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What is your heart rate training zone?

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View Poll Results: What is your training zone? Can select multiple zones
130-139
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27.27%
140-149
13
39.39%
150-159
11
33.33%
160-169
11
33.33%
170-180
2
6.06%
Am off the charts
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12.12%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

What is your heart rate training zone?

Old 01-04-21, 10:07 AM
  #26  
Het Volk
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
What zones range do you find optimal for your training?

At 66 I find my sweet spot in the 150s on the flats. Find I am efficient there without over taxing.
It depends on the type of riding. I am currently doing Zone 2 and 80/20 base training, so my HR for that training is around 135 - 145. But when doing 20% high intensity training, at that point, I just focus on the power numbers and my heart rate is where my heart rate is. I just try to make sure my Zone 2 HR and Power are aligned or power is above heart, as a sign my aerobic system is getting more efficient.
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Old 01-04-21, 10:08 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Do you have a heart condition? Aside from that, is it dangerous to raise your HR to a high level?
I always get concerned when people offer medical advice on the forums. Seems that should be a discussion with your cardiologist or general practitioner at the very least.

As for me, I personally, when doing hard efforts do not care about max heart rate unless somehow I felt it beating oddly, or went above what I know if my normal max (around 190-ish). If it went to 210 and was not a transmission error (which you can get with wind), I would be personally concerned.

Now - if my heart rate started going abnormally high when doing light efforts, I would seek medical attention.

Last edited by Het Volk; 01-04-21 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 01-04-21, 10:14 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Het Volk View Post
I always get concerned when people offer medical advice on the forums. Seems that should be a discussion with your cardiologist or general practitioner at the very least.
I agree, but stating general principles is not the same as providing medical advice.
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Old 01-04-21, 11:30 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Het Volk View Post
I always get concerned when people offer medical advice on the forums. Seems that should be a discussion with your cardiologist or general practitioner at the very least.
.
Agreed. It was more of a rhetorical question, since pushing your HR to a high level is not inherently risky.
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Old 01-09-21, 10:30 AM
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This poll is completely meaningless reductionism indicating the the OP completely fails to grasp the very meaning of what "HR zones" and "training" even are.

SMH.
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Old 01-10-21, 07:42 AM
  #31  
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I use power as the main determiner of training zones vs HR. However ,if I am planning a zone 2 ride at 230 watts and my HR should be 130 but is 150, I am no longer training zone 2 physiologically, and need to adjust something.

Last edited by denvertrout; 01-10-21 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 01-10-21, 09:10 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by denvertrout View Post
Power is the main determiner of zones vs HR. However ,if I am planning a zone 2 ride at 230 watts and my HR should be 130 but is 150, I am no longer training zone 2 physiologically, and need to adjust something.
How do muscle cells know your heart rate?
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Old 01-10-21, 10:48 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
How do muscle cells know your heart rate?
I don't understand your question? I edited my reply to be more clear.
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Old 01-10-21, 10:57 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by denvertrout View Post
I don't understand your question? I edited my reply to be more clear.
My point was physiological strain on the cellular level doesn't depend on heart rate.
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Old 01-10-21, 11:04 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
My point was physiological strain on the cellular level doesn't depend on heart rate.
Yeah, I agree.
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Old 01-10-21, 01:23 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
How do muscle cells know your heart rate?
I've thought about and researched that a bit.
Why does HR increase? What's the signal for that and from where does it come? What causes this signal to appear?

Actually, your muscles know before your heart, through the exercise pressor reflex mechanism:
The ‘exercise pressor reflex’, as it is known today, is activated during muscle contraction by stimulation of receptors that respond to either mechanical distortion or the metabolic by-products of exercising skeletal muscle. Stimulation of these receptors generates somatosensory signals which are transmitted to the central nervous system via thinly myelinated group III (predominately mechanically sensitive) and unmyelinated group IV (predominately metabolically sensitive) afferent fibres (Kaufman et al. 1983). Activation of these skeletal muscle afferent fibres during contraction induces elevations in heart rate and blood pressure predominantly by increasing sympathetic nerve activity.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2538775/

What exactly then causes HR to increase?
During exercise, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems gradually change your heart rate through the release of hormones and other chemical messengers. As muscles demand more energy, the sympathetic nervous system increases heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. The body eventually works up to a target heart rate for exercise
https://scienceline.org/2007/06/ask-hsu-fightorflight/

These hormones are of course delivered through the blood - every cell knows they're there.

