Sunday, 31 October 2010
Target Heart Rate Training
Winters on the way and with it comes the prospect of fewer miles outside and putting a bit of weight on. Or does it?
After a year on the road, I'm not losing any weight and I'm stuck at my current weight, even though I've been cycling around 400-500 miles a month. I knocked about a stone off in the beginning, but after that, nothing.
It's mostly to the intensity I've been training at. When you have a heart rate monitor, you can begin to understand how hard you're working. My problem is that I spend most of my time in Heart Rate Zones 4 & 5, I like to ride fast, push myself on the misunderstood basis that it's better for you. On my recent healthcheck, my heart and lungs were judged at someone ten years younger, so that's a good start.
However, I want to lose weight to get my power to weight ratio better for the going up hills. The solution, is to do more miles in Heart Rate Zone 2 and 3. This calls for longish rides, really keeping an eye on your intensity and ensuring you don't go out of Zone 2 in the main. Staying in Zone 2 means you're body burns more fat, than carbohydrate, which should contribute to reduction in weight, when combined with a decent diet. If you're always pushing, you end up relying on carbohydrate for fuel instead of fat, well that's what the experts say.
After today's 36 mile ride, it's quite tough going slow. Reason being, is your instinct is telling you to ride fast, get out the saddle up a hill, get the old heart pumping. Today, I was up and down my gears on my winter bike, just making sure the old ticker stayed in Zone 2. It slowed me right down, at times to 8mph going up hills, 12mph on some drags and no more than 17mph on some flats, where I would normally be hitting 22-23mph.
Of course it means, you get overtaken whilst you're out, which as a naturally competitive person, is a bit tough. However, thinking ahead, a good winter of aerbobic base miles should do me the world of good and help shift the 10 - 12Ibs I want to shed over the winter and come into 2011 a bit leaner, a bit meaner and much keaner. Let's see.