Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    447
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Explain Heart Rate Importance...

    and in laymen's terms.

    I have watching the Tour De France and have read throughout this forum, but I am still not clear on the importance of heart rates and their effects on endurance and training. For example, the commentators in the Tour have frequently said that if such and such a person sustains the red zone heart rate for a really long time, it will really hurt them tomorrow. Is that in part because the heart is a muscle?

    At any rate, I was hoping someone could boil down to me in simple terms the importance of the different zones of heart rate, and also advise me on what my max heart rate should be (36 yrs old, female).

  2. #2
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    nyc
    Posts
    8,093
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    your heart has a range, which is measured in BPM (beats per minute). It also has a resting (or minium BPM) as well as a max (which is refered to as MHR or maximum heart rate).

    when you train with the heart rate monitor, you'll discover that you can sustain different efforts depending on your heart rate. a typical break down is like this:

    * Zone 1 65% of MHR (recovery rides)
    * Zone 2 65-72% of MHR (endurance events)
    * Zone 3 73-80% of MHR (high level aerobic activity)
    * Zone 4 84-90% of MHR (lactate threshold(LT,AT); time trialing)
    * Zone 5 91-100% of MHR (sprints and anaerobic training)

    zone 4 is very important. it roughly corresponds with the point at which a rider cannot sustain the effort for a long duration, at least compared to zones 1-3.

    so, when they say a rider is 'in the red' they mean that he is working at a level that he cannot sustain. he will eventually have to slow down.


    this is a good site (and where i cut and paste the zones above)
    http://www.cptips.com/hrmntr.htm

  3. #3
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    My Bikes
    Pedal Force ZX3
    Posts
    825
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The only way to know your max HR is to find it in field testing. I've only been able to hit it twice: once in a stress test and once on the road, and it only lasts for a couple seconds. Most people are only able to hit 93-95% (falsely assuming it's 100%) because it's the point that they go anaerobic (sans oxygen, you can only last 20-30s in this range). There is no formula to determine your max HR as some 60yr olds are at 200 and some 25yr olds are at 160, but the one that "fits" to most people is 210-0.5(age).
    The quest for success: Collegiate Nationals:
    http://iliveonnitro.blogspot.com
    (Updated daily 3/26-4/4-: North Carolina training camp)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Encinitas CA
    My Bikes
    Scott CR1 Team
    Posts
    829
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The other thing about HR is a process called EPOC. I forget what the letters stand for exactly, but what it's referring to is the process through which your muscles replenish their oxygen. Basically, when you go into Zones 4 and 5, you will initiate EPOC when you start to rest. EPOC can last several hours. That's one of the reasons why high intensity interval training is so good for losing weight - your calories during the training may not be that great, but your metabolism is boosted for up to 18 hours afterward.

    What's not so informative about the way they do it in TdF is that they just give you the HR, and no percentage of max. Even if they used the 220-age standard formula, it would tell you quite a bit. There's a huge difference between a 22 year old rider going at 180 bpm, and a 32 year old rider doing the same.

    The older you are, if you're fit, the less the 220-age formula works. In my case, for example, that formula would give me a max hr of 161, but when I do interval training, I routinely get to 163. I think my max hr is actually around 169. As JPradun said, you just have to test yourself and see where it really is.

  5. #5
    The Guadfather Lecterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Fart Worth
    My Bikes
    Trek, Centurion, Kuwahara coming soon
    Posts
    1,090
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So a question for those more knowledgeable than me. If my MHR based on the 220 minus age formula is 189, and I do a 1.5 hour ride with an avg HR if 161 (85% of max), does this mean that i held my LT/AT or time trialing pace for 1.5 hours (based on timmhaan's post above)?
    Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
    Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    "Minor bun engine, made Benny Lava!!!"

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    1,941
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiswell View Post
    and in laymen's terms.

    I have watching the Tour De France and have read throughout this forum, but I am still not clear on the importance of heart rates and their effects on endurance and training. For example, the commentators in the Tour have frequently said that if such and such a person sustains the red zone heart rate for a really long time, it will really hurt them tomorrow. Is that in part because the heart is a muscle?

    At any rate, I was hoping someone could boil down to me in simple terms the importance of the different zones of heart rate, and also advise me on what my max heart rate should be (36 yrs old, female).
    Max heart rate is a largely uninteresting number. It's not easy to figure out (220-age is often quite wrong), and it's a poor way to set training zones.

