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  1. #1
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    Am I targeting the right HR Zone

    Here is a snap shot of my morning ride. I notice that my heart rate is in Zone 4, 80-90% of my max for most of my ride. Should I slow it down or continue to work on strengthening my heart and it will slowly work itself into a lower zone?

    BTW this is a twenty mile ride done in the moring at a pace of 3.2 with total elevation gain/loss of 1926. I am a 45 YO male.

    Heart Rate Data Avg Low High
    Heart Rate (%max) 84 46 97
    Heart Rate (zone) 4.4 0.9 5.7
    Heart Rate (bpm) 146 81 170

    Heart Rate
    Zones (%max) Time
    (h:m:s) Distance (mi ) Speed (mph)

    Zone 0 0-50
    00:00:10 0.03 10.4

    Zone 1 50-60
    00:00:28 0.10 12.7

    Zone 2 60-70
    00:02:50 0.62 13.1

    Zone 3 70-80
    00:13:04 3.62 16.6

    Zone 4 80-90
    00:44:17 13.62 18.5

    Zone 5 90-100
    00:08:41 2.24 15.5

  2. #2
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    It's hard to give specific advice without knowing what you're trying to get out of your cycling.

    If it's general aerobic fitness, you're working out far too hard. Your best aerobic training comes from working out in the 50% - 75% range, with other specific training at higher ranges to target different energy systems (mostly through intervals)

    But max HR isn't a great measure for this. Most training programs based on HR use some sort of on-cycle test to set their ranges - carmichael uses the average HR from a 3 mile TT repeated with recovery in between.

    I'd suggest getting a copy of "the ultimate ride", and using the field test as a way of setting your HR ranges. I'll warn you that a 3 mile TT ridden at max is serious suffering.
    Eric

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  3. #3
    Oil it! sfrider's Avatar
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    I personally avoid zone 4, it's a lot of work for little or no extra aerobic benefit over zone 3, but without the real benefits of zone 5. Instead I do a long ride in zone 3, which I have at 72-80%, and separate workouts for zone 5 three times a week. (I have zone 5 at 91-100%.) Exactly where in my zone 3 range I place myself on a particular ride depends on how long the ride is (time wise); I can do 3 hours comfortably with an 80% target HR. (Meaning the rate can drop but I try not to let it go over.) I'd probably survive 3 hours in zone 4, maybe, but then I'd be recovering for several days and might have to skip a day of intervals so is counterproductive. Ymmv.

  4. #4
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    Okay, got that. So I should slow down and build aerobic capacity. By doing that will I eventually improve my over all speed?

    I have ridden an entire trip at less than 50% capacity and it feels too easy.

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    "Note, there is a "No-Man's Land" between Z3 and Z4. Training in this
    area has been found to not be beneficial for either the aerobic
    requirements of Z3 or the LT/AT training in Z4. You'll probably also
    find this to be the area you train in most. Avoid this area like the
    plague."

    I've heard you should spend 49% training time in Z2, 24% in Z3, 24% Z4 and 3% Z5 Max effort. There is no prescribed limit on Z1, it's just warm up, cool down and active rest.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    HR Zones are meaningless outside the construct of a training cycle. However using HR and monitoring intensity can be used to improve the quality of any given single workout.

    Since you don't know what you are doing - at least you are not "stating a goal" in your post, there's no way for anyone to advise you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lkjlkjlkj
    "Note, there is a "No-Man's Land" between Z3 and Z4. Training in this
    area has been found to not be beneficial for either the aerobic
    requirements of Z3 or the LT/AT training in Z4.
    This is not generally accepted as true and there is good evidence to the contrary. Many believe the border between Z3 and Z4 allows the greatest adaptation from maximizing the product of training time and training effect.
    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/defaul...lstory&id=3232

  8. #8
    KDB
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    This is very interesting stuff. I got a HRM 2 weeks ago (Polar s150) and I am trying to figure out the best way to use it to improve. I have Carmichael and Burke's "Fitness Cycling" and am trying to use it to develop a series of rides that will help me improve my fitness and lose weight (I've been stuck at 185-190 lbs for a year or so). Down the road a bit, it might be fun to try a race.

