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Stoker's Heart Rate

Old 08-15-19, 09:19 AM
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Stoker's Heart Rate

My stoker is a very fit runner. The only cycling she does is as my stoker. She struggles to get her heart rate up on the bike. It is usual for her HRmax to be below my HRavg on any given ride. It makes her frustrated in a way, but I can imagine that it's different for a stoker. Any insights or similar experiences?
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Old 08-15-19, 11:57 AM
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Threshold heart rates are different for each person and vary from sport to sport. It’s not fair to compare your heart rates to each other. If you want to know “who’s working harder”, you could compare training zones or training stress scores. Getting accurate training zone data requires doing fairly regular fitness testing. If you both have the same fitness goals and workout goals on a specific ride, compare your TSS afterward. If you want to enjoy riding the tandem for many years to come... don’t compare your workout stats - just enjoy the ride.
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Old 08-15-19, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by OneIsAllYouNeed View Post
Threshold heart rates are different for each person and vary from sport to sport. It’s not fair to compare your heart rates to each other. If you want to know “who’s working harder”, you could compare training zones or training stress scores. Getting accurate training zone data requires doing fairly regular fitness testing. If you both have the same fitness goals and workout goals on a specific ride, compare your TSS afterward. If you want to enjoy riding the tandem for many years to come... don’t compare your workout stats - just enjoy the ride.
LOL. Having fitness goals...and enjoying riding our tandem are not mutually exclusive. And you certainly are right about the variability from sport to sport. I think we need to pay a little more attention to our data. My stoker wears her HRM sporadically.
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Old 08-15-19, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
LOL. Having fitness goals...and enjoying riding our tandem are not mutually exclusive.
That's true. We'll often go for rides on the tandem with completely different workout goals from each other. We each work as hard as our own workout prescribes, often on our own schedule. The beauty of the tandem is that we stick together independent of those efforts. When we're in a competitive group ride or event, we try to stay in the same training zones as each other.
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Old 08-15-19, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by OneIsAllYouNeed View Post
That's true. We'll often go for rides on the tandem with completely different workout goals from each other. We each work as hard as our own workout prescribes, often on our own schedule. The beauty of the tandem is that we stick together independent of those efforts. When we're in a competitive group ride or event, we try to stay in the same training zones as each other.
Nice!
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Old 08-15-19, 04:37 PM
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We've been tandeming with HRMs since 2007. We both use HRMs. She has a Garmin with my HR and a Polar with hers. I have a Garmin with mine. I don't see hers. Our theoretical threshold HRs are different, but in practice if she matches my HR fairly closely, we both have an excellent ride. We never have divergent goals on the tandem. It's a team effort all the way and we're both behind the effort, whatever it may be, 100%. We've gotten used to each other enough that we are equally tired/exhausted at the end of a ride. Our longest ride has been 153 miles/10,000'. Our usual distance is 20-70 miles. We ride 2,000-3,000 miles/year on the tandem. I seldom ride my singles anymore.
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Old 08-15-19, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
My stoker is a very fit runner. The only cycling she does is as my stoker. She struggles to get her heart rate up on the bike. It is usual for her HRmax to be below my HRavg on any given ride. It makes her frustrated in a way, but I can imagine that it's different for a stoker. Any insights or similar experiences?
Equinox,

Does your stoker use a suspension seatpost? we had them on our tandem years ago (telescoping and parallelogram). With both seatposts my wife could not get her heart rate up, even though she was trying to put power to the pedals. It was quite frustrating for her. We removed the suspension seatpost, after trying other fixes, and wa la!...her heart rate jumped up. We are in our 60's now but this showed up in our 40's. With the suspension seat post, try as she might her heart rate was usually 30-45 bpm below mine. Without the post we are often within 10 bpm of each other.

Tailwinds,
Charlie

P.S. My stoker was also a runner prior to taking up cycling.
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Old 08-15-19, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
My stoker is a very fit runner. The only cycling she does is as my stoker. She struggles to get her heart rate up on the bike. It is usual for her HRmax to be below my HRavg on any given ride. It makes her frustrated in a way, but I can imagine that it's different for a stoker. Any insights or similar experiences?
That's normal for everyone. Cycling uses fewer muscles, or should I say, less muscle volume, thus one's LTHR will always be lower on the bike than when running. I assume that HRmax would follow the same rule. If she's really interested, she could do a LTHR test on the tandem while you do yours and see how that works. The CTS Field Test (google) is doable on the road since one only needs 8 minutes of clear road.

