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Complete Bastard
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I have a dilemma I hope you guys can answer.

When I race offroad I have no problem getting my heart rate up to the mid to high 170s with occasional excursions into the 180s. I've even hit 191 in a finish-line sprint once. Yesterday I went to road time trial and raced for 40 minutes and only creeped over 170 once (171) and kept it mostly around 162-165 the whole way. I was trying to push hard but just couldn't get my heart rate up. I feel like maybe I could have been faster if I could have pushed harder (indicated by a higher heart rate) but am starting to wonder if the different format just produces different numbers. Those of you who ride road and dirt have any ideas about this?

Thanks.
 

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Road Vs Dirt

I split my time between the 2 and always use mt HR. I have not found any differance in my readings between the 2. I worked with a coach for almost 2 years and whenever I would ask why my HR readings were a certain way he would go on and on about all the MANY factors that will effect you HR on any given day: rest, stress, ilness, fatigue etc. His advise was to focus on power and get a power meter. HR readings vary too much to be a true indicator of your actual effort. So you may have been giving 100% effort and thats as high as your HR would go that day.
 

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What Merlin said, and

HR is more variable than power, hence the trend towards power based training. Until someone agrees to buy/give me a power meter, it'll have to be hr based training for me too!

What's your LT, or what's the max. hr you can hold for 1/2 - 1 hour of continuous effort? If you don't know, try riding as hard as you could on the trail for 1/2 hour, take avg. hr for last 20 minutes. Do the same on the road, and make sure you are well rested before trying both. Repeat these tests occasionally to see where your fitness is. Anyways, that is your TT hr. Would be curious to see how close they are. If you're able to sprint at the end, you've done it wrong.

I know for running the LT is on average 8 - 10 beats higher than cycling, since you use more muscles for running. Would it be higher for mtb. too since maybe it requires more muscles as well?

Good luck!
 

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Canuck
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I get the same thing

I find it way easier to get the heart rate up while mountain biking. I figure this is because there are so many different parts of the body besides the legs that are stressing the system : arms, shoulders, abs all come into play. But on the road, it's only the legs.
 

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DirtSnake said:
I find it way easier to get the heart rate up while mountain biking. I figure this is because there are so many different parts of the body besides the legs that are stressing the system : arms, shoulders, abs all come into play. But on the road, it's only the legs.
I feel the same with the addition that the trails I ride have steeper climbs then my road rides and the mtb is just heavier overall.

Lou.
 

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mward said:
I have a dilemma I hope you guys can answer.

When I race offroad I have no problem getting my heart rate up to the mid to high 170s with occasional excursions into the 180s. I've even hit 191 in a finish-line sprint once. Yesterday I went to road time trial and raced for 40 minutes and only creeped over 170 once (171) and kept it mostly around 162-165 the whole way. I was trying to push hard but just couldn't get my heart rate up. I feel like maybe I could have been faster if I could have pushed harder (indicated by a higher heart rate) but am starting to wonder if the different format just produces different numbers. Those of you who ride road and dirt have any ideas about this?

Thanks.
Gears? I found in road TTs that when my rpm was below ~90rpm (on the flat, not hills) my legs hurt and tended to cramp more towards the end, so I would drop a gear if it felt a bit too hard, to make it more cardio. Generally, higher rpm (lower gear) will result in a higher HR, and lower rpm (higher gear) gives lower HR (but with more lactate produced) at the same bike speed.
 
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