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Thread: Question

  1. #1
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    Question

    I have recently decided to get back into XC racing and I'm using Charmical's 'Time Crunched Cyclist' training approach. I'm about 5 weeks into it. I feel good but when I do the 'power intervals' my HR wont come up to the recommended levels which they did when I first started (I'm not using a power meter). I took 3 days off and gave it a go this morning. Not much difference. Should I stay on plan or take more time off or at least stay away from max efforts?

    BTW I'm 52 if that makes a difference.

  2. #2
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    I myself not an expert, but I can share some experiences.

    First, before getting into TC (Time Crunched) what was your riding like? Did you have a “Base” of casual riding? Or were you “starting from scratch”?

    Did you have any “deload” or “OFF” periods during 5 weeks? Or was it all on?

    Are you indoor or outdoor training? Reason being my son (20) went for outdoor ride (40deg) at LT and said he could not get his HR up, compared to indoors or earlier in year when it was warmer out. He had no reason for fatigue – but said he “felt good”

    When he is tired – he cannot get his HR up. On the other hand when I am tired, I just step on the pedals and my HR shoots up.

    In a copy of Joe Friels Training Bible (3rd edition) he has a section titled “Don’t be a slave to your HR monitor”. I tried to google it for you but could not find particular article. He would say “It depends” to your situation

    Friels like 72yrs old, and been around. I have heard of him having older athletes 2weeks “on” then de-loading for 1 week. Not to say it is your situation.

    If you are using indoor trainer, (looks like you are not using power meter) during rides you could take notes of HR vs speed ( obviously if using rear wheel speedo). That is what my son & I do with our Kurt Kinetic.

    I would go to Joe Friel and search his site for aging athletes and recovery.

    Let me know

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the input...

    Prior to starting I had been riding my regular schedule and was in decent shape. The main change with the TCCP is the 'Power Interval' day mid week. Before 'hard days' were twice a week. Now the 'hard' days are 3 per week, shorter and harder. I should point out that I have had this happen before. In the summer I do a 1 hour group ride on Tues & Thurs morning and a long group ride with hills on Saturday. When my schedule allows me to put 2 or 3 of those in a row I notice the drop off in HR. usually 3 days with no AT or above effort cures it. But not this time.

    I'd like to stay with the workouts because my schedule will undoubtedly afford me recovery time at some point.

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    "When my schedule allows me to put 2 or 3 of those in a row I notice the drop off in HR."

    Does this statement mean weeks in a row? I would think 3 off days would be good. Unless other stressors like holidays, illness coming on. Or you are really over the edge (5 weeks in a row?).

    Could you be more specific on HR not up. (ex. normally would be 175bpm for given workout, now 165) How does perceived effort feel?

  5. #5
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    I would go by perceived effort or CP zones until everything stabilizes on the HR side.

  6. #6
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    From my experience, my HR goes up less quickly and not as high as I get fitter. Early in the season, it is very easy to get my hr high. By late spring, it is much harder. I believe it can be a sign you are getting fitter. But I think it can also be a sign of over doing it.

    Can I as why you are doing the TCTP?

    I have read that book, I would be fried after about 5 weeks as well. That is basically a crash-course training method. A short term approach. He openly mentions how you will be toast by the end. You are probably getting over fatigued is my guess, you probably need to take a week to recover / adapt.

    I prefer what you outlined with the 2 hard efforts per week - that sounds more reasonable.

    Good luck.

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    Hi Ridandshoot: heart rate can be so fickle as a gauge of work that I often tell my clients that they are better off ignoring it. Numerous things other than exercise intensity can cause it to vary. During high-intensity intervals, the body uses hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) to increase the heart rate. Over the course of several workouts, the heart becomes less sensitive to these hormones and the heart rate doesn't go as high. Also, increases in blood volume in response to training will result in lower heart rates. Temperature can also affect HR as scottz123's son found. During exercise in warm environments, the body sends more blood to the skin to help dissipate heat and we lose more blood volume to sweating. This reduces the amount of blood that is pumped to the working muscle with each beat of the heart so the heart has to beat more frequently to maintain blood flow to the muscle. In the cold, less sweat, less blood flow to the skin, and better blood flow to the working muscle results in a lower heart rate.


    So what do you do? Since you don't have a powermeter, you can use perceived effort per voodoo5's suggestion. Or, if you are doing intervals on a trainer, if you keep the same resistance setting on your trainer, your power output will be reflected by your speed on your cycling computer (as scottz123 pointed out). Outdoors, doing the intervals in on the same stretch of road or trail and keeping track of your speed or distance travelled will give you a good idea of how hard you are working. As long as you can do the work, don't worry about your HR. If the work performance starts to suffer, its time for a few days of rest.

    Hope this helps,

    Dave Morris
    racersready.com

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    Thanks for the input. I do want to try something different so think I'm going to do the harder workouts for two weeks then build in a active recovery week every third week and see how that goes. I'll put the full on power intervals in the second week. Since the power intervals are full on effort it's easy to go by prercieved effort on those. Then I'll take a week where I just commute at the low end of the endurance effort range.

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