Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Heart Rate Training

I saw this article on BikeRadar the other day and decided that as I have an HRM, I should use it properly. I use it as a general guide as to how hard I've worked. For commuting, the HRM is set to 70-80% of my max heart rate. I then check how long I'd been in that zone and if the time in the zone was around half the time of the overall journey, I think that's a relatively good result, with the following benefits:

And the same with football, only the HRM is set to 80-90% and anything over 20 mins in the hour of playing was a tough game, with the following benefits:
"Increases muscles' tolerance to lactic acid and improves hard, short effort ability"

However, this isn't the right way to go about it. So tonight I went for the 60-70% light intensity zone - you can find it from the links above - with the key being that I tried to keep my heart rate in the zone, between 112 and 128 BPM.


  • I found this really difficult. The pace was much slower and although it took me 34 minutes to get home, which is fairly average, I thought it was longer. I was 20 minutes in the zone, which isn't very good.
  • I found it difficult to not keep staring at the watch, which I'd strapped to the handle bar stem. The zone is quite tight and the limits were frequently broken with ease.
  • Taking into account that there are points where you have to slow down (stiles, road crossings, traffic lights etc) it might be better to do HRM training inside on an exercise bike, or go somewhere very remote where there will be no obstacles.
  • I think the battery may be low in my chest strap transmitter as sometimes the signal would be lost, reading "00 BPM" on the display, despite being only 30-40cm away.

The future

I'll continue my commute into work and home by sticking to the light intensity zone. I'd like to trim a little bit of flab, so hopefully this will show after 6 weeks or so.
I'll need to weigh myself and perform some calculations and update this blog accordingly. Although it won't be as hardcore as Robbo's blog, I don't think I have the time or patience for that! Check it out, he's dedicated.

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