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  1. #1
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    How do I train from here?

    I bought a HRM. I wanted to see my current level. I had been wondering about my efforts over the years. I am approaching 40. I am in my late 30s.
    I have been completing cat 4 races. I have been lapped in a number of Cat 4 criteriums. The road races seem to be easier on me. The criteriums can be enormously frustrating.

    On the prior Thursday I rode a flat(600 ft over 34 mi) course with several slower riders. My average speed was 18. My average heart was 153. My maximum seems to be only 180. I feel that I was in the wrong zone for which should be an easy effort with the group.

    On a 40 mile ride by myself I averaged 19.5 mph. My heart rate average was 162. On another 33 solo ride I had a heart rate average of 160 and a high of 170.

    In the last 33mile weekday race of the year I had a heart rate of 174 with a high of 187. My cadence was 82. I feel that my cadence is closer to 90 on a great feeling ride. The average speed on this flat race course was close to 26mph. There were no tight corners.

    Is my maximum heart rate too low?
    Is my minimum heart rate too high?
    Where should my average be?

    How do I train to lower heart rate for effort? I am close to redline on a cat 4 road race. I have very little seemly to make for speed out of a corner.

    Thanks
    Bill

  2. #2
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    You can't compare heart rates between individuals. Two riders the same age and size putting out the same power can have very different heart rates. There's no value that your HR "should" be.

    You are probably getting dropped in crits because you're not handling the accellerations well, because you don't train for them enough. Trying to maintain a high average speed on your training rides does not train the anaerobic systems needed for short bursts of high power. Average speed is not a useful metric for mass start racing.

    You also probably are not good at positioning in the pack and anticipating what the pack is going to do (no one is when they start racing). If you wait until there's a gap it's harder to close it than if you started closing it when you saw it was going to open. It just takes experience to learn to see it happening.

    Both the lack of anaerobic short term power and lack of experience can be addressed by doing race oriented group rides.

    You should consider using a higher cadence in races. 82 is low. A higher cadence makes it easier to make quick accellerations.

    Last, its hard for everyone.

  3. #3
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    HR is genetically determined and limited and is different for everyone.

    Your hr shouldn't be anything necessarily. It's only relevant to you, and frankly, isn't particularly relevant at all in a race situation. Does it matter if your hr is 170 versus 140 if you're getting dropped? Nope.

    You train to improve performance at a particular hr the same you train for anything. You ride more. You ride more specifically. And then you ride even more.

    What do you need to not get dropped? I think eric already nailed a bit of it. But basically you just need more fitness. You need more miles. You need more quality workouts. You need more experience in the pack to minimize your efforts. All of these things take a long time to get.

    It's Sept. Start planning for next year. Read a couple of books, pencil out a schedule that has you upping your hours within reason and targeting some specific workouts around threshold, vo2, sprints, etc. Get in some group rides with other racers where you're working on positioning and handling and pick their brains about racing tactics and training and all, too. Now's the time to start putting in work for next season.

  4. #4
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    Guys.

    I am doing 5000-7000 miles on the road per year. I am a Cat 4 riding with guys really above my skill set. I had my racing license for 5+ years.

    The heart rate seems to be way to high for the perceived effort level. My resting heart rate is high. Today, it was 74 in a small sampling. In a 20 minute period it dropped to 60 for many times. IT reached higher values such as 100 at moments.

    I think that something is going wrong, here. I am looking into my cadence, too.

    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by the_doctor View Post
    Guys.

    I am doing 5000-7000 miles on the road per year. I am a Cat 4 riding with guys really above my skill set. I had my racing license for 5+ years.

    The heart rate seems to be way to high for the perceived effort level. My resting heart rate is high. Today, it was 74 in a small sampling. In a 20 minute period it dropped to 60 for many times. IT reached higher values such as 100 at moments.

    I think that something is going wrong, here. I am looking into my cadence, too.