So your question is really backwards: it's really, "How does your heart know about the physiological changes in your muscle cells?"

Improving the body's response to these physiological changes are why we have to train to improve performance. When we train low, muscle cells don't change much, hormone levels are low, HR remains low, and etc.

Of course you knew that, but thanks for posting the question!
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Old 01-11-21, 09:34 AM
  #37  
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HRM for cycle and run

At 69 I use the HRM to have consistency between running and cycling. I sorta follow Maffetone system. Been reading recently that VO2max (intervals) are a poor indicator to follow for training. Maffetone has me at below hr 130 for runs, cycling. This whole training thing is a bit fuzzy.
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Old 01-11-21, 10:43 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by 83cannondale View Post
At 69 I use the HRM to have consistency between running and cycling. I sorta follow Maffetone system. Been reading recently that VO2max (intervals) are a poor indicator to follow for training. Maffetone has me at below hr 130 for runs, cycling. This whole training thing is a bit fuzzy.
Poor indicator? They're not an indicator. It's a level of intensity that you work at to improve your ability to perform at higher intensities.

If you never ride harder, you'll never get any better at riding harder.

I think Maffetone stuff is archaic, not particularly relevant for cycling fitness, and exponentially boring, personally.
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Old 01-11-21, 02:02 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by 83cannondale View Post
At 69 I use the HRM to have consistency between running and cycling. I sorta follow Maffetone system. Been reading recently that VO2max (intervals) are a poor indicator to follow for training. Maffetone has me at below hr 130 for runs, cycling. This whole training thing is a bit fuzzy.
"is a bit fuzzy" eh? The problem is that the human body is very, very complicated and so are its responses to training. I'm reading a wonderful book, highly recommended, The Great Influenza by John Barry. It's about the 1918 flu epidemic, but it's also about the journey made by scientists to understand human response to infection. Took them hundreds of years and it's still not completely figured out - but we're getting better at it!

We're (as a species and a community) also getting better at figuring out training. Thus while no trainer out there is advocating bleeding, as doctors used to, there are still a lot of older theories knocking around as well as some new theories which may or may not have a scientific basis. Science is always a work in process.

So, enough with the ranting. You're training with HR. I trained with HR for 25 years and still use it as a valid accessory to training with power. Let's forget about the MAF method. First, I'll talk zones. There are really only three physiological zones:

When one begins aerobic exercise and gradually increases intensity one starts to breathe deeply and slowly, but at some point one's breathing rate increases and one can no longer breathe comfortably through the nose or recite the alphabet it one breath. One has reached one's aerobic threshold, VT1 or AeT (google). This is the top of zone 1. Below that point it's pure aerobic training (almost). As once continues to increase effort, breathing gets faster and faster, though still remaining deep. At some point deep breathing becomes impossible and one starts to pant. Just below this point is one's anaerobic threshold, VT2 or AnT (google).

Using the more common 5 zone system, the top of zone 2 is just over VT1, then come zones 3 and 4, with zone 5 being over VT2.

There are various theories of how much to train in each zone. It's probably best to train in all the zones until one gets the hang of it. It's a good idea to download a modern cycling training program and follow it. Google "cycling training plan"

If you want to really get into it, get a paid membership for TrainingPeaks, use one of their training plans which loads right into your calendar, and use a HRM which will upload your data to them.
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Old 01-11-21, 10:48 PM
  #40  
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Just to demonstrate to myself -- again -- the reason why I find heart rate of limited value for training, this weekend I skipped my usual meds for asthma, allergies and chronic upper respiratory inflammation and congestion. That includes ipratropium bromide (which has documented effects on heart rate and HRV), asmanex, fluticasone and albuterol, and occasionally Sudafed when even those don't help with painful sinus congestion. I took only my usual thyroid med, which tends to work gradually so skipping a dose or even doubling a dose usually doesn't have any immediate effect.

