Rode today for 3 hours with a sustained HR of 160+

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by RobinfromBoston, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. RobinfromBoston

    RobinfromBoston New Member

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    I should know the answer to this but I don't! What is the best measure of cardiovascular fitness? Is it recovery heart rate, heart rate reserve, or the ability to workout for long periods of time at your LT without bonking? I'm sure this has been covered in the past, but if so, I couldn't find it.

    Thanks, all!

    Robin
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Kind of depends on your goals, is it basic health and fitness, the ability to go long distances or are you interested in racing and other competitive events where sustainable power and the ability to cope with aerobic and anaerobic demands is key? For the latter a good measure of cardiovascular fitness is the power (or speed on a steady climb or flat road in similar wind conditions) you can sustain at a certain HR, ideally the higher the power and lower the HR the better but you can't really compare between different people.

    IMO the measure of cardiovascular fitness I care about most is how fast my HR drops back to a low level after hard efforts. This recovery time tells me more about my current fitness than what happens to my HR during those hard efforts. Since I moved to power based training almost 8 months ago I've found HR (which I trained by religiously for decades) to be almost useless in gauging hard efforts including steady time trials or hill climbs. Too many random variables from emotional state to hydration impact my HR but I still like to see it drop fast when I ease off the pedals.

    Someone who's still holding the faith wrt HR training may give you more a more satisfying answer, but that's my 2 cents....
     
  3. RobinfromBoston

    RobinfromBoston New Member

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    Your 2 cents is appreciated! Usually, my heart rate will drop from the mid 160's to 120bpm (give or take) within 60 seconds. Do you think that this is a decent drop? :confused:
     
  4. zzrman

    zzrman New Member

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    Mine has usually dropped to at least 155 within 10 minutes:D so yours sounds pretty good!
     
  5. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    VO2max.
     
  6. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    Isn't VO2max a measure of one's cardiovascular potential? I'm sure there are plenty "talented" individuals in the world who are not very fit.

    The OP is asking how does he/she know when he/she is fit. Of course that is very subjective. Fit compared to whom or what? Do you run up 10 flights of stairs when everyone else breathes hard just walking up? Do you ride with friends and find yourself constantly looking back to see if they're there? Heart rate will not tell you as much as an improvement in speed. Time yourself up a favorite climb or along a favorite stretch of road under similar conditions and track your improvements over time. There are plenty of threads on this forum that will teach you how to make improvements. Many of us have been improving for many years. Are we fit? Compared to general population, yes, but we can always be a bit fitter. ;)
     
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