Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Heart rate oddness?

Old 05-20-19, 04:08 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Fitness includes increased muscle mass, neural control of muscle, muscle vascularity, and oxygen utilization at the cellular level. These adaptations all act to increase potential oxygen demand and drive heart rate.

Is it possible to improve cardiorespiratory function out of proportion to muscle fitness? I don't know, but, that might result in failure to drive heart rate.
This. Many of those factors increase oxygen utilization and delivery. Which aside from increased muscle mass reduce heart load for a given performance level.

Originally Posted by 69chevy View Post
My max heart rate is 205. I just posted a ride where I averaged 180 (almost 90% max for over an hour). How was I technically anaerobic for over an hour without my legs filling with lactic acid rendering them useless if I am not fit?
ATP converts lactic acid back to useable energy. That's how you were anaerobic for an hour with out burning rubber legs. That is also why you were able to maintain 180, not 205 (Your actual max) To achieve a 205 BPM load on your heart you would need even moreeffort. You are fit.

MoAlpha is right & confirms my assertion.

Last edited by base2; 05-20-19 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 05-20-19, 04:12 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
Are you confusing "fitter" with "older"? Because, aside from age and/or some other ailment, one's ability to maintain a high heart rate does NOT decrease as their fitness increases.

Or, are you confusing "need" with "ability"? I.e., as a cyclist gets fitter, he doesn't "need" to maintain the same HR to match the previous avg speed over the same route. He is still "able" to maintain that HR... but (here it comes)... if he does maintain that higher HR, he's just going to go faster ;-)
Paragraph 1: It gets harder to maintain an average because the return to nominal happens much quicker than an untrained, unadapted person.

Paragraph 2: That's exactly what I am saying. He doesn't need the higher heart rate to achieve or support the same performance level.

Last edited by base2; 05-20-19 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 05-20-19, 06:11 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
This. Many of those factors increase oxygen utilization and delivery. Which aside from increased muscle mass reduce heart load for a given performance level.


ATP converts lactic acid back to useable energy. That's how you were anaerobic for an hour with out burning rubber legs. That is also why you were able to maintain 180, not 205 (Your actual max) To achieve a 205 BPM load on your heart you would need even moreeffort. You are fit.

MoAlpha is right & confirms my assertion.
I actually meant to disagree with you because increased oxygen utilization increases demand on the cardiorespiratory system, but that's fine. I'd rather be liked than right.
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Old 05-20-19, 07:02 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
This. Many of those factors increase oxygen utilization and delivery. Which aside from increased muscle mass reduce heart load for a given performance level.


ATP converts lactic acid back to useable energy. That's how you were anaerobic for an hour with out burning rubber legs. That is also why you were able to maintain 180, not 205 (Your actual max) To achieve a 205 BPM load on your heart you would need even moreeffort. You are fit.

MoAlpha is right & confirms my assertion.
Dude, your body doesn't even make lactic acid. You haven't been right about anything so far.
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Old 05-20-19, 07:39 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Dude, your body doesn't even make lactic acid. You haven't been right about anything so far.
Um, making adenosine triphosphate from glucose with out oxygen makes lactic acid. It takes about a dozen or so chemical reactions to do it.

Is this really going to turn in to a cellular respiration discussion? Any biology textbook can tell you how a cell gets energy.
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Old 05-20-19, 07:56 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Um, making adenosine triphosphate from glucose with out oxygen makes lactic acid. It takes about a dozen or so chemical reactions to do it.

Is this really going to turn in to a cellular respiration discussion? Any biology textbook can tell you how a cell gets energy.
Um, no it doesn't.

Lactate =/= lactic acid. Two different things. Go find a better textbook. And have some sourdough bread while you're at it for an actual dose of lactic acid!

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Old 05-20-19, 08:44 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Um, no it doesn't.

Lactate =/= lactic acid. Two different things. Go find a better textbook. And have some sourdough bread while you're at it for an actual dose of lactic acid!
You're seriously going to bust my chops over a hydrogen atom & a colliqualism based on general convention?

Jesus.

