Training with a heart rate monitor.

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by peteaj, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. peteaj

    peteaj New Member

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    Although I've been cycling for two years just for the fun I want to get a bit more serious about it and try to use my HR Monitor to help me shed a few pounds. The problem is that I don't realy know the most effective way to use the monitor to assist me in my weight loss. As I have said I have been cycling for some time and feel that my body has conditioned its self to my routine (about 12 miles a day). I know its not much to some but considering two years ago I did absolutly nothing it can't be a bad thing.
     
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  2. stowerider

    stowerider New Member

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    Hi,

    The key to using a HRM is to set up HR zones. There are a bazillion different permutations but to summarize -

    Determine your Maximum HR max. There are formulas (220 - age). Many people find these useless because they are not even close to their actual MHR. Serious Cycling by Burke recommends doing a time trial and clocking your max HR.

    Your MHR is your anchor point for the next step which is setting up heart rate zones (ranges for your HR). Here is where you see a lot of different methods - typically set up 5-7 zones based on percentage of max HR. Some people use zones of the same width and some don't. Some set up zones based on the gap between resting HR and max HR. Some set up zones based off MHR.

    I use 3 main zones each of the same width. My MHR is 200 BPM and my RHR is 50 BPM. So I set up bands of 10% or 15 BPM (the range is 150 beats from RHR to MHR). When I did 10% bands off MHR (thats 20 BPM per zone) I found it a little wide to be useful. This is what it looks like -

    Zone 5 185-200 BPM phewwww this hard work
    Zone 4 170-184 BPM hard work
    Zone 3 155-169 BPM I can do this all day!
    Zone 2 <155 BPM if this isn;t a recovery ride you're wasting your time

    I found 3 work bands easy to manage compared to say 5, 6 or 7. I found a fixed 10% range easier to do the math in my head when I'm riding. You'll have to figure out what works best for you.

    With the zones - I try to alternate between easy and hard days. On the hard days I'm supposed to spend a good chunk of time in Z4 and Z5. this could involve intervals or a fast group ride.

    I'd recommend you pick up a book too - something like Burke. Many others like Friel. I'm not a big fan of The HR Monitor Book for Cyclists.

    Happy riding.

    SR
     
  3. sheppard

    sheppard New Member

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    How old are you? Age affects maximum heart rate. Once this is known, you can figure out what a good targer heart rate is for your optimum fat-burning zone.
     
  4. Trek1000

    Trek1000 New Member

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    You're right..doing some form of exercise is better than nothing at all. For weight loss and heart rate monitors. It is a good tool to use to evaluate whether or not you are in your anaerobic state or your aerobic state. As far as I know if you keep your heart rate about 120 or above for 20 minutes, that is when you start to burn fat and it is then considered aerobic activity. Using the heart rate you can also find your lactate threshold. You want to avoid this area for most of your workout. The first thing I would do is put in time getting distance on the bike and then eventually find time to find your max heart rate. The popular formula is not very accurate.
     
  5. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    The "220-age" formula doesn't work for fit people; you need to find your max HR on the road.

    For example, I'm 56, and my max HR is 184, a full 20 bpm higher than the formula predicts.

    For me, riding with an HRM has two benefits: 1) It helps me to stay slowed down on the recovery or easy days, when I know I want to stay aerobic and not get near the lactate threshold.

    2) It lets me estimate time above my LT on the hard rides, so I know what recovery I'll need. EG, if I spend 90 minutes above 85% max HR (like I did Saturday on the club ride), I'll want at least two days of easy recovery rides at 60-65%.
     
  6. ed073

    ed073 New Member

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    If you buy a Polar, you can usually perform your own max HR test (follow the instrutions in the booklet....it won't be pretty. :D)
    you can then work out your own E1, E2, E3 target training zones from there.

    Or you could just Google it....million and one training programs on the web for cyclists/runners/traithletes etc.
     
  7. peteaj

    peteaj New Member

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    It's my first time on the forum. Many thanks to those who replied to my question.
     
  8. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

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    In addition to not working for fit people, it's not particularly accurate for anyone else either. Not accurate enough to use to prescribe training intensity anyway.
     
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