I've mentioned before that I can rarely do a Zone 1 effort (based on approximations for my age). My resting HR may be around 60, but as soon as I stand up it's 90-100 bpm with my usual respiratory meds. If I take a Sudafed or drink too much coffee it'll be 130 bpm just walking out the door to ride my bike or go for a jog. After warming up for 30-60 minutes, my HR will settle to something realistic.

But Sunday while it was raining/snowing here I did a couple of hours of steady, low effort on the trainer while watching a movie. My HR got above 100 bpm only once, for a few seconds. It was 99.99% Zone 1. That's after a couple of days without my usual respiratory meds that affect my HR and HRV.

Monday was nice and sunny but with a high allergy alert. So I took my usual allergy and asthma meds, including a Sudafed, and went for an easy three mile walk, no speed walking or jogging. My average HR was 116 bpm and peaked at 132 (probably when I jogged a little across a street). The walking effort felt much easier than the previous day's trainer session. That's 99.99% Zone 2, per guesstimates by Wahoo and Strava.

Sure, I'll wear my Tickr for workouts. But it really isn't a useful gauge for my workout conditions. Mostly I use it to warn myself (via audible alarm on my bike computer) when I hit 160 bpm, since that's generally pretty close to my flame-out redline. Most days I can hold 160 bpm for a minute during a sprint or climb before the legs and lungs suddenly fade. But even that is variable. If my HR is affected by my respiratory meds, my actual redline is closer to 170.

Unfortunately this also makes my fitness calculation software guesstimates mostly useless too. It exaggerates my calorie burn (no biggie, my weight is fine, I don't need a calorie estimator), power (I don't use power meters and without that power guesstimation software is even more useless), etc.

So I mostly go by feel. If my average speed on my usual circuits is faster than normal and the wind wasn't a factor, that's a good day. If it's slower, I know it doesn't matter what the calculator guesstimates claim about how hard it thinks I was working. And if I can keep up with some strong and steady folks on group rides, I'm doing okay.

BTW, my anecdote is useful to a sampling group of exactly one 63 year old guy. Me.
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Old 01-12-21, 12:30 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Just to demonstrate to myself -- again -- the reason why I find heart rate of limited value for training, this weekend I skipped my usual meds for asthma, allergies and chronic upper respiratory inflammation and congestion. That includes ipratropium bromide (which has documented effects on heart rate and HRV), asmanex, fluticasone and albuterol, and occasionally Sudafed when even those don't help with painful sinus congestion. I took only my usual thyroid med, which tends to work gradually so skipping a dose or even doubling a dose usually doesn't have any immediate effect.

I've mentioned before that I can rarely do a Zone 1 effort (based on approximations for my age). My resting HR may be around 60, but as soon as I stand up it's 90-100 bpm with my usual respiratory meds. If I take a Sudafed or drink too much coffee it'll be 130 bpm just walking out the door to ride my bike or go for a jog. After warming up for 30-60 minutes, my HR will settle to something realistic.

But Sunday while it was raining/snowing here I did a couple of hours of steady, low effort on the trainer while watching a movie. My HR got above 100 bpm only once, for a few seconds. It was 99.99% Zone 1. That's after a couple of days without my usual respiratory meds that affect my HR and HRV.

Monday was nice and sunny but with a high allergy alert. So I took my usual allergy and asthma meds, including a Sudafed, and went for an easy three mile walk, no speed walking or jogging. My average HR was 116 bpm and peaked at 132 (probably when I jogged a little across a street). The walking effort felt much easier than the previous day's trainer session. That's 99.99% Zone 2, per guesstimates by Wahoo and Strava.

Sure, I'll wear my Tickr for workouts. But it really isn't a useful gauge for my workout conditions. Mostly I use it to warn myself (via audible alarm on my bike computer) when I hit 160 bpm, since that's generally pretty close to my flame-out redline. Most days I can hold 160 bpm for a minute during a sprint or climb before the legs and lungs suddenly fade. But even that is variable. If my HR is affected by my respiratory meds, my actual redline is closer to 170.

Unfortunately this also makes my fitness calculation software guesstimates mostly useless too. It exaggerates my calorie burn (no biggie, my weight is fine, I don't need a calorie estimator), power (I don't use power meters and without that power guesstimation software is even more useless), etc.

