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How can you get to 5c riding solo?(18 posts)

How can you get to 5c riding solo?McAndrus
Oct 2, 2002 6:02 AM
I have a heart rate question. On my solo training rides I am occasionally required to hit the 5b and 5c ranges - as specified by Friel. I find it's impossible to do this.

While doing intervals I can get into the 5a range quite easily but getting the extra effort to raise it higher exhausts my legs and I'm forced to back off.

I've seen my observed max heart rate of 193 a few times - every time in a group ride or race. In a crit I can routinely get the heart rate into the high 180s for extended periods.

But riding solo, well, I'm just not sure it's possible. Then there's Friel saying that I should be able to get into 5b and 5c.

Is anyone able to get their heart rates that high riding alone and if so, what's the trick?
know that you meanDougSloan
Oct 2, 2002 6:21 AM
I'm not familiar with the zones you mention, but I'll assume that means "really high," like 98% of max?

It seems like I can easily get there in pseudo-races, but it's hard to do solo. Maybe the competition and distraction helps.

The best way I've found is get an HRM that has upper and lower limit alarms you can set. Set the upper just above the zone you want, and the lower just below it. For example, if you want to hit 195, set the upper for 197 and the lower for 193. Then, hammer away until the lower alarm stops, and back off when the upper sounds. That gives you the feedback you need without having to look at something, a good thing when you are going that hard.

Another suggestion is that you may need longer intervals to reach higher heartrates, as heartrate lags behind effort quite a bit, plus there's some further lag from the HRM.

re: How can you get to 5c riding solo?Bruno
Oct 2, 2002 9:54 AM
Try increasing the cadence. I've also notice that my max HR always happens during club rides and crits. It could be attributed to additional motivation but I'm sure there is something else. I suspect it is the cadence. When going fast on a group ride or crit you can maintain a high cadence that may not be the most effective while time trailing or riding solo. A higher cadence will make it easier on your legs allowing you to get to 5b anfd 5c.
re: How can you get to 5c riding solo?chrisbaby
Oct 3, 2002 8:59 AM
I ride up to zone 5a/b, hold it there for a minute, then attack as hard as I can. this is more easily achieved on steep hills. Then I puke, interval over.
re: How can you get to 5c riding solo?REPO42
Oct 6, 2002 9:31 PM
I train alone 99 percent of the time and have no problem getting heart rate up to 90+ percent. long hill climbs will easily get you to anabolic threshhold. As for flats push bigger gears. But it's a build up process...If you can't maintain this heartrate without blowing up then it defeats the purpose. The optimum to heartrate training is to get your heart rate up to the max without blowing up...If you do an interval that last 30 seconds with you blowing up at the end, then your body has learned nothing...for learning quick sprint intervals group training is the best.. nothing like sprinting against someone else... the adrelin rush keeps you going. It't not how hard you can push your max heart rate, but how quickly you can recover...
I think you're on to somethingMcAndrus
Oct 7, 2002 5:21 AM
Yesterday was my day for my max-out hill repeats. On my favorite training hill - where I previously could not get the HR above 181 when it is supposed to go to at least 187 - I tried your idea.

My understanding of Friel would have me using a cadence of 90rpm. Yesterday as I approached the top of the climb I lowered the gear and took the cadence to 100+. My HR jumped from about 180 to 190 in less than 50 yards.

I tried the hill again with the lower cadence and the heart rate stayed in the low 180s. I'll have to experiment some more but I think this may work. Thanks for your idea.
I think you're on to somethingREPO42
Oct 7, 2002 9:46 PM
I'm a bit confused when I read how people want to max out...That type of training is fine and dandy for sprints or attacks, but I think the way to become a good cyclist is to find the max heart rate you can sustain without blowing up.. whether it be at 90 rpm or 100. As you become better conditioned you will be able to sustain higher heart rates, and more than likely the faster speeds go hand in hand.. Being able to maintain a constant rythym on a climb is what seperates the good from the great... remember if you blow up on a climb you basically are cooked, unless you recover immediately... If I understand correctly though, I will assume that your max out training revloves around the concept of attacking.. Still in that case you should not blow up, but be able to attack at near max heart rate then back off when you have achieved the distance from the field you desire then settle in a rythym of 90+ max the rest of the climb, or untill you need to attack again, etc...hope this makes sense...
The point of it is...hayaku
Oct 8, 2002 3:20 AM
Physiological adaptation.

Pushing your anaerobic limits will make you more capable of performing in those situations in a race and will even make your aerobic capacity greater. While racing you will need to use anaerobic energy supplies to respond to attacks, by training those specificly and training hard, by blowing you are pushing your limits and getting stronger.

Another point is that if you never go beyond what you can do, how do you know how far you can go? It is helpful to know your limits and helpful to lengthen them.
The point of it is...REPO42
Oct 8, 2002 8:53 PM
Ok lets all try to get on the same page here... Blowing up is the process of ones body no longer being able to clense out waste material of burned carbs/blood sugar. What they refer to as lactic acid. Burning legs and so on... When you hit that point basically your body is not funtioning at it's peak... Yes blowing up is a great way to compare progress one makes.. Your body will eventually work at a higher max heart rate before it begins to blow up.. plain and simple in two months of training if you can't maintain a higher heart rate before blowing up then something is wacked with your training schedule...From everything I have read the best training is at the point right before the lactic acid begins to build up.. that's your anabolic threshold....It also depends on what type of training you are focusing on.. All out sprints will most likely cause you to blow up, then focusing on recovering right after will create explosive power... such as attacking, bridging gaps, so on.. Intervolt training right at your max threshold, but not blowing up will make you a better time trialist...But as far as blowing up during a climb, from every pro race I have ever watched the one who blows up rarely recovers enough to bridge unless it's an immediate recovery... Yeah you do need to train at different speeds on climbs because we all know that the tempo is never constant... there are attacks, others push the pace, and so sum this long reply up... when you train there should be a specific as to what you are applying that training session offense to anyone, not trying to belittle anyones opinion...
Something else to keep in mind...Jon in CT
Oct 8, 2002 2:09 PM
I believe that Friel mentions that it's "effort level" he's talking about, at least in some of the shorter intervals where the heart rate doesn't have time to respond relative to the work being done.

