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Questions about climbing and heart rate.(7 posts)

Questions about climbing and heart rate.seth1
Jul 31, 2001 5:02 AM
1. When ever I hit a hill of any reasonable length and incline, not only do I drop off the pace but my legs seem to top out way before my heart rate. I go out every sunday to do hill repeats on a 2 mile climb at about 7-8% grade. I will be in my 38-23 doing about 9.5 mph and not being able to push any harder. My legs don't feel like they are on fire but they seem to be maxed out. While my heart rate is only about 155-160.

I'm 31, 5'9", 155lbs. I could lose about 5-7 more lbs, but in no way would I be considered over weight.

2. Is climbing seated always better than standing? I seem to be more comfortable standing but go about 1/2 mph slower.

What's going on here?

Am I just not pushing hard enough? By the way, I've never been able to reach my max HR of 189 on my bicycle. Even when I go running (which is always more taxing on my heart rate), and hit the hill my legs max out before my HR.
Hit the Weightsjtolleson
Jul 31, 2001 5:14 AM
Are you supplementing your riding and running with a weight regimen? You may need to work on power via some weight work.

Also, I would recommend spinning classes with a good, CYCLIST instructor. If that can't get your heartrate to max out while on a bike, then I am puzzled. Also, you'll learn to push through maximum resistance.
That would mean going to a gym and that would mean ...seth1
Jul 31, 2001 5:33 AM
BOOOOORRRRRIIIIIIIING.

I'm sorry, I tried the gym thing last winter and I just can't do it. I'm even thinking about getting snow-shoes to run in the snow and installing ski-boot heaters in my cycling shoes if this winter is as cold and snowy as last. But the gym, I just can't do it. I'm trapped inside for 20 out 24 hours per day anyway. And to think that my exercise regemine would be inside. NNNOOOOOOO.
That would mean going to a gym and that would mean ...Ltwt
Jul 31, 2001 6:17 AM
The gym thing is crucial. Yes it is boring, but there is no better way to build your climbing strength. A structured lifting program does wonders to build your strength in the weeks/months of winter, strength which can be used on the flats as well as the hills. It doesn't have to take that much time, and it is simply a way to supplement your existing exercise regime. I begin lifting in the fall, just to build "core" strength, which means low weight/high reps. While this is happening, I am continuing to ride as much as I can, which works to maybe 2-3 times a week, so I get to the gym maybe 2 times/week for 45 minutes at a time. As winter wears on, and I switch to my foul weather beater, I will up the gym time to 3 or more times a week, again, not more than 45 minutes at a time. Around January, I am upping the lifting intensity, and getting out for longer rides on the winter bike on the weekends, or whenever the ground is clear of snow and ice.

Gym time in the winter is homework. Do your homework and drop people in the Spring. Even lightweights like me (who tend to be okay climbers) benefit from time on the weights. In fact, my more focused gym routine last winter was the main reason I had my best season ever this year.
re: Questions about climbing and heart rate.Lone Gunman
Jul 31, 2001 6:47 AM
Are you certain that you have the Max HR correct? It may be set too high. There is a formula that does not penalize you for age that differs from the standard 220-age=max HR. I would also suggest changing your cassette out to a 25-12. Unfortunately, I don't have the formula, some posters may have it. Look, you ain't Superman, and mentally beating yourself up because you can't reach some arbitrary # that may not be correct for you is not worth it. There is a test that is described in Friel's Cyclist Training Bible that involves riding for one minute increments and increases 1 mph until you blow and can't hold the speed consistently that determines the rates for training at at each catagory. It is a sub for an expensive lab test. Changing the cassette out will enable you to increase your cadence and might raise HR higher. Hell, you can always shift up when the 25 gets too easy.
Thanks for everyone's input ...seth1
Jul 31, 2001 6:58 AM
I determined my MHR by running full steam up a long hill. I've done this a number of times and 189 is the magic number. I actually do have a 12-25 but I feel better in the 23 when seated.

Hmmm, I wonder if a new bicycle would do the trick. hehehehe
do you ride hard every day? what you've described is consistentbill
Jul 31, 2001 10:46 AM
with overtraining -- your muscles are always so maxed out and tired that they're too drained to tax your HR. Constant riding at LT or above actually can cause loss of muscle mass.
What's your normal schedule?
I ride about every other day. Not only is it about the most that I can manage (I probably could manage more, but it is the most that I am willing to sacrifice to manage), but recovery is a wonderful thing. By going hard (with intervals) every other day, maybe a long ride at a dull roar (less than 80% of max -- below LT) in there somewhere, I have continued to improve throughout this season. Just this a.m., I hit HR's as high as I've seen all season. With nice recoveries between my remarkably undisciplined intervals, I was pleasantly buzzing by my return (20 mi), and I posted as fast a time on this route as when I was trying to go hard without intervals. I finally am coming to understand and believe in the periodization Friel talks about.