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  1. #1
    Climbs like a sprinter...
    Reputation: bmxhacksaw's Avatar
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    Time in Red Zone

    So I guess I error on the side of being too conservative in making sure I that I have gas in the tank at the end of races or long hard rides with the hammerheads. This is probably a difficult question to answer but let's say were talking about a 50 mile race - how long could somebody stay over the LTHR without taking the chance of bonking before the end of the race? The reason that I ask this is that I don't think I push myself as hard as I can. On the other hand I don't want to end up like the guy that I ride with all the time that is a lot stronger than me and yet I finished ahead of him last week because he burned all his matches too soon.
    "It's turtles all the way down."

  2. #2
    waterproof*
    Reputation: Creakyknees's Avatar
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    impossible to predict for you - it takes a lot of experience to know and even then... you never know.

    so all you can do (and should do) is:
    - if it's a training ride, kill it, if you bonk you bonk, no worries just pedal home slowly knowing you had a good workout
    - if it's a race, use your judgement. but in general in lower cat road races, it's better to keep your matches in reserve, let the miles, the hills, and the other riders blow up the field before you.
    * not actually a Rock Star

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Entirely too many variables. Sometimes it's not about time in the red zone, but when a move happens in relation to what energy you have or don't have at the moment.

  4. #4
    Cycling Coach
    Reputation: Alex_Simmons/RST's Avatar
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    HR is a relatively poor indicator of intensity as the effort level rises and/or is highly variable (typical in a road race).

    You may well find that what you think is "threshold", isn't.

  5. #5
    Climbs like a sprinter...
    Reputation: bmxhacksaw's Avatar
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    I realize that there are better ways to measure things but I only have a HRM (and the RPE scale) so I have to use something as a guideline. I'm pretty sure that my LTHR is higher that what I've calculated but I know that I can pretty much ride all day at XX heart rate and when I go above it then I start to have to watch how hard I push because I wont last long.
    "It's turtles all the way down."

  6. #6
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    Reputation: Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Start thinking in terms of "burning matches".

    With HR, anytime you go into the red zone, you can only stay there for a finite period, watching your pulse rise, till your legs go boom, right? You just burned a big match.

    Then you have no choice but to go easy till things recover, but even then it's one less match in your legs for today's ride.

    Even short, a few seconds at at time efforts above your endurance pace will burn partial matches, depleting the supply you need for the end of the race. Heck, just plain rolling along easy will burn your matches after a while.

    So the idea in a race is to keep your matches in reserve. In training, of course, burn 'em all. You want to have a good feel for how many more are in your box at a given time.
    * not actually a Rock Star

  7. #7
    Climbs like a sprinter...
    Reputation: bmxhacksaw's Avatar
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    I think I only had one match in the box last night.
    "It's turtles all the way down."

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    For a while there, after my first race where I 'blew up' doing too much...I swung towards doing 'not enough'..In some TTs and hillclimb TTs, I would cross the line and go..."Sheesh, that was IT?"..."Done already?" Or in RRs and Crit, I'd be so focused on getting 'to the end' with something in the tank that I'd "save" myself right out of contention by being too conservative...

    It is a real 'balancing act' and each day's efforts can be different, sometimes even surprising...You even hear the Pros saying things like "If I have the legs today" etc. Sometimes you feel the "Ka-Boom!" as your mind hears your legs holler "Uncle, Uncle!" but you can reach down deep and get ten more power-strokes...just enough to put you across ahead....sometimes the 'other guy' hears that and you don't...

    It is a bit surprising how much more you can ask of your self, somtimes.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees
    Start thinking in terms of "burning matches".

    In training, of course, burn 'em all. You want to have a good feel for how many more are in your box at a given time.
    Not sure I agree with that one. Even in training burning all your matches is dangerous because it increases the amount of time you need for recovery -- which throws off your upcoming match burning session.

    ... nothing like dragging out a metaphor :-)

  10. #10
    What Would Google Do.
    Reputation: muscleendurance's Avatar
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    simple answer is to do it, blow up test your theory and then you'll know for next time, it really is that simple.
    you cant say 3rd without turd.

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  11. #11
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    Dont know if this is a good reference but one of my trainer rides this winter was 2 hours, 39 minutes of which was 100-120% of FTP. These hard periods were in extended stretches, but since it was on the trainer it was controlled and was just a little more than I had been doing (ie didn't put me on the couch for the next 2 days).

    Racing against 1/2's, the shorter races are either 100 or 600+ watts, so time spent above FTP is more like 200% of ftp.

    A race with extended climbs last spring in WV, I spent ~25 min above 140% of FTP. Ouch

    -Physiojoe

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