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Old 03-12-08, 01:31 AM   #1
Gawain
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Am I a technophobe snob?

Hi you all,

I have been riding for almost ten years now. Racing MTB and doing lots of road training with not so bad results.
I have always refused to use a HRM, basing my training on my feelings and the way I have learnt to know my body. Now, I know I could probably get better quicker by using a HRM. Anybody else does not use a HRM?
Please convince me of the pros and cons I could experience with a HRM. Most of the races I do are Marathon style MTB races and a few short XC events.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-12-08, 05:40 AM   #2
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I use a HRM for most of my workouts, running, lifting, elliptical, biking, but that is me. I was also trying to learn more about my body and how it was working and how hard my heart was working. I think you are not alone in not using one, but I am also not a racer. I would think most people who are serious about the racing would be training with the equipment needed to be able to track to do some comparisons.
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Old 03-12-08, 06:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Gawain View Post
Hi you all,

I have been riding for almost ten years now. Racing MTB and doing lots of road training with not so bad results.
I have always refused to use a HRM, basing my training on my feelings and the way I have learnt to know my body. Now, I know I could probably get better quicker by using a HRM. Anybody else does not use a HRM?
Please convince me of the pros and cons I could experience with a HRM. Most of the races I do are Marathon style MTB races and a few short XC events.

Thanks in advance.
If you want to train in HR Zones, you really have to use a monitor. Thats something you really cant detect based on feel.
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Old 03-12-08, 07:42 AM   #4
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If you want to train in HR Zones, you really have to use a monitor. Thats something you really cant detect based on feel.
Actually, it's quite easy. Sing. If you can sing all the parts of "Bohemian Rhapsody" without any problem, you're in Zone 1. If you can yodel, you're in Zone 2. If you can just barely manage to sing "100 bottles of beer on the wall" by stopping after each bottle to take a few breaths, you're in Zone 3. If you have a hard time humming the theme from Gilligan's Island, you're in Zone 4. If you can't even remember the words to the "Star Spangled Banner", you're in cardiac arrest.

See, it's easy! Just listen to your body.

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Old 03-12-08, 01:14 PM   #5
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Damn, I think I should get a HRM...but at the same time I'm kind of scared to try it and find out how I really function after ten years of training and racing without one.
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Old 03-12-08, 01:34 PM   #6
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You can read a book (cycling bible) by Friel and learn what heart zones are associated with perceived exertion. This is actually extremely helpful even if you use a HR monitor because when training in the upper intensity zones, HR is not a good indicator.
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Old 03-12-08, 03:50 PM   #7
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I used to train with a HRM, and might go back to one at some point.

But, for now, for my interval training I just rely on perceived exertion. It's not too hard knowing when you're near your threshold, and in the "red zone".

For racing, it's also good to get in touch with how you feel when you're at your limits. I'd much rather base my efforts in a race on how I feel, than what the HRM is trying to tell me.
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Old 03-13-08, 12:22 PM   #8
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Damn, I think I should get a HRM...but at the same time I'm kind of scared to try it and find out how I really function after ten years of training and racing without one.
I suppose it depends. It sounds to me that you have learned how to train well without one.

I don't wear a heart rate monitor when I ride. I wear one in spin class. One needs something to look at.

Wearing a heart rate monitor can be helpful if you like really structured training. It also helps to keep track of when things are not working well - that is when their is a mismatch between perceived effort and heart rate.

Before a used a monitor, I thought that I got dropped because I gave up. Once I had a monitor, I realized that it was my body that was giving out. There is a difference.

Monitors are cheap. Get one, if for no other reason than to satisfy your sense of curiosity.
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Old 03-13-08, 01:43 PM   #9
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HRMs are fun for those who like gadgets and have the income; totally unnecessary for people with more common sense than money.
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Old 03-13-08, 08:55 PM   #10
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HRMs are fun for those who like gadgets and have the income; totally unnecessary for people with more common sense than money.
It's also unnecessary for people with common sense and money. (Then, you feel compelled to spend the money somewhere)
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Old 03-13-08, 10:41 PM   #11
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I think HRM in races is kind of useless. My HR is always jacked way up high because of adrenaline rush. Now if we really want to open a can of worms lets talk about power meters. he he.
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I used to train with a HRM, and might go back to one at some point.