    My stats mirror Greg200 (the OP). I just turned 48 yesterday So, building off of his post here is my current status and my basic goals:

    I usually ride 4-5 times per week. I can ride at 15-18 mph for upwards of 4 hours. So I feel I have developed decent endurance. According to cyclistats (trial version to see if I want to pourchase it) I am averaging about 3.3 minutes per miles; so for Carmichael's fitness test I would be at 10 minutes for 3 miles (haven't done the real TT yet, but plan too soon, but I think these averages for the last two weeks are pretty accurate); so I am moderately fit.

    Carmichael states for 3 miles: 12+ minutes is below avergae; 8-10 minutes as moderately fit, and below 8 minutes as highly fit. So one goal is to improve my time here from 10 to 8 and then below 8.

    Other Goals: I want to drop another 15-20 lbs; I want to complete my 30 mile ride (I do it 2-4 times per week) and avergae 20mph or better (17mph is my best so far). I often a ride a 1.7 mile loop in the local park. I have added some speed work: I can get to 30 mph (on a bit of a down hill run) but cannot sustain it for long--a few hundred yards at best. I can do 25 mph for less than 1/4 mile. I want to be able to sustain these speeds for decent lengths of time (25 moh for an hour would be an awesome achievement at this stage in my life).

    So, with this info and data, what do you guys think? And maybe this will help Greg200 as well
    Quotes I Like:
    By convention, indicators should have pattern coefficients (factor loadings) of .7 or higher on their latent factors.
    Statnotes from NCSC

  9. #9
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    Since you don't know what you are doing - at least you are not "stating a goal" in your post, there's no way for anyone to advise you.

    Here is my "stated goal"...I want to be able to ride at an average pace of 3.00 or 20 miles per hour for up to three hours in a heart rate zone of 60-75%.

    Got any suggestions...

  10. #10
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg200
    Here is my "stated goal"...I want to be able to ride at an average pace of 3.00 or 20 miles per hour for up to three hours in a heart rate zone of 60-75%.

    Got any suggestions...
    Yes. First, how are you calculating your zones?

  11. #11
    KDB
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    I think this thread and the "Stupid HR" thread could be merged to great effect...
    Quotes I Like:
    By convention, indicators should have pattern coefficients (factor loadings) of .7 or higher on their latent factors.
    Statnotes from NCSC

  12. #12
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan
    Yes. First, how are you calculating your zones?
    My estimated MHR is 172 and my actual RHR is 58. The MHR is programed into my Garmin Edge and it monitors my heart rate while I ride. I look at the downloaded information for insight into my training. Doing the math...I have to reduce my mileage and focus on my heart rate zone to achieve the best benefit from my morning rides?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I want to be able to ride at an average pace of 3.00 or 20 miles per hour for up to three hours in a heart rate zone of 60-75%.
    That's an interesting way of phrasing a goal.

    What does this mean? What HR range would 3.00 be? Can you ride 20mph for any distance currently?
    Have you considered any books by Carmichael, or Friel or Burke? They all do a good job of explaining the relationship of HR and training as well as the concept of zones.

    Doing the math...I have to reduce my mileage and focus on my heart rate zone to achieve the best benefit from my morning rides?
    HR is only one indication of stress during training. It is true that many cyclists choose too many "medium" workouts and fail to improve as much as they could. On the other hand, "medium" workouts, chosen at the right time are exactly what is needed to support improvement, and increase a cyclist's endurance.

    Get a book.

  14. #14
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    far from being or having expertise in interpreting HRM data, and groping through my info as I go along...
    I might offer a few comments, based on similarities I see, or things that are not shown...

    1. your time in the lower zones is roughly 3.5 minutes for not even one mile covered. It might be worthwhile to 'warmup' a little longer before plunging into the heavier workout. Without considering age (which is a big factor), your workout might actually improve if you were to warmup for 2.5 - 3 miles, roughly 8-10 minutes. Warmup for me is between 120 & 130 bpm.
    Worst thing to do is roll into the garage with an hugely elevated HR and heavy breathing (both for health and 'recovery'), better to back off the last .5 mile (1 mile is better) and step off the bike with a heart rate round 100 and breathing that is back to 'normal'.

