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  1. #1
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    Not eating before training

    I normally do all my training just after waking up in the morning prior to eating/drinking anything (except water). As I was riding along this morning I started to wonder if by not eating prior to my workout, was I using up more fat to fuel my ride (as opposed to burning carbs that may normally be available if I had eaten). Could this theory be true, or am I just hallucinating due to not eating? And if it is correct, wouldnt it make sense that by "stressing" my body in such a fashion, I would gain an additional edge during a competition by eating (and thus allowing my body, which is used to not eating and having to convert fat into energy, instant "carb" energy)?

    I would be interested to hear if anyone has any thoughts on this.

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    Senior Member DMulyava's Avatar
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    I think your body is using additional muscle if you're not eating.

    Anyways, I NEVER train on an empty stomach. How far does your car go on an empty fuel tank?
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    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhut
    I normally do all my training just after waking up in the morning prior to eating/drinking anything (except water). As I was riding along this morning I started to wonder if by not eating prior to my workout, was I using up more fat to fuel my ride (as opposed to burning carbs that may normally be available if I had eaten). Could this theory be true, or am I just hallucinating due to not eating? And if it is correct, wouldnt it make sense that by "stressing" my body in such a fashion, I would gain an additional edge during a competition by eating (and thus allowing my body, which is used to not eating and having to convert fat into energy, instant "carb" energy)?

    I would be interested to hear if anyone has any thoughts on this.
    Fasted cardio is a good way to force the burning of stored fat but you can't go too hard. Be sure to stay within your target heart rate zone (220-age=max heart rate MHR, Target zone is 65%-85% of your MHR) for example 220-30=190, 190X0.65=124 190X0.85=162 this is my target zone and when I train I use my Polar HRM to keep my BPM between 124 and 162 BPM. It is improtant though to eat properly pretty immediatly after a fasted cardio workout or your body will burn muscle. A recovery drink like Endurox R4 with the proper balance of Carbs and Protein is an easy route but you can get these nutrients with a well devised breakfast as well.

    If you are purely looking to loose fat and NOT looking to get stronger this type of workout will be effective, and is the sort of thing body builders do to cut body fat before competition. I wouldn't/don't train this way every day but I do use this method and it does work.

    Also if you want to go hard get some food (protein) in your body before your workout.

    John
    Last edited by Grasschopper; 08-13-04 at 05:57 AM.

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    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    Be sure to stay within your target heart rate zone (220-age=max heart rate MHR, Target zone is 65%-85% of your MHR) for example 220-30=190, 190X0.65=124 190X0.85=162 this is my target zone
    Please do not use this formula - it simply does not work.

    You MUST determine your MHR via a test, and there are many tests that can be practically applied, and that really work. Your Polar HRM manual has such a test included. Only after determining your real MHR can you start training using HR Zones. If you're basing your HR Zones on a generic formula, you most likely are using the wrong HR Zones for your intended purpose. Therefore, you may as well throw away your HR monitor, as it's for entertainment purposes only. Moreover, you will most likely be training in the WRONG zones, so that formula has a good chance of being counterproductive.

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    I try to ride 4 times a week and do 15 miles a ride (takes me about 50 minutes). After the ride is done, I eat breakfast). On weekends, when I have time for longer rides, it is usually in the afternoon, after I have eaten breakfast and lunch.

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    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bac
    Please do not use this formula - it simply does not work.

    You MUST determine your MHR via a test, and there are many tests that can be practically applied, and that really work. Your Polar HRM manual has such a test included. Only after determining your real MHR can you start training using HR Zones. If you're basing your HR Zones on a generic formula, you most likely are using the wrong HR Zones for your intended purpose. Therefore, you may as well throw away your HR monitor, as it's for entertainment purposes only. Moreover, you will most likely be training in the WRONG zones, so that formula has a good chance of being counterproductive.
    Hmm seriously? Hadn't heard that before. My polar has a walktest, is that what you speak of? I want to get this all right so I can maximize my weight loss. Got any links to some tests?

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    Bicycle Luge Racer khackney's Avatar
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    Torbjorn had us doing a max heart rate test as one of the "quality" workout sessions in May. Knowing your max heart rate allows you to calculate various training zones using any number of methods (see Different Ways to Determine Training Zones for a discussion). We've been doing running sessions over the past month or so, slowly building to this session.

    The instructions for doing the max heart rate test are simple:

    Find a long hill and run three 3-minute intervals up it.


    The first interval should be at 35 beats less than your estimated maximum heart rate.


    The second interval is at 25 beats less than max.