    The real way to set training zones is based on the lactate threshold which can be determined by a field test. Both Carmichael and Friel give instructions on how to do this - the protocols are slightly different but the results are comparable. Once you have figured out your LT, then you can figure out appropriate training zones around it.

    Or, to put it another way, your LT heart rate is not directly computable from your max HR. From my field tests, if I'm relatively untrained, my LT heart rate is around 142 BPM. As I get better trained, it pushes up, and gets to perhaps around 150 BPM.

    If I'm untrained, rides of 142 BPM are too hard for aerobic fitness, but if I'm well trained, that can be a good pace.

    Generally, you don't want to spend much time riding at your LT heart rate. Lots of time below for aerobic training, with a sprinkling of tempo work near LT and intervals above it.

    Most people work out too hard.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

  7. #7
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    My Bikes
    Pedal Force ZX3
    Posts
    825
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Lecterman View Post
    So a question for those more knowledgeable than me. If my MHR based on the 220 minus age formula is 189, and I do a 1.5 hour ride with an avg HR if 161 (85% of max), does this mean that i held my LT/AT or time trialing pace for 1.5 hours (based on timmhaan's post above)?
    Your max HR is higher than 189, guaranteed.

    It takes an extraordinary amount of concentration to hold 85%HR for 1.5hrs. I do it in races (that average up to 27mph), but don't ask me to do it by myself. I'd be willing to bet that a few percent is due to anxiety or something rather than actual work. I'm lucky to hold 80% for 1hr by myself. And thus, you have discovered why no formula is correct.

    Assuming your avg HR for 1.5hrs is 161 on a solo ride. I would estimate that your max HR is close to 200. How difficult was the ride? If extremely difficult, subtract 5bpm, if not too difficult, add 5bpm. Personally, I would test it and try to reach 205bpm on your own and if you hit over 195, take that as your max HR.
    The quest for success: Collegiate Nationals:
    http://iliveonnitro.blogspot.com
    (Updated daily 3/26-4/4-: North Carolina training camp)

  8. #8
    The Guadfather Lecterman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Fart Worth
    My Bikes
    Trek, Centurion, Kuwahara coming soon
    Posts
    1,090
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JPradun View Post
    Your max HR is higher than 189, guaranteed.

    It takes an extraordinary amount of concentration to hold 85%HR for 1.5hrs. I do it in races (that average up to 27mph), but don't ask me to do it by myself. I'd be willing to bet that a few percent is due to anxiety or something rather than actual work. I'm lucky to hold 80% for 1hr by myself. And thus, you have discovered why no formula is correct.

    Assuming your avg HR for 1.5hrs is 161 on a solo ride. I would estimate that your max HR is close to 200. How difficult was the ride? If extremely difficult, subtract 5bpm, if not too difficult, add 5bpm. Personally, I would test it and try to reach 205bpm on your own and if you hit over 195, take that as your max HR.
    Some info about this specific ride and me:

    Not extremely difficult, but I was pushing in places where I normally do not push as hard.

    I tried to keep above 160 the whole ride and make sure I was breathing hard as much as possible (which is the best way for me to know I am "pushing myself")

    32.5 mi. 1.5 hours (about 20 mph avg). Fairly windy, 1800ft vertical. Nothing extraordinary.

    I am just trying to figure out the ebst way to benchmark myself and effort short of having a power meter.

    I think 200 is more likely my real max. The highest HR I have ever hit was 191, and that was grinding up a 14% grade in 105* weather.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
    Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    "Minor bun engine, made Benny Lava!!!"

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    2,976
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JPradun View Post
    It takes an extraordinary amount of concentration to hold 85%HR for 1.5hrs.
    Since there is great variation in people's lactate threshold heart rate relative to max heart rate (depending for example on stroke volume and fitness), there is no way to generalize whether a certain percentage of max is easy or hard to maintain. My LTHR is about 90% of max, and I can easily maintain 85% for more than a couple of hours. There is absolutely no significance to that.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    1,941
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Lecterman View Post
    I am just trying to figure out the ebst way to benchmark myself and effort short of having a power meter.
    Go the field test route. It's easy but fairly painful to do if you do it right, but it tells you what you need to know.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

  11. #11
    bac
    bac is offline
    Senior Member bac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    My Bikes
    Too many to list!
    Posts
    7,487
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    Since there is great variation in people's lactate threshold heart rate relative to max heart rate (depending for example on stroke volume and fitness), there is no way to generalize whether a certain percentage of max is easy or hard to maintain. My LTHR is about 90% of max, and I can easily maintain 85% for more than a couple of hours. There is absolutely no significance to that.
    Agreed 100%.

