Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

HR Zones

Reply

Old 12-23-18, 03:19 PM
  #1  
Harvieu25
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Atl.
Posts: 169

Bikes: Novara MTN, Merlin Moots Fatbeat, Specialized Allez, Merlin Extralight, BH Ultralight RC

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
HR Zones

OK, with Friel stating his own HR zones in the CTB, and the 80/20 concept of 80% of training is at 77% or less while the other 20% is at 92% or more, but nothing in that middle zone. Then you have the standard Z1 is up to 64%, Z2 to 74%, Z3 to 84%, Z5 to 94% and then Z5. My question is, with all the different opinions on what percentages of max HR the zones are, does an optimal system exist? Is the tried and true 'never train Z3, only below or above' rule really the king, or is sweetspot the way to go? Which do you choose and why? Is it individual or are some baselines good for all? Looking at different ideas this year to try and make bigger gains in 2019.
2018 was a great year in which I exceeded all of my goals, the end of my third year so I'd be crazy to not want more.
Harvieu25 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-18, 05:03 PM
  #2  
rubiksoval
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 2,666

Bikes: Felt AR

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1546 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Harvieu25 View Post
OK, with Friel stating his own HR zones in the CTB, and the 80/20 concept of 80% of training is at 77% or less while the other 20% is at 92% or more, but nothing in that middle zone.

That's not polarized training (80/20). Polarized is 80% of training SESSIONS are lower intensity, whereas 20% are high intensity. Meaning 4 out of 5 training sessions are easy, and one is hard. I think that system is boring as hell, and has not been proven to be more effective. In addition, depending on your event, it could be completely nonspecific to your performance goals (like a 40k+ time trial, or half ironman, etc.).

Originally Posted by Harvieu25 View Post
Then you have the standard Z1 is up to 64%, Z2 to 74%, Z3 to 84%, Z5 to 94% and then Z5. My question is, with all the different opinions on what percentages of max HR the zones are, does an optimal system exist? Is the tried and true 'never train Z3, only below or above' rule really the king, or is sweetspot the way to go? Which do you choose and why? Is it individual or are some baselines good for all? Looking at different ideas this year to try and make bigger gains in 2019.
2018 was a great year in which I exceeded all of my goals, the end of my third year so I'd be crazy to not want more.
There is no optimal system. There are lots and lots of ways to get fitness, and what's best for one person may completely differ from what's best for another.

Choose the one you enjoy and can be consistent with. Do a range and a mix of intensities. Do group rides if possible. Do unstructured work. Go for KOMs, etc., etc.

If you want bigger gains, you're likely going to have to create more training stress. You could probably just add miles to get there. You can probably sprinkle in a bit more intensity to get there. You can probably simply build on whatever you've previously done and get there, too. It can be as easy or complicated as you want it to be.

Personally, Dec-Mar I hit tempo/sweetspot/threshold for a big bulk of my intensity, along with 4-6 minute hill repeats in the 115-120% of threshold range (not applicable to hr). Closer to spring I maintain sweetspot and threshold and add in more high intensity.

In other words I go from long workouts for extending general strength (90-120 mins of sweetspot, to 3-4x15-30 minutes at threshold, etc) throughout the winter to more stochastic high-end intensity/easy recovery (3 mins max/3 mins easy, etc) as spring rolls around.

General -> specific.
rubiksoval is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-18, 07:35 PM
  #3  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 14,584

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 80 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1608 Post(s)
The standard American zone limits are nonsense, except for the 4/5 boundary. The new thinking is that there are really only 3 zones, below VT1, between VT1 and VT2, and above VT2. VT2 should be at the zone 4/5 boundary. See my new workout thread for a discussion of the ventilation thresholds. They are what I use on a ride, not arbitrary zone boundaries. I agree with the above, that work at all intensities is valuable. The issue with zone 3, whatever that is, is that it's too easy to do too much work in zone 3, leaving one too tired to effectively work in the upper zones, where the progress really is. That's sort of the essence of the 80/20 thing, though I also found it boring and don't do it. I much prefer group rides at a range of intensities. One need to find one's limits at all intensities and what mix of intensities work best to improve one's times. Thinking again about that 80/20 thing, on my very first group ride, my fellow riders forcibly pointed out to me that one produces a faster average speed by working very hard on the climbs and then recovering on the descents and flats.

.Be that as it may, more work like @rubiksoval describes will produce the best results, that is if one has the training and talent to be able to do that.

Max HR is never a useful tool for figuring out effective working levels. VT1 and VT2 are far more effective.

So what is the name of the geometrical solid formed by rotating an oval on one of its axes?
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-18, 07:58 PM
  #4  
rubiksoval
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 2,666

Bikes: Felt AR

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1546 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
The issue with zone 3, whatever that is, is that it's too easy to do too much work in zone 3, leaving one too tired to effectively work in the upper zones, where the progress really is.
There's a whole lot of effect to be gained from appropriate work in zone 3 and sweetspot. And it's certainly not easy. Building up to an hour+ continuous at sweetspot (with power) is a helluva workout.

rubiksoval is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-18, 01:24 AM
  #5  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 14,584

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 80 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1608 Post(s)
Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
There's a whole lot of effect to be gained from appropriate work in zone 3 and sweetspot. And it's certainly not easy. Building up to an hour+ continuous at sweetspot (with power) is a helluva workout.