    The third interval is a bit different: The first minute-an-a-half is run at 15 beats under max; during the second half, gradually increase the effort for one minute, then go all out for the last 30 seconds.


    Repeat the third interval if you feel you didn't go hard enough the first time.

    Measure your actual max as you finish the final efforts. Can be done running or biking...
    Last edited by khackney; 08-13-04 at 08:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bac
    Please do not use this formula - it simply does not work.

    You MUST determine your MHR via a test, and there are many tests that can be practically applied, and that really work. Your Polar HRM manual has such a test included. Only after determining your real MHR can you start training using HR Zones. If you're basing your HR Zones on a generic formula, you most likely are using the wrong HR Zones for your intended purpose. Therefore, you may as well throw away your HR monitor, as it's for entertainment purposes only. Moreover, you will most likely be training in the WRONG zones, so that formula has a good chance of being counterproductive.

    I agree. Your target zone - if you base it on your max heart rate - should change as you improve your physical condition. The better shape the lower max heart rate.

    Couple of things that I have read recently.

    Seems there is more emphasis on making a determination of what your proper target zones by finding out what your lactic acid threshhold is than max heart rate.

    Whether you are burning fat or carbo's depends upon how hard you work out. Easy workouts burn fat. Harder workouts will shift towards carbohydrates.

    You can probably work out for 60 -90 min in the morning without eating with no real adverse impact. Your muscles generally will store enough to sustain you through that period. Beyond that, if you have no sources of energy (food) then you will start to use up muscle.

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    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khackney
    The instructions for doing the max heart rate test are simple:

    Find a long hill and run three 3-minute intervals up it.


    The first interval should be at 35 beats less than your estimated maximum heart rate.


    The second interval is at 25 beats less than max.


    The third interval is a bit different: The first minute-an-a-half is run at 15 beats under max; during the second half, gradually increase the effort for one minute, then go all out for the last 30 seconds.


    Repeat the third interval if you feel you didn't go hard enough the first time.

    Measure your actual max as you finish the final efforts.
    Ok so if I read this right I find a hill and run it for 3 min with my heart rate at 155 BPM (220-age 30=190-35=155)

    Then run it at 165 for 3 min (any rest in between?)

    Then run it at 175 for 1.5min (not sure I can keep this one going for 3 min) and then push for the rest of the 3 min until I hit some undetermined max?

    I think this will pretty much kick my butt but I am willing to give it a shot. Now the real question: how much different is this number going to be from 220-30 (well 31 really Sept 6th b day)?

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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I do all my morning rides without breakfast - have done for years. I've never had a problem. I think this varies a LOT from person to person, and eating habits the day before, also.

    That formula, (220-age=max heart rate MHR) was NOT designed scientifically, simply an estimate a couple of docs made while on an airplane reviewing patient charts (at least that is what I read somewhere).

    A better estimate for a fit person might be 205 - 1/2 age. Sally Edwards and Edmund Burke (deceased) have some other formulas in their books and web sites.

    But best to have it measured if you want to really know.

    I am almost 65, so according to the formula 220-65=155. I regularly ride hills at about that rate (155), so know the formula is incorrect for me.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    No need to eat before a ride it does more harm then good, unless you eat 3 hours before ride 200-400 calories.as long as you eat properly you have enough glycogen for 60-90 min. eating to soon before a ride you use your glycogen quicker!!

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    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    A better estimate for a fit person might be 205 - 1/2 age. Sally Edwards and Edmund Burke (deceased) have some other formulas in their books and web sites.
    LOL 220-30=190 205-30/2=190 Hmm so not trying to be a smart butt or anything but maybe 190 isn't too far off. I do appreciate the help and am willing to soak it all in as I still have at leat 40 lbs to loose before I am happy.

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    Bicycle Luge Racer khackney's Avatar
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    Ok, here's a con to doing observed tests. I personally think they are a lot closer than a formula. I would also recommend that if you decide to do a climbing test, that you not do it alone. It isn't likely that you can have a problem if you've been exercising regularly. From what I've read about it, you will get to a pain zone before you injure your heart. Few people can "push" beyond that level. However, you will be on a hill and presumably clipped into the pedals and exhausted. A liittle support isn't a bad idea.

