The final straw on heart rate minimums and maximums and all the inbetween

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by firegooroo, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. firegooroo

    firegooroo New Member

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    :rolleyes: Something to think about here, I have gone through pages of different aspect of heart rate monitors, resting heart rates, max heart rates, where to train in and various other topics that just leads us to one old question.

    What is up with heart rate and what does it all really mean as a cyclist?

    I have gone outside of the forum and did a little research on max heart rate and low heart rate and pump volume and stroke volume and oxygen delivery and so on so forthe along with some exercise physiology sites to help on the whole thing.

    What I found is incredible. In one aspect I believed in one train of thought, it was that your max heart rate was 220 minus your age which is generic or if you have some money to blow you can get a true max heart rate and get it done in a lab or get some weird test that it takes 10 time to read plus a lawyer to figure it out. In addition I was also under the impression that as you improve your cardiovascular and aerobic fitness you also increase that max heart and in turn you also reduce your resting heart rate. When you go through the internet you find so many different scientific analogies for all these physiological findings about your heart rate.

    Did many of you know that the max heart rate for a runner is different from a cyclist as it is different for swimmer. Additionally your max heart rate accually changes with the climate also. One needs to add a few points if you are cycling in hot climates, or temps greater than 90 degrees, along with elevation and humidity and rain, also time of the day. All these affect your max heart rate.

    Studies are coming out now that as you improve cardiovascular and aerobic fitness your max heart rate is to decrease not increase. Also if you take time off from cycling even a week you need to make adjustments for the train up to where you were. So much new information is out there that it makes it difficult for the lay person to desifer all the information.

    This is what I would like to do if all of you can give your input on this. On this forum we have every topic from racing to training to shop talk including cycling in different parts of the world and riding mtb or track and so on (you get the picture.) any way I would like to make a central site in this forum dedicated to nothing but heart rate and heart rate training, so that in the future when we seek knowledge on heart rates and all the mumbo jumbo that goes with it we can come to the forum find heart rate and get all of our information from there.

    What do you guys think? :) :rolleyes:
     
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  2. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Want to add to the confusion? As Ric Stern and 2LAP will tell you, all the real cyclists are training by power/watts these days. :eek:

    It's only us poor slobs that can't afford the newer technology and gizmos that have to train by heart rate.

    Edit: Do you have any links to your information? I'd enjoy reading it. TIA.
     
  3. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    I must be hallucinating those polar chest bands on the TdF cyclists - I'd say most pros would monitor both heart rate and power.
     
  4. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    definitely a lot of riders use HR straps in the Tour.

    ric
     
  5. beerco

    beerco New Member

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    I think you should throw away your HR monitor.

    I've been training by power for about three years now, wearing the HR strap for the first two. HR monitoring brought absolutely nothing to the party.

    Lots of people will fight viciously that HR tells you a lot. In retrospect, it doesn't tell you anything you don't already know with power/PE. In fact, watching HR can sometimes (often?) lead you to the wrong conclusion about your training which is why I don't even bother wearing the strap now.

    Flame on boys.
     
  6. Zer0hmz

    Zer0hmz New Member

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    Don't mean for this to sound like an ignorant question, but where does cadence come into play here? I ask because from what I've read there are 3 commonly used monitoring tools:

    HRM
    Power
    Cadence

    I would imagine one would have a direct correlation with another, so which one should you be using? Or should you be using multiple systems to monitor your rides/progress, if so, how would you make the results from these systems work together? ie. cadence should be at xxx rpm while heart rate is xx%

    I realize every individual is just that...an individual so results will vary. But is there a generic recommended monitoring solution??
     
  7. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    cadence is a complete waste of time, basically, use the cadence that feels the best and allows you to produce the most power
     
  8. Zer0hmz

    Zer0hmz New Member

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    Thanks Ricstern.

    Beerco and Ricstern,
    Measuring by power, how do you train using this method? I understand training my HR just means keeping your HR within a certain range. How does the "power" method tell you to level off or crank it up?

    Thanks
     
  9. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    in a similar manner, you have power levels to aim for. see this article of mine here for one method, http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=powerstern

    ric
     
  10. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Ric, Do you recommend training at the cadence that produces the most power all of the time?

    The reason I ask is because I can generally ride faster with less effort (according to my HRM) with a cadence of approx. 70 RPMs. However, I find that puts extra strain on my knees and thigh muscles. So in order for me to train my aerobic system and keep the knees in good shape I generally use a cadence around 85 - 90 RPMs. If I'm going to ride for 5 days in a row I definitely prefer to ride at the higher cadence as I will feel fresher for that length of time and my knees hold up. If I use the slower cadence my quads feel fatigued and even sore after just a couple of rides.

    Keep in mind I'm one of those poor slobs that doesn't have access to power meters and such. I just have a Sports Instuments ECG5. :(

    Edit: If my jobs were to stop being outsourced overseas, :mad: I would be able to afford the right tools! So much for the Tech Sector taking me through retirement.
     
