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Heart Rate.
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Anonymous
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:09 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Heart Rate. Reply with quote

OK, so calculated HR is 220 minus your age right. That makes mine right at or around 198. From what I have read LT is at 85% of your max HR. Once again that makes my LT right at 168.

My legs do not cramp while riding nor do I feel the immediate burn of Lactic acid during the race. I do however fell it a little later while making my long drive home. Additionally my HR has jumped up to high numbers like 189-192 in difficult sections of the race.

Here comes the question part. During my last two races my average HR has been at 173 and 171. Does this mean that:

1. My max HR is higher than 198?
or
2. My LT is higher than that calculated and closer to my average?
or
3. My LT is the calculated figure but I am riding at above LT for an extended period of time?

When I train I have been training using calculated zones, if the calculated zones are incorrect then I need to adjust my training.

I know that I could go get my LT tested etc. but those costs $$$$$$$ - and I would much rather spend resources on a new road bike, etc.

Thanks for all of the information you can provide.
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Spencycles
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:34 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Re: Heart Rate Reply with quote

BBranham,

I know your question was directed to the Bike Doc, and I am sure he will also reply, but here is my 2 cents.

Something to consider about the formulas you used to calculate your LT heart rate is that both the 220 - Your Age = MHR and LT = 85% MHR are based on averages of a large population of people who were tested to establish the formula. This means the formulas will give fairly accurate estimates for most people, but there is also a lot of variance in both Max Heart Rate and LT heart Rate from one athlete to another. So, for some the formulas may not work.

In most cases, when riders find that the formulas do not jive with what they are seeing on the bike, it is because their LT heart rate does not fall at exactly 85% of their max heart rate. Different people hit their LT at different percentages of their Max Heart Rate. 85% is just the "average" value where most people hit their LT. Of course since the formulas are based on averages of a large population, there is a lot of variance in Max Heart Rate values as well.

That being said, the HR values you described seem fairly consistent. Your LT heart rate may be a little higher than 168, but most likely, your average HR in your races is higher due to factors like nerves, adrenaline, upper body movement and other factors that raise your HR other than strictly pedaling exertion. When I advise my clients on how to estimate their LT heart rate, I always instruct them to use non-competition efforts to base their estimates on. It is also better to train a little below your LT, than above it, so you should round your LT Heart Rate value DOWN. So for you, if you adjust your LT value at all, don't go above 170 BPM. But in the real world of training to race bikes, 168 BPM and 170 BPM are the same.

A fairly accurate and inexpensive test you can do to estimate or verify your LT Heart Rate is a non-competition 40 K (~24 mile) TT effort on a relatively flat PAVED course. Using a road bike works best due to the higher gearing. This effort should take you around one hour. Ride the course at the highest intensity you can maintain over the full course. In other words, you should not go out at 30 miles an hour and drag across the line at 15 miles an hour. You should feel like you want to stop or back off, but you don't have to. Record your average heart rate over the full course, and that will be pretty close to your LT Heart Rate.

I hope this is helpful,

Brett Spencer
USA Cycling Licensed Coach
www.Spencycles.com
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tt
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:39 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Heart rate Reply with quote

You cannot go by the generic formula. I am 47 years old ...220-47=173 x 85% = 147. Not true for me...My true max is 195 x 85% = 165 I race at an avg of 162-165 with out any problems and at times spike up to 180 on hard parts of the course.
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Spencycles
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:41 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Re: Heart Rate Reply with quote

One claification - When I said, "round your LT Heart Rate value DOWN.", I should have said, "round your LT Heart Rate value DOWN to the nearest 5 BPM." A small but important point.