    REPRINT:
    Nevertheless, there's a flaw in anchoring your workout to your maximum heart rate. Few people know what it actually is. To learn it, you need to exercise at maximum intensity (red line zone) for 30 seconds or so and record your heart rate. Exercising at this intensity is hard. It's very uncomfortable. Even highly trained athletes can't spend much time there. Exercise at 90-100% of your maximum heart rate and you significantly increase your risk of injury. I often meet athletes who are willing to take the risk to do a self test. They have usually used a heart rate monitor and have pushed themselves to their limit in an attempt to learn how high their heart rate will go. They have a good sense of the stress their body will tolerate. They're used to pain for gain. They believe the benefits outweigh the risks. They know the value of anchoring their training to a true maximum heart rate. But even for those willing to put themselves through a max heart rate test the result can vary on any given day for any number of circumstances. Maximum heart rate is affected by heat, cold, altitude, dehydration, medication, stress, poor sleep, too much to eat. It changes as activity changes. Get my drift? The heart is the king of all the muscles. Its ability to beat a maximum number of times in a minute in response to internal and external changes and to adjust the body accordingly is awesome.

    Finding Your Anchor

    The good news is that you don't need a formula to design your exercise program and you don't need a reading of your maximum heart rate. You just need to know your heart rate at your anaerobic threshold. It's easy to find out with a 'talk test.' That takes a little bit of time and a willingness to exert some energy. If you have a heart rate monitor, this assessment will be easy. Here's how it works. Start walking to warm up your muscles. (I like the Reebok walking shoes best!) As you walk, attempt to monitor your pulse with periodic pulse checks (preferably using your heart rate monitor). You can also pay attention to your perceived level of exertion (sometimes called rate of perceived exertion). Here you use a scale of 1-10, then describe your pace as easy, fairly easy, medium, etc. using this range of numbers where 1 is very easy and 10 is very hard. After you are warmed up, increase your pace to an intensity where your perceived level of exertion or heart rate increases about 5 beats every 30 to 60 seconds. Pay attention to your breathing. When your pace is sufficient that you can't sing a song without taking a breath in a place where you normally wouldn't, check your heart rate. I encourage folks to have fun and learn to say Mary Poppin's phrase, supercaclifragilisticexpialidocious!! When they test for their anaerobic threshold, they know they've reached it when they can't repeat that word without taking a couple of breaths. That pace is what I call your 'functional' anaerobic threshold.

    I believe knowing this 'threshold' number is much more important than knowing your max heart rate because it is the place at which your body shifts from aerobic (primarily fat burning) metabolism to anaerobic (primarily sugar burning) metabolism.

    Whenever I work with a client, we determine this number and, for the purposes of designing a workout, look at a heart rate chart and find out where this number is on the 80% heart rate line. This may or may not truly be 80% of that client's maximum heart rate. But with that point as an anchor we can design a multiple zone (and multiple benefit) exercise prescription that will increase fitness and decrease fatness. We'll know we're doing wind sprints when the intensity goes above that number. Most deconditioned folks are encouraged to exercise only at 50-60% of an age predicted max heart rate. With this program they exercise just like everyone else.

    There's more value to knowing this number. It's about motivation. Your heart has a resting point. It's the lowest number of beats your heart rate goes to at rest or the resting heart rate (RHR). The most accurate RHR is counted when you wake up in the morning before you sit up to get out of bed. You can get a pretty close approximation if you lie down and are still for ten minutes or so. Once you have your resting heart rate and your functional anaerobic threshold numbers, you can create a 'chart' that in relation to being dead (no heart rate at all) and your maximum heart rate (which you don't know) defines that range of exercise where the body prefers to burn fat as fuel.

    (Heart Rate Chart)
    With regular workouts that include 'wind sprints' above your anaerobic threshold, this number will not only go up, your resting heart rate (for most folks) will go down. If you create a graph like the one above you will be able to plot and see the changes in your fitness on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. We're talking major motivation here!!!

    Heart Zone Training breaks this fat burning range and the two levels above anaerobic threshold into the zones described earlier. Believing 'you can only manage what you can measure' Edwards encourages you to spend a specific number of minutes in specific zones based on training goals. Each zone has points (1 for Healthy Heart, 2 for Temperate, etc.) which are multiplied by what she calls time in zone--the number of minutes you spend in each zone. Recording accumulated points validates your experience. It's an incarnation of Ken Cooper's point keeping system.

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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    LOL 220-30=190 205-30/2=190 Hmm so not trying to be a smart butt or anything but maybe 190 isn't too far off. I do appreciate the help and am willing to soak it all in as I still have at leat 40 lbs to loose before I am happy.


    Okay - but for me,

    220-65 = 155

    205 - 38 = 167

    Big difference.

    Hey, at 30, who cares?
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    Bicycle Luge Racer khackney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    LOL 220-30=190 205-30/2=190 Hmm so not trying to be a smart butt or anything but maybe 190 isn't too far off. I do appreciate the help and am willing to soak it all in as I still have at leat 40 lbs to loose before I am happy.

