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  1. #1
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    Max HR while racing?

    Doing the 24 Hrs in OP in February. This will be my 5th or 6th year solo, but the first year where I've actually done some training. (I'm using Lynda W's 12-week base miles for SS as a training program.)

    In the past, I've never really paid much attention to my HR during the race. However, I've also gotten burned by not "pacing" myself, and obviously hitting a wall way too early. One of the last races I did--Barn Burner 104--my last lap I had a hard time getting my HR over 130. That's to say, I was exausted to the point I was basically crawling around the course. I'm assuming part of that was eating/drinking (I'm still working on that aspect of endurance racing), but I think also I might have gone out too strong/fast on earlier laps.

    Should I be looking to keep my max HR below a certain threshold during the race?
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  2. #2
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    It isn't really about HR per se, it's about threshold levels and they are a uniquely personal thing. You need to find out where your thresholds are (lactate t/h, anaerobic t/h, etc) so you can plan pacing for an endurance race. You can estimate these thresholds by doing specific intervals (google them) or you can get an exact analysis by paying a lab to test you. BTW, you also need to know what your max HR is.

    The bad news is that these numbers aren't absolute, they are just guidelines because you may be affected by, for instance, altitude, how much sleep you got, being a little sick, etc. The only way to really figure it out is to monitor your stats over a period of a few races and see what works for _you_.

    I raced at the Barnburner this year so I can give you some relative stats:
    Lap1: Ave spd: 14.1, ave HR 70%, time 1:54
    Lap 2: 13.6, 70%, 1:55
    Lap 3: 13.6 70%, 1:56
    Lap 4: 12.9, 70%, 2:02

    I kept my HR pegged at low 80's% for the climbs to ensure that I didn't blow up later and worked hard to maintain 75% on the flats; in hindsight I should have ridden a little harder. Also, that slow last lap was mainly due to the rain turning the trail into a slip'n'slide, my effort level was about the same.

  3. #3
    LW Coaching
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    Lots of info on my site about pacing races optimally to meet your goals.

    How to pace your fastest 24 Hour solo mountain bike race

    As you have experienced the first 2 hours of a 24 solo are the most crucial to govern pace. Get those 2 hours right and you can have the race of your life.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyndaW View Post
    Lots of info on my site about pacing races optimally to meet your goals.

    How to pace your fastest 24 Hour solo mountain bike race

    As you have experienced the first 2 hours of a 24 solo are the most crucial to govern pace. Get those 2 hours right and you can have the race of your life.
    Great. Thanks Lynda. This is exactly what I was looking for. (Sorry, my subject line should have said Max Threshold, not HR obviously)

    I really feel I'm getting the benefit of your program. While I can't follow the sessions exactly (the only longish gravel-road type trails here in Phx are Pemberton, and I refuse to ride that trail on a regular basis), riding in the zones seems to really help overall. Both overall riding wise, and endurance wise I'm feeling much stronger after only 5 weeks.

    My goal for the race is 200 miles.
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  5. #5
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    LyndaW, very cool, thanks for sharing

  6. #6
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    LyndaW,

    I have read a lot about pacing for 50/100 miler PRs on your site and how to pace yourself off of a HR monitor. What do you recommend for a single speed rider in endurance races? Obviously we single speeders can't stay seated and keep the HR in zone 3 when there are climbs to attack. I did well on the last race (props to sdcadbiker for giving me good competition!), but felt pretty spent after the 3.5 hour mark and I still had another lap to go. Thanks for all your great advice so far.
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  7. #7
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    Getting your gearing right is a big part of being able to pace well on your SS. That's easy for races like OP (solo OP 24hr = 32 x 18 on a 29er is my OP recommendation). For most other endurance courses I recommend gearing for the climbs.

    Heart rate is still useful as a governor for SS endurance racers. For most of the time follow the same HR guidelines as gearies. Then there are the times that doesn't work when the big climb comes up. Here is where you have to make "racer" decisions based on your training, how you are feeling, length of the race and tactics. You only have so many "matches" to burn and you should spend them where you believe you will get the biggest ROI (return on investment). This may or may not be at the start of the race based on tactics.

    SSers should think about muscular damage in addition to heart rate during racing. Those short high power bursts needed for passing, tech maneuvers and short hills will tear muscle fibers in your legs without spiking HR. The more you tear, the weaker you progressively become. Shredding your legs in the first half of the race probably is not a good decision. Walking some on-the-edge-of-rideable hills to save your leg muscle fibers in the first half of the race may be a good decision.

    So basically HR is still a good tool for a large portion of SS racing but the rest of the time it is about knowing yourself and having race smarts.

    Specifically for Old Pueblo 24 solo SS, walking the first ***** hill and maybe the 3rd or 4th every lap for the first 12 hours is a good call. After the 12 hour mark, if you hit them with good momentum, and can keep it rolling over 40 rpm then ride them. If you lose the good line, have to swerve around traffic and lose your momentum then get off and walk. Don't grind over the *****es!

  8. #8
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    thanks Lynda that really helps a lot. My gearing currently is 29er x 32x20, but most of the couraes here in san diego are pretty hilly. I had to walk my ss up 5 climbs on my 5th and final lap at my last race.
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  9. #9
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    Nick,

    I think that 32/20 was a perfect gear for that course, but if it was me I would have been walking some of the climbs on every lap to avoid the muscle tearing that Lynda mentioned, in particular the short hill just before crossing San Deguito and that b*stard on the south side as well; I know strong guys on geared bikes who walked that one on the last lap, I would have too but the lead XC pros were passing me there and my pride got the better of me...

    Have a great xmas, I'll see you at Balboa Park in January I hope.

  10. #10
    Rex R
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    Great info on pacing- thanks!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdcadbiker View Post
    Nick,

    I think that 32/20 was a perfect gear for that course, but if it was me I would have been walking some of the climbs on every lap to avoid the muscle tearing that Lynda mentioned, in particular the short hill just before crossing San Deguito and that b*stard on the south side as well; I know strong guys on geared bikes who walked that one on the last lap, I would have too but the lead XC pros were passing me there and my pride got the better of me...

    Have a great xmas, I'll see you at Balboa Park in January I hope.
    Thanks Andy.
    It was a pretty good gear for black mountain, but I went out too hard for the first two laps. I made myself walk up both of those climbs you mentioned on EVERY lap. Granted, that second one along the powerlines was 25% grade, so there was no way to make it up that on a ss. I progressively got weaker after the halfway point on lap 3 and by lap 5 I was spent and made it in to the finishline 2.5 minutes prior to the 4.5hr cutoff. It was brutal.
    I know that Lynda recommends keeping your heart rate lower for the earlier parts of an endurance race, but I really wondered how to do that with a ss. Preventing as much tearing early on as possible sounds like a good plan. I, like you from what you mentioned about climbing that big ugly 25% grade, need to swallow my pride and chill out a little more in the early stages of the race and save something for a strong finish. See you at balboa!
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