Like many of my readers I don’t own a power meter. I have been using a heart rate monitor to train for the past few years. I use the word “train” loosely.
I know a bit about training by heart rate. But as well all know, it’s not a constant since so many things can affect heart rate values. Still, it is and will be, my primary training tool for some time to come.
I’ve recently started reading Joe Friel’s Total Heart Rate Training. He’s a well respected expert on training, especially for triathletes. It’s a well written book on the subject and I’m getting a lot out of it.
I recently decided to take the “fitness test” to determine my lactic threshold (LT) for training purposes. I did this by running on my treadmill for 30 minutes after a 10 minute warm up. Surprisingly my heart rate monitor’s levels that I previously set didn’t seem too far off. My low level is below 130 and currently it’s set for 129. One point off isn’t too bad. However, my upper limits are a bit off – 8 bpm, which is significant. It’s currently set at 162 for my max effort but I often surpass that number on any given group ride or significant effort. This level should actually be set at 170. I know I hit that from time to time, and sometimes hitting even higher.
Given what I know about training with heart rate thus far, these “new” zones make a bit more sense to me than my previous zones. Hopefully this will make more of a difference in my training going forward.