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Heart Rate Questions

Old 04-05-15, 06:21 PM
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msr13
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Heart Rate Questions

Is there a chart someone can point me to that indicates the target heart rate taking into consideration age and weight? And, I assume that that target should fluctuate as an intended ride is more or less strenuous. How does one figure out that target. Finally, am I correct that heart rate is a better metric to target than cadence, speed, and distance? Having spent the last few years riding more recreationally. I really want to start taking my training more seriously.

Any good books or references anyone recommends?

Thanks for any advice/guidance.
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Old 04-05-15, 08:08 PM
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See the information in this page, just down the page a bit:
https://www.bikeforums.net/training-n...-training.html
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Old 04-05-15, 10:43 PM
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Summary of above: there's so much variation between people that "average" or "target" heart rates are useless as a training goal.
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Old 04-06-15, 05:23 AM
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Yep. You gotta measure your own HR response. Target heart rates and zones are good only if based on your individually measured HR via absolute max, ftp, threshold, or some other established methodology. See Joe Friel, Chris Carmichael, et al...
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Old 04-06-15, 06:01 AM
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Thanks for the leads. I went through the site and got the books. Much appreciated.
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Old 04-06-15, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by msr13 View Post
Is there a chart someone can point me to that indicates the target heart rate taking into consideration age and weight? And, I assume that that target should fluctuate as an intended ride is more or less strenuous. How does one figure out that target. Finally, am I correct that heart rate is a better metric to target than cadence, speed, and distance? Having spent the last few years riding more recreationally. I really want to start taking my training more seriously.

Any good books or references anyone recommends?

Thanks for any advice/guidance.
It seems to me that there are two major approaches: heart rate based or physical effort/power based.

I, so far, have gravitated to the heart rate based methodologies and know them best...

After 45 years of almost a completely sedentary life, I started by just pedaling -- every day. But I was cautious to not go too hard. But that had its limitations.

Once I connected up with a preventive cardiologist, things started happening. The first thing he did was to determine my max heart rate, METs, VO2 Max and anaerobic threshold points on an exercise stress test with an echocardiogram. The result showed that everything was structurally sound -- but despite 2 years of 100-150 miles a week, I was still badly out of shape.

The next step was for him to connect me up with his exercise physiologist. He provided me with a personalized cycling program -- for which I use a smart phone and a heart rate monitor using a chest strap (the wrist bands are not accurate enough) to drive and monitor the program. And, the program pushed me to cycle not longer, but a lot harder. But not harder in a blind, stupid way -- but in a very structured balanced way.

After a year of that he upped the ante again and added HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to the cycling...

At this point, I may be in the best physical shape of my life. I still can't win races. But my only race is against the debilitating chronic diseases that we usually call "old age".

Works for me!
... But the key was getting tested and then developing an intelligent, evidence based program to get me to where I need to be...

The hard part is finding a physician / cardiologist who is more interested in helping you get healthy than he is in fixing things himself with knives and pills.
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Old 04-06-15, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
Once I connected up with a preventive cardiologist, things started happening. The first thing he did was to determine my max heart rate, METs, VO2 Max and anaerobic threshold points on an exercise stress test with an echocardiogram. The result showed that everything was structurally sound -- but despite 2 years of 100-150 miles a week, I was still badly out of shape.
Wow that's surprising to read 150 miles a week and you were still considered out of shape? How long did it take you to do 20 miles on average before the training change? Only been riding about 6 months and I'm no were near that a week do to time restraints, but I feel 100 times stronger and feel that I'm in much better shape since I started riding.
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Old 04-06-15, 06:00 PM
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Thanks, GeorgeBMac. Very helpful and interesting.

Right now I am just trying to figure out a general target as a starting point. I found this reference and while generic, it is very helpful. I shared the range with my doctor who told me it sounded good to him and to try not to drop dead. I think he was kidding.

How to Calculate Your Target Heart Rate: 5 Steps (with Pictures)
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Old 04-06-15, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by msr13 View Post
Thanks, GeorgeBMac. Very helpful and interesting.

Right now I am just trying to figure out a general target as a starting point. I found this reference and while generic, it is very helpful. I shared the range with my doctor who told me it sounded good to him and to try not to drop dead. I think he was kidding.

How to Calculate Your Target Heart Rate: 5 Steps (with Pictures)
The MHR derived by 220-age is seldom even close. Be that as it may, I went through those calculations and, even the the MHR number was not close, still got a useful number as a starting point.

