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A little concerned about HR(10 posts)

A little concerned about HRbludoggy
Aug 11, 2002 8:42 AM
I've been riding for about 15 years -- all MTB -- but about three months ago I got my first road bike. I have increased the intensity of my riding and am a little concerned. My max HR is 190 and I am regularly getting my HR up to the high 180s. I also am spending a bunch of time in my 90 - 100% range. anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes of a multi hour ride is spent in this zone.

I once heard somewhere that this is a dangerous area. I am feeling pretty good (after a day of recovery, anyway). Should i be concerned, or is it normal to spend that much time in the upper zones?
re: A little concerned about HRrob45
Aug 11, 2002 9:05 AM
if you can sustain that level for more than 30 seconds at any one time, then you aren't close to 100% max heart rate, so you might be underestimating your max. Try measuring it again (personally, an uphill sprint is the easiest way for me). I think the main things to watch for are high rates that are correlated with hard efforts, or irregularity. Depending on your age, it isn't a bad idea to get a stress test from a cardiologist. Ask if you can do it on your bike on a stationary trainer, since it's hard to get the same level on a treadmill (sport specificity)
How much time do you spend anaerobic per week?bludoggy
Aug 11, 2002 9:15 AM
No, i can't sustain 188-190 for more than a few seconds and in fact its what i call the 'puke zone', but I hang out at 171-178 for 10 minutes at a time. I'm pretty certain that 190 is my max. my real concern is total amount of time spent in the 90-100% range is 30 minutes to 90 minutes per week too much? How much time do you guys spend anaerobic per week?

I am 37, by the way... should i go get a stress test? what exactly does it tell you?
Hardly any but that's me.zray61
Aug 11, 2002 11:31 AM
I suggest Looking at Dr. Philip Maffetone's "The High Performance Heart" or one of his other books. You should take care about anaerobic zones. A strong aerobic base of 1000 miles is suggested
before you start interval training.
Also, where are you getting your maximum HR from it seems
high to me.
How does one determine max HRbludoggy
Aug 11, 2002 1:27 PM
I look down at my HRM when i'm really blowing up on an uphill sprint and I typically see numbers in the high 180's. My HRM records max HR and I usually see 188-190 recorded as my max. Is this, in fact, my max HR, or is there some other way of determining it?
Forget the numbers for awhile...Breakfast
Aug 11, 2002 2:25 PM
...too much emphasis on max HR everywhere in discussions, what are we anyway, bike riders or exercise physiologists?

Leave the coaching to a real coach!

OK, fine. Go out bust your butt and get some high number to satisfy your curiosity, great! Now, take off the HRM and intentionally try to blow up at the end of a climb by sprinting for the top earlier than you think is possible. You should almost fall over dead trying. This hill and this effort means more to you than numbers. You will improve by trying to better that effort not by glancing down at a high HR number knowing your limit is near.

Use the HRM mostly for recovery rides, and ride super easy, more than you do now. Wear it for a hard time trial effort of 10 miles or more and find your average to gauge fitness. All this talk of percentage of max is wasted by riders doing their own science with little background in sports physiology.

I own a HRM and use it only in races and TT's and only read it after the race for an average. I'm too busy suffering to care about the numbers while racing. I use it occasionally on a trainer just to keep a HR consistent for an extended period of time. I gave up using it on rides, generally, because I ride hard, recover, and ride hard again. Then I go out and spin in easy gears once a week with little force on the pedals, I don't need a HRM for that. And I don't know what my max is, but my average on my last 20k TT was 178 bpm at 44 years old.
Here goes... without numbersbludoggy
Aug 11, 2002 7:28 PM
my original question without numbers: Is it risky to go all out three days a week and for extended periods of time. I'm talking about going 99-100 percent of max EFFORT until you are pretty sure you are going to puke, and then pushing it just a little bit harder to catch your buddy before the crest of the hill and then doing the whole thing over again a little later in the ride. Can you do damage to your heart by going too hard too often, or does it just make you tired? I have heard of people building up scar tissue around their heart... I know the pros go out 110 percent all the time -- but they are, you know, pros. What about us more casual types? Will I damage myself or make myself stronger?
Ask your doctor...Breakfast
Aug 11, 2002 8:38 PM
...he's the one who could answer that.

What I think you are getting at boils down to whether you should race several times a week, since what you are describing, basically, are race efforts meant to beat whoever or whatever you are competing against.

I'm no expert, and I think racing twice a week is pushing it for a recreational or amateur racer. I would suggest racing once a week, riding recovery days three times a week and having two solid days of challenging your fitness level by training into the red with power, strength, speed, and interval type training. On those two days, separated by a rest day or recovery ride, go as hard as you want but leave a little bit wanting so you don't go into injury. Remember, too, that 90-100 percent efforts are anerobic and your body can't go more than a couple minutes in that zone. Those zones are sprints or hard intervals, don't do those on more than two days a week unless you've got a coach who is helping you.
the puke zonerob45
Aug 12, 2002 7:51 AM
Doesn't sound like there's any cardio issue--hey, if you want to spend time in the puke zone, go for it. We have a number of group rides dedicated specifically to it, and I train (cat2) to max my anaerobic work, since this is where race differences matter. If you feel especially light headed or disoriented after a max effort, I'd worry about it, otherwise what the hell. Puking in the peloton would make a good book title about crit racing. Since you're 37, though, you should discuss intense training with your doctor when you get a check up and ask whether it's worth getting a stress test as a matter of course anyway. Alternatively, if there's a training center near you (here in So Cal there's Young's training center and health corp), you can get tested there. As per another post, it's good not being a slave to numbers and to develop ways to read your body without them, but also knowing physiological data can help knowing what to train. High intensity training also needs adequate recovery days
Great! thanks for the feedback. (nm)bludoggy
Aug 12, 2002 8:47 AM