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Old 11-06-07, 03:46 PM   #1
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YAHRQ: Heart rate zones

Hi, I'm 30 and I have a max HR of 202 (well that's as high as I went during a VO2max test, have 54.2). I use 197 maxHR on my bike. My resting heart rate is about 54 but haven't really measured it (this was read a while after I got up..) I read about several sites that say to exercise at 50-60% MHR and stay within 70-80%. The thing is, I get to 50-60% just by preparing my bike (ie: putting on the lights, setting up the panniers etc.). I'm in my low training zone just moving around??

On my commute (15km one way) I stay about half of the time in the 70-80% zone and the other half in the 80%-90% zone. But I don't feel really bad or anything, usually even at red lights the HR drops fast. At home I feel good too, and happy. The next morning though I'm usually a bit tired and if I commute two days in a row I get tired; at three I'm pretty tired. I did about 3-4 times a week this summer (17km one way.. changed course) but since fall started with lower temperature and rain I dropped to about 1-2 times a week (excluding occasional weekend rides).

I'm not really a sporty guy but I love biking and my job keeps me sitting all day. But I'm wondering, should I reduce the intensity by going slower and commute more or I'm OK doing this? I really feel keeping 50-60% is impossible, I wouldn't move at all or arrive home super slow and keeping below 80% gets boring fast. When I stop the activity I usually drop to 65% fast and stay there while I undress and 'unset' the bike. I can't see myself "resting" on the bike below 65% and move (I can get to 65% on the bike, just not below). Can I deal with intervals and rest at 65% instead of 60% for instance?

Riding fast in FUN and I have a hard time slowing down, especially in traffic where I tend to try/keep up with cars. Also, the stop lights provide regular rests that wouldn't happen in a gym, so the intensity must be lower than it would be if I kept a constant HR right? What do you think?

Also winter is coming so its gonna get even harder. I still want to keep my commutes rather short because well after a days work I want to be home and also, I need to eat. Right now I'm managing by doing even less biking and think about using the trainer but that's not motivating. I do intend to do cross-country skying though; but only on weekends.

Last edited by DunderXIII; 11-06-07 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 11-06-07, 04:13 PM   #2
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You said that you felt fine going at what you give it - why not give it what you want to give it, then? If you're happy biking over 80% of your HR, and you can do it safely, then why not? You'll feel tired. Fine. Endurance builds over time, though.

During the school year (if the weather is nice) I bike between 7 and 35km a day, everyday. Weekends I might range from 25 - 40 a day if I have the time. When I ride, I'm almost always above 80%, after warm up. I feel fine after the ride! When I'm doing a "training" ride, vs a leisure ride, I usually am between 80 and 95% of my MHR.
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Old 11-06-07, 07:51 PM   #3
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Training zones based on HR are mostly uninteresting. Your LT moves based on your training level, and therefore the training zones change as well.

You can set these well using a field test. There's a sticky thread to do that or you can do a search on the carmichael field test.

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