Since she's a fit runner, she'll probably prefer a cadence of somewhere around 100 for a field test, maybe higher. My guess is that she's slim legged and that you're under-utilizing her talent. Try giving her a higher cadence normally, see if she likes that better. I ride with a couple of tandems who pedal ~100 normally. So experiment with cadence on a ride, see what works better for her, then try the field test.

In any case, she shouldn't be frustrated. I'm sure she's doing it right!
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Old 08-16-19, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
That's normal for everyone. Cycling uses fewer muscles, or should I say, less muscle volume, thus one's LTHR will always be lower on the bike than when running. I assume that HRmax would follow the same rule. If she's really interested, she could do a LTHR test on the tandem while you do yours and see how that works. The CTS Field Test (google) is doable on the road since one only needs 8 minutes of clear road.

Since she's a fit runner, she'll probably prefer a cadence of somewhere around 100 for a field test, maybe higher. My guess is that she's slim legged and that you're under-utilizing her talent. Try giving her a higher cadence normally, see if she likes that better. I ride with a couple of tandems who pedal ~100 normally. So experiment with cadence on a ride, see what works better for her, then try the field test.

In any case, she shouldn't be frustrated. I'm sure she's doing it right!
Very interesting.She is, in fact, as you described. Our body types and aerobic systems are different. She could run forever. I'm more of a sprinter, 5K sort. I generally feel more comfortable at a lower cadence. I have recently been experimenting with a higher cadence because somebody told me it was "better". I reverted to a lower cadence on a few recent rides, and my stoker told me the she liked that better. On a side note, there really shouldn't be any difference with HR recording on different devices, should there? For example reading HR from a Garmin vs. reading it from Strava on an iPhone?
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Old 08-16-19, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Chancy View Post
Equinox,

Does your stoker use a suspension seatpost? we had them on our tandem years ago (telescoping and parallelogram). With both seatposts my wife could not get her heart rate up, even though she was trying to put power to the pedals. It was quite frustrating for her. We removed the suspension seatpost, after trying other fixes, and wa la!...her heart rate jumped up. We are in our 60's now but this showed up in our 40's. With the suspension seat post, try as she might her heart rate was usually 30-45 bpm below mine. Without the post we are often within 10 bpm of each other.

Tailwinds,
Charlie

P.S. My stoker was also a runner prior to taking up cycling.
Nope. No suspension seatpost.
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Old 08-16-19, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
Very interesting.She is, in fact, as you described. Our body types and aerobic systems are different. She could run forever. I'm more of a sprinter, 5K sort. I generally feel more comfortable at a lower cadence. I have recently been experimenting with a higher cadence because somebody told me it was "better". I reverted to a lower cadence on a few recent rides, and my stoker told me the she liked that better. On a side note, there really shouldn't be any difference with HR recording on different devices, should there? For example reading HR from a Garmin vs. reading it from Strava on an iPhone?
Should be the same. Downside of phone is battery life. There might be small differences in that different devices use different averaging algorithms. 3 second average is common.

It takes a while for the uh, "better" of higher cadence to manifest itself. The neuromuscular system has to tune itself to a different frequency and force application. She can't get her HR up because she can't exert a lot of pedal force. However, "The output power of an electric motor is the product of the torque that the motor generates and the angular velocity of its output shaft." We can translate to cycling. Torque is then pedal force, angular velocity is then cadence. If pedal force is limited, the way to get more power is to increase cadence. More power output = higher HR.

BTW, you both use clipless pedals and shoes, right? Otherwise no point in discussing cadence, etc.
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Old 08-16-19, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Should be the same. Downside of phone is battery life. There might be small differences in that different devices use different averaging algorithms. 3 second average is common.

It takes a while for the uh, "better" of higher cadence to manifest itself. The neuromuscular system has to tune itself to a different frequency and force application. She can't get her HR up because she can't exert a lot of pedal force. However, "The output power of an electric motor is the product of the torque that the motor generates and the angular velocity of its output shaft." We can translate to cycling. Torque is then pedal force, angular velocity is then cadence. If pedal force is limited, the way to get more power is to increase cadence. More power output = higher HR.

BTW, you both use clipless pedals and shoes, right? Otherwise no point in discussing cadence, etc.
Yep. Clipped in. Nice explanation.
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Old 08-16-19, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
Yep. Clipped in. Nice explanation.
Thanks, I try. OK, so the other thing she can do is learn to apply force more continuously around the pedal circle.

