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When training outside in the winter (20 30F) my max HR seems to be 3 - 4 BPM lower than in warm weather. My ability to do long rides in high Zone 4 seems to be more difficult also. Does anyone else find this occurs with them also?
 

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Big time...

In the warmer weather, much of your HR can be attributed to cooling you off. On really hot days, I notice as much as 10bpm difference compared to the winter. Glad to see someone else notices the same thing. Makes you wonder if you overtrain in the cool and loaf along thinking you are getting a great workout in the summer.


gf101 said:
When training outside in the winter (20 30F) my max HR seems to be 3 - 4 BPM lower than in warm weather. My ability to do long rides in high Zone 4 seems to be more difficult also. Does anyone else find this occurs with them also?
 

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Yes, this really begs the question: if your HR is elevated due to some factor external to your legs pumping (high temps, caffene, certain herbal supplements, or fear of cars) is the training effect the same?
 

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Power?

Really good question. I am certainly no expert, but I have monkied around with power and wonder if it isn't the best indicator of intensity/workout. I am just guessing that the cardio workout is more strictly related to HR (duh) and everything else is more closely related to actual power output. It might be that we need to consider these as separate systems. At some point, though, the demands of cooling/warming must surely impact performance. Your mileage may (or must not?) vary. hehe. I'm going to go drink a couple of Mountain Dews, take some Sudafed, and pop in a scary movie, lie back, and work out...

sodade said:
Yes, this really begs the question: if your HR is elevated due to some factor external to your legs pumping (high temps, caffene, certain herbal supplements, or fear of cars) is the training effect the same?
 

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The reason is...

The physiological reason for the lower heart rate is because you are pushing the same volume of blood through smaller diameter blood vessels when it is cold. The peripheral blood vessels constrict to conserve heat when it is cold, and dilate to shed heat when it is warm. Therefore, when it is warm you effectively have a larger volume to fill with blood, and your heart rate has to increase to keep your muscles filled with oxygen. The opposite is true when it is cold outside; smaller volume, slower heart rate.

By the way, this is often the opposite if you over-dress for the cold, as many cyclists do.
 
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