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  1. #1
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    New HRM and Training Question

    I just got a heart rate monitor. I decided to go with the least expensive one that had audible low/high alarms for now. As luck would have it, Nashbar put their GEN 2 model on sale for $39.99, and I jumped on it. I love this thing. I've been wearing it around just to see how my heart rate varies. I can get my rate down to 54 by just concentrating on it and watching the monitor. When I was running years ago, I used to regularly achieve 48 lying down. I guess 54 is not bad for a fat old balding guy.

    Noticed something interesting when I tried it riding. Tuesday, I rode home with the range set to a recovery ride level of 110-120. The perceived effort level to keep HR in that range was surprisingly slow. This morning I rode with it set for a "tempo" range at 140-150. That seemed a little harder than I expected and in a disappointingly low gear, though it was a perceived effort level at which I am used to riding from time to time. I guess it proves one of the 5 or so common training mistakes people make that was in Bicycling a month or two ago. It was something like not going easy enough on "easy" days or hard enough on "hard" days.

    Now here is a "training" question. As a commuter I ride twice a day. On days when I do a specific type of workout that is a sustained effort, like tempo, should I do it both rides, ie, treat the whole day as one ride? I realize that "intervals" would be x number so that would be in one ride.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  2. #2
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Ba-Dg-Er,
    Thanks for the pointers. That is exactly the kind of info I was seeking. I am basing the HR ranges on % of max. As a starting guide I used the old 220-age then I bumped it up a little, figuring I may be a little fitter than that. It is probably still low, but I prefer to stay on the conservative side until I get used to the extra effort and just following a program. Right now I am just working toward general improvement and figure even a modest program will get me started. As I get into the swing and feel stronger I will get more serious about tying down a good max number. My references describe using a 3 mile time trial. Is that what you had in mind?
    Thanks again,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  3. #3
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    What if you can't keep up peak performance for 10 miles? I know I couldn't ride at my top speed for 10 miles.
    Booyah!!

  4. #4
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    I have to get a new chain for my road bike, and I am going to try a time trial. My dang chain busted at a bad time. My buddies are going riding a lot this week.
    Booyah!!

  5. #5
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    Originally posted by fubar5
    I have to get a new chain for my road bike...
    Wait a minute! I thought you were using your sister's Univega bike, and then you got your Fisher mountain bike, and now you're talking about your road bike and...what did I miss along the way? :confused:
    On leave of absence as of March 13, 2002. Contact by email.

  6. #6
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    One of my riding buddies had an extra road bike that was hanging up in his shed collecting dust and rusting, so he let me borrow it. He said bring it back when I get my own road bike or I move or he moves. I am going to try and buy it from him one of these days. But apparently it was his first road bike and he put about 15,000 miles on it, so I might have a hard time getting it from him.
    Booyah!!

  7. #7
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    Well, you do have to consider that the bike probably has special meaning for your friend. I'm in kind of the same situation: my friend Donna has a Trek road bike, from about 1986, that's in beautiful condition; she rode two MS150's on it but has trouble even riding it a mile now, partly because of knee surgery in the intervening years. I looked at it and it's exactly my size. But it has such sentimental associations for her, that she is having a hard time deciding if she dares to part with it. It will totally be up to her--I certainly don't want to urge her to sell it, under those conditions.
    On leave of absence as of March 13, 2002. Contact by email.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nebill's Avatar
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    Hi Ya Rainman!

    I see the Coach (Ba_Dg_Er) is giving you a hand! He is right about the 220-age thing being a starting point. According to that formula, my upper aerobic limit should have been 135. While riding, I discovered that I could ride for miles at the 140 rate, and hardly breath hard. Yesterday I had my physical, and my doc told me that something more like 148 would be a more reasonable upper limit for me! So, now I have to dig out the instructions and figure out how to reset the darned HRM!

    Good luck!
    Keep Spinning!!
    "It is right that a bike is both Appreciated, and Ridden" David Blessing
    "Help others get better...it's not about you, it's about the Team" Carlos Sanchez
    "I thought of that while riding my bike" Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity
    Bill, rider of classic Paramounts!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nobby's Avatar
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    Okay I think I'm confused. At 51 my MHR cyphers out to 170. I've found that to be reasonable through the experience of driving my rate up to 170 and staying there for 10 or 15 minutes. I didn't like it at all and suffered for it for a couple days. No chest pains, just a general malaise I think I'd call it.

    I was training in the 85% to 95% area because (according to the calculations I found) the upper end of my training zone (75%) is something like 125. But riding at 125 is effortless and I ended up feeling like I'm accomplishing nothing...so I cranked it up a bunch. I felt pretty good afterwards, although my legs were pretty wobbly for a minute or two.

