After years of humming and hawwing about weather or not to buy a heart rate monitor, my wife finally put me out of my misery and bought me one.
I had a pretty good idea of what my heart rates were when riding (the old fashioned, finger to the neck method) and I'm not competing, but I do like to make the most of what I do and since I'm getting older and my belly is developing, I think the monitor might help me reshape myself back 10 or 15 years (if I use it right).
The one thing I have to figure is my maximum heart rate and anaerobic threshold.
The usual figuring for maximum heart rate is 220 - age, but there are other variations on that formula (University of Missouri-Columbia, Indiana University, combining them and subtracting 5 beats for bicycle training) that come up with numbers that are pretty close.
Anaerobic threshold is found through that test of warming up and then progessively pushing a higher pace until the heart rate does not go up any further.
Isn't that a maximum heart rate?
I just got the monitor and I pushed my ride home from work one night and got pretty close to the number I got from doing 220 - age (and probably could have got the rate up just a little more).
I find I'm riding at 90 to 95% of max for most of my commute, and even with warming up, I average about 83%.
Is my max rate too low, or am I going too hard? (I haven't done a 2 hour ride with the HRM yet, so I'll see what rate I can sustaing for that).