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Heart Rate Question?(13 posts)

Heart Rate Question?REPO42
Oct 22, 2002 9:41 PM
I will sum it up as best as I can. I am training to race cat 5's next season. Well this year I decided to use a HRM, and I love it. It seems as though when I first began to train I could push my HR up to 180+(my max HR for my age is 190 give or take.) Now after months if intense training, unless I am climbing I find it difficult to get my HR up past 170. I am putting as much intensity as I did at the start of conditioning. What gives? Am I in better shape? Am I overtrained? I do notice that I don't tend to blow up as easy as in the beginning of conditioning.
re: Heart Rate Question?Lactate Junkie
Oct 23, 2002 10:05 AM
My vote would be for over trained, although you probably in better shape as well. Possibly, your fitness has increased, but you have not learned how to go fast enough on the flats to push your heart rate up as far as you used to when you were not in as good of shape. There are a lot of possibilities. How often do you do hard days? Where do you keep your heart rate on "easy" days. When was the last time you took a week off the bike completely? Are your legs sore when you wake up in the morning? Over training is pretty common for someone just starting out—for that matter it is common for people who have been racing for years. Beginners, tend to think they have to go hard on every ride, or they are not accomplishing anything. Over time the tendency is to go kind or hard all the time.
re: Heart Rate Question?REPO42
Oct 23, 2002 9:01 PM
Heres a bit more info on how I train...I do anarobic tues, thurs, and sat. I dont ride on mon or fri.. Wednesday is recovery ride. Tues and Thurs are about 1 hour or so, balls out. Actually I do the spin class at the local gym due to it getting dark so early.. Saturday I ride about 1-1.5 hours(this is my hill workout) Climbing only, about 90% max heart rate..Sunday endurance ride 2-3 hours. I would say no more than 70%max heart rate..I have been riding off and on for over 14 years, but this is my first full season using a recovery rides I only put my HR between 60-70% of max... I have matured past that stage where I felt I needed to go balls out every ride, or the training was a failure. Recovery rides are just as important as intense ones. Just did an 1hour and10 min spin and felt totally relaxed after..I do take days off if I feel ill or so, or extra tired. I am leaning towards the latter or your reply that my legs need to get stronger in order to push harder....If you have more to add please post again. Wonderfull information in these discussion rooms.. thank you
Are Tue, Thu, and Sat really anaerobic?McAndrus
Oct 24, 2002 5:02 AM
An anaerobic ride for me is an HR above 187. I reach anaerobic infrequently and for very specific reasons - like hill repeats or hill sprints. Heck, even in racing (Masters 45+) I don't get anaerobic very often.

If you truly are doing anaerobic that often, I'd say you're over training. On the other hand, the figures you quote above don't really sound like anaerobic training.

There are other ways to gauge overtraining like poor sleep, high morning heart rate, grumpiness, etc.

Just as a test you might want to back off for a week or maybe even two. Just ride a couple of recovery rides each week and see what happens with the heart rate on the third week. At this time of the year you're not risking anything on your form for the spring.
If you're not overtrained now, you will be soon!hrv
Oct 24, 2002 7:27 AM
Like McAndrus said, you need to build recovery weeks into your schedule, like every 3rd or 4th week. Less volume/intensity these weeks. Otherwise, you will be on the high road to overtraining.

When is your first race? If soon, then I'd imagine your schedule is ok. Not until Spring? Then why are you doing intensity stuff now? Were you planning to do a period of base miles sans intensity? If you don't develop this base and your plan is to continue at your present levels, then you could be toast come March. Trust me: I had a very similar schedule to you last year and right before my first race in February (time trial) I was so cooked I could barely turn the pedals.

Of course, if you've raced before and this schedule has worked for you (you were strong from the beginning of the season to the end), then forget everything I said!
re: Heart Rate Question?Anaerobic_Nut
Oct 24, 2002 10:51 AM
Sounds a little similar to my first season as well. Started to get some coaching advice and found my legs we just not developed yet for the type of training I was doing. It takes a couple of years to fully build cycling specific strength and gain oxygen efficiency. I would suggest only doing 2 hard days: say Tues and Sat. I agree with the other comments about recovery; it is key to your development as a rider. If you continue at this rate; you'll be hammered early on next season.
re: Heart Rate Question?REPO42
Oct 24, 2002 8:45 PM
The reason I am going at it so hard is because soon as Old Man Winter sets in I will have all the days off I can handle...
Moderation, though, is key--balance, over timeBryanJL
Oct 25, 2002 3:55 PM
It takes time to get fit.

Intensity has benefits. So does rest, and hills, and sprints, and easy rides, and strength.

The key is a sensible, balanced approach that has you ready to race *when you need to race*.

It's a wierd thing--I used to think I was doing great on the early season group rides, "beating" other people. It was a great experience when they beat me in the races--they performed when it mattered.

It's tempting, but it takes as much discipline to go easy or rest as it does to go as hard as you can--sometimes more.

Good luck,

Moderation, though, is key--balance, over timeREPO42
Oct 25, 2002 4:55 PM
I have been riding off and on for 14 years now... This is my second go around at racing... I feel I am training more sensibley, and am including recovery rides in my training schedule.. I do know when I am overtrained...I have learned to read my body...I will feel really tired or heart rate will still be high early in the morning.. I am no there, by no means, I still am enjoying myself as my progress gets better, and that the true measure of knowing one is overtrained..Ask yourself how do I feel mentally, refreshed or burned? Winter is right around the corner and that will give me plenty of time to rest up for spring training...I agree with you that you have to learn to ease up at times and not over exhert yourself... I am posting all these replies for one question..."why is it harder for my heart rate to go up during intense training? After being given wonderfull advice from all in this discussion room I come to the conclussion that I must answer this question for myself....
my $.02MXL02
Oct 24, 2002 8:47 PM
I have very little experience with all this but I did just a training program, and the one thing everyone harps on is that it's not how hard you train, but how you incorporate resting and recovery into you schedule. Intensity during training is not as important as frequency and consistency. For more info, try the CTS web site or the Friel training manual.
re: Heart Rate Question?tigermilk
Oct 25, 2002 6:10 PM
I went through a short period where I wasn't able to push my HR up, but I've fixed that. Part of it is fitness, but the other part is you need to push the legs harder. I've actually gone higher in the last few months than I ever have. My answer has been focusing on power rather than HR. I find when I'm pushing to max out my power on the intevals, the HR jumps as a response. For you, I'd say when you see that HR stagnate, kick it up a notch until you cry for mother.
Oct 25, 2002 9:36 PM
I tried that yesterday in my spin cycling class...Nightfall comes early so I sub spin class for a road ride. Anyways heart rate flatted out at about 163, so I tightened the resistence then hammered away and watched my HR jump up. Hammered it out till I basically blew up... Indeed I need to put it in a bigger gear when my HR flats...funny thing is someone posted a very similar question and I told him to push a bigger gear...Took all these replies from everyone for an answer that I already knew... Thanks to all who replied...Sharing info. is awesome.....
re: Heart Rate Question?brutus
Nov 9, 2002 3:26 PM
If your goal is to do well next season now is not the time to be working on interval type training. You should be concentrating on putting in base miles at a heart rate in the aerobic range (as Friel suggests zone 2 or 3). Start with speed training in the two months prior to your racing season. The fact that you find it harder to get up to your higher heart rate is likely the result of you getting fitter. Also don't neglect wt training in the early season to help build some power in your muscles.