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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On my average rides I always seem to stay in Zone 4 and am concerned about "overtraining" or being counter-productive.

I am 40 yrs old, 5' 6", and weigh 160lbs. my max HR is approx 192. I have been Mtn biking since my late 20's and only roadbiking for about a year (love it).

My home is outside of Winter Park Co. (9000 feet). and I frequently bike 18miles home from work which is a nice mix of flats, and climbs. Idealy I would like my weight to be around 150 (this is where I was in college), but have always had a stocky build.

On my most recent ride I had an average HR of 169 and a max of 189 (sprint). My average speed was 17mph (headwinds are the norm)

it has always been my understanding that for maximum benifit you want to stay in zone three for the majority of time (for me its between 134 - 154), and to limit your time in Zone 4 and 5. But for me even on my ride home I seem to exceed this...

I am going to begin racing in our local MTB series this summer and would like this to be the year that I break through to the next level.

any advise is much appreciated.
 

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No, my heart rate goes into zone 4 often. Intensity is key to fitness.

How are you measuring your zones? Sounds like you're basing it off Max HR which will give you some wild zones. Try doing a threshold test and then base your training around that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
define threshhold

Not quite sure I understand what you mean? I though the threshold amount and Max amount were the same?

Would you expand on your answer please...
 

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Lactic (anaerobic) threshold is a sustainable pace (20 min, 60 min, etc), whereas you max is your max (the biggest number you'll see on your hr monitor).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_exercise

Your max doesn't tell you much that translates well into zones, whereas your threshold gives you a good ballpark for the intensities at which you should be training. Also, threhold holds very little correlation with max. Someone with a threshold hr of 170 could have a max hr of 185 or 200.

Google is gonna be your friend here, there's a weath of information on the subject. Also dozens of book available too.
 

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you need to recalculate

my max is 181-183? but you should do a lactate threshold test to determine lactate threshold rate. solid warm and then ride a 20 minute slightly uphill timetrial course at your max without blowing up. over this 20 minutes what is your average hr? that is your threshold heart rate.
example
lactate threshold heart rate 171
zone 1 recovery 0 -138
zone 2 aerobic 139-152
zone 3 tempo 153-159
zone 4: sub threshold 160-170
zone 5a superthreshold 171-174
zone5b aerobic capacity 175 -180
zone 5c anaerobic capacity 181+
do this test once a month on the same course to readjust and to test how your training program is working.

hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you
My threshold would then be around 183-185.

My main concern is that I am being counterproductive by running an average HR of 169-172. I have been reading quite a bit on training, and there seems to be a genuine concern with overtraining and counterproductive training.

Also with many topics different advice works for different goals. I would like to do my first 100 miler this summer and also want to be able to keep up better with the "pack" when I do group rides. And as stated in my first post I am going to compete in my first MTB series this summer and would like to have a better base to start (races begin in June).

I rode the White Rim Trail in Moab a few weeks ago (camped for two nights, rode 30 miles 1st day, 29miles second, 16 miles third) and felt like I did ok, but out of twelve of us I was the slow one (we did have one cat1 roadie who was just amazing!). my point is that I don't feel that I am that far gone physically, I just want to push through to the next level so I can stay with the pack, rather then having them cheer me on the whole way...

Thank you again for your advice.
 

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Nothing wrong with that. If you (lactate) threshold is 183-185, then your aerobic threshold is roughly 20 beats lower than that. The definition of lactate threshold is the highest HR you can hold for an hour. If your average HR is 169-172, you are working your aerobic engine and there is NOTHING wrong with that.

If your goal is to keep up with harder rides, then you need to raise your FTP--zone 4 work. If you want to race and break through to the next level--zone 4 and zone 5 work. Lots of tempo work will let you ride for a long time in your tempo zone, but it won't be as beneficial in racing and hanging with the big guns. How many hours a week do you have to train? I have 8-10, more on the 8 hours side. I spend 40%+ of my time in zone 4 or higher.

You talked about base--right now it is generally the wrong time of year to be doing base if you want to be doing it during group rides. The faster group rides are morphing into "race" style rides.

Go buy the cyclist training bible by joe friel. It is a very good book. Don't fret, you are fine and most likely will not over-train.
 

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your "max" is set to low or you don't truely know your max. What the case is, you have it to low. Additionally, it's not uncommon for max to drift from hour to hour or day to day and wekk to week.


Get a power meter.



Starnut
 
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