Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    13

    HR Zone Training on a SS?

    Greetings!

    I recently had a lactate threshold test done, and was given some heart-rate zones to use for regular training. These zones seem quite high -- 155-160 bpm for regular "enduro" (zone 2) training, and 165-170 bpm for "threshold" (zone 4) training. My max HR is around 176 bpm. I was told to aim for two hours consistent riding in zone 2, and build up to being able to ride for 30 minutes at a time at zone 4.

    The thing is, I ride SS exclusively, and don't own a road bike. On the flat, I can't spin fast enough to get my heart rate up (or at least my legs burn out before my heart rate goes up high enough), and on the hills I can get my heart rate high but it's painfully hard work and my legs and core muscles get exhausted too soon -- it's just not sustainable.

    So...has anyone else managed to do consistent HR-based training on a SS MTB? I decided to start "easy" and aim for doing 15 minutes in zone 2 on each of my longer rides (3 times a week), plus 5 minutes in zone 4 on two other shorter rides -- but even with that "easy" schedule I was completely burned out within a week. That's because every ride had to include a decent hill climb (either 15-minutes plus at moderate steepness, or 5 minutes of steep climbing). My legs were constantly tired, my back ached, and old injuries came a-niggling.

    Which leaves me a bit stuck. I've gone back to just doing base training in the meantime, since I don't want to get injured. My riding friend suggests I get a geared bike, because then I can control my heart rate better and won't be so dependent on hills to push my heart rate up. But I don't want to do that...I love SSing!

    Any suggestions for ways to increase my HR on a SS bike, without blowing my body to pieces? Obviously, riding faster would help -- but over what terrain? Should I aim to spin faster on easy ground, or push harder on the hills? Any suggestions how I can do this without burning out (apart from buying a geared bike, that is!).

    Thanks,

    - Erik.

  2. #2
    surly inbred
    Reputation: TroutBum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,529
    Double IPA should do wonders.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jnails's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    260
    Firstly there is no way that your zone 2 is that high with a max heart rate of 176. My max is 182 and my zone 2 is in the 130's to 140's. Whoever set up your heart rates is wrong or you are interpreting it wrong. I'd double check that first. As for training with your SS, you may need to change your gear ratios depending on where you are riding and learn to rap n coast (spin hard then coast, spin hard then coast) on flat areas.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Brewtality's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    5,666
    A few thoughts -

    Crank up your gear ratio.

    Find a good steady climb and do hill repeats on it.

    I don't think their 'program' is really taylored torwards SS mtn biking. You might have to find something that works for you.

    I use a few different supplements to help myself out.
    A pre-workout supplement with caffeine and L-Argynine before the ride.
    Post workout recovery supplement with L-Glutamine.
    Both of these help me on back to back riding/racing days

    Edit: oh ya and more double IPAs. I would mix in some barleywines too. They add more hair to your nutz
    Last edited by Brewtality; 01-22-2012 at 07:38 PM.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    13
    Hi guys,

    Quote Originally Posted by TroutBum View Post
    Double IPA should do wonders.
    I wish! Unfortunately, that's not available here in New Zealand. Or maybe that should be "fortunately" -- I'm carrying enough "ballast" already...

    Quote Originally Posted by jnails View Post
    Firstly there is no way that your zone 2 is that high with a max heart rate of 176. My max is 182 and my zone 2 is in the 130's to 140's. Whoever set up your heart rates is wrong or you are interpreting it wrong.
    Well, this training is specifically aimed at pushing up my lactic threshold, and so these "zones" aren't the same as the HR zones usually based on the Karvonen formula. Here's what I was given after the test:

    -------------------------------------------------
    Individual Training Zones:

    Endurance "Z2" 155-160HR
    Tempo "Z3" 160-165HR
    Threshold "Z4" 165-170HR
    -------------------------------------------------

    The idea is that "endurance" zone is right at the point where lactic acid starts to build up -- apparently I should be aiming to ride within that zone for two hours at a time, to push up my lactic threshold...

