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By default, my Garmin Edge 500 sets up heart rate training zones based on my max heart rate input into my device. However, after reading a few posts on here, and just completing the chapter in Joe Friel's book, "The Cyclist Training Bible," I am now considering switching my heart rate zones to be based on lactate threshold heart rate.

My question is, how many of you have modified your garmin's default heart rate zones to be based on LTHR rather than MAX HR? I am considering doing this because, for one, it seems like it would be much more accurate to find and update my LTHR than to hope to find and hit my Max HR. Up to this point I have been using the dreaded 220-age equation that everyone says has a high potential to be inaccurate. My main concern in changing my hr zones to be based off of LTHR is that in other training blogs or books that i have read, zones appear to be based off of max HR, and this could complicate things having different books speak in zones that would end up being drastically different. For example, Currently, by default, my Edge 500 displays HR Zones 1 and 2 for recovery, while using HR Zones based on LTHR would have only Zone 1 for recovery and the LTHR Zone 2 would be the equivalent to the MaxHR Zone 3.

I guess it just seems to make HR Zones training plan specific rather than a running standard. Thoughts?
 

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No Max

Vee said:
By default, my Garmin Edge 500 sets up heart rate training zones based on my max heart rate input into my device. However, after reading a few posts on here, and just completing the chapter in Joe Friel's book, "The Cyclist Training Bible," I am now considering switching my heart rate zones to be based on lactate threshold heart rate.

My question is, how many of you have modified your garmin's default heart rate zones to be based on LTHR rather than MAX HR? I am considering doing this because, for one, it seems like it would be much more accurate to find and update my LTHR than to hope to find and hit my Max HR. Up to this point I have been using the dreaded 220-age equation that everyone says has a high potential to be inaccurate. My main concern in changing my hr zones to be based off of LTHR is that in other training blogs or books that i have read, zones appear to be based off of max HR, and this could complicate things having different books speak in zones that would end up being drastically different. For example, Currently, by default, my Edge 500 displays HR Zones 1 and 2 for recovery, while using HR Zones based on LTHR would have only Zone 1 for recovery and the LTHR Zone 2 would be the equivalent to the MaxHR Zone 3.

I guess it just seems to make HR Zones training plan specific rather than a running standard. Thoughts?
Unless you have determined your max HR under pretty rigorous conditions, the number you put into your Garmin is probably wrong. Basing training on 220-age Max HR it would only be a coincidence if your numbers were right. Beyond that, LTHR is a much better basis for training zones. Calculate your numbers on LTHR (per Friel):

Active Recovery - Zone 1 <80% LT
Endurance - Zone 2 80-89% LT
Tempo - Zone 3 90-93% LT
Subthreshold - Zone 4 94-99% LT
Suprathreshold - Zone 5a 100-102% LT
Aerobic Capacity - Zone 5b 103-105% LT
Anaerobic Capacity - Zone 5c >105% LT

Alternatively:
Recovery I can SING!
Endurance I can talk easily
Tempo I can talk
Hard tempo I . . . can . . . talk
Time trial (pant) (pant) (pant)
 

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that ain't chamois cream
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Yes use your LT HR. Re-test after a few weeks of training - some times the number will go up as you get better at pacing your efforts.

RE. power: accept that HR training is not always super-accurate, and listen to your body.
 

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There is a TON of information on training with HR, determining your max HR, LTHR a thousand times over.

You want to learn about training with HR, go read The Cyclists Training Bible. It's all there. But the further down the road you go with taking training seriously and trying to pinpoint these training zones the more you will discover that training with power is the only way to know anything for sure.

As a previous poster said, you will likely be unable to motivate yourself to your max HR outside of a race situation and even then, who knows.

Everytime these HR questions pop up there should only be one answer.

Go read a book.

The UItimate Ride
The Time Crunched Cyclist
The Cyclists Training Bible

This is not a state secret.

Take your pick. They all discuss it quite well.

And if you want to learn about training with power.

Training and Racing with a Power Meter.

Worth their weight in gold, each of them.

Better answer?

How bout this then.

Let me google that for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
MisterC said:
There is a TON of information on training with HR, determining your max HR, LTHR a thousand times over.

You want to learn about training with HR, go read The Cyclists Training Bible. It's all there. But the further down the road you go with taking training seriously and trying to pinpoint these training zones the more you will discover that training with power is the only way to know anything for sure.

