This afternoon, I did NOT want to go for my bike ride. For some reason, I really just felt like running, but I decided to suck it up and go anyways, especially since it was only supposed to be an hour and a half ride. While I was getting my bike ready (more on this in a later post), I had the brilliant idea to follow Joe Friel’s exercise for determining lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR), and subsequently training zones for my riding. As soon as I got on my bike I was so glad I had taken the time to do a little maintenance and give it a little TLC. Wow, it is riding so much better now! With the exception of my front derailleur, which was acting up late in the ride, but I think I can fix it.
I went on my usual route, which I was hoping would not be too problematic with waiting at various lights and road crossings. I managed to get through the worst of them during my 10 minute warm-up period, thankfully. After 10 minutes, I pushed it and built up to riding as fast as I could and sustain for 30 minutes. After 10 minutes of the test, I reset my HRM for the remaining 20 minutes. What a great ride out it was! After I finished the test, I stopped to drink some water and turn around and head back toward home. I also checked my computer and saw that my average speed was 16.1 mph! I was really pleased, it showed that I definitely was riding faster than my normal plodding along pace. I did not worry about speed at all on the way back, I wanted to save some strength in my legs for a run, but I still finished with an overall average speed of 14.5 mph. Not too shabby! Stats for the ride:
Duration of ride time: 1:24:29
Distance: 20.45 miles
Average speed: 14.5 mph
Max speed: 30.6 mph
When I got back to the house, I took a quick bathroom break, changed shorts and had a quick snack of 3 small dates. It was much longer than a normal transition, but my legs still felt like jelly when I started running. After about 8 minutes I got my rhythm back. Although it was about 90 F, the run wasn’t too bad because there was a nice cool breeze flowing. A few minutes after I got my legs back I got a side stitch. It wasn’t too bad, but it was bad enough to make me want to stop and make it go away. I’d like to say that I continued to run through the pain, but I can’t. At 16 minutes I stopped and walked for about 20 seconds before I motivated myself to start running again. I ran the rest of the workout (42 minutes) and then walked to cool down for about 16 minutes or so.
I spent some time really stretching out well when I got home. My muscles have felt really tight lately, especially in my lower back and shoulders, so I wanted to loosen up a bit while they were still warm. I really would like to figure out a time to work some yoga into my training plan, I think that’s the one thing I’m missing!
My heart rate stats are broken up into 4 segments of today’s workout. The first three are on the bike and the fourth is the run and cool-down.
Stats #1: Bike warm-up and first 10 minutes of LTHR test
Average heart rate: 155
Max heart rate: 176
Stats #2: Second 20 minutes of LTHR test (the part that counts!)
Average heart rate: 177
Max heart rate: 187
Stats #4: Remaining bike ride
Average heart rate: 162
Max heart rate: 182
Stats #5: Run and cool-down walk
Average heart rate: 160
Max heart rate: 184
Which means…drum roll, please! That my LTHR for cycling is estimated to be 177 beats per minute. This means that my workout zones (following from the Triathlete’s Training Bible) are as follows:
Zone 1 (Recovery): 116-145
Zone 2 (Extensive Endurance): 146-158
Zone 3 (Intensive Endurance): 159-165
Zone 4 (Subthreshold): 166-176
Zone 5A (Superthreshold): 177-180
Zone 5B (Anaerobic capacity): 181-186
Zone 5C (Power): 187-193
What does this all mean to me? I’m not really sure yet. I’ve tried to use some vague notion of zones in my training in the past, but never had a concrete number to follow. I think this could really make me more disciplined over the long run, but for this next race I’m afraid it may be too late to start trying to incorporate this knowledge into my plan. I’m not sure I have time right now to do more research and planning. Unless I do it tonight, right now and figure everything out for the next few weeks. I’ve been known to do things of that nature. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!