Early AM Zone 2 Base Miles; use Heart rate or Perceived Exertion?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Early AM Zone 2 Base Miles; use Heart rate or Perceived Exertion?

    I determined my 20 min threshold heart rate to be 179 bpm in an afternoon test. The only time I have to ride is before work, 75% of which is before sunrise. I'm finding that when riding at zone 2 heart rate this early, it FEELS like threshold.

    Which should I go by during this base period, heart rate or perceived exertion? I think heart rate, as there just isn't enough glycogen in my body to break into anaerobic this early, but I'm curious what others have done.

    If it helps, my power in the morning correlates the same to heart rate as it did in the afternoon test.
    Last edited by brentos; 01-14-2012 at 10:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Perceived exertion can be the most accurate measure of training load.

    If it feels like 75%, then at that moment it is 75%.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    LMN,

    "Workload" is referring to the training affect, not KJ or power, correct? My power numbers are correspondingly low in the morning.

    Just want to clarify that if I have access to power measurement, I should still be going by perceived exertion?

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    LMN,

    "Workload" is referring to the training affect, not KJ or power, correct? My power numbers are correspondingly low in the morning.

    Just want to clarify that if I have access to power measurement, I should still be going by perceived exertion?

    Thanks.
    Workload and training load are two different things. Workload is purely based on power output and FTP. Training load is the fatigue effect on your body.

    Depending on many things any two rides with same workload can have a much different training loads.

    We aren't machines, some days it easy to produce the watts other days it is really hard. Training needs to be adjusted accordingly.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    I do a good bit of riding early in the AM and find heart rate is sort of unpredictable for me that early so just go by how it feels.

    Same thing for the day after a hard ride. I rode seven hours yesterday and today two hours spinning along felt tough at times!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    I determined my 20 min threshold heart rate to be 179 bpm in an afternoon test. The only time I have to ride is before work, 75% of which is before sunrise. I'm finding that when riding at zone 2 heart rate this early, it FEELS like threshold.
    ...
    My power numbers are correspondingly low in the morning.
    Perceived exertion is likely to be a more accurate guide to how you're feeling. What you could always do would be to carry out a 20 min threshold test during your early morning ride in order to compare with your afternoon test. You could possibly use one set of heart rate zones and power zones for these early rides, and then another set of heart rate zones and power zones for daytime riding. That would mean that your heart rate monitor and power meter readings should be more in line with how you feel at each time of day.

    What sort of temperatures are you riding in? If you're riding very early in the morning then it's going to be much colder than during the day. I tend to really struggle in cold weather if I'm not wearing enough layers. I lose muscle temperature and begin to seize up completely. That makes it feel extremely hard to ride with increased leg pain. My power output is much lower than it would normally be also. It might be worth experimenting with adding a few extra thermal layers, especially on your legs and lower back so that your legs stay warmer whilst riding. Most bibtights described as "thermal" tend to be roubaix fabric which isn't really that warm.

  7. #7
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    Right now I'm racking up base miles. I don't want to be bothered with having to wear a HR monitor on my commute to work. Yeah, it only takes a couple of seconds to put it on but one less thing to worry about.
    But I did use it a couple times just to confirm my PE was actually conforming to the the zone I wanted to be in.

    But if z2 feels like threshold, maybe you should re-test yourself?

  8. #8
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    Agree with all the above. But in my experience the LT testing itself ( in terms of HR), may have differing results based on testing methodology.

    I always have a lower LTHR from a Conconi type test; and fairly consistent results from 3 different testers over the years. (156-158bpm)

    TT type test always result in a higher HR number for me. I believe because the test is not nearly as steady. (results typically ~165bpm).

    How did you perform your test? Outside, trainer, flat road, long hill??

    I also believe WR304 has a point. Going outside and riding at 20F in the morning should have some effect. I've been riding a lot from work and having a half hour 2-4% climb right at the start has been wonderful for cold rides.

    Also, you may want to temperature condition your bike and "zero" the PM at the start of your ride. Temperature is known to be the largest source of error for strain gauges.
    Last edited by Poncharelli; 01-16-2012 at 11:16 AM.

  9. #9
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    I am trying to now follow a schedule and programmed workouts instead of just riding my ass off all the time as in years past.

    As a result, I am finding that trying to train by HR zones is really hard. Not only do you have to deal with the 30-60 second lag between effort and the HR increase, the same effort and HR can create different readings. HR does not tell you what you are currently doing, it tells you what you previously have NOT been doing (either you have been going too hard or you have been going too easy).

