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SlowRower

Hear rate conundrum

Over the last 15 years or so, I've done a lot of training to heart rate. For rowing, running, cycling up hills and turbo work, I've always found it "easy" to settle into steady state work close to my anaerobic threshold, and keep plodding away until time runs out or distance is achieved.

However, when cycling on the road on the flat, I struggle to get my heart rate as high 10bpm below my anaerobic threshold, despite seriously painful thighs and lower back. It's always frustrating when I stop in such circumstances as the limb and back pain immediately subside and the CV system wasn't hurting in the first place. It feels as though on the road, I'm unable to apply the admittedly limited horsepower I have at my disposal.

One thought is that on the turbo, I naturally adopt a comfortable position, which involves looking at the front chain ring a lot, allowing me to apply full power. Obviously, this isn't safe on the road, which might force my lower back and legs into a "weak" position looking forwards rather than down.

Has anyone else noticed anything similar? If so, any tips on riding position on the road would be much appreciated.
Ralphnorman

I've noticed something similar (although not using a HRM), hence why when I TT I have a tendancy to look down. Unfortunatly I have no explanation for this so if anyone knows, you'd be helping 2 of us Smile
Enchantress

Power is definitely related to your position.

For one, in an ITT situation, you may well give up power to make gains in aerodynamics and end up with a higher overall speed.

I think a combination of things might help you:

Work on flexibility and range of motion

Do more training in the positions you ride in on the road. So perhaps use your road riding position (looking more upright) while indoors. You won't be faster in that road riding position unless you train in it more.
SlowRower

Enchantress,

Thanks for the suggestions.

Unfortunately, there is no flexibility or range of motion left in my lower back. The best I can hope for is that it doesn't fall apart again! Sad

I'm working on a range of new riding positions, and hopefully monitoring heart rate vs speed as we go along will help alleviate the tedium and identify the best position - assuming I don't crash, of course!
SlowRower

After a few weeks to allow for what passes for proper scientific analysis, I think I have got to the bottom of the conundrum.

On the turbo, I do a lot of out of the saddle work (1 minute every 4 or so) to keep my lower back loose. Doing this, my cadence drops from the low 70s to the low 60s, for a 10bpm increase in heart rate. Over a long session, the heart rate varies with position, but tends towards the AT.

On the road on the flat, I generally only get out of the saddle when coasting (again to relieve the back and other sensitive anatomical regions) and thus do not get the heart rate impact.

Seated pedalling on road and turbo has pretty much the same impact on heart rate.

Out of the saddle pedalling appears to just bring more muscles into play (like running and rowing), thus giving the heart more work to do.

The unexpected discovery is just how inefficient out of the saddle work is in terms of pedal revs for heart beatsvs seated pedalling. Something else to track over the winter, so I'm in "Anorak Heaven". Smile
thunderthighs

remeber POWER is everthing...if you want to turn 55X11 at 130 rpms... Power is the only way..

throw thoughs gadgets away.....please !!!!

ciao
SlowRower

It's a bit early in the training cycle to be spinning the 55*11 at 130rpm!
cardinal guzman

lol - sounds to me like SR's gadget has taught him about economising energy expenditure, so misplaced advice there TT!
SlowRower

Indeed - I send precious little energy to the pedals as it is, so don't want to waste any. Smile
thunderthighs

thats not what i meant.. what i wa strying to say is to step into a nw dimension power is the utmost..
nobody turn 55x11@130 rpm.. drugs are not that good yet.. for Lance to win seven tours he di dit by power increase, not fitness....i believe lance went from 380+ watts to over 400+ watts..weighing 10 kg less..

i never give bad advise.. never...ciao
SlowRower

You quote Lance's power figures which I think relate to what he could maintain for an hour.

How do you suggest increasing the power that can be maintained for an hour, TT? Most conventional training regimes have hours of long "steady state" work at this time of the year.
thunderthighs

remember my sloagan..no garbage miles....

so keep it fast from the first turn of the pedal, leaving drive way.  wear a weight vest with 3lbs adn find a long gradual climb and do sitting intervals. then remove vest..and do three off saddle..in same gear...3 times/week for 6 weeks..

thats what i did when i rode Quens Park bike race with east grman riders in 90..good luck...
last km

thunderthighs wrote:
remember my sloagan..no garbage miles....

so keep it fast from the first turn of the pedal, leaving drive way.  wear a weight vest with 3lbs adn find a long gradual climb and do sitting intervals. then remove vest..and do three off saddle..in same gear...3 times/week for 6 weeks..

thats what i did when i rode Quens Park bike race with east grman riders in 90..good luck...


Lots of sense in that....and I like the slogan...no garbage miles........top banana

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