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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey cycling people, i have a question regarding fitness on the bike.I have finally managed to improve my time on a climbing segment that averages 10% grade. From last years best at 16.30 to 15.40. It is a segment i test myself on regularly and it took me more than 10 "all in" attempts (some miserably failed before finish, earlier in season) and, well a year.. But all i can see now is, i can hold higher watts for that segment, but my avg HR has increased with this PB as well...so is this actually an improvement in fitness,...or would it be only as far as i was able to keep avg HR for that effort the same as it was with slower time last year? Weather conditions were actually quite the same..
It is not a thing that would keep me awake at night, more a curiosity...
..how much i wish autumn wasn't here yet...
Best regards from Slovenia.
 

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Not a coach but, have been using power and HR for 10+ years now.

If I understand you correctly, hell yes this is an improvement in fitness! Being able to generate more power while tolerating (reaching) a higher HR without "blowing up" means you pushed up your threshold (15 minutes at least) closer to your max HR. That is exactly why we train so hard.

Good job! 50 seconds gain on that segment is really good mate!

EDIT: Do a search on aerobic decoupling to get a more objective/informative answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey, I rode that same climb a few more times and did last year's PB time at 4 bpm lower HR.
What drove me to ask/write in the first place, was observing an improvement in time (couldn't tell if 50 sec on 16min is merely marginal or not) came with higher HR, which was a bit disappointing to me..
Thank you for your kind words :)
 

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Congrats on the PR.

Dont worry about HR because it can vary wildly way too much. Just focus on your watts and holding around 90rpm like all the top GC riders do like Froome, Lance, Big T etc.

Increase your sugar intake and decrease fat and oil intake if you want your red blood cells to have more fuel and be less sticky. Dietary fat causes platelet aggregation aka 'blocked legs'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Me..again...in short; is 186max hr absolutelly too much for skinny 43y/o? (220-age wise). Resting hr is 58bpm.

Longer version..several months have passed by since last post and new, but simmilar question have emerged. Been doing some indoor intervals during winter and spring(due to bad weather and lack of will to spend hours indoors)...mostly 30sec, 3min and 5min interval sessions. Managed to get some base miles in since as well...my fitness have naturally improved and it shows on times (made a 3min forest mtb KOM on a very steep climb and some other 3min PB's on very steep roads with road bike ) and reached Vo2mx pb.. All good..but i am one year older and same ultra light weight (130lbs/59kg at 177cm height)..anyhow, along with power PB's on these 3 and 5min efforts came new absolute maxHR pb; 186beats per minute! At 43years. Two years ago, i couldn't even imagine reaching over 180...and now, reaching 182 doesn't feel like throwing up...must add, it is very hot and humid here this month and i tolerate these conditions very bad..so, i never ride during the warmest hours of day...normally just before sunset, but still suffer mostly from humidity...but my fitness have accumulated now and it motivates me to pedal hard regularly, regardless to poor weather...
Otherwise, i feel really good and have(never had) no heart or other health issues..that i'd be aware of..
These efforts are so short and intense that i can't even monitor HR while doing them...
What do you cycling colleagues think, should i back it off? Do i risk heart damage(220-age)? My ego is apparently stronger than common sense, legs...and hopefully not than heart..

ps, must add, i met some older road cycling gentleman (62-67yo) who drive at such high avg speeds i can't even imagine (80km loop, with 1100 vertical meters at 32km/h average speed)...and that fact makes me soo happy :)
Happy rides :).
Roots

 

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Me..again...in short; is 186max hr absolutelly too much for skinny 43y/o? (220-age wise). Resting hr is 58bpm.
No, my max is 184 and I'm 62. Resting HR is lower 40's normally.
 

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(220-age)
Is pretty meaningless. It has no correlation to your personal fitness level or genetics.

This is a general formula for the average person. As you can see, YOUR HRmax could fall way above/below the average.




https://www.researchgate.net/public...rprising_history_of_the_HRmax220-age_equation
The estimation of maximal heart rate (HRmax) has been a feature of exercise physiology and related applied sciences since the late 1930's. The estimation of HRmax has been largely based on the formula; HRmax=220-age. This equation is often presented in textbooks without explanation or citation to original research. In addition, the formula and related concepts are included in most certification exams within sports medicine, exercise physiology, and fitness.

Despite the acceptance of this formula, research spanning more than two decades reveals the large error inherent in the estimation of HRmax (Sxy=7-11 b/min). Ironically, inquiry into the history of this formula reveals that it was not developed from original research, but resulted from observation based on data from approximately 11 references consisting of published research or unpublished scientific compilations. Consequently, the formula HRmax=220 -age has no scientific merit for use in exercise physiology and related fields.

