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· I've got to get in shape.
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Every time that I ride with my Polar HRM, I find myself worried about what zone I am in, how I need to ride slower/'faster, how quickly I can raise/lower my heart rate to be in whatever zone I need to be in...etc.

It has gotten bad enough that I have taken to riding without the monitor. And guess what?! I actually enjoyed riding again! Recently I even rode a bike with (gasp!) no HRM and no cyclocomputer! I felt like Dave Stoller from "Breaking Away" looking at my watch as I rode (Too bad that I don't have his form or his Masi!).

Now how do I get over the guilt of knowing that I am not maximizing my training effeciency by not using the HRM?
 

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I stripped that crap from all of my bikes a few years ago and I never regretted it. It totally distracts from my riding pleasure. Of course I only ride for pleasure and general fitness, so training accuracy is not a factor for me.

The only time I put a computer back on is when I am following an unfamiliar cue sheet.
 

· Cannot bench own weight
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One of the things I like about riding is tracking my "data." That said, the HRM is superfluous for me, as I don't race. The last couple rides I didn't bother putting on the strap (Garmin). I did learn a couple interesting things from it, mainly that my max heart rate is 178, and when I start hitting 160s I'm really working it.
 

· yup
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I used an HRM to help me adjust my diet, find out where my peak is and to analyze my fitness level. I needed to lose weight, and was having trouble balancing calories eaten v. burned. I rode with it for a while but stopped using it all the time because like you I found it distracting. I still use it to benchmark when I am off the bike for any lenght of time or other variables.
 

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I've never used a HRM for riding, but I did use it for running. I found after a month or so I could tell what my heart rate was from how my body felt. I never used it after that. I've intended to try this with riding but just haven't done so as of yet.
 

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I realised a while ago that an HRM is a really crappy indicator of effort (and when you get a powermeter its clear that the HRM really is useless). So i ditched it, it feels a lot better not riding with a strap anyway.
 

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I found that I kept looking at it to gauge how hard I was pushing myself. All it ended up doing was giving me anxiety about how I was under or overdoing it. Now, if I do use it, I just take the hrm number off of the screen (Garmin Edge) and let it record the data. Then I go back and look at the ride to see how my heart rate changed with the terrain. I'm not doing it for training, just for fun. I still ride a little bit differently when I have it on, so it does have a mental effect I guess.
 

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boyd2 said:
I stripped that crap from all of my bikes a few years ago and I never regretted it. It totally distracts from my riding pleasure.
+1

As I get older, I get (a little) better at just listening to my body and knowing what will generally work and what won't. HR and Watts take away from the ride. I try to race, but at a humble level, so I'll rather just enjoy the ride, whether it comes hard or easy.

G
 

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I dont' use mine for zones.
I tend to use to know when I can still push when everything is screaming at me to stop I can see if my body is being a wuss and to mentally push through it or when I'm at 190 and know to ease pff a bit to 180 to recover whereas without an HRM I might back off too much or not enough to recover.
It's a good tool to use for general fitness. I think it's stupid to stick to "zones" for people who ride for fitness or unless they're pro. Everyone else in between should just use it as a tool.

Craig
 

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I have a Garmin Edge 305 with the HRM strap, so I can be deluged in data if I want to. But on my commuting rides, I don't bother with it. It's nice to alternate between making use of it and just riding.
 

· Resident Dutchbag
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Ditched it along with my speedometer, I found that riding my bike is more pleasurable than looking at numbers.
 

· waterproof*
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I only use my for winter/early spring training, usually on the trainer but also outside for intervals if the weather suits. On the trainer it really helps keep me focused on the effort and recovery.

But once daylight savings kicks in and it's warm, I go naked. Perceived exertion and a watch are all I need for training.
 

· hello
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boyd2 said:
I stripped that crap from all of my bikes a few years ago and I never regretted it. It totally distracts from my riding pleasure. Of course I only ride for pleasure and general fitness, so training accuracy is not a factor for me.

The only time I put a computer back on is when I am following an unfamiliar cue sheet.
+1 and +1
 

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Mine has been sitting in the draw for a couple of years. I've yet to see any true data supporting riding x minutes at x % will make you such and such % faster than another method. Same goes for power training. I believe in training plans but the exactness that some of them tout is humorous at best. Plenty of people get very close to their genetic threshold by following a simple plan of combining group hammerfests with lower intensity rides. I've seen so much talk about how group riding is not good training but have yet to see any solid evidence why doing mentally stressfull rigid intervals is any better than random and fun group ride "intervals". Just mix it up and you'll get 90+% of your potential.
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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"But once daylight savings kicks in and it's warm, I go naked. Perceived exertion and a watch are all I need for training."

Depending on body hair, you're probably very aero like that, too. No prob with persp. evaporation, or those nasty chafing seams either. One suggestion...go heavy on the sunblock.
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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I never wear my hrm when I'm commuting, but I usually wear it on club rides, or when I'm really working out. My supposedly max heart rate is 155, but I saw 166 today. Pretty good for an old fart. I think the secret to enjoyable riding with instruments is to not give a crap. Maybe I'm out for a ride and my average is 14 mph and 115-120 bpm. I don't care. I'm having fun. If I'm tooling along at 15-16 mph and a couple of guys pass me going significantly faster, I don't give a crap about that either. I don't ALWAYS have to prove myself to other people. I'm secure enough and satisified enough, to know what I can do without always having to measure against other people.
 

· Lexicon Devil
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I had a Polar S720, which I liked because I was able to track my rides and I had a rough estimation of how hard I was riding. Then it died, and I went without a computer of any kind for three years.

Now I just bought a Powertap, because all my friends who have one, all guys I used to beat all the time in sprints and who I could all ride off of my wheel, are getting faster and are now able to beat me some of the time. So, I drank the Kool-Aid and invested in some heavy artillery in this arms-race. :)

But in all seriousness – on those rides that I just don't want to know what I'm doing, I just turn the PT computer around or stick a Post-It note on top of it. That way, I can truly enjoy the ride for what it is, as communion with the road and my body, as opposed to trying to stick 350W for five minutes at 100RPM.
 

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My bike puter battery died a couple weeks ago and I havent replaced it... it has been great. I havent been off my beaten path and I havent missed the numbers at all. I dont worry about how far or fast... just ride. I still log my rides but it is has been a relief to not fixate on how much farther or how much faster I need to go.
 
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