    Bill
    A Cat 4 for 5 years? Seriously. Go ride 10,000-12,000 miles next year instead of 5,000 and get back to us with the results. 5-7000 miles really isn't anything. And HR and cadence have nothing to do with anything. Sounds like you're just out of shape. Go ride more and stop looking for excuses.

  6. #6
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    First, your resting heart rate should be taken in the morning before you get up to be meaningful. Mine falls below 38 during the early morning but just getting ready to ride takes it above 60.

    It seems like you would be a good candidate for a power meter? That would allow you to accurately track the relationship between your heart rate and your output (which seems to be your concern)

    I am not a coach so this advice comes from personal experience (about 50 years of riding)
    Quote Originally Posted by the_doctor View Post
    Guys.

    I am doing 5000-7000 miles on the road per year. I am a Cat 4 riding with guys really above my skill set. I had my racing license for 5+ years.

    The heart rate seems to be way to high for the perceived effort level. My resting heart rate is high. Today, it was 74 in a small sampling. In a 20 minute period it dropped to 60 for many times. IT reached higher values such as 100 at moments.

    I think that something is going wrong, here. I am looking into my cadence, too.

    Bill

  7. #7
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    5-7000 is plenty of miles to be successful in cat 4. It's not the miles it's the intensity. HR is a perfectly valid way to train but do you know your HR zones? Are you doing intervals of varying length and intensity. Are you resting properly? Is your weight reasonable for your height and frame structure? Too many unknowns here to get specific. Contact a local coach to set up an off season plan to build base and strength and go from there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelbikerider View Post
    5-7000 is plenty of miles to be successful in cat 4. It's not the miles it's the intensity. HR is a perfectly valid way to train but do you know your HR zones? Are you doing intervals of varying length and intensity. Are you resting properly? Is your weight reasonable for your height and frame structure? Too many unknowns here to get specific. Contact a local coach to set up an off season plan to build base and strength and go from there.
    5-7000 may be plenty of miles for some people to be successful in Cat4. 5-7000 miles is plenty of miles for certain people to be successful in cat 1/2 races, too. But clearly different people need different things. After 5+ years, I'd suggest the OP might be one of those people.

    Or eschew the miles and hire a coach to maximize those 5-7k miles (as you mention). Might be an even better investment with less guesswork and frustration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    First, your resting heart rate should be taken in the morning before you get up to be meaningful. Mine falls below 38 during the early morning but just getting ready to ride takes it above 60.
    Why? How meaningful is resting hr?

    I tracked hr for years before realizing at best it simply reaffirmed what I already knew (my lowest hrs came when I was severely overreaching and tired, which I already knew because I was...really tired) and in general was just a waste of time.

    Didn't need hr to dictate my training or impact my racing in any way.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalbiker View Post
    Or eschew the miles and hire a coach to maximize those 5-7k miles (as you mention). Might be an even better investment with less guesswork and frustration.
    That's what I would suggest as well. A coach will definitely help.

  11. #11
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    Max, min and average HR are just red herrings. Cadence, in the context you describe, is also a red herring. You're focusing on things that just don't matter.

    Joe Friel wrote a book called The Cyclist's Training Bible. Even a short time reading about periodization and how to find threshold HR in order to define training zones (to enable adaptation in order to peak) would probably really help you.

  12. #12
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    The OP commented about his resting heart rate. With normal reading comprehension skills, one should be able to ascertain from my post that I was pointing out that resting heart rate doesn't mean much.

    But thanks for your usual insightful contribution!
    Quote Originally Posted by pedalbiker View Post
    Why? How meaningful is resting hr?

    I tracked hr for years before realizing at best it simply reaffirmed what I already knew (my lowest hrs came when I was severely overreaching and tired, which I already knew because I was...really tired) and in general was just a waste of time.

    Didn't need hr to dictate my training or impact my racing in any way.

  13. #13
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    Or, he could continue to have a life and train smarter in the amount of time he currently has available!

    You are simply the most arrogant RBP that I've witnessed in my years on this forum.