All this because some anonomous internet whoever had a hard time getting his heart rate up 'cause either his body adapted to exercise or his current exercise regamin in the usual manner: Increased vascularization, better use of aveoli, greater glycogen storage, increased stores of ATP, more cellular mitochondria, more hemoglobin, increased oxygen delivery, more efficient oxygen utilization, refined nervous system response, increased muscle fiber recuitment, etc, etc...all of which mean his efficiency has increased & his necessary recovery time from effort (hill, sprint, sustained high output, etc...) will have decreased recovery time making it harder to hold a higher average heart rate for a given ride.


...or he's overtrained and his legs are just tired.

This is stupid.

OP: What @Iride01 said might be on to something. If you want to get your heart rate up on the hills you gotta try harder. Work on your pedal stroke to better utilize ALL the leg muscles & create more demand on the ol' ticker. What you've got isn't being taxed very hard anymore.

Last edited by base2; 05-20-19 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 05-21-19, 05:23 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
You're seriously going to bust my chops over a hydrogen atom & a colliqualism based on general convention?

Jesus.

All this because some anonomous internet whoever had a hard time getting his heart rate up 'cause either his body adapted to exercise or his current exercise regamin in the usual manner: Increased vascularization, better use of aveoli, greater glycogen storage, increased stores of ATP, more cellular mitochondria, more hemoglobin, increased oxygen delivery, more efficient oxygen utilization, refined nervous system response, increased muscle fiber recuitment, etc, etc...all of which mean his efficiency has increased & his necessary recovery time from effort (hill, sprint, sustained high output, etc...) will have decreased recovery time making it harder to hold a higher average heart rate for a given ride.


...or he's overtrained and his legs are just tired.

This is stupid.

OP: What @Iride01 said might be on to something. If you want to get your heart rate up on the hills you gotta try harder. Work on your pedal stroke to better utilize ALL the leg muscles & create more demand on the ol' ticker. What you've got isn't being taxed very hard anymore.

No, it's just a tangent related to the general theme of your posts and ties in to the main point that your assertions that you can't go as hard or the equipment you're on matters and all that are flat-out wrong.

Pedal stroke and utilizing all the leg muscles (doesn't happen anyway) isn't going to help, either. Find a big dog at the bottom of a steep hill and make him really mad. Then he'll probably go harder. Motivation helps.
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Old 05-21-19, 06:26 AM
  #34  
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No. "All of this" started right here: "The more fit you are, the harder it is to hold a higher heart rate for longer." Sorry man. That's just complete wrong. Not semantics. Not splitting hairs. Just 100% flat out wrong.

I used your post as an example of why the forums aren't always a great place to get medical advice. Good for "Hey, can you recommend a light?" Bad for "Hey, I do I have a heart issue?"
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Old 05-21-19, 06:27 AM
  #35  
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....and yet the OP hasn't returned with additional, relevant info.
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Old 05-21-19, 07:02 AM
  #36  
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I didn't say you can't, get your heart rate up. I said it was harder to get your heart rate up.
I told the OP to try harder.
Harder in the context of this thread means apply more effort means get more motivated.

Like I said, talking past eachother.

Just standing on the pedals harder is stupid though. He should also work on his coordination & technique to optimize his muscular engagement for a good round efficient stroke. That is a raw strength & technique issue & the hills are exposing that deficiency in his form. Engaging more muscles from better form will help create a demand on the cardiovascular system.
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Old 05-21-19, 07:27 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
No, it's just a tangent related to the general theme of your posts and ties in to the main point that your assertions that you can't go as hard or the equipment you're on matters and all that are flat-out wrong.

Pedal stroke and utilizing all the leg muscles (doesn't happen anyway) isn't going to help, either. Find a big dog at the bottom of a steep hill and make him really mad. Then he'll probably go harder. Motivation helps.
What you got out of my post was I was asserting "you can't go hard?"
No. I said was it's harder to sustain a higher average heart rate.

And to suggest technique has nothing to do with efficiency or performance is absolutly wrong. It has everything to do with it.

Let's work on reading comprehension, shall we?
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Old 05-21-19, 07:29 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
I didn't say you can't, get your heart rate up. I said it was harder to get your heart rate up.
Yeah, you were very clear on that point - "The more fit you are, the harder it is to hold a higher heart rate for longer."