Concentrate on relaxing the ankle. Let the heel drop as it will. The ideal of smooth, useful pedaling is to apply force only tangent to the pedal circle, i.e. normal to (or square off) the crank.
Say we start the pedal circle at 11:00. At that point the toe is lifted slightly, the heel drops slightly, the pedal is pushed forward, activating the quads. Even so, the heel will still be higher than the toe, though it may not feel like that. This force gradually becomes a downward force at 3:00, then gradually becomes a rearward force, at 6:00 becoming like scraping mud off the shoe. This continues until the hamstrings rather run out of gas at about 8:00. From there to 11:00 the idea is to lift up on the leg, but not the pedal. The ankle being relaxed, the heel comes up and the pedal is mostly unweighted. Then at 11:00 the whole thing starts over. The whole way around, feel for the heel cup. Mostly pedal with the heel cups. That activates the hams.

This sounds complicated and it is. A bit like a baby learning to walk. First we try for one perfect pedal stroke out of maybe 100, then maybe 3 in a row, etc. The idea of all this is to engage more of the leg's muscles, thus providing a more continuous torque around the circle and in so doing raise the HR without exhausting the push-down muscles.

Helpful video:

Note that their foot angles are different than for a road bike because they are rotated so far forward on their TT bikes. One can kinda see what they're doing by watching their leg muscles.
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Old 08-19-19, 12:39 AM
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It's quite normal for fit runners having difficulty to get the heart rate up on the bike. As far as I know the problem is that cycling activates the legs differently, and you need more specific cyclist training so the muscles will be able to consume more oxygen. As a fit person but a beginner cyclist you will find yourself with more heart/lung capacity than the legs can consume before becoming fatigued, and hence you don't get your heart rate up. I also came from running into cycling and had the same problem, it has taken me a few years for my body to adapt to the cycling effort.

Cycling at a higher cadence can help in lowering the muscle fatigue and increase the load of heart/lungs, but then the captain needs to follow suit of course.
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Old 08-19-19, 09:36 PM
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Does the OP's stoker/significant easily reach her target heart rate with her "native" sport, running? As in, does she wear a HR monitor while running to compare with what happens on the back seat of the bike? Does she even find HR useful to guide her running training? Reason I'm asking: I seem to recall that the heart rate response to exercise in trained women athletes is less predictable and consistent than it is in trained men. So, while for men, HR correlates well with VO2 and aerobic power, the correlation is weaker in women. There was some evidence that vagal tone (the overall output of the parasympathetic nervous system, which, on average, slows down the heart) is higher in exercising women. This is not claimed to be an explanation for lower VO2max in women, just that their HR doesn't rise as much for a given VO2.

Cardiac output, in litres/min, = heart rate x volume of blood ejected with each beat (stroke volume.) (Edit: Cardiac output is only one of many determinants of oxygen uptake by the exercising muscles.) For most of us, the immediate response to a requirement for increased cardiac output (e.g., exercise) is to raise the heart rate. As exercise continues, we increase stroke volume. This quantity is highly dependent on many physiologic inputs and is regulated in (to me) poorly understood ways but the gist of it is that a trained individual can increase cardiac output substantially without much increase in heart rate if large increases in stroke volume can be achieved. Generally speaking, most of us increase stroke volume through increasing the rate and force of each cardiac contraction and by lowering the blood pressure so that the left ventricle works against less impedance (sort of like resistance) as it dumps blood into the arteries. Some women, much more than men, can increase the volume of blood that fills the ventricle during diastole (the "refilling" interval between contractions) thus availing themselves of yet another way to increase stroke volume. And increasing diastolic filling is more effective at slower heart rates -- the ventricle needs time to fill. My recollection on this point comes from the pitfalls of using standard exercise tests to diagnose heart disease in women -- I have not studied exercise physiology per se.

So, I was just curious if her "failure" to raise heart rate much while cycling might be down to her individual physiology: perhaps her HR just doesn't predict her VO2 very accurately. I'd also wonder why is she "frustrated"? If she knows she's working as hard on the bike as she does on foot, why does she (or you) care about a number that comes out of a machine? Of course, if she reports that she easily reaches target HR while running, (or while riding her own bike) then my points don't apply in this case. But the physiology is still interesting. It's worth pointing out that academic studies of athletes have traditionally been done in men because they are easier to study in groups -- there are no monthly hormonal cycles that might increase statistical scatter -- and, as a (female) kidney disease researcher told me once, "Men have an easier time peeing into little specimen bottles."

