beginner cadence and HR

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by chiefmd, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. chiefmd

    chiefmd New Member

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    I am new to road cycling and purchased a HR monitor and computer to monitor cadence. what should i be doing to stay in the 60-75% HR but with a cadence of 80 RPM. i will obviously be traveling at slower speeds to keep the HR down. How do I eventually get up to 18 MPH so I can keep up with a group and still have that heart rate at 60-75%? i am assuming that after so many weeks of traveling at 75% HR and 80 RPM that it will get easy and i can increase speed right? thanks for the help!
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Personally I'd use the HR information more as a gauge of 'what you did' rather than a regulator of 'what you should be doing'. IOW, go out and ride, try to enjoy your riding, on days that you feel good challenge yourself to hold a faster pace, don't go crazy and make yourself puke on every hill but challenge yourself to ride a bit quicker to the point where it takes focus and your breathing becomes noticeable but not ragged or gasping. On days when you have more time and are feeling good challenge yourself to go further and find new routes. On days when you're a bit more tired but still want to ride go easier or shorter but try to ride pretty consistently as in four or five days per week even if some are easy.

    Over time you can see how your HR responds to those efforts and can use it on the quicker days to help you know if you're really pushing as much as you have on previous quick days. On the easier days you can use it to limit your pace but in general you don't really need to hold back as much as you need to get out and ride. Hard efforts aren't a bad idea as long as they're fairly sustained and not a series of make ya puke sprints that aren't much fun and leave you too sore to ride on subsequent days.

    FWIW, consumer HR monitors became available right about the time I started bike racing (early '80s) and we all jumped on the technology wagon. In my case and that of many others I know it did more to limit our progress than to promote it with a lot of concern about staying 'below' a certain HR target. In many cases those HR targets are based on things like age lookup tables and wildly inaccurate for a lot of people. I swapped to riding with power meters about five years ago and continued to ride with the HR strap for a few seasons. It became very clear how much I had used HR as a limiter instead of an enabler. Sure many athletes use HR effectively in their training but if I was to start all over again and didn't have access to a power meter I'd just pick durations of interest like 20 or 30 or 60 minute intervals and just ride them at the highest steady pace I could maintain on my hard days and just ride to enjoy things on my easy days. Over time noting what the HR looks like for those kind of efforts might be handy but I wouldn't limit myself before I even started by numbers on some chart based on population averages.

    Ride a lot, ride hard sometimes (but sustainably hard) ride long sometimes, ride easy sometimes or somewhere in between hard and easy if you need more recovery and you will improve. If in time you start doing structured interval work then something like a HR monitor 'may' be useful but I'd still base those more on time and effort than a HR number. Even with my power meter I don't stare at the numbers and use it to strictly regulate pace. I glance down a few times near the beginning of an effort to make sure I'm in the right ball park then ride the effort on feel not hesitating to push a bit harder when the legs feel great or back off a bit when they don't. After the ride I see what I accomplished and use that information to plan future training or perhaps to schedule more rest. Either way the actual riding is based more on feel than on displayed numbers.

    Welcome to the sport and whatever approach you take, ride lots...

    -Dave
     
  3. chiefmd

    chiefmd New Member

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    thanks a lot..yea that makes lots of sense. i noticed that today as I got home i didn't really feel as if i had made any effort due to trying to stay below the HR. if anything i will do as you said and just use it as a gauge and try to work on my cadence and throw in some intervals.

    thanks again
     
  4. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Welcome ChiefMD. Time for me to give the Doctor advice./img/vbsmilies/smilies/ROTF.gif

    I am in my fifties and ride regularly.

    I dont use either a monitor or cadence function cycloputer. I ride century's, group rides and mountain bike.

    Unless you are training to become a racer I would not worry. If you are a beginer just get out there and ride your bike.
     
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  5. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    I think there are some drugs that will help you. But time will serve just as well. Ride a lot. Ride with others.

    You don't say what your current speed range is.

    You should determine your maximum heart rate by performing some sort of test you like.

    I am old and I use the heart rate that makes my riding no longer pleasant - 185bpm, as my max. Over a 3 hour ride my heart rate gets up to 160-170 (90-95%) or so on the steep hills. But I average about 130-140 (70-75%) while pedaling. On a 1 hour test my heart rate will quickly rise to 130 and then slowly rise until it hits 185 pretty close to the end. Most likely your riding with a lower heart rate than I am - you are not working as hard as you could.


    But ride in a manner that gives you pleasure. Speed takes time. 6 months or a year.
     
  6. chiefmd

    chiefmd New Member

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    thanks guys. i just started so the speed is about 10-12 MPH with a cadence of about 60 RPM. so im assuming that will get better as i just get out there and ride. the heart rate is about 150-160 during this time so im probably out of shape and just need to set small goals. i appreciate the wealth of information everyone
     
  7. DAL1955

    DAL1955 New Member

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    Yes, you are out of shape, but the good news is not for long. Ride as much as you can. I don't know your age so I can't guess what your max HR might be, but you really have to build up both your aerobic system and your leg strength. Pushing a slow cadence like 60 will strengthen your legs. Drop down a few gears and keep the speed the same and a cadence of 85-100 will strengthen you aerobic system. Alternate between these and in a few weeks, you will be surprised at what you can do. Riding often is the best way to accomplish this, spin class help some in the beginning, but with time, you will find the 150-160 range to be comfortable at much higher cadences, and your speed will correspondingly increase. When you get to the point that you can hold 15+ mph for extended periods, find a group to ride with and learn the ropes of group riding. A more experienced group will help you along and the inevitable I don't want to look like a complete fool will kick in and you will push yourself harder than you would in a solo ride. This too will help you develop fitness and strength. I started cycling again in January after a long hiatus so I was starting over fitness wise. At first, I was about where you are and over a period of about 30 days built enough fitness that I wanted to try a group ride so I found a local group that was willing to let a true newbie join and rode 32 miles and struggled to keep up at 15+mph. 90 days later and about once a week with them, 3x/week in the gym on a spin bike, I completed a metric century at an average speed of 17.8mph. I really have to work now to get my HR up to the 160's now when 90 days ago, just getting on the bike for a ride around the block took it up to 140-150. I'm 56 with a max HR of around 170 or so.

    DAL
     
  8. DianaRse

    DianaRse New Member

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    http://www.markallenonline.com/maoArticles.aspx?AID=2

    Someone was asking about HRM and training and I found this post helpful.
     
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