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Old 04-21-12, 02:24 PM   #1
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What does your heart rate "Profile" look like for a 3-4 hour effort?

I've been trying to pay closer attention to my HR data lately, and notice that after a good long 40 or 50 miles, at a solid effort (not lazy, not all out, very steady) my HR data is kinda all over the place. Granted, I'm riding over some pretty hilly terrain with lots of up and down's, but...wouldn't the most effective way to ride be to lock onto an ideal HR and try to keep it there?

....Or is it more effective to 'push' up a hill and recover after it? (vs taking the hill easy, and working the downhill at the same effort)

I've noticed that when I ride shorter/harder, the data is obviously more uniform and my HR does not deviate from 170's during such time periods. I can post some screenshots if what I'm takling about isn't clear.
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Old 04-21-12, 03:08 PM   #2
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Obviously, if you are riding up and down hills your HR will tend to rise and fall. This is pretty effective training. IN the first place it will improve your hill-climbing ability and in the second it mimics the sort of interval training that will raise your lactate threshold and VO2max.

As to finding an "ideal" HR and sticking with it, that too is an effective form of training, as long as you know what the HR should be, and why.

What training is most effective depends on what you are trying to achieve, what your fitness level is, and so on. As a general rule, your training should be a mix of long sessions at low to moderate intensity, shorter rides at higher intensity, and some interval training.

If you want to get more scientific about this, at the top of this forum is a sticky thread that tells you how to determine your anaerobic threshold. That is a crucial piece of information. Armed with it you can take advantage of the workouts described in the road bike racing sub-forum of road cycling. Good luck with it.

Last edited by chasm54; 04-21-12 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 04-21-12, 03:54 PM   #3
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And in terms of effective riding, if you ride with an experienced group you'll see that they'll charge up the hills and then take it easy on the descents and relatively easy on the flat. This is because wind resistance is a function of the square of the speed in still air. Thus one can most effectively increase one's average speed for a course by getting faster on the climbs where wind resistance is low. And as has been mentioned, going hard on the hills is also a very effective method of training the aerobic system to allow faster speeds overall.

Of course one shouldn't do this all the time or one will overdo it. So some rides fast on hilly courses, some slower on less hilly terrain if possible.
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