    Until I get a PM, I am strongly considering forgetting HR and training by PE. I have enough lifetime hours on the saddle that I am pretty sure it will be more accurate.
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    30 to 60 second lag? Once I'm warmed up it's more like a 1-5 second lag. I've used the monitor for 10 second sprint intervals, from around 130 bpm to 180 in the course of a very short period of time. It tells me when I've recoverd enough to start my next sprint, and it tells me when I need to end the work out due to inability to reach my targeted max. When doing these kinds of intervals, there is very little lag time, I can assure you.

    A heart rate monitor is an awesome tool, but it's just one more tool. Used with PE.
    For example...if my perceived effort is that I am approaching my LT, and my monitor is saying "no way", if this continues for very long, I may bag the work out and just do a recovery ride, because it is telling me I am not recovered from the previous work out.
    I have had days when I felt like crap and couldn't even reach LT. The heart rate monitor simply confirms what I'm feeling.

    And if the ride is...for instance... prolonged intervals at a given HR...your monitor...coupled with your perceived effort, will either confirm your training effort or it won't. If you are doing a steady ride....even for intervals lasting for more than a minute or two, and your perceived effort is constant...the heart rate monitor confirms that the effort is within your target zone for that ride.

    So again...it's value is when coupled with your PE....not instead of....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by estabro View Post
    Not only do you have to deal with the 30-60 second lag between effort and the HR increase,
    Quote Originally Posted by Centurion_ View Post
    30 to 60 second lag?
    My HR lag, in this example, is about 45 seconds. This was during midsummer 1.5 minute intervals. This lag is pretty typical, for me, and probably for most.

    But short intervals like these you really don't need any device of any type. Just start a timer, then go balls out.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Early AM Zone 2 Base Miles; use Heart rate or Perceived Exertion?-hr-lag.jpg  

    Last edited by Poncharelli; 01-16-2012 at 07:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Centurion_ View Post
    30 to 60 second lag? Once I'm warmed up it's more like a 1-5 second lag. I've used the monitor for 10 second sprint intervals, from around 130 bpm to 180 in the course of a very short period of time. It tells me when I've recoverd enough to start my next sprint, and it tells me when I need to end the work out due to inability to reach my targeted max. When doing these kinds of intervals, there is very little lag time, I can assure you.

    A heart rate monitor is an awesome tool, but it's just one more tool. Used with PE.
    For example...if my perceived effort is that I am approaching my LT, and my monitor is saying "no way", if this continues for very long, I may bag the work out and just do a recovery ride, because it is telling me I am not recovered from the previous work out.
    I have had days when I felt like crap and couldn't even reach LT. The heart rate monitor simply confirms what I'm feeling.

    And if the ride is...for instance... prolonged intervals at a given HR...your monitor...coupled with your perceived effort, will either confirm your training effort or it won't. If you are doing a steady ride....even for intervals lasting for more than a minute or two, and your perceived effort is constant...the heart rate monitor confirms that the effort is within your target zone for that ride.

    So again...it's value is when coupled with your PE....not instead of....

    I agree with a lot of that, but am I reading this right.. your HR lag is just 1-5 seconds? How much of a BPM increase can you see in 5 sec?

    I think if you look at the graph of a 3 minute hard interval, a big chunk of the first minute is HR lag/ ramp up.
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  13. #13
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    Properly warmed up...HR...for me...jumps almost immediately following initiation of an all out effort.

    A lot of my experience comes from roadie sprint training. As I stated above...once properly warmed up...in an all out 100% anaerobic sprint from a rolling start...especially after the first couple...I used to jump from the mid 130's in recovery to the high 170-low 180 bpm upon completion of a 10 second sprint.

    But even now...old and fat and out of shape....once properly warmed up...doing 1 minute low rpm hill zone 3 intervals with 4 minute zone 2 recoveries...I go from recovery in the mid 130's to rep target in the low 150's in under 10 seconds. Past experience reminds me that LT iintervals...even longer ones with longer recoveries...are similer.
    Last edited by Centurion_; 01-16-2012 at 08:03 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Centurion_ View Post
    Properly warmed up...HR...for me...jumps almost immediately following initiation of an all out effort.

