Heart monitor training

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by preston32, May 9, 2014.

  1. preston32

    preston32 New Member

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    I'm just looking for training tips using heart monitor training. I'm looking to do a 100 mile ride in around 6 months and do it as quick as poss. Every week I do 5 or 6 sessions for 1 hr to 1.5 hrs at 55%-75% of MHR. I had read that after doing this for a few weeks you would be cycling a lot faster using the same effort. But I'm hardly getting faster, if at all. Do I need to do more hours? And should I do some training at higher MHR? Any help much appreciated.
     
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  2. Colnago62

    Colnago62 New Member

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    The best way to get faster in the least amount of time is to add some speed work to your training. Doing some 1-3 minute intervals will help increase your speed. Try to get your heart rate above threshold by the end of the interval. Have a pace that allows you to just finish the distance without slowing down. At the end of the interval, ride at an easy pace until your heart rate gets down to about 60% of max. Try doing 7-10 intervals in one session. Once a week should be enough to see some progress
     
  3. preston32

    preston32 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. When you say get HR above "threshold" what does that mean? (Sorry if that's a stupid question)
     
  4. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    More hours. Higher heart rate.
     
  5. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    I would bump up the intensity to at least 70-75% of maxHR (tempo) if choosing the same intensity for a full hour or hour and a half, or a little harder at 75-85%maxHR (sweet spot) if you are doing some type of interval workout with a rest between sets, especially if you are doing durations shorter than two hours.

    65-75% is fine for longer rides (2hrs+) but wont give you much training load to improve in one hour (it's what a doctor would probably recommend for "good health"). A few days a week of an hour and a half is better than nothing but for a 100 mile ride though ideally you should be working up to at least a 3 hour ride (~50mi) on the weekends mixed in with your other rides. Accruing saddle time is important to condition your butt for 5-6 hours in the saddle, and developing good habits like hydration and refueling mid ride - things we can easily overlook for a ride of an hour or two but things that could land us in serious trouble over 5+ hours. Your frequency of 5 or 6 rides a week is great, but I would also want to have worked up to doing at least one 50-65 mile ride on each of the 5 weekends before the century, with a nice easy week of just riding around before the event to go in nice and rested.

    If you are limited on training time, as far as squeezing efficiency out of a single hour, there are two types of intervals I like: The sub-threshold interval (helpful in increasing sustainable speed), and the VO2max interval (which is a more advanced interval and very difficult interval to perform, but also largely aerobic). There is also the shorter 1-2minute "anaerobic" interval, but I'd skip those if you are not racing. I would say even the VO2 interval is not recommended for a beginner, at least until you have been riding for a few months, and not needed to enjoy a brisk century, but I'm including for it's academic value as no doubt since we are talking about intervals it's bound to pop up and more information is always better than less. It is in the truest sense "speed work".

    Sub-Threshold interval:
    somewhere around 15-20 minutes in duration, with rest of approximately half the effort (so for 20 min interval, 10 mins rest) performed at about 80% of your max heart rate (or if using a power meter about 90% of FTP [functional threshold power]). # of repetitions is 2 or 3. If neither tool is available, a level of perceived effort where only short sentences are possible.

    Real world application: 10-15 minute warmup at endurance pace, 15 minutes at 80%max HR (note that HR lags slightly behind effort so over the course of the 15-20 minutes "on the gas", your HR should drift upward steadily from about 75%-85%), easy pedaling for 7-8 minutes, then another 15 minutes on the gas, 5-10 minutes easy pedaling to cool down. Total time: less than one hour. This workout can be done twice a week and mixed in with your other rides without worrying about overdoing it. Some guys on the forum do this a few times a week.


    VO2 interval:
    It is important to be thoroughly warmed up for these (at least 15-20 mins). These are between 3-5 minutes, with an equal amount of rest time between efforts at an effort at around 90% (or more) of max HR. If using a PM 105-110% of FTP. # of repetitions is between 3 and 5. These are TOUGH! One should not be able to talk during the effort. Using HR is also tricky because it usually lags behind the effort so it won't be a minute or two until the HR monitor catches up to what your legs/lungs are doing and you won't be able to use your HR monitor to effectively measure the effort, so it may take a couple workouts to get the right intensity. The value of the HR monitor with these is post effort analysis. If you can't do three efforts of 3 minutes at the same output, you went too hard. If you find you can easily do more than five efforts, you went too easy. If you are able to say "wow I'm working really hard" you are not working hard enough! These workouts build tremendous fitness gains in a short amount of time but can also lead to burnout if not respected. If training for a century, I would only add this workout in once a week for the 6 weeks before the event.

    Real world application: 15-20 minute warmup, then wind up a pretty big gear (in my case I use a 50x13) until you spin it out, should take you about 20 secs (this is to flood the legs with some lactate), pedal easy for a couple minutes to come back down, now you are ready for your efforts. 3 minutes on the gas (in a gear that allows for a cadence of at least 85-95rpm: this is about strengthening the heart, not strengthening the legs), 3 minutes easy pedaling, repeat 4 or 5 times, cool down spinning an easy gear for 10 minutes or so. IMPORTANT: the first rep is a "throwaway rep"... do not kill yourself on the first rep. As fitness improves one can add a minute to the effort, or add an additional rep. I wouldn't do these more than once a week.

    Below is a chart I made from some workouts for a friend some time back that may help illustrate. When you look at how the HR drifts upwards over the course of the interval (but my speed/power output remain steady), you'll see why a lot of people poopoo training with HR, and why a power meter is a valuable tool, however for some of us HR is all we have and imo better than nothing. If you know how HR generally increases you can do a pretty good job of maintaining the same output. It's when people try to keep HR steady they are actually on a declining power output curve. On the VO2 chart you can see the two "spikes" where I spun up the gear to get ready for the intervals. You don't want to kill yourself here if you decide to do these, just get pumped up.

    [​IMG]

    One important point to note is that as our fitness improves, our deflection point (threshold), the point at which we accumulate lactate faster than we can clear it out, increases. So a rider's threshold will increase as fitness increases. For example, if I've been off the bike for a few weeks/months, my threshold may dip to as low as 83-84% of my maxHR, when I am in good shape my threshold is closer to 87-88%maxHR. This is another reason HR can be misused as a training tool, but once you begin to understand how your own body operates under duress and adapts to training, it can be a useful tool.

    As Colnago62 mentions, and to keep things simple, regardless of the interval duration, i.e. 15 minutes, 4 minutes, or even shorter, keep a pace that allows you to just finish the distance without slowing down. It is always best to finish the last interval as strong (or stronger) than the first.


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  6. preston32

    preston32 New Member

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    Thanks that's great. Will be trying some of this and have already tried doing a couple of longer rides (only 2 hrs but will gradually build up to 3 or 4 hours). Luckily I've plenty of spare time especially at weekends! I'd love to be able to do 100 miles in 6 hours but realistically I think I'm a year or 2 off getting to that standard as currently I can only do 30 miles in 2 hours which is way off the pace!
     
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