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.