But, for now, for my interval training I just rely on perceived exertion. It's not too hard knowing when you're near your threshold, and in the "red zone".

For racing, it's also good to get in touch with how you feel when you're at your limits. I'd much rather base my efforts in a race on how I feel, than what the HRM is trying to tell me.

Last edited by UmneyDurak; 03-13-08 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 03-13-08, 10:54 PM   #12
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Three things that I really use out of an HRM:

Making sure to really recover on recovery rides. I was going way too hard until I got an HRM to help keep my efforts low.

While enjoying long, sustained ascensions, (like 5+ miles) I use the HRM to make sure I stay below LT. That way I can climb all day long without blowing up, but I climb as fast as possible.

To check resting HR first thing in the morning.

That's about it. Once I rode with one for a little while and noted the HR compared to perceived exertion levels, there was very little need for one anymore.

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Old 03-15-08, 02:48 PM   #13
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Three things that I really use out of an HRM:
[....]

To check resting HR first thing in the morning.
I use two fingers on my pulse and the bedside clock.
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Old 03-17-08, 06:23 PM   #14
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HRMs are fun for those who like gadgets and have the income; totally unnecessary for people with more common sense than money.
Why does every pro endurance athlete use one then?? Back in 00-02 I used a HRM while running in college, they're not very expensive and have proven to be a vital tool.
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Old 03-17-08, 08:18 PM   #15
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I use two fingers on my pulse and the bedside clock.
Why do you need to put two fingers on your clock?

Of course, that works and is very simple. If you already have an HRM, it's slightly easier and less time consuming to look at it after you wake up. Some will even record the info so you can look after you've had a pee.

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Old 03-22-08, 04:10 AM   #16
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Three things that I really use out of an HRM:

Making sure to really recover on recovery rides. I was going way too hard until I got an HRM to help keep my efforts low.
Agree that this is a good use of HRM. Too easy to overdo it on a recovery ride.

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While enjoying long, sustained ascensions, (like 5+ miles) I use the HRM to make sure I stay below LT. That way I can climb all day long without blowing up, but I climb as fast as possible.
For me, I was concentrating too much on the HRM and when it was showing my HR 'redlining' I would back off slightly to avoid blowing up but I have not been using HRM for a while now and find I'm going better just going as hard as I can and actually putting in more effort to try and keep on the wheel of stronger/faster riders. I have found that I surprise myself at the level of effort and length of effort I can go at that I previously thought unobtainable/unsustainable.
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Old 03-22-08, 09:46 PM   #17
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Why does every pro endurance athlete use one then?? Back in 00-02 I used a HRM while running in college, they're not very expensive and have proven to be a vital tool.
Because they are pros, I guess.
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Old 03-23-08, 11:44 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Gawain View Post
Hi you all,

I have been riding for almost ten years now. Racing MTB and doing lots of road training with not so bad results.
I have always refused to use a HRM, basing my training on my feelings and the way I have learnt to know my body. Now, I know I could probably get better quicker by using a HRM. Anybody else does not use a HRM?
Please convince me of the pros and cons I could experience with a HRM. Most of the races I do are Marathon style MTB races and a few short XC events.

Thanks in advance.
You're a technophobe if you race a marathon MTB race with a rigid fork. If you still think Rossi ROC 550's are cutting edge ski technology, you're a technophobe. You live under a rock if you still have a brick of Swix Silver, "just in case". Training with a HR monitor doesn't make you a technophobe. It makes you less ignorant about training.

IMO, you're not training using PE. You're riding, but not training because PE measures nothing. HR measures strain on your CV system. Maybe something like a tach/rpm gauge in your car. HR can better define how much strain is occuring, therefore, you're better able to train aerobic, anaerobic, threshold levels, V02 work, etc...

A Power Tap measuring watts refines your training by directly measuring the stress you're exerting. Kind of like a torque gauge. Training with power is more intense and more precise than HR but worth it if you are interested in quality vs. quantity.

Good luck!
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