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  1. #1
    Senior Member wingnut's Avatar
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    HRM Training Questions

    OK, I've had my Polar M21 for about a month now and have been logging HR results as I train. Training has been outside riding, indoor riding on a trainer and a few times jogging.

    Age is 44, current weight is 252. My Max HR is 182 (measured riding), pretty close to the calculated rate checked a over several different calculations. Goal is to drop weight, and improve my overall riding (distance, avg speed, etc.).

    I have been trying to keep my HR in the 70-85% Max HR when I ride. I have my HRM set to 127/155. When I ride outside I just can't keep my HR in that range. Over a 1 hr ride I will end up with a average HR of 160-163. When I ride on the trainer I can easily keep it in the range, or really whatever HR I desire.

    I realize the difference between riding outside compared to the contolled environment of riding on a trainer is the reason for the variations.

    Question is...am I doing the right things here? Having the HRM has really been interesting for me. Last year I just got on the bike and rode as far and as hard as I could. I lost weight and had fun, just trying to improve things a bit this year.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mymilkexpired's Avatar
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    If your goal is to drop weight then you really sure try hard to stay in the 50-70% range. When you ride at the high 70-85% your not burning the same energy stores. (im no expert but am repeating what i have read in some training books) When your working out in the higher zones your burning different energy stores. The lower zones burn more fat for energy than you do in the higher zones. You should ride longer in the lower zones and you will probably reach your goal a little quicker.

  3. #3
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    That sounds like a pretty good training range you have, but remember to do easy days as well. Different activities will give you much different results. For me, it's much easier to keep my HR high when running than biking. I get a higher HR with less perceived effort when running. On the bike while doing a regular training ride it seems brutally painful to keep my HR above 90%, but in a race I will end up with an average well above 90%. Figure that one out hehe.

    It's easy to get carried away with your training when using a new gadget so don't forget to not overdo it, keep doind easy recovery days.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wingnut's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I felt I was doing OK, but it's nice to get other comments and ideas as well.

  5. #5
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    Sounds like you need to pick an easier route, or drop down in gear to pedal easier to stay in the lower HR range at least some of the time. Experiment with it - it might seem foreign at first, but you can vary your pace and have a drastic effect on HR.

    I had a tendency to do the same thing when I first got my HRM - just "pedal to the metal" most of the time, and I was surprised at how quickly my HR got to the 85-90% of max and often stayed there.

    I've gotten in better cardio shape since, and I've also learned to vary my rides and pace. I can now even take the same route and average 140 hpm (on my own pushing it) or 119 hpm (same route, but riding easy with my wife), depending on how aggressive I am.

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    The variance between the trainer and the road is likely a difference in rolling resistance. The higher outside HR would indicate that the resistance on the trainer is too light. Other factors that can come into play outside are the grade and wind.

    It may be that you are simply not fit enough to overcome the rolling resistance at a low heart rate. If your HRM has the polar FIT TEST, take it and consider where you are.

    I personally struggle with keeping my HR low enough on windy days. Some hills become balance tests. As its still early season in the great white north I'm just doing Long Slow Distance rides with a HR ceiling of 140 - I try to average around 133. My profile is pretty similar to you: a little older, a little lighter, a little lower Bike max HR - same riding goal!

    With weight loss as your goal, I agree with the comment about riding at a lower HR. Its not about what calories you burn but the total amount of calories. You can usually maximize your calorie loss by riding slower but longer. ie lower HR but a longer period of exercise. Your body burns glycogen first and switches to fat after about 40-60 minutes. Thats why longer rides are often suggested for weight loss. I don't know if the source of energy really has an impact on weight loss. You only lose weight one way: calories used > calories consumed.


    So slow down keep the HR moderate, and go long a couple of times a week! You'll find your speed increases as your weight drops and your fitness improves.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JustsayMo's Avatar
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    I suspect that if you are riding for over and hour with an average HR of 160+ your MAX HR is higher than you have calculated.

    When I first got my HRM I estimated my HR at 184 max. Once I began racing while wearing a HRM I discovered my estimate was almost 10% too low.

    Friel has some methods to estimate your Anerobic Threashold and then determine your training zones from there.

    You do burn a higher percentage of fat at a lower HR however you burn more calories, including fat, at and below your AT. So a half hour at near your AT will still burn more fat than a half hour in the fat buring zone.

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    Senior Member wingnut's Avatar
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    Since my original post I have only gotten to ride outside 4 times. On those rides I have been trying to be aware of my HR and working to keep it within my limits. When I go above my high limit I have just slowed down a bit. Bottom line is that I have been able to keep my HR within my set limits and have seen my avg speed increase as well.

    For me I think I have just made some progress on the fitness side of things and have paid more attention to my HR on the rides.

  9. #9
    Scooby Snax
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    A great book is by Sally Edwards, "The Heart Zone Training", Ive been working on that well was untill we all go the flu, but I did see / feel results after 1 month.

    I hear you about the control when riding outside, that takes more forethought, you have to anticipate shifting, which actually makes you ride more efficiently. Im still working on that, and I need a lot of work!!

    Good luck,

    Scoob

  10. #10
    Senior Member mymilkexpired's Avatar
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    A great book is by Sally Edwards, "The Heart Zone Training", Ive been working on that well was untill we all go the flu, but I did see / feel results after 1 month.

    I hear you about the control when riding outside, that takes more forethought, you have to anticipate shifting, which actually makes you ride more efficiently. Im still working on that, and I need a lot of work!!
    That is a very good book, i too recommend it! Its packed full of good information and workouts.

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wingnut


    I have been trying to keep my HR in the 70-85% Max HR when I ride. I have my HRM set to 127/155. When I ride outside I just can't keep my HR in that range. Over a 1 hr ride I will end up with a average HR of 160-163. When I ride on the trainer I can easily keep it in the range, or really whatever HR I desire.


    Question is...am I doing the right things here? Having the HRM has really been interesting for me. Last year I just got on the bike and rode as far and as hard as I could. I lost weight and had fun, just trying to improve things a bit this year.
    I use the monitor to ensure that I am riding within my cababilities, as I'm a lazy git and don't push myself unless I have to. Every one is different, and I generally ride at 85% of Max, most of the time, Lower than that and I am slacking. uphill I wil go to to 95% as the norm, and 105% for the final bit. A mate of mine, around the same age, is down at 70% for most of the ride, but can not get over 90% at any time. We are all different, so ride within your comfort level, but push just that little bit more to ensure you get the work out that you want.
    Remember aswell that weight loss does not always depend on exercise,Eat a bit better but keep up the Carbo- hydrate level, cut the sugars a bit. Also on the ride, Drink more water, then some more water, and then a lot more water. Finishing the ride thirsty so a couple of beers will go down well does not help.

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