Brett Spencer
USA Cycling Licensed Coach
www.Spencycles.com
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Anonymous
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 4:34 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Re: Heart Rate Reply with quote

Spencycles wrote:
A fairly accurate and inexpensive test you can do to estimate or verify your LT Heart Rate is a non-competition 40 K (~24 mile) TT effort on a relatively flat PAVED course. Using a road bike works best due to the higher gearing. This effort should take you around one hour. Ride the course at the highest intensity you can maintain over the full course. In other words, you should not go out at 30 miles an hour and drag across the line at 15 miles an hour. You should feel like you want to stop or back off, but you don't have to. Record your average heart rate over the full course, and that will be pretty close to your LT Heart Rate.


Good topic! I have a question regarding LT testing on a road bike vs. mtn bike racing... using the 30 minute road TT test described in Friel's book (avg hr of the last 20 mins of the test), my LT is 174. I've done 3 or 4 of these tests and they are always done at the end of a rest week. However, my mtn bike racing avg hr seems to fall between 165 and 170 - 5-10 beats lower than my road LT. Since more muscle mass is involved (upper body) in the typical mtn bike race on a 'typical' mtn bike race course, is it possible that LT can vary between road cycling and off-road cycling?
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Spencycles
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:56 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Re: Heart Rate Reply with quote

Rookie,

Your LT Heart Rate will be the same for all cycling activities if accurately measured. There should not be a difference in LT Heart Rate between Road and MTB. As we have both mentioned, if anything the additional upper body work required for MTB would produce a slightly higher result.

The test described in Friel's book tends to produce slightly high results, since most people can maintain a higher intensity for 20 - 30 minutes than they can an hour. I will use this shorter test with my clients, if I will be there with them to help them adjust their results for the factors that can effect heart rate ( shorter duration, wind, hills/slight inclines, heat, humidity). Although the 30 minute test is more convenient for riders to do, the shorter timeframe means the impact of all of these factors is amplified exponentially with the shorter test compared to the 40 K TT effort.

I would recommend that you try the 40 K TT protocol and see how your results compare to the test from Friel's book.

Brett Spencer
USA Cycling Licensed Coach
www.Spencycles.com
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Anonymous
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:18 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll give the 40k TT a try the next time I do performance testing. Thanks for the info!
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Anonymous
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:42 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found the formulas to be way off for me. I'm 35 so that formula would have my max HR at 185. That's lower than my AVERAGE HR for the Huntsville race. I've seen 210 when running and my average when on the mountain bike is 185-187. I was cruising down the trail in the big ring and glanced down to see 191. My resting rate is 48-50 or I would just think my monitor is reading high.
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The Bike Doc
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Location: Corpus Christi and Warda, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:18 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, in the words of Charles deGaul: "The graveyards are full of irreplaceable men." I have been replaced, now I am going to go ride my bike..... Wink

Brett has provided some valuable information. Keep in mind that your maximum heart rate is YOUR maximum heart rate, not an estimation from a very poor formula derived from averages in the general population.

To find out YOUR maximum heart rate do this simple test (yeah, right!). Before you do this test have a good training base. DO NOT do this test if you have any history of heart disease, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, or family history of heart disease. If you are such a person do this test in a hospital setting with physician supervision!

Get a heart rate monitor as you will never be able to count your pulse accurately when you are in the oxygen debt of a max heart rate test. Find a looooong hill, preferably one that steepens towards the apex, or for flat landers, wait for a day with a good stiff wind then ride into the wind. After a good 10 minute warm up, attack the bottom of the hill or turn full bore into the wind. Start in a moderate gear and crank it up, keep shifting to the next harder gear every 30 - 60 seconds. (Now imagine that Doby the Pincher is on your heals or better yet do this test next to the property with that big old canine who loves to max your heart rate out, after all, that's what this test is all about.) Keep cranking it out until your lungs feel like there going to blow out like a bicycle tire inflated with a gas station air chuck, your legs threaten to change your name to Ricky Mortis, your life starts passing before your eyes or a root canal without Novocain seems almost pleasant, which ever comes first. Now just before you do an Arty Johnson on your bicycle, (you old farts out there know what I am talking about) check your heart rate, THAT’S your maximum heart rate.