    2. Spending almost 9 minutes in your 90-100 zone seems proportionally very high. This area being well above the AT, if your zones are set correctly. My guess is that your MAX HR setting might not be properly judged. HR numbers during the ride won't change, but where they fall will prolly be more 'accurate'. Try to find your real MAX HR or guessimate damn close to it. I wouldn;t think, from this data, that 175 is it...

    3. Noting that this is 19.4 mile 'loop', and that you're 'climbing' 1926 ft (correct?); given an average slope (just picking something...) of 7%, that means that 5.2 miles or better than 25% of the ride is done in some sort of climbing or uphill mode - that's quite a bit of climbing considering the ride length. Maybe not a true climbing ride, but also certainly not just rollers (unless they're non-stop). This have further implications...
    as for climbing type, its best you tell us if its mostly even grades or some typical Eastern backroads steep, shorter pitches.

    4. Based on the idea of 'climbing' quite a bit, I believe you'll have a hard time bringing down the HR, as other's have suggested doing, on this route. Unlike moderating on even or rolling terrain, climbing always causes spiking of HR and if you're climbing in Zone 3 you'll likely feel as though you're about to fall over from lack of speed. Note the drop in speed in Zone 5, thats a pace avg for climbing hard and short descents... 3 minutes climbing and 40 secs descending like a bat outta hell.

    5. To my thinking, finding the HR range where one reaches heavily beyond the Anerobic Threshold (AT) is an important bit of info. Time spent just below that range continues to develop cardio & muscle aerobic abilities. Time spent heavily Anerobic has minimal value (maybe none) in pushing up the AT, and may be useful in accustoming us with pain and how to deal with it for necessary periods. Ultimately, the more time one spends aerobic, the better the overall ride performance will be.

    maybe find another circuit that has considerable less climbing and see how that goes... maybe after you reset the MAX and zone ranges...

  15. #15
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezen
    worthwhile to 'warmup' a little longer before plunging into the heavier workout. Without considering age (which is a big factor), your workout might actually improve if you were to warmup for 2.5 - 3 miles, roughly 8-10 minutes. Warmup for me is between 120 & 130 bpm.

    2. Try to find your real MAX HR or guessimate damn close to it. I wouldn;t think, from this data, that 175 is it...

    3. Noting that this is 19.4 mile 'loop', and that you're 'climbing' 1926 ft (correct?); given an average slope (just picking something...) of 7%, that means that 5.2 miles or better than 25% of the ride is done in some sort of climbing or uphill mode - that's quite a bit of climbing considering the ride length. Maybe not a true climbing ride, but also certainly not just rollers (unless they're non-stop). This have further implications...
    as for climbing type, its best you tell us if its mostly even grades or some typical Eastern backroads steep, shorter pitches.

    5. To my thinking, finding the HR range where one reaches heavily beyond the Anerobic Threshold (AT) is an important bit of info. Time spent just below that range continues to develop cardio & muscle aerobic abilities. Time spent heavily Anerobic has minimal value (maybe none) in pushing up the AT, and may be useful in accustoming us with pain and how to deal with it for necessary periods. Ultimately, the more time one spends aerobic, the better the overall ride performance will be.

    maybe find another circuit that has considerable less climbing and see how that goes... maybe after you reset the MAX and zone ranges...

    Thank you for the solid feedback.

    1. I will try the slower warmup.

    2. How do I conclusively establish my max HR?

    3. I live in a river valley so it is mostly all hills. Typical New England climbing...short...steep and frequent. This loop has six pitches that raise the HR and can burn the legs.

    5. Then my focus should be on finding my true max HR and from there developing my riding.

    Any one else have some input...this is why I love the BF...

  16. #16
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg200
    My estimated MHR is 172 and my actual RHR is 58. The MHR is programed into my Garmin Edge and it monitors my heart rate while I ride. I look at the downloaded information for insight into my training. Doing the math...I have to reduce my mileage and focus on my heart rate zone to achieve the best benefit from my morning rides?
    Using Karvonen's method, 80% is 149, 90% is 160. You spent 44 mins in that zone, and you spent 8:41 above that zone.

    Gotta tellya, that seems like a real hard ride to me. It looks like you're doing intervals without much rest. I would go back and manually program two numbers into your HRM using the Karvonen method. 85% and 65%. 85% is your theoretical "achievable if you're fit" LT and 65% is your easy going HR. Use 85% and slightly above when going hard, and 65% and below for going easy. Alternate your hard/easy days. The next thing you do is to find your MHR. Use this real number to fill in the blanks.