    But then I was only riding about 10km at a time. Now I'm doing 20km/day but I've let up on the heart rate. Pretty much keeping it between 80 & 85%. This still feels pretty good.

    When I ride with my wife, I pretty much am limited to keeping within 'the zone' (50 to 75%). I love riding with her but I'm not so sure my heart is benefitting from the low pace. Any thoughts on that?

    Am I all wrong in my assumptions and practices?
    Bill (Nobby) Clark
    Edson, Alberta
    Vision R-44

  10. #10
    Senior Member pat5319's Avatar
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    Use your HRM first to find YOUR maximum heart rate rather than using some chart. There is much variation from person to person of the same age, the charts are based on averages of populations and could be WAY OFF for you.
    After you find your max then start finguring your medium hard and easy trianing intensities.
    Ride Right,
    Pat
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  11. #11
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    I'm glad I found this thread, I recently purchased a heart rate monitor and have similar questions, my calculated max is about 180, my resting HR is in the 60's probably around 64. I can ride pretty close to 180 for a long time. During hill climbs I have reached 195 and there were times when I did not have the monitor that I am sure I exceeded that number (based on how I felt). When I ride solo at about 18 mph with a cadence of 95 - 100 my HR is about 165 - 170. My doctor was of little help on this subject only stating that symptoms can develop when you approach your max. What kind of advise is that? In January I had a physical at the time I was almost thirty pounds heavier that I am now, but my EKG looked fine. I am curious to know if ones max heart rate can go up with excercise or go down, common sense says it will go up. Example "60 year old man with the heart of a 30 year old". I would like to find my max HR what is the best way to this on a bike, My morning rides are a 10 mile course but I usually do not go all out. I think what I am hearing is ride that course and go all out in intervalls that last at least a few minutes and see what the numbers are? Also what are the good books on the subject. Any advise would be welcomed.

    Thanks

  12. #12
    Senior Member pat5319's Avatar
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    From a site, ( The Fitness Connection?) referred from the "Ask Jeeves" search engine,

    You can determine your max HR one of two ways. One way is to use the age predicted max HR formula, whereby you subtract your age from 220. So, if you are 40 years old, your predicted max HR would be 180 bpm. The other method, which is much more accurate and more individualized, is actually having a medical or fitness professional administer a max HR test for you, which is usually done on a stationery bicycle or treadmill for several minutes and requires very hard work. Thus, only those cleared by a physician should do this test. We do not explain how to administer this test because only trained professionals should do so. Please refer to the Global Health and Fitness Personal Training Directory for professionals in your area (may or may not be trained in administering a max HR test).

    Once you have determined your max HR, you will need to decide what zone you want to train at. There are five different training zones separated by 10% increments, each having different characteristics and benefits. (continued in the site)

    One of the Cycle racing mag columns suggested- you go out get warmed up and sprint like hell until your heart can't beat any faster, recover and try again a couple of times record max rate findings each time and try it again a few days later and maybe one more time a few days after that and work out the average and use that number as your max. If I remember right, your max can increase slightly with training.

    I've never used or remembered my max rate. I know to "ease up" when I taste Ketone, it's kinda like tasting blood, in the back of my mouth or throat. I learned long ago that if I kept that taste/feel below a certain level, (just behind the back of my mouth). I could keep the intensity going and going. If I let it up beyond that point I was done in no time. I learned later that Ketone is produced when you go anaerobic and your muscles are producing lactate acid, so if you can keep that taste "below the edge" you're going hard enough and can keep going.
    Someday I might get modern and use the heart rate method.
    Ride the edge
    Pat
    Last edited by pat5319; 08-15-01 at 01:32 AM.
    Pat5319


  13. #13
    have bike will tour catfish's Avatar
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    you are correct that the age chart is usually off for most active people. heart rate training is very complex it has no black and white answere many grey areas. I have my clients regularly tested for vo2 max at a sports performance lab run by a doc friend that gives a great deal to us as he traines other doc's on the testing proceedures. from this test your zones are calculated but there are many varribials every day things like not being fully recovered from your lst workout, comming down with a cold or flu lack of sleep , lingering effects of alchol or drugs, all effect wil effect your differant zones on a daily basis.

    there is a simple and free soulution use the Karvonen formula. it is one step above the ole age chart and customizes the zones to your heart rate reserve.