But this is what you're not getting - it isn't harder to get your HR up when you're fit. I (and anyone who races mtn bikes) routinely go from 70 to 170 (92% of max) in 300 yards and hold it for there for 2 hours. That has gotten EASIER not HARDER as my fitness improved. The only thing that changes with fitness is - what rubiksoval has pointed out several times - you just go FASTER.
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Old 05-21-19, 07:32 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
No. "All of this" started right here: "The more fit you are, the harder it is to hold a higher heart rate for longer." Sorry man. That's just complete wrong. Not semantics. Not splitting hairs. Just 100% flat out wrong.

I used your post as an example of why the forums aren't always a great place to get medical advice. Good for "Hey, can you recommend a light?" Bad for "Hey, I do I have a heart issue?"
Go to Strava.
Find a professional athlete.
Find a ride that professional athlete has done.
Examine his heart rate data.

You will see it will be "unusually low" for speeds/grades/efforts that most of us mere mortals aren't even capable of.

Know why? He's adapted & his rides just aren't stressful events on the same scale you, or I operate at.

There is a reason those guys do 4 hour centuries & don't crack 130 BPM.
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Old 05-21-19, 07:35 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
Yeah, you were very clear on that point - "The more fit you are, the harder it is to hold a higher heart rate for longer."

But this is what you're not getting - it isn't harder to get your HR up when you're fit. I (and anyone who races mtn bikes) routinely go from 70 to 170 (92% of max) in 300 yards and hold it for there for 2 hours. That has gotten EASIER not HARDER as my fitness improved. The only thing that changes with fitness is - what rubiksoval has pointed out several times - you just go FASTER.
You go faster for the same effort = Lower heart rate for same performance. Same-same. Equivalent.

Like I said: Talking past each other.
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Old 05-21-19, 07:38 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
....and yet the OP hasn't returned with additional, relevant info.
Can you blame him?
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Old 05-21-19, 08:02 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by f4rrest View Post
Can you blame him?
I think the others are tying to help by getting his HR up with all of the nonsense.
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Old 05-21-19, 09:07 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Grinstead View Post
It will be interesting to hear others views on my predicaments and maybe some who have experienced it.
Last year i had what i would say was a quite normal fluctuating heart rate as in it would increase under more strain such as climbing hills or just putting more watts down through the pedals. This year it has become quite bizarre as no matter what power or what gradient of hill it caps out at the same reading.
However on the flat i am faster this year but up hill i am well down on last and i can only put this down to the failure to increase my HR. Here is the thing though my FTP is higher than last year and my weight the same.

It's frustrating to fly along on the flat faster than last year only to know that the legs just wont get the watts down to create a good climb. I have had a medical check and all is fine .
I have been training quite a bit lately so is this over training and the legs just are not up for the job to climb and so not demanding an increase in HR or is it the legs are OK but the HR will not move them quicker.
Quite a strange dilemma i have found myself in that i have never come across before.
To sum up if i had a 15 mile course with 3 or four quite steep short hills and then flats my HR would stay the same or within a few beats from start to finish with the flats being fast but the hills dismal
Thoughts?
If you're trying for a good time on a 15 mile course your power should be pretty close to your FTP. To achieve the fastest time you shouldn't be putting out much extra on the hills, maybe 10%. What does your power look like? What does 'hills dismal' mean? Does your power go down on the hills? Or are you just not able to increase power?