    All this is a good start. The best thing you should do is to find your true LT, and through fine tuning, find your recovery ride HR. There are many ways to get your true LT. Once you figure you're "fit enough," you can do a series of 4-6 minute long intervals. Get a good warmup. Set your HRM to about 85% and gauge whether or not you can sustain a series of six intervals at that HR. The first doesn't really count. The second, maybe, the third, fourth, and fifth is where you can really tell. Adjust your watch while you're resting up and down a coupla beats or so. (this is pretty similiar to the 20x20 test described at the top of this forum)

    I constantly use the adjustment method now that I'm in my intensity phase of my training. Your LT goes up and down depending on your fitness, hydration, mood or whatever. When you reach this stage, you find yourself getting pretty in tune with your body.

    Also, lastly, take your RHR every morning for a week and establish a baseline average. Take notes, ie., drank a lot of beer last night, sick, 10 hours sleep, etc. You'll love it. Folks like you are data freaks anyway, or why else would you have a Garmin Edge?

    Also read the other thread (STUPID HRM) which deals with the same thing. Lots of good advice here, you need to find a method for you. I like planning my workouts around LT because it works for me. Others may have different opinions. Good luck!

  17. #17
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan
    Folks like you are data freaks anyway, or why else would you have a Garmin Edge?
    You have no idea...my wife just rolls her eyes when she wakes up in the morning and sees me sleeping with my polar HRM on

    I must have data!

  18. #18
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan
    Using Karvonen's method, 80% is 149, 90% is 160. You spent 44 mins in that zone, and you spent 8:41 above that zone.

    Also read the other thread (STUPID HRM) which deals with the same thing.
    I checked out the other thread and checked out the Karvonen's method. Using the Karvonen calculation My Target HR zone should be 135 to 158 BPM...correct

    220 - 45(my age) = 175
    175- 60(RHR) = 115
    115 x 65%(low end) = 74.75
    115 x 85%(high end) = 97.75

    74.75 + 60(RHR) = 134.75 (round up) 135
    97.75 + 60(RHR) = 157.75 (round up) 158

    Do I have this right? I hope so...I have obsessed on this too long this morning and need to get back to my day job.

  19. #19
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg200
    Thank you for the solid feedback.

    1. I will try the slower warmup.

    2. How do I conclusively establish my max HR?

    3. I live in a river valley so it is mostly all hills. Typical New England climbing...short...steep and frequent. This loop has six pitches that raise the HR and can burn the legs.

    5. Then my focus should be on finding my true max HR and from there developing my riding.

    Any one else have some input...this is why I love the BF...
    1. I didn't mean to imply, 'slower' warmup, but longer in the lower HR - using 188 as my MAX and warmingup at the mid-120s...

    2. I think there are multiple methods for determining MAX HR... most training books have a method

    3. figured as much... remembering road races in NE, they were always painful affairs with very little time to recover before the next short steep pitch...

    5. The MAX number seems only a factor in figuring those 'zones'. Like others have noted, I personally don;t worry about MAX, but have spent some time determining where my AT (others use the more modern name LT) zone is, and how it affects my ride performance. From there I'm working on ways to 'manage' less time at or above AT (160s for me...) during 'forced pace' rides like group hammer sessions and races. And then also adapting any 'training' to raising AT, if possible. It has gone up (high 150s to now 160s), but that was a general raise in fitness. Now its to be determined if some additional raising of the ceiling can be done using methods published by 'eggspurts'. Currently I'm re-reading and judging if Friel's 'Cycling Over 50' holds anything I can use...
    I'm not sure iffn I want to get into anything really structured anymore (being that I'm a codger now...). But you being a youngster, there's still plenty of hopes to hangin with hard-chargin 20 & 30 yearolds

    Let us know how things progress, it would be very interesting...

  20. #20
    Realist Greg180's Avatar
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    I found this link to estimate AT/LT Threshold

    http://spokepost.com/tools/zone/

    Now I have got to stop obsessing on this...I got a company to run...I wonder if there has ever been a study done of how much productivity has been lost in GDP numbers by time spent on the BF...got to be in the millions!

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