    Well, you happened on a combination that works out that way. I'm 44 so try this...
    220-44=176 or 205-22=183.

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    Bicycle Luge Racer khackney's Avatar
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    Hey, at 30, who cares?
    He's just a kid, what'd you expect.

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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Ok, here's a con to doing observed tests. I personally think they are a lot closer than a formula. I would also recommend that if you decide to do a climbing test, that you not do it alone. It isn't likely that you can have a problem if you've been exercising regularly. From what I've read about it, you will get to a pain zone before you injure your heart. Few people can "push" beyond that level. However, you will be on a hill and presumably clipped into the pedals and exhausted. A liittle support isn't a bad idea.

    REPRINT:
    Nevertheless, there's a flaw in anchoring your workout to your maximum heart rate. Few people know what it actually is.
    I appreciate your thoughts. Good reprint.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khackney
    He's just a kid, what'd you expect.
    Yeah, and he likely sees me as a fossilized "elderly" person!

    Got to go do a 30 mile ride over some good hills. See ya all. Have a great day.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasschopper
    LOL 220-30=190 205-30/2=190 Hmm so not trying to be a smart butt or anything but maybe 190 isn't too far off. I do appreciate the help and am willing to soak it all in as I still have at leat 40 lbs to loose before I am happy.
    I am almost 38. My max (observed on several occasions over several years) is right around 200bpm. The formula says my MHR should be 182 which is WAY off in terms of determining HR zones.

    The bottom line is this - find you real MHR, pick your zones for specific training, and go. However, realize that HRT is not perfect. HR can vary according to a number of variables such as rest, weather conditions, etc. Therefore it's not absolute, or perfect. It is, however, one great tool for training, weight loss and controlling one's output on long rides. Good luck!

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    Senior Member Bolo Grubb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bac
    I am almost 38. My max (observed on several occasions over several years) is right around 200bpm. The formula says my MHR should be 182 which is WAY off in terms of determining HR zones.

    The bottom line is this - find you real MHR, pick your zones for specific training, and go. However, realize that HRT is not perfect. HR can vary according to a number of variables such as rest, weather conditions, etc. Therefore it's not absolute, or perfect. It is, however, one great tool for training, weight loss and controlling one's output on long rides. Good luck!

    220-36= 184
    205-(36/2)= 187

    Observed max heart rate on a killer hill at the end of a 30 mile ride was 194. and it may have been higher, I just happened to look at my HRM and saw the 194 as I was despartely trying to unclip and keep from falling over

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    Now with racer-boy font! Moonshot's Avatar
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    I believe after eating, blood is diverted to your digestive system to aid in the digestive process.

    If you want maximum performance from your morning ride I'd eat eat lightly or not at all or eat 45 mins or more prior to exercise.

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    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox


    Okay - but for me,

    220-65 = 155

    205 - 38 = 167

    Big difference.

    Hey, at 30, who cares?
    Right I know that as you get older or younger the numbers will diverge it just happens that I am at the sweet spot for these two calculations.

    As far as "at 30, who cares?"

    Well at 5'10" 250 lbs and a BP of 150/95 my doctor thought I should start caring. Now on Hyzar and fully under control of my BP (avgs 128/75 now), as well as down about 30 lbs (220-225) and working for another 40 to come off (target of at least 180 and 10%-13% BF). I want to get off the Hyzar keep the weight off and be able to keep up with my 62 yr old father who last year rode his bike from San Fran to Va Beach last fall and just started raching.

    Seriously I am soaking this whole thread up as this is wisdom I haven't heard before and I am on a serious mission to live a long and happy life with my wife and son.

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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Yeah, and he likely sees me as a fossilized "elderly" person!

    Got to go do a 30 mile ride over some good hills. See ya all. Have a great day.
    Well, did 37 miles including a humdinger of a hill Felt really great.

    As far as "at 30, who cares?"

    Well at 5'10" 250 lbs and a BP of 150/95 my doctor thought I should start caring. Now on Hyzar and fully under control of my BP (avgs 128/75 now), as well as down about 30 lbs (220-225) and working for another 40 to come off (target of at least 180 and 10%-13% BF). I want to get off the Hyzar keep the weight off and be able to keep up with my 62 yr old father who last year rode his bike from San Fran to Va Beach last fall and just started raching.
    Well, your father sets a fine example.

    Good luck in reaching your goals.

    Incidentally, today I seemed to go anaerobic at about 152 bpm, for what ever that might be worth.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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