    Do you actually ride or are you another internet hero?
    Quote Originally Posted by pedalbiker View Post
    A Cat 4 for 5 years? Seriously. Go ride 10,000-12,000 miles next year instead of 5,000 and get back to us with the results. 5-7000 miles really isn't anything. And HR and cadence have nothing to do with anything. Sounds like you're just out of shape. Go ride more and stop looking for excuses.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    The OP commented about his resting heart rate. With normal reading comprehension skills, one should be able to ascertain from my post that I was pointing out that resting heart rate doesn't mean much.
    No, that's not what your first sentence of that response was doing in the least.

    So, yeah. Try again.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    Or, he could continue to have a life and train smarter in the amount of time he currently has available!

    You are simply the most arrogant RBP that I've witnessed in my years on this forum.

    Do you actually ride or are you another internet hero?
    Translation: I can't actually refute anything you say so I'm just going to mask that insecurity with some irrelevant little quibbles where by I question your ability to ride.

    Yeah, keeping it classy, bud. 50 years of riding and you still know a thing or two, yeah? By all means, address the actual content of my post, then, and wow us all.

  16. #16
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    I am a little ticked, here. Many of the commentary is not helpful. It seems to be based on spiteful and jealous thinking. I am looking for some insight and how to improve things. Telling me to ride more miles is not going to help. It is more of the same and can not be completed.

    There is no way that I can ride 12000 miles. Even the college kids around here generally do not ride 12000. I know of only one. The remainder are riding significantly less. Fellows of the same age are not riding 12000 miles.

    I have been riding on perceived effort. Clearly it has not worked for me. The HRM has shown that something is amiss. I am now doing Zone based intervals.

    The stark reality on this forum...anyone finding a resting heart rate for a trained athlete of 74 as acceptable. The quality of any advice from such a poster is zip. I get as to who the "internet heros" are.

    I am changing my chainrings for something smaller in hopes to bring up the cadence. I actually considered changing crankarm length.

    I am headed to the doctor for a blood workup including a full iron evaluation.

    Quote Originally Posted by pedalbiker View Post
    5-7000 may be plenty of miles for some people to be successful in Cat4. 5-7000 miles is plenty of miles for certain people to be successful in cat 1/2 races, too. But clearly different people need different things. After 5+ years, I'd suggest the OP might be one of those people.

    Or eschew the miles and hire a coach to maximize those 5-7k miles (as you mention). Might be an even better investment with less guesswork and frustration.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_doctor View Post
    I am a little ticked, here. Many of the commentary is not helpful. It seems to be based on spiteful and jealous thinking. I am looking for some insight and how to improve things. Telling me to ride more miles is not going to help. It is more of the same and can not be completed.

    There is no way that I can ride 12000 miles. Even the college kids around here generally do not ride 12000. I know of only one. The remainder are riding significantly less. Fellows of the same age are not riding 12000 miles.

    I have been riding on perceived effort. Clearly it has not worked for me. The HRM has shown that something is amiss. I am now doing Zone based intervals.

    The stark reality on this forum...anyone finding a resting heart rate for a trained athlete of 74 as acceptable. The quality of any advice from such a poster is zip. I get as to who the "internet heros" are.

    I am changing my chainrings for something smaller in hopes to bring up the cadence. I actually considered changing crankarm length.

    I am headed to the doctor for a blood workup including a full iron evaluation.
    You're looking for insight and someone tells you that riding more (in an aerobic based sport) is hard to overlook and you get upset. Yet, you think changing rings and crank arms all in order to raise cadence so you don't get lapped in a cat 4 crit is going to work. edit: trying to save you money here. It isn't about the equipment and usually never is ime/o.

    I fully understand 12k is a lot of miles for most including me, but don't look at it as YOU need to ride 12k. Rather, for a period of time lie cheat and steal to ride a ton of miles for you. Follow that with really good structured intervals based on a sound LTHR (again read Friel's book) to determine zones, in order to stress your body more than what you are doing now. Only when you stress beyond your current state and recover will you gain fitness.