Clearly, more research of HRmax needs to be done using a multivariate model, and equations may need to be developed that are population (fitness, health status, age, exercise mode) specific.
If you're serious about training, the ONLY way to know your HRmax is to actually measure it.

https://www.cycling-inform.com/how-to-test-for-your-cycling-max-heart-rate

Max Heart Rate – Test 1.
This test requires a Heart Rate Monitor and a turbo trainer. It may be helpful to have someone assist during the test, to encourage you when things get tough and to take the readings from your Heart Rate Monitor.

Warm up for 10 to 15 minutes and then ride as hard as possible intensive time trial effort for the next ten minutes. Ride the last minute flat out (maximum effort), and sprint the last 20 to 30 seconds. It should now be possible to read the MHR on the Heart Rate Monitor.
Do not stop immediately but keep pedalling and warm down gradually for the next ten minutes.
Repeat the test two or three more times, with a couple of days between each test, to establish your true maximum.

Max Heart Rate – Test 2.
This test requires a Heart Rate Monitor, turbo trainer and a computer (ideally with a cadence measurement). Your bicycle should have a close ratio rear block (e.g. 52 x 18/17/16/15/14/13). Have someone assist during the test, to encourage you when things get tough and to take the readings from your Heart Rate Monitor.

Warm up fully for 10 to 15 minutes.
Use your large chain ring and choose the lowest gear (e.g. 52 x 18). Pedal at a steady cadence of 90 rpm for 2 minutes.
Then change up to the next gear (52 x 17) without pausing.
Maintain the same cadence (90-rpm). Pedal this gear for 2 minutes and change up again still maintaining the 90-rpm cadence.
Continue changing up to the next sprocket every two minutes, constantly maintaining 90-rpm.
Your heart rate should rise constantly. It may level out at some point (your OHR) but carry on with the test.
Continue at 90 rpm, changing up a sprocket every two minutes, until you are no longer able to go on.
Do not stop immediately but keep pedalling and warm down gradually for the next ten minutes

A variation on Max Heart Rate -Test 1; performed on a short 500m hill which ends in a sharp gradient towards the top.

Warm up for 10-15 minutes riding into the E3 Heart Rate Zone
Ride up the hill as fast as you can then sprint up the last section.
Recover and repeat a few times.
Record your Max Heart Rate for each effort and take the highest reading.
Cool down for ten to fifteen minutes.
It’s important to perform this a few times in one session as you may need to fatigue a little to reach your Max Heart Rate.

Another way, if you are racing, is to check your Heart Rate data on a regular basis for your Max Heart Rate. You will usually reach your Max Heart Rate during the final sprint finish of most races where you end up sprinting at 100%.

It’s important to monitor your Max Heart Rate during the season as it will change depending on several factors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you both, but i am not looking for a method to test my HRmax, i have measured it and reached it couple times now, was not trying to do HRmax pb, but time pb on a climb...so, i'll take 186 as HRmax...it is higher than ever measured before...and i am measuring it on every ride for about seven years...and it is not that i just started attacking for pb's on climbs.
Having 184bpm at age of 62 is astonishing(you might be some sort of high-end fitness gentleman or exceptional medicine example ..or i just lack of knowledge), but i was asking if pushing heart in such high revs is considered as dangerous..in general? Do you fit cyclist even care about how high you push it? Heart health wise...
Interesting read from links, honestly thank you, again, but it hasn't answered my general concern, regarding health aspects of pushing heart so high at my age.
I was talking about those 186 with my friend, my wife listened and started googling and stumbled over well-known 220-age formula and almost got her self a heart attack, after doing some basic math about my HR...it made me curious as well..seems like quite undefined area...
 

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Lots of endurance athletes suffer from Atrial Fibrillation later in life ( an erratic heart rate), so yes, over-exertion should be a very real concern.

As a general rule, your ability to generate power and speed should increase, while the heart rate stays the same. Ideally you would like to be able to ride along at a high rate of speed, while still able to hold a conversation with the cyclist next to you. And to do that requires a relatively low heart- rate.

The pros in the TourdeFrance generally have a heart rate average of about 135-140 bpm over the entire race. They are able to generate an average 250+ watts while keeping their heart-rate under control (zone 2, 3). Only on the attacks or the climbs do they push themselves hard. And even then, never (or rarely) to the limit, or else recovery will take a long time. And keep in mind, this is a race, not an every-day training session.

As a general rule, assuming your max heart rate to be 185 bpm, you should be riding along most of the day at 120-130 bpm or thereabouts. Perhaps 10% of the ride could be in the 140-150 bpm range. And only a very small part of the ride, on the climbs, should you allow your heart rate to approach 165 bpm(90% of max).
 
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