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Old 01-09-12, 09:32 AM   #1
cccorlew
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Carmichael - Time Crunched Cyclist - field test heart rate

I'm going to attempt using Chris Carmichael's "Time Crunched Cyclist" program to train for a late-March double century.

Anyone using this system? I have a question.

The start is a field test where you go all out for 8 minutes to determine your heart rate levels for training.

The book says to use the your average you hit during the test, but that seems odd as there is a "ramp-up" at the start.

My question: should I use my mathematical average for the full 8-minute test (160), or my average once I'm up to full tilt (165) to detrmine all my training levels?

Here's a graph of what I'm talking about.


heart rate test. Click to make readable. by ccorlew, on Flickr
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Old 01-09-12, 11:32 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
The book says to use the your average you hit during the test, but that seems odd as there is a "ramp-up" at the start.
There is a ramp for the first couple of minutes but normally on a short, all-out, interval your HR won't just level out after the first 2 min. It will continue to rise buat at a slower rate. If you hadn't slowed for the corner your HR would have continued to rise more. I would just use the average and see how it goes. Try a 20 min interval while holding that HR and if it feels too easy raise it up a few beats the next time you go out.

In future, if you have a corner in the middle of your test you can keep pedaling while you're braking and scrubbing off speed. I do this when I'm testing to keep the power constant.
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Old 01-09-12, 11:47 AM   #3
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Thanks!
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Old 01-09-12, 11:56 AM   #4
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The 8 minute test is used because many riders find it hard to locate a place where they can go steady for 20 minutes, which is the more usual test, see the sticky on this forum. Outdoor field testing will often give different results than indoor testing, so Carmichael has opted to use a possibly less accurate outdoor test for simple, practical reasons. And IME, it works. What you are supposed to do is to TT for that 8 minutes, IOW ride as much distance as possible in 8 minutes. So you won't be shooting for a steady state HR. You'll keep ramping it up until you attempt to hit MHR at the finish line. All-out, just like it says.

So then you take the average for the whole 8 minutes, including the lower HR beginning and the higher HR ending. Remarkably, this average comports well with steady-state LTHRs obtained by the longer tests. It may take a few tries to get enough experience to do this without blowing up, which would give an inaccurate result. You can test your result on local long climbs, if you have any. It's understood that you'll have a good warm-up before you hit the start. So your beginning HR after warm-up will affect the result slightly, but the period of transitioning into a working HR is so short that I don't think the actual beginning HR affects the result much. When I'm ready to TT, I'll hit a working HR in about 200 feet. Hit it just like a racer coming out of the house.
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