    Is this thing on?
    Last edited by woodys737; 09-29-2015 at 05:47 AM.

  18. #18
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    I was thinking when your totally overtrained you will have a elevated resting heart rate, not a suppressed one.

    To the OP. When you get a heart rate of 187, your max HR can not be 180. How is that possible?

    To train with periodization, you should be training in Z2 with a few workouts at a very high level and then in a race it is what it is.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_doctor View Post
    How do I train to lower heart rate for effort? I am close to redline on a cat 4 road race. I have very little seemly to make for speed out of a corner.
    How do I train to lower heart rate for effort?
    Ride as hard as you can for 30 minutes then take the average over the last twenty minutes. That's approximately your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate, anaerobic threshold, or AnT. Functional Threshold Power (the power you can sustain for one hour) is around that point but usually approximated (95% of 20 minute power, perhaps with a preceding hard effort to deplete your anaerobic reserves) for convenience instead of being measured.

    Watch your heart rate on easy rides. Note what it is at the hardest endurance pace you can have a conversation, don't feel lactate in your legs, and aren't yet breathing rhythmically. After a while sustaining that pace will take a little focus. It's somewhere in Friel's Z1 or Z2, probably the former without training. 25-40 BPM below LTHR. That's your aerobic threshold, or AeT.

    VO2max occurs at your maximum heart rate, where developing more power does not cause your heart rate to increase farther. With heart rate lagging power production and the short time periods involved heart rate when approaching and exceeding VO2max isn't too relevant.

    Training makes you faster by increasing your power output at those levels with efforts around them which stresses the limiting factors and causes adaptations like capillary growth to get more oxygen into your muscles.

    Approaches vary but share several commonalities. Almost everyone tries to balance intensity and duration (more intensity comes at the expense of less duration and vice-versa) for maximum impact. Almost everyone uses periodization with rest days, weeks, and months to allow recovery and adaptation. Most believe there's some minimum to perform well or reach a significant fraction of your genetic potential.

    One rest week in four is traditional, although some older athletes need one in three. Some people reduce volume 30-50% but keep their hard day(s); others cut intensity. Everyone progressively increases training load where a rule of thumb is 10% more time each week. Workouts usually become more like your competitive event as you get closer to the season.

    Differences are in the specifics. Do you push lactate threshold up from below (ex - ride at 95% of it), or pull it up from above (> 100% of the heart rate, 105-110% of the power)? Do you do more short intervals (3x10) or fewer long ones (2x20)? What's the minimum time?

    Chris Carmichael (professional coach, author of _The Time Crunched Cyclist: Fit, Fast, Powerful in 6 Hours a Week) suggests six hours a week as a minimum in a high-intensity low-volume plan where you accept a shorter peak than with a higher volume plan. Connie Carpenter and Greg LeMond think 10 hours is the minimum.

    Many self-coached athletes go too hard on the easy days so they don't do well recovering or training their oxidative energy systems, but not hard enough on the tough days for maximum training impact. Don't do that.

    I think Polarized has the most going for it producing the biggest power improvements at VO2max, lactate threshold, and aerobic threshold. Studies show those effects for everyone from recreational runners training four hours a week to elite athletes.

    Doing that 20% of your sessions are above AnT (where you can round down to once a week), and 80% are below AeT. 4x8 minute intervals as hard as you can sustain test better than 4x4 or 4x16 (two minutes rest between intervals in Stephen Seiler's studies). On slowtwitch Seiler opined the sweet spot is in the 7-10 minute range. With heart rate taking a while to catch-up only the average over the last ~25% is meaningful - it should be above AnT on your hard day. I like 10 minute intervals because historically they've worked for me and are less onerous than 5 minute intervals. Add sprints (15-20 seconds) for mass start races and exercises to improve your recovery time.

    At first I felt lazy having only one hard day a week and no tempo days, although my 10/20 minute power improved as fast as it did with more.