Another thing to try is to gradually increase your effort from quite easy to moderately hard, over a period of at least 20 minutes. Initially, you should be able to tell a story as you ride. Gradually, you will reach a point at which you can still speak in complete sentences but they're getting shorter. If you can just manage to recite the alphabet, note your HR. If you increase your effort from there you should notice that your breathing rate increases more rapidly and you can no longer comfortably recite the alphabet. That effort where you noted your HR is the first ventilatory threshold or VT1. That's a very useful point at which to train, and it also happens to be the HR of my usual VT1 and my THR according to the calculation in that link. Could be a coincidence, but still a good sign.
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Old 04-07-15, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
Wow that's surprising to read 150 miles a week and you were still considered out of shape? How long did it take you to do 20 miles on average before the training change? Only been riding about 6 months and I'm no were near that a week do to time restraints, but I feel 100 times stronger and feel that I'm in much better shape since I started riding.
I don't recall how long it took me. But I was, while not taking it easy, well, taking it easy: when I started to feel overheated or out of breath, I stopped and took a break. It turned out, per my heart rate monitor, that I was averaging (while moving) 112 BPM -- which just a tad below my Ventilatory Anerobic Threshold which was 114. So, I probably could have continued that routine for the next 20 years and never improved very much.

But, knowing that I had lived an unhealthy life for too long and that I had a LOT of risk factors for heart disease, I was afraid to push harder. It was the cardiologist who assured me that I could and should go harder -- and his exercise physiologist (backed by the results of the stress test) who developed the program. Without those two gentlemen, I would probably never have improved much.

Two things (actually) broke me out of that low level:
1) Pushing harder increased my VAT
2) Breaking the limitations that the Crestor (a statin) had placed on my strength. First I added CoQ10 and felt an immediate increase in strength (probably 20%). Then, 6 months later I stopped both the Crestor and the CoQ10 and felt another increase in strength and endurance...
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Old 04-07-15, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
I don't recall how long it took me. But I was, while not taking it easy, well, taking it easy: when I started to feel overheated or out of breath, I stopped and took a break. It turned out, per my heart rate monitor, that I was averaging (while moving) 112 BPM -- which just a tad below my Ventilatory Anerobic Threshold which was 114. So, I probably could have continued that routine for the next 20 years and never improved very much.

But, knowing that I had lived an unhealthy life for too long and that I had a LOT of risk factors for heart disease, I was afraid to push harder. It was the cardiologist who assured me that I could and should go harder -- and his exercise physiologist (backed by the results of the stress test) who developed the program. Without those two gentlemen, I would probably never have improved much.

Two things (actually) broke me out of that low level:
1) Pushing harder increased my VAT
2) Breaking the limitations that the Crestor (a statin) had placed on my strength. First I added CoQ10 and felt an immediate increase in strength (probably 20%). Then, 6 months later I stopped both the Crestor and the CoQ10 and felt another increase in strength and endurance...
Ok thanks for the tips. Initially I did most of my riding in zone 3-4, but now I'm doing incline training and focusing on that I'm typically in Zone 2 75% of the time and the rest in Zone 3 with a % or 2 in zone 4. I do a form of HIIT as I typically push hard and out of the saddle when I start a climb. However since doing this type of training for the last 2 months I noticed my HR recovering a LOT faster and not getting as high on the same routes. This allowed me to now climb the same hills up to 2-6 minutes faster. However it also decreased my zone 3 time by 25%.

I really need to schedule time with my GP to get a referral for a cardio guy though since heart disease runs in my family and at 45 over 200 I'm a prime candidate.
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Old 04-07-15, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by LGHT View Post
....

I really need to schedule time with my GP to get a referral for a cardio guy though since heart disease runs in my family and at 45 over 200 I'm a prime candidate.
That's good - if you can find a good one. Most just want to do either surgery or procedures. The first one I saw was like that. Then I found a Preventive Cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic who specializes in cardiac "P-ReHab" - or doing the things before your first heart attack that they normally start after the first one in order to prevent a second one. I was fortunate to find him. I live in Pittsburgh and have to drive 150 miles to see him - but it is well worth it.

But, even a standard procedure / surgery type can run the tests to let you know if there's anything you need to worry about. But if he pulls a knife out - RUN!
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Old 04-08-15, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
That's good - if you can find a good one. Most just want to do either surgery or procedures. The first one I saw was like that. Then I found a Preventive Cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic who specializes in cardiac "P-ReHab" - or doing the things before your first heart attack that they normally start after the first one in order to prevent a second one. I was fortunate to find him. I live in Pittsburgh and have to drive 150 miles to see him - but it is well worth it.

But, even a standard procedure / surgery type can run the tests to let you know if there's anything you need to worry about. But if he pulls a knife out - RUN!
Thanks for the tips. I'll start off seeing if I can get a referral. Luckily I'm in So-Cal and there are a lot of options in my area and if not I can make it out to LA.
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Old 04-08-15, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
I don't recall how long it took me. But I was, while not taking it easy, well, taking it easy: when I started to feel overheated or out of breath, I stopped and took a break.
It is unfortunate, but this is the way most people in the United States "exercise."

I'm glad you found some solid advice and increased your effort to the point it has become beneficial to your health.
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