Now you can also reproduce this kind of testing during a real world mountain bike race. Halfway through the race, at the toughest climb in the race, check your heart rate when you are doing an all out effort to get to the peak of the climb. For me, climbing “The Pass” at the end of my first lap at Warda (or just about any hill at Kelly Creek) was the point where I would max my heart rate.

Now, your lactate threshold (LT), the heart rate which your muscles will tolerate the build up of lactic acid, will vary depending on how long you need to sustain your effort. Brett has accurately pointed out that the heart rate at LT for a 30 minute time trial will be higher than for a one hour time trial. The longer TT test would be more accurate for your LT for a MTB race.

DISCLAIMER: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES PARTAKE IN THE ABOVE DESCRIBED TESTS IF YOU ARE COUCH POTATOE JUST CLIMBING OUT FROM THE CRACKS BETWEEN THE CUSHIONS, YOU HAVE ANY HEART PROBLEMS, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, ELEVATED CHOLESTEROL, FAMILY HISTORY OF HEART PROBLEMS OR ANY UNPAID LIFE INSURANCE PREMIUMS!!! Get a medical evaluation by a competent cardiologist or sports medicine physician first. Then your family can go after that doctor’s malpractice insurance. Wink

Thanks,
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AKA: The Bike Doc
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Spencycles
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:50 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Re: Heart Rate Reply with quote

Doc,

I have no delusions of grandeur that I could replace you. This one just happened to fall into my area of expertise. I check the "Ask the Bike Doc" forum every day and on most threads, I learn a lot from your replies. You truly are irreplaceable!

Thanks for all you do!

Brett Spencer
USA Cycling Licensed Coach
www.Spencycles.com
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The Bike Doc
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Joined: 08 May 2003
Posts: 1370
Location: Corpus Christi and Warda, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:10 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brett:

Thank you. I appreciat your input as well.

BTW, Arty Johnson, was the first cyclist to try out clipless pedals. Laughing

Thanks,
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Paul K. Nolan, MD
AKA: The Bike Doc
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Nathan Winkelmann
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Posts: 667
Location: Huntsville,TEXAS

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 9:50 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

My heart rate is lower than "normal". I start hurting around 160 bpm, if you can hit 175 bpm, then do it. Keep it steady and your body with thank you. You shouldn't really "hurt" until the end of your ride, after acid starts building up in your legs. Try keeping the HR even throughout the whole ride in order for max performance. Don't spike it up to 195 bmp in those tough sections.
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Anonymous
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 11:42 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wink,

I know I should try to stay within a relative range but it is real hard to do when you are trying to win races (at least for me)! I am severely impressed with your HR and how well you do. So here is my question for you -

Dou you have any suggestions on how to keep a "steady" HR during a race?"
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Nathan Winkelmann
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Posts: 667
Location: Huntsville,TEXAS

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 4:11 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Its real easy to try and keep up with somebody attacking the first mile. In longer races, ie. sport, expert you have plenty of time. If you try and keep up with someone thats faster than you, for me that would be Jason Sager, it would blow me up so I would slow down to recover and in the long run lose more time(and feel like crap). If you are a faster racer, go your pace, if they are faster then they are probably going to win anyway! My point being, the start is blow, fast, blow etc, etc until the finish. Lance starts hits LTfast, try and get in a comfort zone hold it , let those guys pass you, two miles down the road on the big climb you'll be passing them. I had an example shown like this: Riders in the TdF that aren't in contention go real fast, blow up, fast, blow etc. etc. Lance starts, hits LT and holds for the duration of the TT. When I do an XC race I try and keep it like Lance and Avg 160 max of 170. Not much variation. BUT this is ME, in certain races strategy WILL change. this is the norm though. Good luck-wink
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wyatt3d
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:32 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: hr Reply with quote

My hr durning a sport race has averaged around 192. It may spike over 200 but I haven't seen it below 190 yet. During a 40min flat road TT my average was about 184. My age is 30 and my resting hr was 42 yesterday morning. Is it benificial to have a higher or lower heart rate during a race?
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