So I mostly go by feel. If my average speed on my usual circuits is faster than normal and the wind wasn't a factor, that's a good day. If it's slower, I know it doesn't matter what the calculator guesstimates claim about how hard it thinks I was working. And if I can keep up with some strong and steady folks on group rides, I'm doing okay.

BTW, my anecdote is useful to a sampling group of exactly one 63 year old guy. Me.
Wow. Don't take those meds. Good grief. See a pulmonologist! You need to be on a proper schedule of modern medication, which will not affect your HR.

This has nothing to do with using an HRM for exercise.
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Old 01-13-21, 02:15 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Wow. Don't take those meds. Good grief. See a pulmonologist! You need to be on a proper schedule of modern medication, which will not affect your HR.
I'll discuss it with my immunologist who prescribed these when I see her next week. What would you suggest as alternatives?

This has nothing to do with using an HRM for exercise.
How would one use a HRM as a guide for exertion and training when the baseline and peak vary so much due to medications, other health issues, caffeine intake, etc.? There are millions of people with similar challenges posed by beta blockers and other meds for blood pressure and heart rate regulation.

I'll probably continue to wear the Tickr, at least for actual workouts, but after 2.5 years of monitoring every activity, including casual walks, including using an HRV app for a year as of this month, I have enough data to suggest that it's of little value for gauging appropriate training exertion based on the usual zone methodology. Far too many variables. And I see no differences between my fitness before I began using the HRM and after. In my case heart rate and HRV are more noise than data.
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Old 01-13-21, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I'll discuss it with my immunologist who prescribed these when I see her next week. What would you suggest as alternatives?



How would one use a HRM as a guide for exertion and training when the baseline and peak vary so much due to medications, other health issues, caffeine intake, etc.? There are millions of people with similar challenges posed by beta blockers and other meds for blood pressure and heart rate regulation.

I'll probably continue to wear the Tickr, at least for actual workouts, but after 2.5 years of monitoring every activity, including casual walks, including using an HRV app for a year as of this month, I have enough data to suggest that it's of little value for gauging appropriate training exertion based on the usual zone methodology. Far too many variables. And I see no differences between my fitness before I began using the HRM and after. In my case heart rate and HRV are more noise than data.
I'm not a doctor, but I suggest that medications or supplements which do that to your HR are not safe. I don't recommend that you discuss this with an immunologist. A pulmonologist is who you want to see. Long term use of Sudafed can make congestion problems worse. I take 10mg of cetirizine hydrochloride once a day for my allergies, but that's between you and your doctor. I suggest you try a Neti pot for your sinuses. No meds there. Fewer meds is better. My guess is that a pulmonologist could work with you to find one med that will solve most of your asthma problem without substantially affecting your athletic life.

My wife had been in the ER with her chronic asthma before she got help with its control and I have EIA. Neither of us use anything that would do what you describe and our symptoms are under control to the extent that they do not affect our daily or athletic life. OTOH, neither of us have been diagnosed with COPD, which is a whole 'nother story.

I've been training with a HRM for 25 years and found it an invaluable resource when combined with a well-designed structured training program. Though I now also use power, I still rely on it for physiological feedback while using power. I just did an interval set today in which I arrived at the correct power to hold by using my HRM. I recorded that data for use the next time I do that workout. That will make it an even better workout because I can go into it with the correct power level. When I didn't have power, I'd just do the same thing with speed and cadence.

I've been using HRV for 2 years and have found it to be of limited use. Sometimes it's right on the money in predicting good days for rest or hard intervals, etc., but mostly not. My practice is to do what's in my day's program and see what happens. It did tell me to stop using a statin, and did predict the onset of my PMR. I find what it has to say interesting even when I don't follow its recommendations. My opinion is that more information is better than less, but that's only if one knows what to do with said information. Every training act is an experiment and experimental data is only useful if it's recorded, analyzed, and used to inform the next experiment.
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Old 01-13-21, 07:02 PM
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My HR Zones

Recovery up to 123
Endurance 124 - 150
Tempo 151 - 170
Threshold 171 - 189
Anaerobic 190 - 201
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