I also don't doubt that the explanations offered by other posters make sense, too. Skill development in the basics of the sport and not just cardiovascular fitness contributes to athletic performance, certainly.

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Old 08-21-19, 03:55 PM
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Hi

I've been a runner and cyclist since the 70's. I'm a better runner than a cyclist and I'v always found that my HR is way higher running than riding. I prefer higher cadences as some have mentioned. If she is like me, she will find that her running times drop with the the increased cycling even if she cuts down her running mileage. Just keep up the hard workouts and use the cycling to substitute for long runs and easy runs.
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Old 08-22-19, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
Does the OP's stoker/significant easily reach her target heart rate with her "native" sport, running? As in, does she wear a HR monitor while running to compare with what happens on the back seat of the bike? Does she even find HR useful to guide her running training? Reason I'm asking: I seem to recall that the heart rate response to exercise in trained women athletes is less predictable and consistent than it is in trained men. So, while for men, HR correlates well with VO2 and aerobic power, the correlation is weaker in women. There was some evidence that vagal tone (the overall output of the parasympathetic nervous system, which, on average, slows down the heart) is higher in exercising women. This is not claimed to be an explanation for lower VO2max in women, just that their HR doesn't rise as much for a given VO2.

Cardiac output, in litres/min, = heart rate x volume of blood ejected with each beat (stroke volume.) (Edit: Cardiac output is only one of many determinants of oxygen uptake by the exercising muscles.) For most of us, the immediate response to a requirement for increased cardiac output (e.g., exercise) is to raise the heart rate. As exercise continues, we increase stroke volume. This quantity is highly dependent on many physiologic inputs and is regulated in (to me) poorly understood ways but the gist of it is that a trained individual can increase cardiac output substantially without much increase in heart rate if large increases in stroke volume can be achieved. Generally speaking, most of us increase stroke volume through increasing the rate and force of each cardiac contraction and by lowering the blood pressure so that the left ventricle works against less impedance (sort of like resistance) as it dumps blood into the arteries. Some women, much more than men, can increase the volume of blood that fills the ventricle during diastole (the "refilling" interval between contractions) thus availing themselves of yet another way to increase stroke volume. And increasing diastolic filling is more effective at slower heart rates -- the ventricle needs time to fill. My recollection on this point comes from the pitfalls of using standard exercise tests to diagnose heart disease in women -- I have not studied exercise physiology per se.

So, I was just curious if her "failure" to raise heart rate much while cycling might be down to her individual physiology: perhaps her HR just doesn't predict her VO2 very accurately. I'd also wonder why is she "frustrated"? If she knows she's working as hard on the bike as she does on foot, why does she (or you) care about a number that comes out of a machine? Of course, if she reports that she easily reaches target HR while running, (or while riding her own bike) then my points don't apply in this case. But the physiology is still interesting. It's worth pointing out that academic studies of athletes have traditionally been done in men because they are easier to study in groups -- there are no monthly hormonal cycles that might increase statistical scatter -- and, as a (female) kidney disease researcher told me once, "Men have an easier time peeing into little specimen bottles."

I also don't doubt that the explanations offered by other posters make sense, too. Skill development in the basics of the sport and not just cardiovascular fitness contributes to athletic performance, certainly.
This interests me. My wife can hit 165 doing dressage (horse ballet), but gets exhausted stoking at 130. Rather than going by what should be her HR zones, I have her go by her breathing on the bike. This works out give her a HR about the same as mine. I've always attributed her relatively low HR on the bike to her unusually low lung volume (350 on a peak flow meter is exceptional), but maybe there's more to it than that.
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Old 08-22-19, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
This interests me. My wife can hit 165 doing dressage (horse ballet), but gets exhausted stoking at 130. Rather than going by what should be her HR zones, I have her go by her breathing on the bike. This works out give her a HR about the same as mine. I've always attributed her relatively low HR on the bike to her unusually low lung volume (350 on a peak flow meter is exceptional), but maybe there's more to it than that.
I thank @Carbonfiberboy for his interest. Just speculating....I wonder if the extreme degree of concentration and commitment for and during dressage ("dressage is not for dilettantes", to coin a phrase) causes accentuated sympthathetic responses (adrenaline and all that) beyond the purely metabolic demands. This might boost the heart rate more than someone "in the zone" and blissing out while running, despite working hard, who might be counteracting adrenaline with vagal responses as I mentioned above, or even endorphins. Performance anxiety can certainly cause sweating and rapid heart rate in musicians and oral exam-takers, beyond the metabolic demands of the activity (low in an exam but can be substantial in Rachmaninoff and Liszt piano concertos -- there is even a Beethoven piano work called "hammerklavier" which means just what you think, and it's long!)