If, on the other hand, you're talking about those damn 90 sec. jobs (lactate tolerance reps), then I think what you should be concerned about is finding the max HR you can REALLY push for that time period and watch what happens each time you do that drill. If one time you notice that your HR is significantly below what you've seen in the past, then you probably need to back off. On the other hand, if you feel well recovered from previous training and you do the drill, feel strong and are able to get your HR in the appropriate by-the-book 5c zone when you couldn't before, then you may be training too hard overall most of the time.

Personally, I've never seen the HRs in training that I've seen after finishing sprints in a race (high 190s). I've come close in workouts, but I have to be totally recovered and seriously hyped up.
Something else to keep in mind...REPO42
Oct 8, 2002 9:01 PM
I agree with you exactly... There is no training substitute for racing... Group rides come close as long as everyone has the same specifics for the ride as you do... Can't race train with a group if today is there social day....But what I have learned from the past is... That whatever speed you are training at most likely you can add 2 miles per hour to that for racing... What I mean is that if you training at around 20 miles per hour than most likely you will be able to ride comfortabley at about 22 or 23 in a race.. due to drafting, adrenilan, etc...if you train constantly at about 24 then most likely you will be able to handle 25 or 26 during a race...
This is why so many pros have gone to power measuring devices.allervite
Oct 9, 2002 11:57 AM
Heart rate is a sloppy way to measure effort. In the lower zones, heart rate works fairly well. It is great at telling you when you are going too hard. However, it sucks at measuring your effort in the upper (harder) zones. For example, on a very hot day your max heart rate will be higher. If you are full of adrenaline or under the inffluence of certain drugs, your max heart rate will be higher. If you are dehidrated, your max heart rate will be higher. If you are running instead of riding, your max heart rate will be higher. Also, as other posters have mentioned, heart rate lags behind effort. In other words, if you go as hard as you can from the gun, your heart rate does not immediately reach max. It climbs to max quite slowly. The fitter you are the slower it climbs. Try going all out for 30 seconds and watch your heart rate. It will actually peak after you have stopped working!

For those upper zone intervals, you are better off going by peceived effort rather than heart rate.
This is why so many pros have gone to power measuring devices.REPO42
Oct 9, 2002 9:10 PM
Good point... But why is that? After I do an all out sprint interval my heart rate doesn't soar till actually I'm back in the saddle, and after the sprint?
Our body's systems work on...hayaku
Oct 11, 2002 4:04 AM
Negative reception. When we're sprinting our heart and lungs go in to recovery mode and that doesn't stop until lactic acid starts to be cleared, after the workload.

By the way, I agree with your reply to my post above. I think that the best way to launch a successful attack is to break and proceed at a sustainable pace.

I lost my most important race of the year in August because I covered my HR monitor and couldn't check it when I broke away. With all the motivation, didn't realize that I wasn't gonna last long enough at that pace and I got caught... Boo hoo, still dissapointed about that one.

Anyway, good luck to you.
Our body's systems work on...hrv
Oct 11, 2002 9:05 AM
Does that mean that you have to get a better handle on your perceived exertion so you can sense where you're at without a hr monitor? That's one of my goals next season.

Our body's systems work on...REPO42
Oct 13, 2002 4:41 AM
hmmmmm.. I would say it would almost be impossible to guage what your body is doing without some type of training measurement. As stated in another post, the best way to guage ones performance is that power test thingy. How much power one can put out over an extended period of time.. Well most of us can't afford something like that, or do not live in areas where that is available. So we use other devices like HRM's. This is my first year using a HRM and my progress has been great. I'm climbing faster and am able to hold quicker speeds for longer periods of time. Well relating all this to your question, I would say perceived effort would be the worst way to judge your fitness level.. too many varying factors... Trained many years with no type of training guage and always felt like I would hit plateus(sp). Imagine your on a steady climb of a mile or two, riding at a decent pace. When you first hit that climb can you realistically guage how much effort to put in without blowing up half way to the top? I don't think many of us can do that.. Even if you feel really great, and are riding this climb comfortably can you tell if you are holding back? Without some type of training guage I think for the average racer it's difficult or almost impossible to have a acurate perceived effort... one racers opinion...
For lower intensity work...hayaku
Oct 14, 2002 7:02 PM
I think a HRM, with experience about how your HR reacts to fatigue is the best measure. Up to LT levels and maybe work periods that you can sustain for 1.5-2 minutes HR can be a good indication. I never train aerobically without my HRM. However in shorter work periods, such as sprint type, anaerobic workouts your heart doesn't have time to respond. Therefore percieved exertion is good, if you don't have a power measure availible.

I often use time as a measure when working on hill sprints. I know that my speed will fade through the workout but try to make it to a certain point on the hill before a certain time. That gives me a good guide to percieved exertion during anaerobic efforts and also gives me good information about how my fitness and specifically my ability to reproduce a certain power output is progressing. Real world power measurements is about all I can afford so it works out nicely.
Good pointREPO42
Oct 14, 2002 9:08 PM
In Laymens terms.... For sprints throw everything out the window and just hammer like a bat out of hell.... For endurance training or anarobic training a monitor would be ideal if you are doing intervolts over 2 minutes....I have read that is the average time it takes for a HRM to catch up to you.... One racers opinion