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how do you incorporate an HRM into your training?

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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

how do you incorporate an HRM into your training?

Old 07-08-13, 07:28 AM
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mshred
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how do you incorporate an HRM into your training?

i'm still a newbie to road biking, but i'm enjoying it very much and alreay want to find ways to get faster. naturally, at this point i'm still building a base and focusing on time in the saddle. i'm doing some intervals, but nothing crazy as i dont want to push too much too soon.

i've read quite a bit on training approaches and many refer to training with power and using an HRM. i dont have the budget for a power meter right now, but i could certainly pick up a decent HRM, however.

anyone care to share how they use their HRM for cycling?
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Old 07-08-13, 08:00 AM
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squatchy
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Charmichael has a book devoted to HRM training with different types of training programs. Friel also has a book for the same thing. You can pick your 12 week training calander and it tells you what to do each day
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Old 07-08-13, 09:44 AM
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before you start on any training regimen, you need to develop a standard point of measure around which your HRM reading can apply. The most proven - over some decades - your AT (or also called LT) anerobic Threshold. Determine that, and then work from there based on your reading and goals. AS noted there is a ton of info on the web or published docs on training with an HRM.
To determine AT, I suggest using the conconi test - it works
here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conconi_test
&
Here: https://cyclingfitness.hubpages.com/h...obic-Threshold

Edit: I really didn't fully answer your Q.
I use the HRM to get my readings in relation to my calc'd AT. At that point I will determine any training program, based on goals, and current results/standing.
I.E. - I'm late in starting my 'season' as compared to others in my area. In CA most riders ramp up their training by no later than early Feb. Because of skiing, I don;t really get 'on the bike' until Mid -April. SO I'm always a couple months behind on fitness, strength and efficiency.
So, right now I'm in my 'climbing' phase which not only helps for climbing, but builds power for me.
I do 2 climbing days now during the week and then continue with the weekend 'speed' work using the many group hammerfest available in the area.
The HRM not only helps me regulate and maximize my ride intent, but also lets me know when I'm too fatigued to continue and would be best served by a 'recovery' day.
It works... I'm finally able to feel that I'm now, this season, again at par with others my age and paygrade... Now, I'll prolly back off the climbing a bit and work a bit on my current anemic sprint.

Last edited by cyclezen; 07-08-13 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 07-08-13, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mshred View Post
i'm still a newbie to road biking, but i'm enjoying it very much and alreay want to find ways to get faster. naturally, at this point i'm still building a base and focusing on time in the saddle. i'm doing some intervals, but nothing crazy as i dont want to push too much too soon.

i've read quite a bit on training approaches and many refer to training with power and using an HRM. i dont have the budget for a power meter right now, but i could certainly pick up a decent HRM, however.

anyone care to share how they use their HRM for cycling?
Do you have it in your budget to pick up a Garmin unit with HR strap? If you eventually go to a power meter (and it sounds like your interested in that route), you'll want an ANT+ head for it, anyway, so might as well get it now - in the interim, you can use it to track which HR zone you're in, along with mileage, cadence, etc.
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Old 07-08-13, 09:59 AM
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Seattle Forrest
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I leave mine at home these days.
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Old 07-08-13, 12:06 PM
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I mainly like to use mine for pacing while solo riding and doing intervals. I base my zones off of threshold and do my workouts in whichever zone I need. But when riding in a group, I wear mine but never pay attention to it. I've learned that I do better when I ignore whatever my HR says and just go with how I feel. I can feel great but as soon as I look down as see my HR over 200, I instantly lose my focus and start fatiguing rapidly.
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Old 07-08-13, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I leave mine at home these days.
Me too. I had so much fun with mine when I first bought it. Lately I haven't even bothered to download ANY of my ride data.
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Old 07-08-13, 12:47 PM
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After using a downloadable HRM for 15 years, I still look at it constantly. Even if I had power, which I don't, I would watch it closely. This Sunday's ride, climbing 5200', I held my climbing HR to a 4 beat range, mostly a 2 beat range. If it started to drop and it seemed harder to hold the gear, I ate more. If it started to rise at the same effort, I drank more. I could have done the same thing with power, but without HR wouldn't have had the advantage of knowing my fueling and hydration levels. BTW, using HR we kept our climbing speed per hour on our tandem within 20', start to finish. Stoker matches my HR. Takes just a few beats one way or the other to make a big difference in endurance or training outcomes. Of course we have trained as a team for years to be able to make efforts like this.
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Old 07-08-13, 12:54 PM
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While I love the idea of using a HR monitor ( I own several) I almost never use it any more. It is fun and at times very helpful but once I figure out how my body feels and reacts to training I go with that. It is a useful tool to help you to know what working at X feels like but I found that as I got older and fitter the numbers changed and now as a 40 something it just does not matter. I was able to hold 175 bpm for ever...Now I would die.
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Old 07-08-13, 02:28 PM
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When I used one the only thing it was really usefull for was telling me I needed more rest when the numbers did not come up to where they should with effort.
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Old 07-08-13, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by popeye View Post
When I used one the only thing it was really usefull for was telling me I needed more rest when the numbers did not come up to where they should with effort.
Very true. I also use mine to take morning resting and steady-standing HR to check training status.

My numbers have changed, too. I test to keep track of the changes. LT has gone from 162 to 149 over the past 12 years. I'm sure the same thing happens with FTP, though it must vary also with training, while LTHR doesn't seem to vary so much that way.
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Old 07-08-13, 04:06 PM
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I only use mine to keep myself from blowing up on solo rides as I tend to go way too hard when I have no way to pace myself. I agree with the poster above that they are fairly useless when in a group.
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