    More easy days did wonders for my pace over longer distances, and may have contributed to feeling better at larger fractions of one-hour power.

    I also added a 1:00-1:30 threshold ride(about 95% of one-hour-power and LTHR) because that feels good, doesn't seem to hurt anything, and should apply to a one-hour up-hill time trial.

    I ride six days a week with Sundays off.

    I do one rest week out of every four with reduced intensity, but sometimes don't get that right and need a second one.

    10-11 hours a week seems to be where everything comes together for me. My power over shorter durations was OK on six hours a week with higher average intensity, although I wasn't as fast for a few hours at a time. More is better - it's nice to go for longer rides on the weekend and not feel them Monday.

    Power goes up, heart rate goes down. Weekly 10/60/20 minute peak power and corresponding heart rate follow. I crashed on June 18th, lost a month, and rode just seven hours a week another month which is the limit of my patience for trainer rides - don't do that.
    How do I train from here?-crash_loss_power.jpg
    I'm 5'9.5" and 135-137 pounds in good shape. If you're bigger you should be able to do better.

    People make a living as professional coaches applying this. You can hire them personally, or buy a paint-by-numbers canned training plan from them. Web sites like trainer road and strava have plans for paying members.

    You can also read lots and apply what seems to be best based on recent research. Start with Joe Friel's Cyclist's Training Bible (he's seventy, been coaching for decades, and that really is the training bible), read his blog, read everything relevant at slowtwitch.com, and digest the Google Wattage group posts. Pay attention to material on other endurance sports - cross-country skiers, rowers, runners, and swimmers all train with the same principles.

    Track everything in Golden Cheetah which is free and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Use the performance manager with TRIMPs but recognize time constants vary, it's a model, and you need to accommodate how you feel not just make the numbers work.

    I am close to redline on a cat 4 road race. I have very little seemly to make for speed out of a corner.
    Without a training plan with tough enough hard days and easy enough rest/recovery periods you're leaving a lot on the table.

    Staying out of the wind will help a lot too.
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 09-29-2015 at 05:24 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_doctor View Post
    The quality of any advice from such a poster is zip. I get as to who the "internet heros" are.
    A Cat 1 state champ...

    Not that that matters, 'cause I could be a Cat 4 mid-packer and I wouldn't change what I've said.

    You're looking for excuses, not advice. You want confirmation of your mental hurdles rather than any sound, practical nuggets of info.

    You need to change your training. You have two choices: either ride a whole lot more, or ride a whole lot harder/smarter.

    Or, if you want to really blow the doors off next season, do both.

    Crying about hr and cranklength and all manner of whatever else you think matters isn't helping a bit.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    I was thinking when your totally overtrained you will have a elevated resting heart rate, not a suppressed one.
    Yep, certainly a possibility. And where that occurs will differ from person to person.

    I mentioned overreaching, which is putting yourself in a hole in order to supercompensate a couple of days/weeks later with a proper rest period. It isn't full-blown overtraining, but could be later on.

    In that period hr can drop across the board. When that happens I have a very low resting hr, but I also have a much lower thr and max hr. (A potential issue if training strictly by hr as you're no longer able to reach those same hr levels with the same effort).

    If one were to continue pushing through this they may eventually reach the point of jacking up their endocrine system and all else and having an elevated resting hr and crappy sleep and weight gain and a host of other symptoms. This is a bit harder to come by, though.

  22. #22
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    Drew Echardt

    I think you have said it all, the end, good night. .... and thank you!
    Last edited by duriel; 09-29-2015 at 02:26 PM.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_doctor View Post
    I bought a HRM.
    HRM is pretty useless for training; I use one because the numbers are entertaining but I don't view it as a training tool. It has a placebo effect and that can be helpful for some people but honestly my advice would be to avoid one or just accept that it's entertainment. Also, power meters are the same thing only more expensive. Elite level riders with coaching can make some use but for anyone who is not already at 99% of their potential these tools do more harm then good.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_doctor View Post
    I have been lapped in a number of Cat 4 criteriums. The road races seem to be easier on me. The criteriums can be enormously frustrating.
    Using this as a hint for your level I suspect that you could improve more from some simple things vs. heart rate, power, complex training plans, etc.