SST meaning ~90%-95% LT? Yes, absolutely. One of my fitness tests is to do an hour's pass climb at ~3 beats off LT. Of course then I'm not good for that much, but that's OK. Builds character. If I were doing that with power, I'd have to start at a lower intensity. IMO that's still an interesting discussion.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-18, 07:13 AM
  #6  
rubiksoval
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Music City, USA
Posts: 2,666

Bikes: Felt AR

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1546 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
SST meaning ~90%-95% LT? Yes, absolutely. One of my fitness tests is to do an hour's pass climb at ~3 beats off LT. Of course then I'm not good for that much, but that's OK. Builds character. If I were doing that with power, I'd have to start at a lower intensity. IMO that's still an interesting discussion.
Yeah. I think it's 88-95%.

But even tempo, the ~75-87% has pretty significant gains, certainly more than the z2/endurance.

Personally, I don't really do any z2 only rides outside of a few morning commutes (with sweetspot or threshold for the afternoon commute). Since I don't usually do a ton of hours, it gets me a bit more bang for the buck. And the nice thing with that zone is the ability to do it multiple times in a week (if you have some training background) without destroying yourself.
rubiksoval is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-18, 04:58 PM
  #7  
Hermes 
Version 3.0
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: La Jolla, CA
Posts: 11,003

Bikes: Too Many

Mentioned: 270 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 476 Post(s)
All cycling training programs start with goals and to a large extent the talent of the individual athlete and his or hers strengths and weaknesses. A program that an athlete WILL DO is typically better than one he/she will not do - dah. Hence we are all individuals.

Some programs and coaches that promote programs are better suited to different events. Beware of coaches, know it alls or individuals that are the cycling equivalent of men who know 150 ways to make love to a woman but do not know any women - no first hand or recent experience or credentials.

I find max heart rate and heart rate metrics in general, do not work very well. I train and race with power and have been doing so using 3rd party coaches for the last 10 years. I wear a HR monitor and smart watch and use HR metrics for recovery and head room indication. I have heart rate and sleep apps. The apps use HR and I get my sleep metrics and waking HR. I find those useful. Sleep is extremely important in recovery and making gains as an athlete. I like to monitor my HR drop after a hard effort above threshold.

My max HR is 186 but I only hit that on the track (velodrome) spinning 128 rpm in a 500 meter race. So is that a useful metric as a max HR for my 20Km time trial? No.

IMO, @rubiksoval nailed it...at least for me. I do very similar workouts going general to specific driven by cycling goals. I try not to ride z1 or z2 except for warmup. I ride a lot of tempo and sweet spot BUT, I do threshold, VO2max, ANO2 and neuromuscular as well. If I were going to do stage races, long road races or long rides such as centuries, I would do long constant power z2 rides - 5 hours.

I race 20km time trials, hill climbs and individual and team events at the velodrome. I do 30 minute or longer tempo and sweet spot efforts on the time trial bike. I like to do a minimum of 20 minutes of non stop tempo or sweet spot power during a longer ride and try to do a couple of efforts. Shorter efforts (less than 20 minutes embedded in a longer ride) do not generate improvement for me and z2 rides are a waste of time. As far as threshold work, I like over unders and the minimum time for a threshold effort at 10 minutes. I like to negative split my efforts such that if I do a 4x10 minute threshold efforts, the last effort will be the best and I target 110%. I like to do workouts at the track that mix up the energy producing systems and do high power efforts mixed in with constant power efforts.

However, to mix it up a bit, I did a reverse periodization for my New Zealand cycling tour trip that I completed last week - specific to general. On the NZ tour, I rode 331 miles, 22,000 feet of climbing in 22 hours over 12 nights that included 8 days of cycling. The cycling was hard to very hard with a lot of climbing with punchy 12 to 15% grades plus long climbs. To train for that, I focused on threshold and VO2 max work with some 30on 30 off intervals. I did longer 2 to 3 hour tempo rides on the weekends. I did not go for long z2 rides in anticipation of long distances. How did it work? I felt great on the trip and generally was the first to finish a day although it was not a competition to be valedictorian of the tour. On the tour, I did not ride much z2. However, I got a lot of z1/z2 on descents and at other times when riding slower made sense for the terrain. So specific to general can work as well.

Some recommend riding a lot. If one rides a lot, one gets good at riding a lot. The question is when does one arrive at the destination? To ride fast, one has to train fast. If the only goal is to arrive then riding a lot at the target distance is a great way to train.

I have not found that riding tempo just makes one tired. I think that is mostly cycling dogma left over from the old days of RPE and HR only training. But hey, if one wants to ride around slowly in z2, have at it.

I like Coggan and Allen's model contained in Racing and Training with a Power meter. I find that most coaches adopt that model or variations thereof.

The bottom line for me has been riding at z3 for endurance and at or above threshold (a lot) has had the best yield. YMMV.

Last edited by Hermes; 12-28-18 at 10:52 AM.
Hermes is online now  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service