Saturday, 5 January 2013

Things that go beep on the bike

Quick post today. I enjoy being outdoors, cycling, sailing, walking or just nosing around. I also like to try to stay active. In the past I used a heart rate monitor to get my jogging up to 10 miles without collapsing in a sweating heap. The was done through LSD, that's Long Slow Distance and nothing to do with Greatful Dead albums. With cycling I am happy to hop on the trucker and head out for up to 25 miles without really thinking about it. After around the 30 mile mark I tend to grow weary, struggle on hills and try hard to eat. Sounds like I need to improve my endurance; LSD time! I have never tried proper training on a bike so today's experiments with a polar F2 heart rate monitor were a bit of a surprise. 

I set a target zone of 65-75% maximum heart rate and then headed out for an hour to get an idea of what level of effort that was when cycling. Jings! I had to go slowly. I went down to Belhaven bay which looked lovely in the late afternoon winter sun. (oh for a fat bike). Once warmed up I pedaled along to East Linton. This is a flat route and I would normally expect to sit around 15mph and feel a bit of lactic acid in my legs at Tynefield and then it ease off as I got to East Linton and turned around to blast the 6 miles back. 

Today I had the heart rate monitor beeping whenever I exceeded or dropped out of the training zone. This meant sitting at a gentle 10mph and sometimes less. It felt wrong but, 'trust your kit'. I'll aim for 1x1 hour and 1x2 hour cycle in this training zone each week. I'll keep a record here of any great improvements over the next 6 weeks. If nothing happens, then I'll have had a good number of relaxing cycles and there will be a heart rate monitor for sale, cheap, little used!


  1. I use a HR monitor for all my winter training using various zones to improve different aspects of my cycling performance...I find that it works pretty well although not as accurate as measuring power output...Best of luck with it and I hope it works for you too...


    1. Thanks Trevor. I was genuinely surprised how tight "zone 2" was when cycling. How is power measured? is it on a 'turbo'?