    To start you will need to establish your resting heart rate for at least 4-5 days you do this first thing in the morning when you wake up befor you roll over or anything take your pulse for one minute and record it. after 4-5 days ypu will get an average. use this to start the formula you will still start with either 200 or 226 - age but then you factor in your resting heart rate (rhr) ok so it is :
    220 or 226 for females - RHR X % of desired exertion +RHR you will do this for each zone 65%,75%,85% 92% depending what your goals are is where you will train most bennificial to you .

    the fact that you use your own rhr is what customizes this for you and usually gets you close enough to your proper zones, If you are an competitive athlete then by all means spend the $$ and get the vo2 max and medical .

    there is mNY GOOD BOOKS AND WEB SITES ON HEART RATE TRAINING check out sally edwards she has a web site do a search and see what you get, Ed Burk has done extensive research on heart rate training and testing as well as others.

    after you've established your RHR and you wake and find you are evevated 5-10 points you know that you have something going on and should adjust your training accordingly. the HRM wil help you train hard on hard days and aslo help you train easy on easy days. most people train too hard too often.

    good luck if you can find Sally edwards website it will make things more clear
    catfish

  14. #14
    where's the summer!? cabledonut's Avatar
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    i've been reading some of the posts on here about achieving max heart rates. the best way to achieve your max is on a climb. for those who haven't exercised for a while or are, let's say, of a more mature age, should get themselves checked out by a doctor before trying to do an exercise to find their max. before carrying out this exercise, WARM UP THOUROUGHLY - 10 mins will suffice. ideally the climb should be climable in around 2 or 3 mins at a steady rate. also it would be ideal if it started off gradually and steepened near the top. ride tempo upto the climb and start to climb it. attack the climb in the saddle and as you reach the steeper part get out of the saddle and go for it. if the climb is of uniform gradient then just ride gradually harder up it until you think you can't go much harder and then sprint the final 100 metres. it would be better if your h.r.m recorded max h.r so you don't need to scare yourself looking at your h.r.m as you do this exercise, also you can concentrate on the job in hand. the benefit of doing it on a climb is that when you sprint hard up a climb, you use your whole body, thus making your heart work harder, giving you a higher reading. if you live in a flat area, you will have to do the flat option. however, don't just ride hard for x amount of miles like some have suggested on here. use the same principle as for the climb method. WARM UP, then start to ride at a steady pace building it up. ride harder and harder until you think you can no longer get any faster and then get out of the saddle and sprint like sport billy! it's a bit gruesome and it will hurt like hell for a minute or two but you will certainly find your true max h.r. i would like to point out that peoples max h.r and resting pulse doesn't determine how fast you can go on a bike. for example my resting pulse is 39 yet there are pros whos resting pulse is in the 40's. it certainly doesn't make me a better rider. the group of people i ride with all differ when it comes to our resting and max pulses yet we are all of similar ability. it's all too easy to use your h.r as a guide to your ability. it's not the case. there are times when you ride with a friend at say 20 mph, your h.r is 160, your friends is 145. it doesn't make him a better rider on that basis alone, if his heart is bigger than yours it will pump less often. of course the fitter you get the more efficient your heart becomes and will beat less at 20 mph than it did when you were unfit. failing all that, you can throw your h.r.m in the bin and stop worrying about what your heart is doing and just enjoy your riding! here endeth the lesson.

  15. #15
    Out the door roadie gal's Avatar
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    I seem to have the opposite "problem" of most of you guys. My max HR (by the 220 minus age computation) is 180. I think I'm in fair shape. I did the Markleeville Deathride and a few centuries this year and can run 5 miles without real problems. But when I get my HR over 140 I feel awful. My resting HR is in the mid to low 40s. Does this make any difference in my max?

  16. #16
    Out the door roadie gal's Avatar
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    Here's the formula that I found for the "customized" target HR:

    Target HR = (%intensity x (calculated max HR - resting HR)) + resting HR.

    calculated max HR = 220 - age

  17. #17
    where's the summer!? cabledonut's Avatar
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    rainman.

    i replied to a thread you started a few weeks ago about how to achieve max h.r. maybe you never read it? i put the reply up as a thread in itself ('max heart rate exercise' - under training and nutrition) for people to look at, in case anybody wanted to know how to achieve max h.r. have a look, see what you think.

    cabledonut.
    Last edited by cabledonut; 10-10-01 at 02:50 PM.

  18. #18
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    look around the triathlon web sites and you'll find many formulae, the worst of which is 220 - age.

    The best are those thjat recommend you determine your max in a specifically prescrbed time trial, one on a trainer is excellent so anassistant can record your heart rates. Determine your resting HR by measuring it while still lying in bed in the morning

    Then they calculate your zones based onthe diffrence between measured max HR(as opposed to calculated) and resting HR.

    When you are about to puke, thats max HR but its also important not to get there too quickly. My coach had me do a tougher gear every 30 seconds until I was exhausted about 7 minutes in.

    Do it for each sport you train in as well, as it is different.

    Your max is your max, it will not rise with fitness, but as you get fitter 2 things will happen, your resting HR will drop, and your time to recovery (say drop the HR below 120 after stopping an interval) will also shorten. These are signs of fitness.
    I just wanna get to the bottom of this.

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