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Base training(31 posts)

Base trainingHigh gear
Nov 27, 2001 5:18 PM
Anyone know the % of max heart rate one should try to stay in while building a base?
60-65% nmmagliarosa
Nov 27, 2001 5:59 PM
agree. And . . .jacques
Nov 28, 2001 5:25 PM
. . .that means no shop rides, no so-called club training rides, no riding with half-wheelers, and watching that HRM like a hawk.

At 65% max heart rate you're putting money in the bank you can use in June and July when most everyone else is broke.
I'm doing it!High Gear
Dec 2, 2001 5:52 PM
This will be a big change for me. In the past it was all out on the Stairmaster and stationary bike then what ever during the weekends on the road. Man 137-154 BPM is sloooow. I will stick to this plan for the next four months and see what happens. Thanks to all
Wrong. Your figures are too lowHugh
Nov 29, 2001 5:15 PM
Nope - 60 - 65% is too low. That is a "recovery zone", and it will not stress the body enough to adapt to aerobic demands, capillarity, etc. 70 - 80% should be good. For example - 140 is usually touted as the upper limit. That would make your Max. heart rate about 230.
Nov 29, 2001 8:00 PM
I've been wondering this for a LONG TIME and nobody seems to know the answer. When I pose the question they get all glassy-eyed and say something like, "This one goes up to eleven."

I'm 36. My max heart rate is 200. My resting HR when I get up in the morning (and I'm well-rested) is ~45. Is 65% of my max HR measured from 45 or from zero? It makes a BIG difference how you measure it. If the former, that training zone would be 100 bmp. If the latter, it would be 130.

My guess is that most people measure from zero, but if you think about the two variables at either end, it SHOULD (MHO) be measured from your resting HR. Hell, it should be recalibrated on a daily basis depending what your min HR is in the morning.

Was that a rant?
Wow, somebody is thinking...Wayne
Nov 30, 2001 4:25 AM
Here is a link to a physiologist's website, who advocates using your HR Reserve (I think that's what he calls it), basically the difference between your resting and max HR, not just a percentage of maximum to set training zones.
Two schools of thought on this......Len J
Nov 30, 2001 6:32 AM
one is % of Max heart rate, the other is % of LT (lactate threshhold). Carmichael uses max heart, Freil advocates % of LT. Freil (I think) feels that because LT is trainable (You can increase it with training), and because lt as a % of Max is different for each individual, that setting zones as a % of LT is better for training.

Carmichael would say that 70% to 80% of max HR should be used for base miles.

Freil says 60% to 70% of LT should be used for Base miles.

Since "most" people's LT is around 90% of max, you can see that these are about the same heartrates. (90% of 70%=63%, 90% of 80%=72%)

My experience.

One more thought...Len J
Nov 30, 2001 8:17 AM
It's my understanding (& I may be revealing my ignorance here)that resting heart rate is a function of how in shape you are. The only relevance to training is that the lower the resting heart rate, the more effort it takes to get to a particular training zone (expressed as either % of max HR or LT). This makes sense. The better shape you are in the more work you have to do to work yourself.

In addition Friel would say that as you train to increase you LT, you are raising your "Zone limits" (since they are expressed as % of lt). Friel also gears his training to the notion that improvement comes from alternating muscle (or cardio) stress with recover in order for the body to have time to overcompensate for the stress (by building additional muscle. This is why resting heart rate is irrelevant to determining training zones. The training zones are what are required to either put the body under the appropriate stress or allow the body to recover & overcompensate.

I'm sure that some of this isn't precisly accurate, but I think it is generally correct. It is my interpretation of what I have read.

Flame away.

A couple of points...Kyle
Nov 30, 2001 9:06 AM
First, a clarification: RHR is a function of how in shape your cardio system is (i.e. the effectiveness of your heart) and not a function of your LT, which is actually a muscular adaptation. This is probably what you meant...

The second point you make is an interesting one and is essentially true. All other things being equal, it would take more effort to get an 'in shape' heart up to a given rate than an out of shape one. This is because untrained skeletal muscles don't have the ability to draw as much O2.

For recreational cyclists with the ability to improve significantly ('cause they're not that good) % of LT is a much better number than % of max. When I started cycling, my LT was around 135bpm (72% of my MHR--about average for non endurance athletes, I think.) As you can imagine if I'd have used 75% of max as my aerobic training zone, I'd have probably died.

I question whether 90% of MHR is the average LT of an endurance athlete. Lance A. has never achieved this--and he seems well adapted to his sport. It seems more likely that people are underestimating MHR (these tests are hard) or overestimating LT (due to lactate steady state.)

To answer the original post: HR fluctuates wildly due to a number of factors, perhaps making perceived effort the way to go. Ride so you're a little out of breath, but can still hold a reasonable conversation with your training partner, or so that your legs are about 75% of the way to burning--whichever comes first. That's going to be pretty close.
Forget HRCyclorocket
Nov 30, 2001 9:05 AM
That's how you understand the question of zones:

-Recovery : you can talk non-stop
-Base : you can talk, while breathing here and there
-High Cardio : very hard to talk
-100% : can't say 3 words.

Simple, don't bother that much with zones, after a dozen of hours on the trainer you will know what are the effects with x gear @ y cadence. Cycling is like other sports: experience.

sounds good in THEORYsorghum
Nov 30, 2001 8:30 PM
if its so easy to tell zones. why does lance still train with a HRM. you think he would have figured his zones out by now.
Will you be part of the 2002 TdF ?cyclomoteur
Dec 1, 2001 2:45 PM
Have you gotten testicular cancer due to xyz pills ?
Will you plug yourself on electronic sensors on your next race ?
If lance punches his mouth, will you do the same ?
Are you a fag ?


lance does it....lance do that....lance,lance,lance
hey idiot - my point was..sorghum
Dec 2, 2001 7:50 AM
not "lance" specifically. ( i'm sure you knew this but chose to be an a -hole). but most/all pro's still train with a HRM. If it's so easy to tell zones - why do they still do it? they certainly have enough experience to use the percieved effort scale.


are you homophobic? you may have issues. escpecially with a name like Guillaume
hey idiot - my point was..cyclomoteur
Dec 2, 2001 11:16 AM
Com'on :
"soit poli si t'est pas jolie !"

je ne comprends pas (nm)sorghum
Dec 2, 2001 1:40 PM
re: Base trainingmclements
Dec 2, 2001 1:38 PM
I'll tell you what's worked for me riding over the past 20 years. I don't claim this will work for you or anybody else, it's my personal experience. I don't race any more, but I used to and I still ride a lot -- this worked as well for me back then, as it does now.

I wouldn't worry too much about heart rate. I think people in general put too much emphasis on the technical aspects of whether your heart rate is 120 or 160. Now if you're going to ride the TdF next year, by all means use a heart monitor and full time doctor. I'm talking about my own personal experience as a skilled amateur, which I assume applies to you, else you'd be asking your team-provided full time doctor instead of posting on this forum.

Just ride as hard as you can and when you feel like you can't go any further, keep going. Climb hills until you think your legs will fall off. Concentrate on long rides; at least once per week one of your rides should be at least 5 hours long with lots of hills.

The key is that in every ride, push yourself just a little bit beyond what you think you can do. Either do the same ride faster, or add extra distance while maintaining the same average speed. Most of the time, you will do it. Sometimes you won't, and in these cases you have a new goal to work toward.

Every day, judge whether to work even harder or to back off based on how you feel from the previous day's ride. If you feel perfectly great and you're not sore at all, then work harder. If your legs are a little bit sore, that's good -- keep going. If you are so tired and sore that you can hardly walk, take it easy for a day (do a relatively flat, high cadence spinning ride) and then get back to it.

Over time, your resting pulse will drop into the 50s or even 40s. It's just a natural result of your heart getting stronger as a result of your training. Just out of curiousity I've measured my pulse and it's usually in the 140 range throughout long (4-8 hour) rides, gets to around 200 on the 100% flat out sprints, and is in the low to mid 50s as I sit here typing these words. However, I don't think the actual numbers matter as much as most people think they do. Just get out there and gradually day by day push yourself beyond whatever limits you might think you have.
Now we got somebody understanding the sport !cyclomoteur
Dec 4, 2001 11:05 AM
Forget HR, : "Just ride as hard as you can and when you feel like you can't go any further, keep going. Climb hills until you think your legs will fall off"

Can't say it better then that.
Mclements I have to agree with you on that one (sorry) !
That is simply wrong.Pack Meat
Dec 4, 2001 3:44 PM
What you have described is a recipe for burnout and platauing. What you described is contrary to all modern methods of training. It's not even old school. To achieve significant improvements in performance you need to take a big picture approach and not a day to day view that you describe. There are three reasons why the Grand Tours have achieved higher and higher average speeds, improved aerodynamics, drugs and improved training methods. If you just go out and ride as hard as you can every day all the time you will get faster to a point and then improvement will stop. I would recommend following Carmichels or Friels advice on base training. For those Lance fans out there, you may want to check out his web site. They actually posted his workouts for the November and December.
That is simply wrong.cyclomoteur
Dec 4, 2001 5:00 PM
This ain't the recipe for burnout, it's the solution for beginners, nobody here is going to the next TdF.

Take your 53-12 gear and go kill your legs making moderate hills for 4 weeks, hell you will improve your max watt output.

Doing 10k TT on 53-12 is very fun too.

Doing some 15/15 (15sec slow-15sec sprints) non-stop with some breaks when your legs aren't working anymore is a good way to improve cardio performance.

Do anything so when you come off the bike you can't do the stairs up to your apprt. Those kinda exercices will boost brute strengh. Doing some choking exercices that while lead you to be unable to say two words are going to improve your cardio.

If marketing and HR did not exist, everybody would be doing that.

Don't come and tell me it doesn't work.
Nope, you're still wrong.Pack Meat
Dec 5, 2001 6:33 AM
What you are describing and what Mclements describe are very different things. What you describe is good training but not for this time of year. Even old school training included a long period of base miles where the key is to develop the aerobic systems. If you are stressing your body to the point of failure in December you may be fit by March when racing starts but you will not be racing in June and July. It is true that probably nobody on this board is going to the Tour or even racing Pro, there may be a couple, but that's no reason to train incorrectly. I would guess this board is made up of beginners and very good local racers. These guys have a long hard race season too and it will not benefit them going 100% in December. My season goes from April to December, I'll have plenty of time to do the work outs that you described.

Have you tried developing a base? Or do you simply train your ass off quit for a month and then train your ass off for another month and then quit and on and on? Winter is for developing spin, aerobic capcity and not killing yourself with intervals. However you want to gauge that is up to you but it is the way to go.

Do you race? Do you finish races? Do you place well? Do you race from the Spring to the Fall? Try developing a base it will give your fitness depth.
Basic training...cyclomoteur
Dec 5, 2001 7:04 PM
Intervals does give results;
I agree with some spinning here and there;
Just give yourself some 1week off when you fell like you got hit by a van. I have to admit that intervals 7days/week is too hard on the body;
I still keep my point that doing different intervals will boost cardio and brute strengh much faster then doing basic training + intervals later on.

"Have you tried developing a base?" What is a base ? -you already have one (you have just did 10000km in the summer, you dont need to do more centuries in winter)- the aerobic system is getting devellopped all year long. what is missing is all muscular.

*If I haden't scrap my left calf and gotten 2 achilles tendonitis this year (still have them) I would have won more then the hilly races. I'm in Junior, I just need to boost my cardio (intervals @ high rpm) all weeks in winter then you will finally see me in long races.

That is simply wrong.mclements
Dec 5, 2001 10:14 AM
Since most people do not perform at their biomechanical limits, old fashioned hard work and time in the saddle will provide their fastest improvement. If you're Lance it's a different story but I don't think this applies to the person who asked the original question.

Also in my opinion too many people focus on the technical aspects of training, yet based on their physical condition would get better results if they just got out there and rode their bikes longer and harder.

The topics you mention are valid. But at the amateur level very, very few people actually suffer from the "overtraining" burnout that you describe. More often, their progress suffers from not enough miles ridden, not enough hills climbed, and too much worrying about heart rates and intervals.
Interesting "data"Pack Meat
Dec 5, 2001 12:20 PM
Well then let's agree that there's a right method of training and a wrong method of training. The right method includes a sufficent base level fitness followed by harder intervals. The wrong way is to stress your body to it's max right from the get go ignoring even traditional (non HR watching) training. Every single coach I have ever read or spoken with and every single racer recommends a base level fitness, long duration low intensity workouts. The original poster asked a timely and astute question that implied to me that s/he intends to develop base fitness now in December which is the right thing to do.

If individuals were to follow your advice then more would become burned out, but it appears as though the "marketing" and education about training has gotten out and people are doing the right thing. Your perspective of amateur racers may be a little skewed, please remember that Cat 1 and 2 racers are amateurs also. Darn near every Cat 3 that I race with has been burned out on occasion.

I agree that alot of people should just shut up and ride more but when somebody asks a question that specific it implies to me that they are riding and they want to ride correctly.

Don't get me started on specificity and HR v. Power.

Share the Road,
Interesting "data"...aerobic basecyclomoteur
Dec 5, 2001 7:18 PM
there is no base level fitness for racers;
they already got very high efficient aerobic system;
only newbies need some basic training;
cycling is like every sports; once you know how it works you just go to your max all the time to push the limit farther (THE intervals) don't even need to worry about HR, just go till you can't turn the crank or you can't breathe more.

Basic training should be done ONCE in your cycling life : when you are new go do 1000-2000kms @ 20mph just to get the body to know the sport, after that : wellcome to "No pain=No Gain"

Intervals are relative too : don't get mess-up in complicated maths with 10/30 - 5min ...just sprint for 30sec then take a break till you are recharged, same pattern untill you just don't have a single watt left to give. When this happens go take a good drink, walk 5min, then go back in case you got some watts that came back.

Very simple - very effective.
I'm done with you.Pack Meat
Dec 7, 2001 6:46 AM
I am hoping that you are just flame baiting and that you do not believe the crap that you are proposing here. What makes you think that you know more than any and every racer that I know personnally and know of. All coaches regardless of philosphy all agree on developing a base. Maybe hard interval training works great for you but I'm guessing that if actually put in the k's and trained consistently (riding 6 or 7 days a week) for 6 months you will discover the need for a base period. You don't race do you?

Share the Road.
you miss the point utterlymclements
Dec 7, 2001 2:28 PM
Nobody's said that intervals & HR are hogwash. The point is that most people would benefit from more bike riding and less worrying about intervals and HR. It's simply ridiculous the number of guys out here with their HR monitor chest straps, who spend $3k to save 2 lbs. of weight on their OCLV bikes (despite the 10 lbs. of extra weight around their midsection they could lose for free), and who install triple front chainrings so they can shift to the granny gear to ride up a 10% grade at 3 mph, as they monitor their heart rate to ensure they aren't going over a certain percentage of some theoretical number they read in a magazine.

My opinion: it's not the bike, it's not the HR. It's putting in the long miles, climbing the big hills and developing the will and determination to push beyond your limits. Things are different when you draw near to your body's biomechanical limits, but very few people are at this point. Now that we have cool technology to measure HR and various other medical trivialities, it's trendy for everyone to worry about it. But it turns our attention away from what is important.

Yes I do race. Most recently I completed La Ruta de los Conquistadores. That's 24-36 hours of riding with 25,000' of climbing under conditions so brutal that the sponsors say the race couldn't even be held in the USA because they wouldn't be able to get the event insured.
This is just TRUEcyclomoteur
Dec 7, 2001 3:55 PM
If you switch to politics;
I'll vote for you!.

hmmmmmmm.Woof the dog
Dec 8, 2001 1:27 AM
riding that long ain't fun. Racing more than 100 miles would make my crotch raw meat, not to mention I never did a race that long. Hehe. By the way, I am still looking to lose some weight off the bike, as I am skin and bones at 130 pounds. Not much of a man...but whata biker! I also ride a double chainring, so stop generalizing.


Woof the dawg.
long rides ARE fun!mclements
Dec 8, 2001 8:00 AM
I've always preferred endurance rides like centuries and longer (like the Davis Double). They tend to be safer and the riders more cordial, than shorter races. Also, endurance races reduce the importance of technical riding skills, instead emphasizing raw physical fitness and psychological fortitude.
That is simply wrong.Woof the dog
Dec 8, 2001 1:17 AM
what category did you race when you were racing? If you are/were anything below a category 3, I would have to think twice about what you say. No offense. Just trying to be frank cause I am tired of all this personal bullshit.