How to use a HRM properly

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by samcrx3, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. samcrx3

    samcrx3 New Member

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    I've started back to cycling over the last couple of weeks after illness and have begun base training to get fitness levels up. I have started to use my HRM to make sure I don't over do cycling.It is a new gadget, so I'm unsure how to use it properly for cycling. I'm doing well lately staying on about 125 - 135bpm for about an hour first time yesterday, just a few small hills. What would be my next step? Do I stay on this level of cycling for a few weeks? What would be the next step? At what HR should I do after base training? I'm only wanting to keep up with others recreationally.
    I have found that my perceived effort is vastly different to actual effort using HRM. I'm 38 female.
    Any help appreciated
    Regards, Sam
     
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  2. BikingBrian

    BikingBrian New Member

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    If you want to train by heart rate, then the best thing would be to get a book on the subject and make a schedule or plan that's tailored to your objectives. Or find a coach (although it sounds like you are a recreational rider, so that would probably be overkill and unnecessary). It's rather difficult to create a plan for you as we don't know all the variables: your fitness level, available amount of time you have for training, etc. Also, a clearer (and more concrete) objective than "keeping up with others" will help you to achieve your goals. Tell us a little more and we may be able to help you out.
     
  3. samcrx3

    samcrx3 New Member

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    Thank you for your feedback. In regards to fitness level - I have been unwell and was actually going downhill before I became sick - pneumonia and then another chest infection 4 wks later. My fitness level is fair, not good, but not beginners. I need to have a good base first - which I don't have and am working towards.
    I am able to get out about 3, sometimes 4 times to ride about an hour or a little more. I have children to look after, but I can indoor train as well.It will get rather cold here soon and indoor training becomes more attractive. My aim is to be able to do about 40 - 60km of undulating terrain at a reasonable pace, average of 22 - 26km/hr. This is what our recreational group do on Saturdays - I've never been able to keep up with them.Hope this helps. Regards, Sam
     
  4. Cyclesafe

    Cyclesafe New Member

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    Baby steps, otherwise you'll give up.

    First off, make sure that your doctor agrees that a physical regimine is appropriate. 220 minus 38 (your age) roughly gives you your maximum heart rate of 182.

    60-70% of 182 = 109-127 weight loss
    70-80% of 182 = 127-146 aerobic conditioning
    80-90% of 182 = 146-164 increasing athletic competence (whatever that means)

    The HRM is the single best training tool out there since it can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. For a less than dead earnest athlete. the above heuristic is more than adequate, although many others will argue that it is too simplistic.

    Good luck.
     
  5. MY02_STi

    MY02_STi New Member

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    Sam, for a guide on HR training, 'The Heart Rate Monitor Guidebook to Heart Zone Training' by Sally Edwards is a good place to start. Available from most book stores or on line from the Polar Australia web site (http://www.pursuit-performance.com.au/polar/html/local/books/hrm_guidebook.htm) :)
     
  6. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    A few pointers...

    There's considerable variation on HRmax, such that the quoted 220-age = HR max, has a standard deviation of +-15 b/min (iirc), making it useless for setting a persons training levels.

    The HRM is unlikely to be thought of as "the single best training tool" in this day and age. A power meter is much better.

    Ric
     
  7. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Sam,

    You *may* want to define some slightly more focused goals. At present it's difficult to know where you're struggling and *exactly* what you mean by "recreational" (for e.g. i think of my cycling as recreational - when away from work - but i hope to get back to being a 2nd cat racer).

    Prior to being ill were you: getting dropped on the hills ?
    dropped on the flat in fast sections?
    dropped on descents?
    do people attack and race each other on your Saturday rides?
    are you struggling to ride the distance?

    Also, you're riding at 125 - 135 b/min. If you have a HRmax of 150 b/min you're doing a killer of a workout, on the other hand if your max is 200 b/min the work you are doing is much less intense. You should set up some training zones based on some metric (for e.g., in the UK we set training zones based on a HRmax test, while in the US, they often set them based on average HR during a 30 - 60 -min TT effort)

    Ric
     
  8. samcrx3

    samcrx3 New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback.
    Most of the riders are fairly experienced riders. We ride for enjoyment, not to race, there is no attacking.
    When I ride with them, I manage to keep up well for about 3-5 km and then I get behind, particularly if there is hill. Then I just lose them totally. Or I might be not too far behind - as in I can still see them.
    What I have noticed is that some of them would be talking most of the way and I am beyond being able to talk.
    In regards to distance - I can manage about 30km, any more I get really tired.
    I'm not sure what my max HR is, but I remember a while ago I could only get about 160bpm, up some steep hills here. But I don't know if that is entirely correct.
    I am small, 152cm and have the smallest bike frame on my Giant CRX 3.
    The others in the group tend to ride mountain bikes with slick or semi slick tyres or flat bar road bikes.
    I've never been athletically inclined, my legs are short and firm.
    Perhaps it is being consistent and patient.
    Regards, Sam
     
  9. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Patience and consistency are what it's all about when getting started. Not sure it is worthwhile for you to try to determine max HR via testing at this time. As you ride more, believe you'll be able to relate the HR number to your perceived level of effort.

    For starting out, suggest you just ride at a comfortable, aerobic pace, where you're breathing isn't being taxed at all. When you were riding at 125-135 bpm, could you talk comfortably? If so, that may be a fine level of intensity for now.

    Your HR will come down and your endurance and speed will increase as your fitness improves. But, it takes patience and a lot of miles to build up your cadiovascular system. Learn to enjoy the rides and you'll make progress.

    Appreciate how tough it is for beginners to jump into most club or group riding. Our local club is just starting an annual training series, which takes new riders from a 10-12 km weekly ride through progressively longer rides. The goal is to train them to complete the 100 km (metric century) distance at our fall Century in mid-Sept. Unlike regular club rides, on these we pay special attention to controlling the pace. The goal is to have everyone complete the distance without burning out halfway, requiring a ride home, or being so sore and tired they drop out of the series.
     
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