After reviewing my heart rate stats from my little blue machine (Garmin) I was wondering if there was any way to work on lowering your heart rate. I know I could lose 10kg, cycle slower, stay away from hills etc, however I like my food too much, love the hills and figure I may as well push myself (for fitness sake) to try and keep up with some other cyclists I ride with so they don't have to wait too long for me at the top of the next hill.
Too often I see my my heart rate above 90% of max (this morning topped at 104% with an average of 85%). I haven't had any official test to see what my 'real' maximum actually is but anything above 90% and I'm feeling pretty stuffed so I don't think its too far off in calculations.
My original motivation for starting cycling 18 months ago was to get fitter and lose some weight - both have been achieved to some/good degree. I am now just loving being on the bike - its addictive.
Any help would be appreciated.
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I used to work on a cardiac ward at FMC. In my time there I met a few patients that had received heart transplants. Some of them actually had 2 hearts! A procedure known as heterotopic heart transplant, the second heart is plumbed in alongside the old one. They give a really confusing ECG for the poor Nurses as the hearts don't beat in rhythm.
I'm not sure it would give an advantage on the hills though...
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I've spent a bit of time recently looking at my ave and max HR on rides for the last 12 months. For me as cadence increases so does HR, and I wanted to try and increase cadence and lower HR, which obviously wasn't happening. For the past couple of weeks (probably not along enough to make any informed decisions) I have simply ignored my HRM and just ridden by feel, trying to push a higher gear than I normally would for as long as I can, so far I've been quicker and felt stronger and had better endurance than ever before. My theory is we can get too caught up in watching our heart rate and let it dictate how we ride, I'm ignoring my heart and listening to my legs (sorry Jens)and it seems to be working for me.
I do look at my heart rate and cadence after a ride to compare with previous efforts, so I'm not ignoring it completely, just not on a ride, it is what it is.
FWIW as a comparison mine was HR180 cadence 84, 34:08 so a hell of a lot slower.
Just on the heart rate thing, a few people have commented on the training zones, which I have personally used with good results.
What I do find though is that it is hard to maintain the zone 3 for an entire ride. I find it easy to run (Long or recovery runs) in zone 3 and this is where I have seen the biggest gains.
My theory is that I may train to fast on the bike. A common mistake with new runners also. Certainly if your incorporating hills it would be near impossible to do zone based training.
Zone 3, on the flat, nice and steady as she goes.
Cadence - all depends on compact / standard cranks as well what cassette i.e. 12/25
With the 12 / 25 cassette while pedaling at 100 rpm, a compact crank with 34 tooth inner ring would give a bottom gear speed of 17.3 km/h. Meanwhile a standard crank with 39 tooth inner ring would give a speed of 19.8 km/h at 100 rpm.
Anyway leave this to another discussion
Darren, I've been working on a bigger gear, lower cadence, recently and it feels so much better to me.
Might have a crack at a high cadence run to OH tomorrow though, just to see how that goes.