  11. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    i normally add the caveat that when on the flat you should pedal at a cadence between 80 and 110 revs/min that feels comfy.
     
  12. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Thank you.
     
  13. firegooroo

    firegooroo New Member

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    Hey Doc, here are two site I have gone to and gotten the information it is interesting reading; www.hia.no/~stephens/cycling.html the other is www.brianmac.demon.co.uk/maxhr.htm if you go on google and look at max heart rate you will find about 20 pages on the topic.

    P.S. if the stephens site doesn't come up, in google look up max heart rate and find the page with the that html address.
     
  14. Randybaker99

    Randybaker99 New Member

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    I think there is an exception to this position: if you are just getting serious about training, it is important to monitor your cadence so that, 1) you learn what 70, 80, 90, 100 RPM feels like, 2) you learn to keep you cadence steady, 3) you observe what cadence actually does produce the most power for you. For someone just starting out, being without a cadence computer feels like driving in the dark without headlights.

    I have another opinion that is even more controversial: while everyone has a natural best cadence, I do believe that you can train to produce more power at higher cadences. But it is not a simple process and there are pitfalls.

    This spring, I naively thought I could just start riding at 110 RPM (instead of 80-85, which is more natural for me) and I would soon be improving my acceleration and speed. Well, it didn't work out - what happened instead is my hamstrings couldn't produce enough power at that RPM so my calves got overworked, and I also hurt some tendons in my right knee. So I am back in the 80 range. However, I think if I gradually (over a year or two) increase my cadence and slowly train my hamstrings to respond at higher RPM, I might be able to produce significantly more power at 95-100 RPM than I can today, and get the acceleration that goes with it. I know some folks on this forum vehemently disagree with this strategy - time will tell...
     
  15. firegooroo

    firegooroo New Member

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    Believe it or not you can improve your cadence in many ways. If you look at Lance Armstrong he rides at a very high cadence. The first thing you need to do is go back down on gear ratio so that you are at a higher cadence like 95 to 100 where you want to be. Forget about speed for the time being it will come with some time. Another thing that will help in the process of getting the explosive power you need to get the big gears going is some concentrated weight lifting.

    We must understand one thing about training, we can't close our minds to one or two things, cycling has become one big science project and many aspect of it can be disected and pulled apart. Constent cardio work outs are essential just like base miles should be 75% of your ride time on the road or trails for that matter. Weight lifting should be year around and not on the off season only (believe it or not your muscles do go through atrophy when you go long time with out working them out). You may even say that "all your leg work can be done on the bike" go ahead but you will lose some power over time. We don't need to look like a body builder but look at the track guys, why do you think they get such high rpms? thats consistent training and some or maybe alot of weight training, consentrated on what your goal is. There are alot of sites in the web that you can get this info from try google. :D
     
  16. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    There's enough on this forum about weightlifting already. How about posting to one of those boards?
     
  17. firegooroo

    firegooroo New Member

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    :cool: Listen dude, let me explain something to you. If you don't like to be educated then you need to find yourself a new hobbie. I'm no bodybuilder, I'm just a competitive cyclist that believes in using everything I can to properly develop my cycling skills and strengths. Now if you just feel like ragging on some one for the sole purpose of boredum then you need to get a life.

    You don't know me so have a little respect before you run off your mouth..... :mad:
     
  18. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    for endurance racing cyclists (that's races that are > ~90-secs) weight lifting (strength training) is a waste of time. it won't improve performance, and will likely decrease performance.

    ric
     
  19. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    i'm talking about trained cyclists.

    as your absolute power increases, so will your cadence

    all that really matters is that you train to produce more power over the duration(s) that you're interested in. your cadence is a dependent variable, and will thus depend on the power that you're producing and the environmental and topographical conditions, which will affect your velocity.

    for e.g., if you ride at 300 W on the flat in calm conditions you maybe riding at 45 km/hr, in a gear of 53 x 15 this will give you a cadence of ~ 100 revs/min. However, if you're riding up a 10% grade at 15 km/hr at 300 W in 39 x 23 you'll be riding at ~ 70 revs/min. what's important is increasing the power.

    ric
     
  20. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    I'm not running off my mouth. I also believe in being educated and developing my cycling with the best available techniques; implementing the best knowledge available. I'm sorry if I somehow offended you, but I wasn't ragging on you (to relieve my boredom or for any other purpose). All I'm saying is that the topic you raise is not relevant to the initial post or the discussion surrounding it, and that the topic (of weights in cycling) has been covered extensively on other boards. I'm sure your intentions were good, but the more these boards stay on topic, the easier it is for everyone to actually educate themselves in the areas which are interesting or helpful to them. If you feel you have something to contribute regarding weights in cycling, please post to one of the boards that covers this topic.

    I think you'll find that I didn't insult or accuse you of anything untoward in my post, and I think telling be to 'get a life' and that I 'don't like to be educated' is an extreme reaction.
     
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