Awareness of breathing is a perfectly sensible way to gauge athletic effort, especially for someone who may have some lung limitations. Most of us can't tolerate an elevated "work of breathing" (as we call it) for very long; the effort itself is exhausting. We can increase our breathing rate and depth, sure, but when it becomes a struggle, we stop. So if you find it hard to speak in full sentences but don't feel like you're suffering (and have trained hard enough to know what suffering is) from air hunger, you're probably working hard enough to gain fitness and to satisfy even the most demanding amateur-recreational "coach." At least that's what we do. I don't know my own HR, and I sure don't know Mrs. C's. Granted our tandem-related goals at 65 (each) are different from someone who wants to win a time trial. But we both like to work hard, and we like hills enough to stitch our little ones together to make big ones.

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Old 08-22-19, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Since she's a fit runner, she'll probably prefer a cadence of somewhere around 100 for a field test, maybe higher. My guess is that she's slim legged and that you're under-utilizing her talent. Try giving her a higher cadence normally, see if she likes that better. I ride with a couple of tandems who pedal ~100 normally. So experiment with cadence on a ride, see what works better for her, then try the field test.

In any case, she shouldn't be frustrated. I'm sure she's doing it right!
I was wondering about the OP trying a different cadence, either higher or lower than he might normally select, to see how it affects the ride.

To some extent, one can adjust perception of cadence with crank length.

So, a longer crank length will be perceived as a higher cadence, and a shorter crank length will be perceived as a slower cadence.

Anyway, first try a difference cadence/gearing choice, taking one out of one's comfort zone, and see how it impacts the ride. Then perhaps consider adjusting crank length for either the stoker or captain, or both.
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Old 08-22-19, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
This interests me. My wife can hit 165 doing dressage (horse ballet), but gets exhausted stoking at 130. Rather than going by what should be her HR zones, I have her go by her breathing on the bike. This works out give her a HR about the same as mine. I've always attributed her relatively low HR on the bike to her unusually low lung volume (350 on a peak flow meter is exceptional), but maybe there's more to it than that.
This almost exact;y describes my stoker. We are both 65. She did intervals on Monday and was maxing out at 166bpm. On our ride last night, she averaged 113 and maxed at 138. But she definitely worked.
I'm not clear how you extrapolate HR from breathing.
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Old 08-22-19, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
This almost exact;y describes my stoker. We are both 65. She did intervals on Monday and was maxing out at 166bpm. On our ride last night, she averaged 113 and maxed at 138. But she definitely worked.
I'm not clear how you extrapolate HR from breathing.
IME you can't. Too many variables in physiology. However one can simply ride to breathing, ignoring HR and power, and do quite well. That's what everyone used to do . . .

There's a progression. There's normal resting breathing. As one begins to exercise, gradually increasing intensity, deeper breathing begins. Breathing continues to deepen until at a rather definite point that slow rhythm no longer works and breathing rate begins to rapidly increase. That's VT1, the first ventilation threshold, usually about the top of Z2 in the 5-zone system. From then on up, breathing rate continues to increase even though one is doing full belly-breathing. At some also rather definite point, regular deep breathing ceases and one begins to pant uncontrollably, a point known as VT2 or the 2nd ventilation threshold. This is usually a little past FTP or LTHR. VT2 happens because of excess CO2 in the blood, not from lack of oxygen.
https://www.acefitness.org/fitness-c...t2-and-vo2-max

So one can estimate one's effort just from breathing state. So like I said, my wife doesn't try to fit her HR into zones, rather she just rides to her breathing. I can hear her breathing, even though she can't hear me, so I can tell her how she's doing if she seems much too high or too low.Tactfully of course.
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Old 08-23-19, 05:31 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
IME you can't. Too many variables in physiology. However one can simply ride to breathing, ignoring HR and power, and do quite well. That's what everyone used to do . . .