    Quote Originally Posted by jnails View Post
    As for training with your SS, you may need to change your gear ratios depending on where you are riding and learn to rap n coast (spin hard then coast, spin hard then coast) on flat areas.
    Thank you! Your "rap n coast" idea is brilliant. I tried it last night and managed to push my HR up into the late 150s and was able to keep it there pretty well. I also rode a track I usually avoid, because it's only gently rolling and non-technical -- great for plodding but not for HR work. I once asked Garth Weinberg (winner of SSWC2010) if he was disappointed that this easy track was included on the SSWC course, and he said that it wasn't easy if you raced it at speed. Now I know what he meant! I was able to keep my HR pretty close to my target zone, using a mixture of spinning hard and coasting, throughout the entire thing. And it was fun!

    For some reason, I'd thought that the only way to keep my HR consistent was to keep the peddling effort consistent, which is hard on a SS. But rap n coast works brilliantly, without constantly blowing my body to pieces with steep and hard hill-climbs. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    Crank up your gear ratio.
    Thanks! I'm using 32:18 on my 29er at the moment, which works well for me overall, but I should look at getting a few different cogs and swapping them around to see what works better...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    Find a good steady climb and do hill repeats on it.
    Good point -- I've been thinking that I need a single big climb that lasts 15-30 minutes, but with repeats I can use any good steady (but not insanely steep) climb and do it several times over. That makes it much easier to find good places to do hill work...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    I don't think their 'program' is really taylored torwards SS mtn biking. You might have to find something that works for you.
    That's true...though if I can get my HR up I should get the benefits, even if I can't maintain an absolutely consistent HR throughout the ride. I guess I'm just comparing my HR charts against my friend's -- he's very disciplined, and uses his gears to keep his HR within the desired zone about 95% of the time (it only drops when he does a big descent). But anything is better than what I've been doing, which is basically "get out and ride" and letting the terrain push my heart rate around.

    Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! You've definitely given me some great ideas...

    - Erik.

  6. #6
    CB2
    CB2 is offline
    Jam Econo
    Reputation: CB2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    4,214
    Quote Originally Posted by erik_westra View Post
    Hi guys,



    I wish! Unfortunately, that's not available here in New Zealand. Or maybe that should be "fortunately" -- I'm carrying enough "ballast" already...



    Well, this training is specifically aimed at pushing up my lactic threshold, and so these "zones" aren't the same as the HR zones usually based on the Karvonen formula. Here's what I was given after the test:

    -------------------------------------------------
    Individual Training Zones:

    Endurance "Z2" 155-160HR
    Tempo "Z3" 160-165HR
    Threshold "Z4" 165-170HR
    -------------------------------------------------

    The idea is that "endurance" zone is right at the point where lactic acid starts to build up -- apparently I should be aiming to ride within that zone for two hours at a time, to push up my lactic threshold...



    Thank you! Your "rap n coast" idea is brilliant. I tried it last night and managed to push my HR up into the late 150s and was able to keep it there pretty well. I also rode a track I usually avoid, because it's only gently rolling and non-technical -- great for plodding but not for HR work. I once asked Garth Weinberg (winner of SSWC2010) if he was disappointed that this easy track was included on the SSWC course, and he said that it wasn't easy if you raced it at speed. Now I know what he meant! I was able to keep my HR pretty close to my target zone, using a mixture of spinning hard and coasting, throughout the entire thing. And it was fun!

    For some reason, I'd thought that the only way to keep my HR consistent was to keep the peddling effort consistent, which is hard on a SS. But rap n coast works brilliantly, without constantly blowing my body to pieces with steep and hard hill-climbs. Thanks!



    Thanks! I'm using 32:18 on my 29er at the moment, which works well for me overall, but I should look at getting a few different cogs and swapping them around to see what works better...



    Good point -- I've been thinking that I need a single big climb that lasts 15-30 minutes, but with repeats I can use any good steady (but not insanely steep) climb and do it several times over. That makes it much easier to find good places to do hill work...



    That's true...though if I can get my HR up I should get the benefits, even if I can't maintain an absolutely consistent HR throughout the ride. I guess I'm just comparing my HR charts against my friend's -- he's very disciplined, and uses his gears to keep his HR within the desired zone about 95% of the time (it only drops when he does a big descent). But anything is better than what I've been doing, which is basically "get out and ride" and letting the terrain push my heart rate around.

    Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! You've definitely given me some great ideas...

    - Erik.
    Erik, if your max is truly 176 the zones they gave you are whacked.
    I'm guessing they are trying to create a "sweet spot" training plan for you which is upper tempo, just below threshold, what is usually considered upper z3 to the beginning of z4.

    With SS there are always going to be peaks and valleys, but knowing this you can effectively train at a prescribed HR.

    I agree with Brewtality about trying a bigger gear, but I don't really have any advise about growing hair

  7. #7
    ******
    Reputation: monzie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,990
    Lacking any real insight, I thought us SS riders were a bunch of alcohol guzzling **** ups, not particularly suited to the whole training thing. With the typical style of showing up to a race hung-over and dehydrated. At least, that's how I roll on race day.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    43
    There are a number of factors that determine your heart rate zones, but I have agree with all the previous threads about your zones being off. My max heart rate is close to yours. My LT is around 145 (Determined with blood testing while on a stationary trainer at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine). My zone 2 is around 120-135. An easy and less bloody way to determine LT is to ride as hard as you can for 30 minutes. Your average heart rate for the last twenty minutes is your LT. Using this technique, I got within 2 beats of my LT determined by fancy testing.

    As far as training goes, I'll tell you what the Boulder Sports Med folks told me. Stay out of zone 3 (for me, that is around 135-145). Of course, for most of us crunched for time, that is the zone we end up in for most of the ride because it hurts enough to let you know you are working hard, but you can still finish the ride at that level. Here's a tip for staying in zone 2, ride with your wife or girlfriend (unless they can drop you, which is not that uncommon around here). That will force you to tone it down for low level training. Save the high-intensity stuff for interval days.
    http://teamalchemist.com/
    http://blog.teamalchemist.com/
    Custom Cycling Jerseys, Merino Wool Jerseys, Organic T-shirts

  9. #9
    Sweep the leg!
    Reputation: Caffeine Powered's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3,805
    Quote Originally Posted by TroutBum View Post
    Double IPA should do wonders.
    I'll recommend the Satisfaction Jacksin


    and get a road bike.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,029
    Erik, my heart profile is almost identical to yours. I train similar to you as well.

    The recommendation to get a road bike is an excellent one. I alternate road/off road. SSing gives me strength/power and road biking gives me endurance. The two are perfectly suited together.

    Also, you should consider running too. I run 10k and half marathons, and it has helped my SSing a lot.

    From my experience swimming helps my running and running helps my biking.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    13
    Thanks for all the suggestions, guys.

    After what you guys said, I got in touch with my friend in the USA. He's the one who suggested I get lactate threshold tested in the first place, and he agrees that the zones are probably off. Apparently he's had that happen before...the test itself giving bad results for whatever reason -- my guess is that the ride we did in the morning before the test left residual lactate in my blood, which meant that the test didn't pick up a lactate change until a much higher heart rate (I was worried about that at the time, but my friend said that it wouldn't be a problem...)

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamAlchemist View Post
    An easy and less bloody way to determine LT is to ride as hard as you can for 30 minutes. Your average heart rate for the last twenty minutes is your LT. Using this technique, I got within 2 beats of my LT determined by fancy testing.
    Thanks for the tip! There's nobody around here that does lactate threshold testing (I had the test done while I was visiting the US), but this sounds like a great alternative. I'll give it a try when I'm rested, and see what HR it comes up with. I suspect it'll be pretty close to 145. After realising the LT test results were whacky, I've started aiming for a training HR of between 140 and 150 (generally aiming for the bottom of that range unless I'm climbing). That feels about right to me -- definitely working, but still at a level I can ride at for a couple of hours at a stretch.

    As for the suggestion to get a road bike, that is a possibility, but I rode on the road for years and decided never again. I love being able to get away from the traffic, and there are lots of logging trucks around where I live, which makes riding on the road a rather risky proposition...

    Thanks again,

    - Erik.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    47
    Others have commented on this so sorry if it seems repetitive. I personally ride a 34x20 or 34x21 for long rides, over 40 miles. Shorter rides around 15-25 miles I'll generally ride a 34x19 or 34x18. If my legs are really beat up or I just need to take it easy I'll change the front back to a 32 and might run a 32x20. All these on a 29er.