It sounds like last year you weren't putting out as much power on the flats so you were a little fresher when the hills came. As your fitness has improved you're now able to ride at or just over threshold for longer and when the hills come you don't have a lot extra power. This is not abnormal. I have a 13 min test hill I use occasionally to gauge fitness. Because the hill is short I can put out over 10% higher than my FTP for the hill. When I hit a steep section towards the end I can't (don't want to) raise my power much above the average.
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Old 05-21-19, 12:35 PM
  #44  
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Thankyou for some of your kind replies. i have not been able to get to the forum for a while so rest assured i am not scared off. . Let me try to give you some more information to chew on although i suspect my legs are just tired and cant work hard enough to get my HR up so i am resting for a while and i shall see in a few days time. However here is a bit more i can give you.
I am 55 and my max HR was 155 and still is i think with my FTP at 236 W. however i am no climber as with that FTP i am 14 stone but i like to think a quite fit 14 stone . On the flat i can hammer along nicely but as per big guys the weight draws me back on the climbs.
But this should make little difference to how my heart should react and obviously trying to get up the incline should increase my hr as it did last year at around 150 but this year on the same course it just plateaus out at 135?. The wattage to climb this section is the same as last year but with a higher HR last year.
So one could say that i am fitter than last year and looking at my flat times they are quicker than last year. But it is strange to me that the times going up that hill are slower and i blame this on my HR just flat lining at 135.
So it flat lines at around 130sh on the flat but more power is being put down and so faster speeds than last year but hit that hill when last it would pop up to 155 and get me up at a quicker time no matter how much power i am trying to put down it flat lines at 135sh. It's as if this year i am on beta blockers . It is annoying as i know i have more power but the heart just will not pump enough blood to my pins.
It is the same on the turbo by the way where no matter what power i put down it plateaus out at 135??
Although one thing did cross my mind that recently i have not been doing any VO2 workouts which can be lost so easily at my age but i would not have thought by so much

many i have spoken to say this could be a good or a bad thing so rest is required and see what happens when i try in a few days
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Old 05-21-19, 12:59 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
No, it's just a tangent related to the general theme of your posts and ties in to the main point that your assertions that you can't go as hard or the equipment you're on matters and all that are flat-out wrong.

Pedal stroke and utilizing all the leg muscles (doesn't happen anyway) isn't going to help, either. Find a big dog at the bottom of a steep hill and make him really mad. Then he'll probably go harder. Motivation helps.
Motivation is the difference between kind of fast and a PR.
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Old 05-21-19, 01:51 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Motivation is the difference between kind of fast and a PR.
So true.

I thought I had an issue that may or may not be similar to the OP's (*I am not a medical doctor*). My speeds have significantly increased on flats and rolling terrain, but climbing got worse - and no matter what, I could not get my heart rate out of the high 160s.

Solution? I started riding regularly with a friend who keeps a similar pace, but can push it just a bit faster on climbs. My chasing forces her to crank it up, and trying to keep up forces me to push it harder than I would solo. The result is that we both get that nice high heart rate, PRs, and the always awesome close to vomit feeling.
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Old 05-21-19, 02:24 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Grinstead View Post
So one could say that i am fitter than last year and looking at my flat times they are quicker than last year. But it is strange to me that the times going up that hill are slower and i blame this on my HR just flat lining at 135....
I would still investigate whether it's really the other way around, which is really a lot simpler explanation.

If you want to get scientific about it, within reason that is, pick a hill and on two different days make a number of rides up the hill. One day, at the slower pace only and the other day at your last year pace. Record the heart rates on each day. Don't do any other riding on those days except a warmup, 10 or 15 minutes, so that you don't have other variables confusing it.
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Old 05-21-19, 05:20 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
What you got out of my post was I was asserting "you can't go hard?"
No. I said was it's harder to sustain a higher average heart rate.

And to suggest technique has nothing to do with efficiency or performance is absolutly wrong. It has everything to do with it.

Let's work on reading comprehension, shall we?
Well, I'll give you that. I do have a hard time comprehending posters who double-down on topics they clearly know nothing about. Keep digging the hole. Maybe you'll come out the other side at some point.
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Old 05-21-19, 05:24 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Go to Strava.
Find a professional athlete.
Find a ride that professional athlete has done.
Examine his heart rate data.

You will see it will be "unusually low" for speeds/grades/efforts that most of us mere mortals aren't even capable of.

Know why? He's adapted & his rides just aren't stressful events on the same scale you, or I operate at.

There is a reason those guys do 4 hour centuries & don't crack 130 BPM.
I've done lots of pro races. My heart rate is just as high as when I did cat 4 races. But my power is way higher. And my speed is way, way higher.

People do 4 hour 100 mile races at a low intensity level because of drafting. I've done 31 mph for an hour plus in races averaging 230 watts, a wattage I could average for 7-8 hours. How? Because of the draft of a 100+ riders.

Last edited by rubiksoval; 05-21-19 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 05-21-19, 05:41 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Motivation is the difference between kind of fast and a PR.

I find being stuffed to the gills with sugary goodness from pancakes or donuts or cookies or the like can help as well.
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