As a previous poster said, you will likely be unable to motivate yourself to your max HR outside of a race situation and even then, who knows.

Everytime these HR questions pop up there should only be one answer.

Go read a book.

The UItimate Ride
The Time Crunched Cyclist
The Cyclists Training Bible

This is not a state secret.

Take your pick. They all discuss it quite well.

And if you want to learn about training with power.

Training and Racing with a Power Meter.

Worth their weight in gold, each of them.

Better answer?

How bout this then.

Let me google that for you.
I honestly appreciate the feedback, and I understand that power is better to train with. But a power meter is a bit more than I am willing to spent right now. Even the cheapest ones are looking to be over $1,000.

In terms of learning to use HR, I am not asking how to train with HR. My question was that in READING FRIEL'S BOOK, notice I mentioned this first post, but yet you still suggest that I read the book which tells me you probably didn't even read my post, it mentioned using LTHR to set HR zones. I was curious how many people used LTHR versus Max HR in their training.

Perhaps you should follow your own link and look up how many different plans use Max HR versus LTHR. The facts are out there, but I was looking for people's opinions and experiences of using LTHR zones rather than Max HR zones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Kerry Irons and MontyCrisco, thanks. This was my suspicion and exactly what Joe Friel explained in his book. I will test for LTHR and try the LTHR zones out. I was just a bit hesitant to switch to using the LTHR zones over the Max HR zones because I had been using Max HR for a while and was just getting comfortable with it.
 

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I've done the same and reset my zones to LTHR on my Garmin Foreunner 310XT. As many have stated MAX HR is very difficult to determine if you even can. And odds are you may not be able to move anymore at your MAX (you may just pass out). Sooooo you can either do the 20 min or 1 hr test and determine your LTHR. Lots of info on how to determine LTHR using both
Based on your questions above I have noticed that different books have different zones. I wouldn't get too caught up with it. Whatever you use the purpose of recording data is to monitor your gains/losses to make you better. So even if you have been using MAX HR if you analyze your data correctly you can still train correctly for improvement.
 

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ive reset mine based on carmichael's formula in the TCTP.

its a little quirky..i used pissedofcil's EXCELLENT garmin plugin for sporttrack to change it and also to create and upload workouts
 

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Vee said:
I honestly appreciate the feedback, and I understand that power is better to train with. But a power meter is a bit more than I am willing to spent right now. Even the cheapest ones are looking to be over $1,000.

In terms of learning to use HR, I am not asking how to train with HR. My question was that in READING FRIEL'S BOOK, notice I mentioned this first post, but yet you still suggest that I read the book which tells me you probably didn't even read my post, it mentioned using LTHR to set HR zones. I was curious how many people used LTHR versus Max HR in their training.

Perhaps you should follow your own link and look up how many different plans use Max HR versus LTHR. The facts are out there, but I was looking for people's opinions and experiences of using LTHR zones rather than Max HR zones.
No, I read your post and watched you answer your own question. There is no good testing protocol for determining max HR as far as I know. If you know or have well tested your LTHR then that is the best way to set your heart rate zones and I think that's evidenced by most every coaching book recommending a LTHR test.

I don't even know what a max HR protocol would look like.

Step 1: Find a tiger.
...

Why would you care what anyone else on the Internet claims to be doing? I'm pretty sure Friel also mentions that you need to trust your plan. You can't be constantly working harder because you think you need to and setting up HR zones that have you working too hard in recovery sets you up to not work hard enough in the upper zones where knowing exact numbers between say, zone 5a and 5c really gets blurred in terms of usefulness.

LTHR is your most important number in HR training.

If you need to be told that changing what you are used to is sometimes awkward at first well, sometimes changing what you are used to is awkward at first.
 

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Testing is training, and training is testing.

You can set your zones using whatever test or method, but almost certainly you'll need to tweak values up or down when you actually start performing specific workouts.
 

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Just remember that using HR depends a lot on your hydration/caffeination at the time of training. If you arrive at your workout dehydrated after a long day of work, or a hot day, your HR will be higher for any perceived exertion. In my own experience I can change my Z4/5a HR by 5-10bpm by consuming H20 or electrolyte drink during the warm up. That's why using power and RPE is better for training.
 
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