    A lot of my experience comes from roadie sprint training. As I stated above...once properly warmed up...in an all out 100% anaerobic sprint from a rolling start...especially after the first couple...I used to jump from the mid 130's in recovery to the high 170-low 180 bpm upon completion of a 10 second sprint.

    But even now...old and fat and out of shape....once properly warmed up...doing 1 minute low rpm hill zone 3 intervals with 4 minute zone 2 recoveries...I go from recovery in the mid 130's to rep target in the low 150's in under 10 seconds. Past experience reminds me that LT iintervals...even longer ones with longer recoveries...are similer.

    blood viscosity and pressure is going to be the difference in people. whether ur in a cold setting and thicker blood or a sunny environment and warmed up.

    but realistically 5 seconds sounds a bit fast for a response, even a hard one. everything on my body runs fast and it takes 10-15 seconds for heartrate to start matching watts under any circumstances. my veins are the size of subway tunnels and my doc says i will never have a heart attack...lol
    so my afro now sticks out of my helmet.

  15. #15
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    Just wanted to follow up on my LTHR, like I stated before - during the last three cyclocross races I was averaging 176 bpm for 45 minutes; I took it with a grain of salt as I knew that other factors might make my this HR higher. The last time I did a test (FTP/LTHR) was before the cyclocross season and at that time my LTHR was 169 bpm.
    So I conducted a new test last week on the trainer to have a controlled environment and tried not to stand or change gears during the 20 min time trail. Well wouldn't you know, my LTHR was 177 bpm. I don't think my LTHR raised during the last few months, I think cyclocross taught me how hard I could go during a time trail!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Centurion_ View Post
    30 to 60 second lag? Once I'm warmed up it's more like a 1-5 second lag. I've used the monitor for 10 second sprint intervals, from around 130 bpm to 180 in the course of a very short period of time. It tells me when I've recoverd enough to start my next sprint, and it tells me when I need to end the work out due to inability to reach my targeted max. When doing these kinds of intervals, there is very little lag time, I can assure you.
    Everyone's different with their levels of heart rate response. 1-5 seconds is very fast though. Much faster than my heart rate response.

    My heart rate lag for a short hard sprint (between beginning sprinting and reaching peak heart rate) is around the 20-30 second mark. The picture below shows a 20 second sprint across a roundabout towards the end of a ride. It was one of my highest power outputs of last year. I was already trying hard and at a heart rate of 170bpm initially. From beginning the sprint there was a 27 second delay before I reached my peak heart rate of the ride, 186bpm. The temperature was about 20c.

    On more sustained efforts from a lower starting heart rate (eg: a very steep 3 minute climb immediately after a descent) it consistently takes me about 45- 75 seconds to reach peak heart rate for the climb. For my best 1 minute power segment of last year 128bpm to 176 bpm took 75 seconds (by the time I had reached peak heart rate I was already past the steepest section and power output had dropped), even though the power output was high immediately as soon as I began the climb.

    Pictured below: Heart rate lag following a 20 second sprint
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Early AM Zone 2 Base Miles; use Heart rate or Perceived Exertion?-heart_rate_sprinting_delay.jpg  

    Last edited by WR304; 01-17-2012 at 12:39 PM.

  17. #17
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    Well, I set out to demonstrate my point this afternoon with an interval work out, and I have to say I was wrong. It has been a few years since I was riding regularly, and it appears that, not only have I gotten old and fat, but my memory isn't all that great either.

    Took 23 seconds to register a 20 BPM HR increase on my monitor (after full recovery on my third rep).
    I think the sprint intervals where I was seeing those big jumps occoured after completion of the rep. In otherwords, a ten to fifteen second rep followed by slow down and then observation of the monitor....probably more in the neighborhood of half a minute. It was ten years ago I was doing this, and I have just shown my memory ain't all that great.

    Sorry for puttin out bad info.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by estabro View Post
    I am trying to now follow a schedule and programmed workouts instead of just riding my ass off all the time as in years past.

    .
    I'm in exactly the same boat. I started using a monitor a few weeks ago and I have already ditched in favor of the 1-10 RPE scale.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    . You could possibly use one set of heart rate zones and power zones for these early rides, and then another set of heart rate zones and power zones for daytime riding. That would mean that your heart rate monitor and power meter readings should be more in line with how you feel at each time of day.
    This should be done for trainer rides verses outdoor rides as well, no?

    I notice my PE is higher on the trainer with a lower HR than an outdoor ride.
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