    You really have to be in-tune with the gear, your state of recovery or lack thereof, and what type of riding (both distance and elevation change) you intend to due on a specific day.

    If you know you should be doing a light ride and staying in a particular zone gear light and if you have to walk a climb to stay in the zone, do so. Else F*&% worrying about the zones and ride. Thats the nature of the beast when trying to stay in a zone on a SS.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    6,542
    Quote Originally Posted by erik_westra View Post
    As for the suggestion to get a road bike, that is a possibility, but I rode on the road for years and decided never again.
    Get a geared 'cross bike and train on fire roads.

    I'm no racing expert, and most of this is talking out my @$$, but I feel like mountain biking in general will be hard to do HR training, unless you are "dirty road riding" or riding low-tech fire roads. Every little bump, sketchy root, or technical area will jack up your heart rate from adrenaline alone.

    Its like trying to do an active recovery ride on a MTB - it's very difficult to stay Zone 2 on a MTB on trails.

    I remember racing 'cross, and at the starting line I looked down to see my HR, and I was already at 139, just from nerves alone.

    SS HR training is even more of a challenge IMO because now you're working anaerobically more so than a geared bike. When I do kettle ball movements, I get my HR up to 160, and that's all anaerobic, so riding SS may present that sort of challenge.

    Get a 'cross bike if you don't want to ride the road. Fire roads are a great way to push your HR training without have strange spikes due to technical or anaerobic variables.

    Again, I'm just a layman when it comes to this stuff, but those HR zones you were prescribed seem very high. If that was zone 2 for me, I'd have a stroke!

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    13

    Good job!

    Hi guys,

    Ressurrecting an old thread...sorry I've been offline for a while, as I had laser eye surgery and couldn't see well enough to do much online (or bike for a few weeks ). My eyes are slowly getting better, and I wanted to update the kind folks who replied to my query.

    First off:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Get a geared 'cross bike and train on fire roads.
    Thank you, Dion! What a great suggestion -- there are *tons* of firebreak roads, and I've done pretty much exactly what you suggested. I looked at getting a geared 'cross bike, but they were expensive, so I got a cheap geared MTB instead. I'm almost embarrassed to ride the thing, but it's perfect for chugging along on firebreak roads maintaining a heart rate zone.

    Again, I'm just a layman when it comes to this stuff, but those HR zones you were prescribed seem very high. If that was zone 2 for me, I'd have a stroke!
    Yup, those zones were way off. I managed to find some folks locally who do lactate threshold testing, and got myself retested last week. The result: instead of a lactate theshold of 158, my threshold is actually around 135! So I'm now aiming for a training zone of around 135-140, which is fantastic. Very doable on the firebreak roads with the crappy MTB.

    Thank you all, again, for your advice. It's amazing how far off a lactate threshold test can be, if you're not rested -- even the guy who did the original test was surprised by how badly the results were off. Makes you realise just how important it is to be rested before a test like that -- simply going for a ride in the morning threw off my results by 20 bpm...

    Cheers,

    - Erik.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,075
    Something regarding your training plan is seriously flawed, either by the person who set it up, based on your fitness and/ or riding style as you described or it has been mis intepeted. However, I believe you shouldnt do all of your workouts on a ss, but I believe a ss is an awesome training tool. I have trained on all types of bikes and when Im out on my ss, it seems that my friends try to punish me by doing steep climbs, flat and fast road sections,etc, I have not been dropped even though im working seemingly twice as hard.
    My suggestion to you would be is to do your best at learning to spin, 90-110 rpms consistantly and your ss fitness will come.

Similar Threads

  1. Recent studies support strength training for cyclists
    By Mark E in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-18-2011, 08:57 AM
  2. heart rate feed back pls.
    By mmatrix in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-12-2009, 04:02 PM
  3. Boulder Mountain Bike Patrol Training...
    By VAhardtail in forum Colorado - Front Range
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 05-07-2008, 11:39 AM
  4. Weight Training...Reps..clueless
    By Mr Magoo in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-02-2006, 09:05 AM
  5. Figuring HR training zone with very low RHR
    By verslowrdr in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-10-2005, 08:43 AM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •