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Old 01-24-05, 11:59 AM   #1
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Cardiac drift + good to meet ya!

Let me start off by saying that this is my first post, and that I am glad to have found this community. I've spent the greater part of this morning feasting on the Road Forum and the Training and Nutrition Forum, and I don't see any point in lurking. This appears the place to be.

Okay, where to begin...

I am a 37 year old who got into cycling late this past summer with the hope that I might shed some pounds to become the runner that I once was (I consider myself 15 lbs over my racing weight). In the time before the cold weather came, I got the cycling bug pretty badly, and it occurred to me then that I might not return to the running scene at all. But alas, this winter I realized that the two disciplines can go hand in hand really quite well.

I committed to a local 10 mile race as a New Year's resolution, and promptly sprained my ankle a few days later Two plus weeks later, I still can't hit the roads or treadmill.

So I got a trainer for my Trek, and I have to say that indoor riding is far more hellish than I ever imagined. But at this point it's all I can do to keep any hope of realizing my goals for my race this coming April.

This is how it goes:

• My heart monitor (Nike Triax C5) tells me that my resting heartrate is is the low 40s (not bad, I know. But the rest of my machinery doesn't seem to be on the same page!).

• Typically, I ride in a low gear 42/19 with what seems to me is a very high pedal cadence (close to 120 rpm).

• It takes me a full ten minutes to get my heart rate up to zone (If I remember right, 146 bpm).

• By 30 minutes, I am at the upper limits of my desired training zone (166 bpm?).

At that point, I have to stop in order to allow my core temp to cool enough for my heart rate to come back down to say (in 5 minutes), 100 bpm. And it is at that point that I finish my ride (another ten minutes, usually).

From what I've read, this steady increase in heart rate (with no corresponding increase in workload) is known as cardiac drift. It usually occurs what the body can't properly cool itself.

Here's my question: Is cardiac drift giving me a false impression of a good workout? To put it another way-- is a "nicely zoned" workout and end in itself, or is a workout only good when that zone corresponds with everything else in the heart/lung/muscle machine?

I've got lofty goals for my race this spring, and my bike is my only hope right now. I wish I knew that what I was doing was right.

On a related note: to all cross trainers out there-- what do you suppose a 40 minute ride (30 minutes in the zone) translates to in running milage? I've been estimating about 4 miles and logging it as such with an asterisk in my training journal.

I know that this post was haphazardly put together. This is really more like three posts crammed into one. But thanks to any and all who may be able to shed some better light on my situation.
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Old 01-24-05, 12:12 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert on your question regarding cardiac drift, so I will defer to others.

However, I have noticed it often takes me a whole lot longer to get up to my training zone while on the trainer than while on the bike outdoors.

What I do is warm up for 5, then come out of the saddle in my highest gear, with full resistance on the trainer. I stay out of the saddle for 10 minutes, driving my heart rate up into the high cardio/low lactate zone. Once I sit down, I adjust my workout to keep it up there. If it starts to fall, I increase RPM and or resistance. It also allows me to do intervals into Lactate and Max zones by getting back out of the saddle and really cranking it.

I go a total of 60 minutes including a 5 minute cool down which usually gets my HR in the 120's. That's when I get off.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-24-05, 12:13 PM   #3
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dumb question - do you run a fan on you when you ride the trainer?

120 rpm is very high cadence for cycling - many racers typically ride at 90rpm or so

you might experiment with the trainer tension to get your hr to zone more quickly. something the spinervals dvds use as a warmup is 30sec 90-100 rpm in 52-15, 30 sec, same cadence at 42-15, repeat two more times. that gets me into zone much more quickly

it's a good idea to get something like friel's cyclists' training bible and/or training dvds (carmichael, spinervals) to learn about a productive interval based trainer workout.

you sound like you're in great aerobic shape already, and it's really a matter of figuring out productive cycling workouts.
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Old 01-25-05, 02:40 AM   #4
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Like iowarose said, it doesn´t sound like your major limitation is your aerobic shape, pehaps you should work some more on resistance. I recently read a letter i a cycling mag from an other recent convert from running, who could never keep up with other riders despite having a bumper VO2, the answer was that running doesn´t build quads to the same degree, and the answer was to do a lot of resistance training. 120 rpm isn´t effective try to stay between 95-105 with the same HR, and reserve the 120 for sprints.
I use my trainer i a room thats a little chilled from an open vindow, drink cold fluids to get my temp down. High temps can increase HR as you say (at least I´ve read it) but I can actually achieve higher HR out on the road in the frost. But the question is if you want relieve some of the overheating problem by higher gears and lower RPM since you propably will be restricted in your ability to produce a lot of watts by your le strength.
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