There's a progression. There's normal resting breathing. As one begins to exercise, gradually increasing intensity, deeper breathing begins. Breathing continues to deepen until at a rather definite point that slow rhythm no longer works and breathing rate begins to rapidly increase. That's VT1, the first ventilation threshold, usually about the top of Z2 in the 5-zone system. From then on up, breathing rate continues to increase even though one is doing full belly-breathing. At some also rather definite point, regular deep breathing ceases and one begins to pant uncontrollably, a point known as VT2 or the 2nd ventilation threshold. This is usually a little past FTP or LTHR. VT2 happens because of excess CO2 in the blood, not from lack of oxygen.
https://www.acefitness.org/fitness-c...t2-and-vo2-max

So one can estimate one's effort just from breathing state. So like I said, my wife doesn't try to fit her HR into zones, rather she just rides to her breathing. I can hear her breathing, even though she can't hear me, so I can tell her how she's doing if she seems much too high or too low.Tactfully of course.
Another thing about my stoker. She doesn't ride a bike on her own. She grew up in a city with parents who did not value things like this for girls, so she never learned. I really believe cycling skills have to be wired at an early age. I think her role and position as stoker also affect her athletic markers. She is an excellent stoker, but she isn't primarily responsible for keeping the bike going. She's not shifting or braking or trying to decide on the best cadence. She can daydream and sight see a little if she wants. She can focus on other things if she wants to. Not criticizing her at all. I think it could be a consequence of being a stoker
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Old 08-23-19, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
IME you can't. Too many variables in physiology. However one can simply ride to breathing, ignoring HR and power, and do quite well. That's what everyone used to do . . .
Exactly. And thanks for the fuller explanation than I had at hand. The main drawback of ignoring HR in gauging training is that it damages the market for selling HR monitors. Using breathing, you don't even have to count breaths (because depth matters more than rate anyway), you just have to be aware of what your sensation of breathing effort is telling you. Just a quick physiologic point: both CO2 and acidosis, independently, are potent stimuli for respiratory drive, with acidosis being due, in the athletic setting, to anaerobic metabolism during extreme exercise producing lactic acid instead of feeding pyruvate into the aerobic pathways, hence the familiar "oxygen debt" (which is an oversimplification.) The beauty of our lungs is that we can excrete both CO2 and acid just by breathing. Really. You are quite correct that low oxygen content in the blood does not reliably by itself stimulate the drive to breathe.
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Old 08-23-19, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
Exactly. And thanks for the fuller explanation than I had at hand. The main drawback of ignoring HR in gauging training is that it damages the market for selling HR monitors. Using breathing, you don't even have to count breaths (because depth matters more than rate anyway), you just have to be aware of what your sensation of breathing effort is telling you. Just a quick physiologic point: both CO2 and acidosis, independently, are potent stimuli for respiratory drive, with acidosis being due, in the athletic setting, to anaerobic metabolism during extreme exercise producing lactic acid instead of feeding pyruvate into the aerobic pathways, hence the familiar "oxygen debt" (which is an oversimplification.) The beauty of our lungs is that we can excrete both CO2 and acid just by breathing. Really. You are quite correct that low oxygen content in the blood does not reliably by itself stimulate the drive to breathe.
Hoping not to derail the thread too much, I have a question. On really hard rides, where I'm going hard but not to my knowledge anaerobic, I get acidotic. Even after the ride, for several minutes, sometimes even almost an hour, I'll still be breathing rapidly as though I were still riding. I put that down to acidosis, but don't know why or why me.
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Old 08-23-19, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Hoping not to derail the thread too much, I have a question. On really hard rides, where I'm going hard but not to my knowledge anaerobic, I get acidotic. Even after the ride, for several minutes, sometimes even almost an hour, I'll still be breathing rapidly as though I were still riding. I put that down to acidosis, but don't know why or why me.
Not sure I follow. I thought going hard necessarily implies a contribution from anaerobic metabolism of glucose/glycogen, in greater or lesser amount depending on how hard for how long. If I'm not misunderstanding you, I would say that the after-effects of doing this, where the body both recovers from the effects of anaerobic work (which is more than just buffering lactic acid) and replenishes glycogen reserves, require energy. So metabolic rate (and therefore the increased ventilation needed to excrete the CO2 produced thereby) remains elevated for some time after the exercise finishes. Happy to expand on this if you like.
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