specific heart rate is much easier inside on a trainer or rollers.
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Old 08-14-06, 02:06 PM   #5
firenze956
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Thanks for the replies.

I was under the impression that to get a good, aerobic workout, I needed to be between 70 and 80% of max. I'll agree that I don't know my true max heart rate, but if it IS 173 (220-47) and 85% of that is still aerobic, then I think I'm good (if fat and slow!).

On a side note, having a new toy on the bike made that time fly by this morning!
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Old 08-14-06, 03:43 PM   #6
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Your fitness is not bad if you can sustain 85% for an hour. In fact, it's VERY good if you can sustain it at 85% for an hour. I've found that, for me, the only two numbers I need are my LT and my recovery training HR.

Coupla things. I don't wanna bust your bubble, but my guess is 149 is not 85% because 85% is real difficult to sustain for an extended period. This could be due to a few things. Your max HR is not 173, or your RHR is lower than normal. Try taking your RHR in the morning and use Karvonen to determine your percentages.
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Old 08-17-06, 04:42 PM   #7
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On the question of adjusting your cadence to control you heart rate. My prefered message is to maintain the same cadence and to switch gears to control my heart rate.
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Old 08-17-06, 06:17 PM   #8
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You don't mention how you determine your max, and without a good idea of that or your LT, it's hard to know what your ranges should be.

But for base miles, the HR at which you ride is a lot lower than you'd expect - mine range is 80-146 BPM, and I tend to average in the 120s.
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