Heart Health 2 Summer Roads through Colorful Colorado
Summarize HH1 – proficiency
This instruction will focus on getting to know your heart. What efforts produce what heart rates? How does cadence and resistance effect your heart rate? Understanding the importance of regulating power to target a specific effort (heart rate).
Beginning the hill climb
begin with a cadence of 80 rpm using a resistance of 1 out of 10
If you’re on a trainer, shift into your lowest gear and remove all added resistances from the trainer if applicable.
If you’re on a stationary spin bike, remove all resistance and add only enough tension to take out the slack from the belt if applicable.
Pedal for 2 minutes and record your heart rate.
shift up one gear or add resistance to go from a 1 to 2 while maintaining your cadence of 80 rpm.
pedal 1 min and calculate heart rate. This should be enough time for the heart rate to raise and stabilize. Continue this pattern until our heart rate is 77 percent of max.
At this effort level we are still mostly aerobic meaning our bodies are utilizing oxygen and stored fats and sugars for fuel.
At this level of intensity, our muscles are able to utilize the oxygen that we are breathing to produce the work.
If we increase our efforts much further, our muscles begin to go into oxygen debt, meaning, our bodies cannot absorb enough oxygen from breathing alone for our muscles to produce the work. At this stage we would begin anaerobic respiration. In order to prevent significant oxygen debt in the muscles, our bodies begin producing a compound, atp (adenosine triphosphate) to maintain oxygen supplies to the muscles. The initial stages of this process occur for most people at about 80% of maximum heart rate. At this lower stage of the anaerobic zone, our muscles are supplemented by anaerobic processes, ie atp as a fuel source. Once we begin to go anaerobic, stored fats and sugars no longer play a critical role in energy production. Simple sugars and blood glucose instead are quickly utilized to fuel atp production.
At higher levels, 92-97%, most of us reach a critical value called VO2 max. VO2 max is an effort where the body can no longer support muscle function using aerobic respiration and the production of power is 100% anaerobic. This level of effort can only last so lo long where our bodies must rest back to aerobic levels to recharge muscles with oxygen and to produce more atp.
Often we refer to VO2 max as a bag of marbles. We only have so many and whenever we hit this workout intensity, we drop a marble and when the bag is empty, our ride or race is over.
So, now we’re going to play a little game.
Let’s shift into a higher gear, one that really simulates this hill climb. Add enough tension to create a resistance value of 8/10. If you’re on your trainer, shift into your big ring and a 7 or 8/10 in the back. I want you to really feel the hill here.
What is important is that you slow your cadence way down so that your heart rate doesn’t go up. Monitor your cadence and heart rate for 1 minute making sure you adjust your cadence so you maintain an effort of 77% of max.
At this level of intensity, you can pretty much go forever. and only rest long enough to eat or use the bathroom. If you find yourself on a mountain like this one (and we are at over 11,000 feet in elevation), if you sustain an effort as we are sustaining now, finishing a long ride or climbing over a long mountain pass is not a stretch of the imagination.
Most beginning riders tend to vary the workout intensities based on the hill they find themselves on. They will try and climb up a hill with high power and high effort and descend with low power and low efforts. While this may be necessary to keep up with a group of cyclists and is also a great workout, the efficiency of this technique is very low. Professional cyclists and triathelets look to establish a constant effort value throughout the duration of a solo event. The effort value they use is precisely determined to find a maximum speed over a period of time. The question might be, “at what heart rate do I need to work at in order to maximize my speed over a time of 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours or more?”
If you are looking to accomplish a long bike ride, it is important to understand this concept and, I’ll show you why.
So, now we’re climbing this hill with a slow cadence, mine is (x) and regulating our effort at 77%. I want you to remember the cadence you’re at. Now, let’s take a look at what happens when we go into oxygen debt. This is the fun part!
Imagine getting passed on this mountain. Your ego can’t handle the pass and you begin to speed up. Let’s ramp our cadence up and add an additional 20rpm to what you have now. Let’s watch our heart rates climb. How fast is it climbing? How fast do we hit 90%? Keep increasing your cadence until you hit 92% of max. (1 min)
You should be really breathing hard now, struggling, at this stage you should be uncertain about how long you can maintain this effort. Most of us are either pedaling at anaerobic thresholds or hitting our VO2max. My heart rate is (x)
Now, without coasting, continue pedaling and reduce your pedaling cadence to what it was when you were at 77%, I’m reducing mine back to (x) rpm. Let’s see how long it takes to get our heart rates back to 77%. Will our heart rates get back at all? How slow do we have to pedal until our hr gets back to 77%?
This inability to re-establish the same power / heart rate ratio quickly, or at all is the equivalent to 1 marble lost. Each time you go into oxygen debt, you will lose efficiency until you “bonk” or “hit the wall”
Pedal for 2-3 minutes at the same cadence we left off at, has our hr recovered? If yes, you didn’t go into oxygen debt. If no, you did. Congratulations!
Now, let’s take off all of the resistance on this descent and bring our cadence back up to 80 rpm.
For the remainder of the ride we will be working in the aerobic zone from 65-75% at a cadence of 80rpm
3min at resistance=1
1min at resistance=3
The importance of pacing
pacing for comfort
pacing to lose weight
pacing to strengthen
pacing for speed
pacing for power
training VS application – sometimes you must change your pacing strategy during training to maximize your performance during the application. In other words, what types of effort should you utilize in order to train for a specific event. You need to ballance a training plan that not only acclimates you to the event, but also builds on your short comings.
1.training at race pace to race without training at lower intensity levels to improve metabolic rates, fat burning and efficiency in the aerobic zone.
2. training to lose weight and only riding at lower intensities without training at higher intensities to gain strength and muscle. Increased muscle mass increases metabolic rates which encourage fat burning.
1. mpo (mean power output)
2. muscle fatigue and form
3. aerobic vs anaerobic
4. fuel energy – once you burn off carbs, performance will suffer. You want to sustain a pace that burns fat over carbs.
5. monitor breathing
6. pain thresholds
7 fuel intake – are you getting enough electrolytes, carbs, water to continue with the activity? – cramping
Bonking – hitting the wall
hitting the wall or the bonk describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by sudden fatigue and loss of energy. Milder instances can be remedied by brief rest and the ingestion of food or drinks containing carbohydrates. The condition can usually be avoided by ensuring that glycogen levels are high when the exercise begins, maintaining glycogen levels during exercise by eating or drinking carbohydrate-rich substances, or by reducing exercise intensity.
constant efforts into the red zone, or intervals, requires an excessive use of glycogen to produce energy. When you run out, you “bonk”
Should I workout on an empty stomach? Bonk Training
Many people believe that if you workout on an empty stomach, the body will look for energy in fat. While there may be some truth to this, there are many cons which could result in actually burning less fat in the long run.
Con 1. lower metabolic rates. When your body goes into starvation mode from fasting, it restricts the amount of fuel burning resulting in:
2. early fatigue
Con 2. Shorter periods of activity due to discomfort, pain, lack of energy.
Con 3. Dehydration and cramping
Con 4. Heat exhaustion
Con 5. Dizzyness / nausia
Con 6. Unsustainable – no fun. Lose motivation and stop working out.
Good foods to eat before / during a ride:
Banana (or other type of fruit)
Energy bar or gel
Heart Health is about finding an activity you can stick with, one that is fun, is sustainable and will help you to achieve your fitness goals. It is not about pain, not about feeling the burn, and not about dropping 100 pounds in a week. This is not a short term agenda, it is a life changer!