Is LTHR being 88% of Max HR indicative of anything?



LeeRoySD

New Member
Oct 31, 2012
3
0
0
Hello to all and thanks for all the info you have shared here. It has been quite an illuminating read. I have been cycling for about a year and a half and started with almost no fitness at all. I am 42 years old, was a lifelong cigarette smoker until about 3 years ago. About a year and a half ago I was about a hundred pounds overweight (270 pounds) and could barely climb a few flights of stairs without getting winded.

I am currently 6'0 - 190 pounds and have a few crits and a half season of Velodrome racing under my belt. I typically ride 3-4 hour group rides on the weekends that are very challenging for me to keep up with. I train mostly indoors during the week on e-motion rollers (now that track season is over) with TrainerRoad software for structure and estimated power as a power meter is not currently in my budget but believing that training with power has merit. I think the power numbers that it is giving me are at least a bit higher than reality, but as long as it is accurate relative to itself and i use it to both test and work out on it all nets out, right?

After looking for an answer to the question of whether I am better served by focusing more on trying to push or pull my FTP up (as it is definitely my limiting factor at this point), it appears that more time in Zone 4 is on the menu. I did 60' today at 91-92% of FTP. Average HR was 168 (Max 196) about 85% of max. I was fresh having taking the last two days off the bike for the first time in several weeks. The workout was somewhat challenging, but not as difficult as I had expected. I didn't push it and just kept it steady until the end of the 60'.

My average heart rate seems really high compared to most of the other guys I ride with. Obviously part of this is lack of fitness, but is it indicative of my FTP being bumped up against my VO2 max? My LTHR is about 88.5% of my Max HR? I am trying to figure out how much VO2 max work and how much SST work to do (in relation to each other) to maximize FTP gains. I am still racing some off season crits and between them and trying to hang on to the back of the group every time the road pitches up, I am getting a fair bit of Zone 5 and some 6 work on the weekends, although it is unstructured and only measured via time in HR zone...

I know that's a mouthful of background, but just looking for someone to shed some light on how best to go forward...

Thanks for the help.
 

gudujarlson

New Member
Aug 30, 2012
311
4
0
Your heart rate numbers look normal to me. I am the same age, my max heart rate is about 190 and my lactate threshold heart rate is 171 (90% of max) . I'm really not sure how accurate the max number is because I hardly ever get it up that high. I've been doing 20 min intervals at 88-93% of my FTP my average heart rate has been 160-171. Interestingly, my heart rate does not correlate well with my normalized power doing these intervals. That said, I really don't worry much about my heart rate unless I don't have a power meter. I don't think you should either.

You stated, "FTP being bumped up against my VO2 max", but you didn't mention what your FTP or VO2 max is. Does that imply that you are comparing your lactate heart rate and max heart rate? If so, I don't think that is a good comparison. A better comparison would be your FTP to your 5MP (5 minute maximal power).

I'm in a similar boat as you and I have chosen to do 1x20 at 90% FTP intervals during the week and longer L2/L3 stuff on the weekends. I plan to keep this up until winter forces me inside. Next spring I plan to mix in some L5+ stuff.

I suggest reading the "It's killing me..." thread.

http://www.cyclingforums.com/t/314849/its-killing-me-but
 

LeeRoySD

New Member
Oct 31, 2012
3
0
0
Thanks for the response. Yes, I was asking if my LTHR being such a high percentage of MaxHR is indicative of anything (such as possibly FTP being maxed out in relation to VO2 max), I don't have a powermeter for outdoor rides, just the "virtual" power numbers from the indoor roller/trainer sessions. A 2x20 a couple weeks ago puts my FTP at 286 based on TrainerRoads's curve for my rollers, but I suspect that number is a bit high. But as long as I am testing and working out using the same number on the same curve, my effort should be the same regardless of whether it is reading high or low.

I don't have a 5 minute MMP number as the only time this has occurred has been outdoors. Should I do a 5 minute test tomorrow before my main workout? Would that provide useful data about headroom? I have read most of the threads in this forum and the most recent ten pages or so of the "It's killing me.." thread. I'll keep working my way back through it as time permits. Thanks for the help.
 

gudujarlson

New Member
Aug 30, 2012
311
4
0
FTP is a measurement of power (watts) and V02Max is a measurement of oxygen consumption (liters/min or liters/min/kg), i.e. they are two different things. I assume you mean power at VO2Max, but I've never heard any experts using that as a metric. I have read that you can estimate your VO2Max using a power meter in a few different ways:

http://www.trainingandracingwithapowermeter.com/2010/06/how-to-estimate-vo2max-using-power.html

I've also never heard of a heart rate at VO2Max metric. It seems plausible that max heart rate occurs at VO2Max, but I've never heard any expert state that.

Beyond measuring FTP and 5MP, you could measure your entire power profile.

http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articles/cycling/power-profiling.aspx

When I don't have a power meter and am forced to train with my heart rate monitor, I only use my heart rate as a way to pace my workout. I never use it as a measurement of performance. Heart rate is not related to performance. It is only related to the stress that is being put on the cardiovascular system.
 

frost

New Member
Oct 25, 2007
414
3
18
Originally Posted by gudujarlson .

FTP is a measurement of power (watts) and V02Max is a measurement of oxygen consumption (liters/min or liters/min/kg), i.e. they are two different things. I assume you mean power at VO2Max, but I've never heard any experts using that as a metric. I have read that you can estimate your VO2Max using a power meter in a few different ways:
There is not one power at VO2Max but range of power that can elicit VO2Max ie. you could reach VO2Max with little lower power spending a bit more time or with a bit higher power in shorter time. If the time gets too short you don't reach VO2Max before fatigueing and on the other hand if the power is too low you will simply not reach maximal oxygen consumption.

There are a couple of ways to define Maximal Aerobic Power or MAP, either the power at the end of incremental ramp test or as a cross section of VO2Max and P/VO2 line interpolated from Power and VO2 measurements in lower stages of ramp test. 5MMP is quite close depending on anaerobic capacity.

And indeed power profiling is a useful tool to analyse strengths and weaknesses.