    ... Brad

  12. #12
    bac
    bac is offline
    Senior Member bac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    My Bikes
    Too many to list!
    Posts
    7,487
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Lecterman View Post
    So a question for those more knowledgeable than me. If my MHR based on the 220 minus age formula is 189
    STOP THERE. If you use this formula, NO NUMBERS THAT COME FROM YOUR MHR ARE VALID. If the 220-AGE formula works for you, it's a coincidence only. Age has little to nothing to do with MHR in the consistently trained individual. My max hr has been the same from when I first started tracking it over 10 years ago.

    ... Brad

  13. #13
    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Iron Mountain, MI
    My Bikes
    1974 Stella 10 speed, 2006 Trek Pilot 1.2
    Posts
    1,195
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Chaco View Post
    There's a huge difference between a 22 year old rider going at 180 bpm, and a 32 year old rider doing the same.

    The older you are, if you're fit, the less the 220-age formula works.
    Not necessarily. The 32 yo rider my well have a higher MHR than the 22 yo. And fitness has nothing to do with MHR. You may be able to sustain a higher % of MHR by being more fit, but max is not trainable. The 220-age formula (as well as all other formulas) is an average only and has no validity for any particular person. For some interesting history on genesis of the formula see: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/24/he...c666d9&ei=5070. You'll have to open an account, but its free.
    Last edited by chinarider; 07-22-07 at 12:28 PM.
    1974 Stella 10 Speed
    2006 Trek Pilot 1.2

    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”
    Bertrand Russell

  14. #14
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Wash DC Metro
    My Bikes
    November, Trek OCLV, Bianchi Castro Valley commuter
    Posts
    969
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ericgu View Post
    Go the field test route. It's easy but fairly painful to do if you do it right, but it tells you what you need to know.
    If you want to hire someone to help you, most areas have one or more cycling coaches who can administer a Lactate Threshold and VO2 max test instrumenting you and your bike on an indoor trainer. From the data the test generates, you'll get training zones you can use to plan your rides even if you don't use the coach for anything else.

  15. #15
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    My Bikes
    Pedal Force ZX3
    Posts
    825
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Robbie Ventura does lactate threshold tests using digital measuring devices. I haven't done one with him yet, but I know it's accurate if you want to pay the money. visionquestcoaching.com and I think they're $300, but you get a full profile -- including your max HR and training zones. Tell them James P. referred you (I don't get commission or anything, I promise )

    If you've hit 191 in training, then the 189 estimate is obviously wrong. Try doing that same hill but pushing it even more...an extra 30 seconds until you want to throw up.

    And to another poster who can hold 90% at LT, I would recommend retesting your max HR. I know that variations of a few percent do occur, but being able to hold 90% for ~1.5hrs is quite a feat.
    The quest for success: Collegiate Nationals:
    http://iliveonnitro.blogspot.com
    (Updated daily 3/26-4/4-: North Carolina training camp)

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    1,941
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JPradun View Post
    Robbie Ventura does lactate threshold tests using digital measuring devices. I haven't done one with him yet, but I know it's accurate if you want to pay the money. visionquestcoaching.com and I think they're $300, but you get a full profile -- including your max HR and training zones. Tell them James P. referred you (I don't get commission or anything, I promise )

    If you've hit 191 in training, then the 189 estimate is obviously wrong. Try doing that same hill but pushing it even more...an extra 30 seconds until you want to throw up.

    And to another poster who can hold 90% at LT, I would recommend retesting your max HR. I know that variations of a few percent do occur, but being able to hold 90% for ~1.5hrs is quite a feat.
    The lab tests are very good, but the field tests are a lot cheaper to do.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

  17. #17
    bzzzz fuzzthebee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    360
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JPradun View Post

    And to another poster who can hold 90% at LT, I would recommend retesting your max HR. I know that variations of a few percent do occur, but being able to hold 90% for ~1.5hrs is quite a feat.
    I've done 85% for 3 hours. As for 90%, I believe he meant the HR corresponding to his FT (1 hr max). Mine is the same. That is about normal, as far as I know.

    My zones are based around the 1 hr max, anyway. I just refer to HR to give a rough frame of reference for people going that route.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •