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A "normal" LT?(13 posts)

A "normal" LT?werdna
May 1, 2002 5:40 PM
I'm 6'1" and roughly 160 lbs and 19 years old. Hence, I am very skinny. This is my first year formally training for racing. All winter long I established a good base with long slow rides. I want to start doing intensity but I think I have a problem. It seems as though my LT is 148 or 149. Is this incredibly low? The highest HR I have ever seen is around 180. My resting heart rate is around 40. I want to work on climbing and raising my LT. What workouts should I do?
May 2, 2002 5:40 AM
First, it's hard to tell if the 180 bpm you saw is truly your max -- probably not. I'd bet it's more like 200.

To get your max, you must really, really be trying. The way I do it is warm up thoroughly, then do some hill repeats going as hard as you can, with not much rest in between. You'll probably hit your max on the 2nd or 3rd one. If it's truly your max, you'll be gasping for air, in lots of pain, screaming for relief. You'll almost fall of the bike in a puddle of mush.

That said, if you have not been doing any intensity, your AT might well be around 150. Yes, that's low for racing, but you can improve it substantially.

One of the best ways to improve is intervals, or riding that simulates intervals, like group rides with surges, or rolling hills. Charge the hills and recover on the descents. For real control, and punishment, do them on a stationary trainer.

Get this book (at Amazon): The Cyclist's Training Bible : A Complete Training Guide for the Competitive Road Cyclist
by Joe Friel

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you need to find out what your true MHR is firstColnagoFE
May 2, 2002 7:06 AM
If it is low then your LT will be lower as well. LT can vary and get closer to your MHR as you get in better shape.
Is your MHR different for Riding vs Running?SilentBob
May 2, 2002 10:05 AM
Is your MHR different for Riding vs Running, or the same? I thought I remember reading that they are different due to different strains of the sports. Also, I'm correct in thinking that your anerobic threshold is also you lactic threshold, right?

It is different for differentsportsColnagoFE
May 3, 2002 7:40 AM
Running will be a bit higher due to more muscle recuitment. Basically MHR is sport specific and largely determined by genetics. Having a high MHR isn't neccesarily a good thing or a bad thing, but it is handy to have a general idea of what yours is for training purposes. AT and LT pretty much the interchangeable though the actual definition is different. AT is the point your body switches over to using the anaerobic system to fuel muscles. LT is pretty much the same point but refers to lactic acid buildup. The only way to accurately measure LT is to have a test done in a lab where you exercise and they keep drawing blood and measuring lactic acid buildup in your muscles.
Here's an ideaJames Curry
May 2, 2002 8:38 AM
Why don't you see if it is a problem first?! Go out with some strong riders and see if you get killed! Atleast bring the HRM and, trust me, if they're sprinting for road signs or doing any kind of work in the hills, you'll see your max just trying to keep up with them!

HR can be an overrated subject sometimes. I didn't see over a HR of 196 for eight months-it was too painful. Sure enough though, in last week's race, I looked down and saw 203, which is my max! Managed to maintain that for one minute cresting a steep hill-something I could never do during a training ride alone or with my group!

HR is VERY important in training, especially where base is concerned. LT, AT are (as previously mentioned) able to be increased through specific training. I agree with another post that you should find your Max HR, but don't get into a numbers game.

As I have found out, the proper motivation can bring our physical capacity above and beyond that which we think is capable!
find your MHR first, then train.jw25
May 2, 2002 11:50 AM
I have to agree with others here - you need to find your true max first. Friel's book, and another by Ed Burke (smart cycling?) have good tests to determine this, but they're best done on a trainer or stationary bike. Trust me, when you find your max, you'll be working to hang on and stay upright, much less steer or watch traffic.
Once you have a realistic MHR, then comparing LT to max becomes more meaningful. 148 is low, but if you haven't gotten much intensity yet, it's believable. It will improve, probably very rapidly at first, with some interval work - I'd recommend longer intervals, say 2-5 minutes, followed by longer rests at first. Finish with 1-3 all-out, 1 minute efforts, with 1 min. between, and recover well. That's my TT secret, and the reason I can outclimb most of my riding partners - my LT isn't too high, around 180, with my max at 204, but I can hold efforts of 96% or so for 5 minutes at a time.
I also race Expert off-road, so that helps, too, and I've got a few more years of training and racing on me (26 years old), which I think helps. You need a long-term base to work from, probably more to know what to do training-wise, but I think your body gets accustomed to hard efforts over time, and gets more efficient. I'm sure a lot stronger than I was at 20, with no weight gain in between.
I'd recommend Friel's Training Bible - it really is good, and explains things a lot better than I can. For $13, it's a good investment. Remember not to overdo the training, and keep it fun.
How do you determine you LT?SilentBob
May 2, 2002 12:03 PM
I've seen a formula, but since you can improve you LT, that's not very useful.
How do you determine you LT?RockyMountainRacer
May 2, 2002 12:19 PM
Average heart rate for the last 20 minutes of a 30 minute time trial. This should be the effort you can maintain MAXIMALLY for 30 minutes. The first 10 minutes of heart rate data are dropped to allow your circulatory system to "settle in" to the steady state effort. This test gives the best estimate of LT. After you get more experience training at, around, and above the LT, you won't need the heart rate monitor anymore and you can just feel when you hit the LT by what your legs tell you. The heart rate monitor is still good to see if you're heart rate is lower or higher than your perceived effort so you can see if you're overtrained or not.
deflection pointColnagoFE
May 3, 2002 7:43 AM
You can graph your effort over a 40-60 minute period while increasing resistance/effort every 5 minutes until you blow (easiest to do on a trainer with adjustable resistance or a stationary bike). you should see a slight deflection point when you hit your AT and then your HR goes up exponetionally. To really get an accurate result you need to do a lab test, but this should get you pretty close.
deflection pointWannabe
May 3, 2002 10:31 AM
What do you mean by "deflection point?" And what are you graphing? HR vs what?

Also, I seem to have two different HR points that I have noticed on various rides. When I ride, so long as I stay below 170-171bpm I seem to be able to ride for several hours. I'm tired after 3 hours, but I can keep that HR without problem and feel fine at the end of the ride. Then, between 171-180 or 182, I seem to be able to maintain that effort for about an hour to an hour and a half. But I am cooked at the end.

Am I noticing two differnt HR "thresholds" of significance or really just one? And I know this issn't enough info to say that those specific HRs are this or that.


deflection pointColnagoFE
May 3, 2002 2:36 PM
If you graph your HR out over about 40-60 minutes of progressively harder work (the more samples the better) there should be a point where your HR doesn't really rise at the same rate and kinda stays there for a bit before taking off up again. It is said this is close to your AT.
deflection pointSilentBob
May 4, 2002 7:27 AM
Ok. So increasing the the difficulty of the workout every 5 minutes would give us 8 to 12 increases (40 to 60 divided by 5). My trainer is adjustable but I think it only has about five settings if I recall correctly (Performance AF500 I think), but I could be wrong. So... I could always just increase the intensity every 8 minutes instead. Ok, sounds good. Now I'm assuming that I'm keeping the same cadence the whole time, right? Otherwise, I'd be throwing an extra variable into the equation. So the problem is that I don't have anything that measures cadence. Now I could just go by my "best guess", but I'd like to be as accurate as possible. Forgive the ignorance... I'm new to all of this.

Thanx again.