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  1. #1
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    LTHR Test Findings, Need Help

    Well I did my first LTHR feild test today. My findings were:
    LTHR 167
    My max HR is 185
    Does this sound about right?
    Because I am so new to all of this I of course am not thoroughly confident in my findings because I did it with a guy who is equally as new to these concepts as I. I believe I should do another test to see if I was correct and get an average of the two findings.
    I might do the second test on a spin bike at the rec. center.

  2. #2
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    I don't think it seems abnormal. My LTHR numbers are somewhere around 12-15 beats below my max. Being somewhat of a newbie at this, I have done maybe half a dozen tests and the numbers can vary. One poor test I was maybe 8 beats below my normal average, and I was actually in the pre-stages of getting sick.

    I would wait a few days, and redo the test and see how it compares. If it is a similar number, go with an average. Significantly different and you will have to do a third!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by givati View Post
    Well I did my first LTHR feild test today. My findings were:
    LTHR 167
    My max HR is 185
    Does this sound about right?
    Because I am so new to all of this I of course am not thoroughly confident in my findings because I did it with a guy who is equally as new to these concepts as I. I believe I should do another test to see if I was correct and get an average of the two findings.
    I might do the second test on a spin bike at the rec. center.



    Perform the tests the same way as to not skew the results, apples to apples ya know. Fwiw the difference in your max and lthr is similar to mine.

  4. #4
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    i too did my first LTHR last weekend, got 151 which seems too low now that i am looking at yours. i guess i need to do another try.
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  5. #5
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    How old are you? What is your level of fitness? I recommend Joe Friel's book Cyclist Training Bible (or something like that). It has some pages with HR zones that are very helpful. Multiple tests are helpful and paying attention to your breathing (using the talk tests) can help as well.
    '13 Spec Epic 29er, '09 Orbea CX, '12 Cannondale SuperSix, '08 Spec Transition, '06 Simtra Trials (sold), Yamaha YZ450 (sold)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MultiRider View Post
    How old are you? What is your level of fitness? I recommend Joe Friel's book Cyclist Training Bible (or something like that). It has some pages with HR zones that are very helpful. Multiple tests are helpful and paying attention to your breathing (using the talk tests) can help as well.
    I do have the book. That's why and where I got the info I used to test. All his percentages are based on LTHR, so I figured I better get mine.
    I am 54. Been ridin 3-6 days a week. Consider my self in good fitness level. Wanna get better.

  7. #7
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    Those numbers sound consistent. Only advice I would say is to get a good warm up in before testing. I usually will ride anywhere from 45-60 mins to "wake up" my aerobic system before I test.

    On a side note, if you still have any cross races going on in your area, enter one in the 4's. You can race your mtb. They are usually only 30 mins and are wide open. Take your average hr from the race and that should confirm or deny if you are in the ballpark with your readings from your test.

  8. #8
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    I'm 23 years old and did a 10 minute warm up, then a 20 minute time trial to get my LTHR. It averaged out to 163 over the 20 minutes, so seems close to mine. Dang, I feel like mine should be a lot higher, being 20 years younger than you. I'd like to get up in the low 170's.

    I did my test on kreitler 2.25 rollers, so maybe it would have been higher if done on the road?...

  9. #9
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    I road for 35 min at 73% of max hr before starting TT.

    Now my question is:
    Do I set the LTHR as my max on my hr monitor and train to percentages of that?

  10. #10
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    I road for 35 min at 73% of max hr before starting TT.

    Now my question is:
    Do I set the LTHR as my max on my hr monitor and train to percentages of that?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by givati View Post
    I road for 35 min at 73% of max hr before starting TT.

    Now my question is:
    Do I set the LTHR as my max on my hr monitor and train to percentages of that?



    You can base your zones on your LTHR, the zones being a percentage of LTHR:

    Ultracycling: Heart Rate Training Zones


    I would also add that LTHR seems to be a moving target, as fitness improves LTHR rises, so testing every once in a while and adjusting may be a good strategy.

  12. #12
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    ok, so the younger you are the higher LTHR shoud be? mine is way off than. guess i wasnt pushing hard enough.
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    Go ahead and set up your zones based on that LTHR, the results look in the "normal" ballpark. I wouldn't bother a retest. Just set your HR zones as the Race Bible outlines.

    Retest in a month. You're not going to do any "damage" if it is off by a couple of beats.

    I don't bother to test any more, but in the past when I did, it varied by a few beats depending on rest, weather, hydration, how fresh I was. But it was always between 170 - 175.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brankulo View Post
    ok, so the younger you are the higher LTHR shoud be? mine is way off than. guess i wasnt pushing hard enough.