    The first bit of advice I would give you is to get a single speed. Not a fixed gear but rather a simple single speed mountain bike (29er). The mountain bike give you access to an environment where you can work on your bike handling outside of pavement. It's less risky, more fun, plus with single speed you explore a range of power. Most mountain bike trails are twisty so you need to accelerate often. Using a SS will teach you how to manage these acceleration across a wide cadence and power range. Climbing hills off road (especially on single speed) forces you to manage the dead spot in the power stroke.

    A single speed road bike is also very useful as a training tool because it will teach you a wider cadence range and you will learn even more about how to manage your power and cadence.

    For training rides throw out all the "plans" and just hammer as often as your schedule allows while also giving yourself good recovery. Crush yourself when you feel good but if you feel sore go easy for a few days. Fixed "plans" get in the way unless you are really strong and also preparing for a very specific race.

    Now if you follow my advice for a while you will develop better bike handling and better muscular activation. Your ability to "spin" and your "mash" will improve. You will be stronger across a wider cadence range and all this adaption will happen faster vs. the years it takes when riding mostly geared bikes mostly on the road.

    This advice may sound strange but if you look across the sport strong road riders have often had single speed (velodrome) experiences. Many years ago riding fixed or single speed in the winter was common plus cyclocross has always been a helpful way for riders to develop bike handling. Peter Sagan and many other top guys have shown that mountain bike backgrounds are helpful in developing bike handling.

    Good luck an remember that regardless of your level the key is to have fun.

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    Farnsworth's comments are always out there.

    I believe the reason for his thoughts that HRM and power meters are nothing more than entertainment go hand in hand with his don't follow a training plan advice.

    I enjoy mountain biking, but I disagree with the general proposition that it is more fun.

    Just go hammer everyday? Seriously?

    Drew's post was good. I'd go that route.

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    I have been looking for advice as how to proceed. Generally, I think that there is something wrong with my heart rhythm. I purchased a hrm this year. I noticed that everything is too high; the suggestion of training issue came from this to me.

    I am trying to find out how to get myself out of this box. The ones that slam you. They do not help. Most of the guys in the area are definitely not good at training. They really do not know the methodology. They don't know to set the zones based on LTHR per Friel. I found this very interesting. I didn't see the zones at my maximum HR.

    Prior to HRM I was just training on a timer. Ie. Go fast. Go Slow. Do training races every week. Take a slow week. Ride a century on the next. weekend

    I started the heart rate zones and reviewing by heart rate zone this year. I set the zones based on my average heart rate in an 1/2/3/4 road race.

    I ride a fixed gear on occasion. I can ride 19 mph with the guys and keep it close to 90 rpm on the flats. I have taken it with me on group rides. I find the posts by some to be obnoxious. I used to be called the cadence king. However, I think that my cadence has dropped considerably.

    I agree with the mountain biking skills. I find that mountain biking has helped. One road race featured guys abandoning...they went into the woods. It was funny. I am frustrated in the crits with guys that can not turn. Even the cat 4 pack is bad in the rear. I can not accelerate out of the corners.

    I am now more confident in a road race. A 4 road race is relaxing. Only long climbs such as 10% for a mile(Three Villages Race) gave me big trouble.

    I am really concerned about the guy posting about me looking for affirmation of my excuses. I feel that we are supposed to throw ovations towards him for being super special. It is only biking.

    Thanks to Drew. I downloaded Golden Cheetah. I have Friel's book.
    Last edited by the_doctor; 10-02-2015 at 03:27 AM.

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    By daneil in forum Racing, Training, Nutrition, Triathlons
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-10-2005, 05:52 PM

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