    If you were not "toast" when you finished then it needs to be redone, do not leave anything on the table.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brankulo View Post
    ok, so the younger you are the higher LTHR shoud be? mine is way off than. guess i wasnt pushing hard enough.
    Not necessarily. Generally, younger riders might have a higher LTHR, but everyone is different. Some people have very low LTHR, but they still generate a lot power and go fast. It doesn't matter what the number is really.

  16. #16
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    i was going hard but was worried i will not last full test so i started and was pushing more and more towards the end of the test. at least it gave me idea how hard i need to go to for next test
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  17. #17
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    Im an abnormal case, my HR is way higher than others my age with same level of fitness (Im 32 with intermediate to high level of fitness). I did the 20 min warm up followed by a 30 min "hard as I could" effort averaging the las 20 min of my HR. That led to a 187 LTHR... crazy uh?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GS833 View Post
    Im an abnormal case, my HR is way higher than others my age with same level of fitness (Im 32 with intermediate to high level of fitness). I did the 20 min warm up followed by a 30 min "hard as I could" effort averaging the las 20 min of my HR. That led to a 187 LTHR... crazy uh?

    Not crazy. I usually average 184ish for races.

  19. #19
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    Heart rates vary greatly person to person and some people with years of good fitness don't see declines in their HR. I've know guys in their 40's who still have LT in mid 180's. It's more genetics than anything, the important thing is that how high or low it is isn't all that important, getting it measured accurately is important if you use HR Zones to dictate your training regiment and intensity.

    If your new to using HR as a metric to train with, also learn about RPE and record it along side your HR in your training journal. There are test you can do for RPE as well to get your metrics for each number.

    One test I read about was to start on a trainer with a way to measure cadence, speed, and time. A road bike is easier to work if you have the option. Warm up and start out around 10-12 mph at a cadence that's comfortable, 80 or so for most people unless you are an avid roadie and can sustain higher cadence with comfort. Increase by 1mph every 60-90 seconds and record the level of Perceived Exertion. I use a 20 point scale but there are others with less. Note the level of pain/ exertion required at each increase and have someone who can write down your responses.

    Granted RPE varies depending on a lot of variables but once you get a good idea of the different points on the scale you will start to learn more about your HR. HR can vary a lot depending on off the bike variables and RPE will help you keep things in perspective. It is also more apples to apples when talking with other people about intensities or training workouts. There are a lot of good articles out there about RPE and Friel talks about it as well in his books so finding info shouldn't be hard.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GS833 View Post
    Im an abnormal case, my HR is way higher than others my age with same level of fitness (Im 32 with intermediate to high level of fitness). I did the 20 min warm up followed by a 30 min "hard as I could" effort averaging the las 20 min of my HR. That led to a 187 LTHR... crazy uh?
    Not crazy, I average low 190's during most cx races for 60mins and mid 180s for mtb races. I'm 30 and have noticed no change, other than fitness levels in my LTHR, in my HR over the last 5 years.

  21. #21
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    Thanks! I guess Im not that strange after all

  22. #22
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    Interesting thread. I had to have an echocardiogram/stress test done last summer and maxed at 178 during the treadmill test (was really going balls to the wall). However, on several occasions in the weeks surrounding that test I got my HR up to 191-192 while riding and I didn't even feel like I was blowing up.

    In regards the differences from individual to individual, my cousin (a roadie) and I did an easy 6hr ride together - his average HR was 101 whereas mine was 142.

    I ended up setting my zones according to the popular formulas out there which all put me at 184-185

  23. #23
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    If you're new to LtHR testing I would recommend getting a lab test done, where they can measure your HR, power, expelled breath composition, and possibly blood. Can usually be done at a local university or a coach with test equipment. the test isn't super expensive, and you'll get a positive fix on your RPE for the next field test.

  24. #24
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    29ftw I had a stess test done a couple years ago when I was immature about over training, they only took me up to around 180 something and I felt I could definitely go a lot harder. I think hospitals test based on normal standardized data and liabilities. Universities with sport medicine programs that do studies on athletes and coaches who work with high level athletes understand the differences and you are more likely to get more real world reading from them than a hospital imo.

    Then again, most retail HR monitors are not extremely accurate and I have heard can vary 10+/- beats from system to system.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crosstown Stew View Post
    29ftw I had a stess test done a couple years ago when I was immature about over training, they only took me up to around 180 something and I felt I could definitely go a lot harder. I think hospitals test based on normal standardized data and liabilities. Universities with sport medicine programs that do studies on athletes and coaches who work with high level athletes understand the differences and you are more likely to get more real world reading from them than a hospital imo.

    Then again, most retail HR monitors are not extremely accurate and I have heard can vary 10+/- beats from system to system.
    Interesting. I had not been running at all in recent years when I had the test and I definitely could not have gone any harder - in fact, they tried to get to go for a couple more min and I was toast.

    In addition to your comment on accuracy, another annoying issue is the lag. I can get to the top of a short climb and my HR is reflecting my effort from 1-2min earlier!

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