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'm 40 years old, 5'8", 148 lbs, been biking on and off for 15 years at various levels of commitment, never all that serious about "training."

I just got the results of my blood lactate test and I was surprised to see how low my Lactate Threshold is.
For the first ten months of 2006 my riding consisted of doing 5 or 6 spin classes a week at the gym and riding the entire time high in the anaerobic zone (or riding laps in Central Park at a similar pace), >160 bpm.

About two months ago I decided to try and formulate a real road bike training plan, got Friel's Training Bible and realized I was doing absolutely no riding below threshold. So for the last two months that's what I've been doing most of the time (about 10-12 hours week, 6 of which are outdoors on the the bike, the rest indoors).

My max heart rate is 189, but the results of the test (yes, they took blood) yielded my LT at 156. My power output at threshold was respectable, but I thought the actual heart rate at threshold would be higher than 156. Could this low number be due to ten months of almost exclusively training way above threshold?
 

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220 - 40 = 180

156/180= 0.85

You sound well within the general rules of thumb.

With good training you might get to a 160 LT

Buddy did a lot of spin classes last winter, I commuted, I sure started the spring a lot better than him.

I havn't done spin classes, but I'm guessing 1 hour on the bike is worth 2 in the spin??
 

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So (in your case) at 156 bpm your body starts dumping lactic acid into your muscles? Is that how it works?
Can you figure this out by feel on a trainer...is there a point where you know your
at the threshold?
 

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My Max is 184 and LT around 169.

I did several outdoor time trail test to figure mine out:

1. Find average HR for 10 mile or 30 min time trial on flat road.
2. Take that average HR and divide by 1.01
OR
1. Find average HR for 3 mile time trial
2. Divide average HR by 1.04
OR
1. Find average HR for last 20 minutes of 30 min time trial on flat road.

Try these and see if you get similar results.

Remember, you will typically get lower number indoors than outdoors.
 

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To Davey 666, keep reading Friel. My max heart rate is 188, but my LT is about 167-8. My "Tempo" heart rate is 156. I went to a spinning class once, and I noticed everyone was busting thier butt, pedalling really fast and having high heart rates. Most people in the class were overweight despite the fact that several people told me they had been spinning for "years." Lower heart rates will burn fat. Higher heart rates will burn sugar.

jeffscott said:
220 - 40 = 180
The figure "220" is acceptable for recreational ("normal") people working out at the gym, but it is too high for serious year round endurance training. Try 195 instead. Everyone's body is different so formulas are difficult to apply.
 

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jeffscott said:
I havn't done spin classes, but I'm guessing 1 hour on the bike is worth 2 in the spin??
Why would you guess that? My guess would be that 1 hour in a spin class would be equivalent to 1:15 on a real ride just like you would do with a trainer. The reason is the constant pedaling on a trainer/spin bike vs. the junk miles/time on a real ride.
 

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Davey666 said:
My max heart rate is 189, but the results of the test (yes, they took blood) yielded my LT at 156. My power output at threshold was respectable, but I thought the actual heart rate at threshold would be higher than 156. Could this low number be due to ten months of almost exclusively training way above threshold?
You have nothing to worry about assuming your test was on a bike. A real blood lactate test always yields much lower numbers than any of the commonly accepted estimation methods based upon 30 minute TT exertions.
 

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mtbfool said:
Why would you guess that? My guess would be that 1 hour in a spin class would be equivalent to 1:15 on a real ride just like you would do with a trainer. The reason is the constant pedaling on a trainer/spin bike vs. the junk miles/time on a real ride.
I have not spun, but buddy tells me that most fake it a bit.

Outside, you have to fight wind, cold, rough paths, gravel, takes more than you might think.

I certainly have rides that don't measure up. But I try to keep percieved effort out of the equation by timing my rides.

I also am lucky enough to have some pretty good no junk rides around here.
 

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jeffscott said:
I have not spun, but buddy tells me that most fake it a bit.

Outside, you have to fight wind, cold, rough paths, gravel, takes more than you might think.

I certainly have rides that don't measure up. But I try to keep percieved effort out of the equation by timing my rides.

I also am lucky enough to have some pretty good no junk rides around here.
Ahhh, well. If you are going to fake it inside, you are going to fake it outside, so that really isn't a factor. My trainer rides are as hard or harder than my outdoor rides. The spin classes I've done are pretty tough. The downside to it is if you want to do some base miles, there is pressure to do what the instructor is doing, which is usually high intensity.

Go on just about any ride with a computer that calculates time pedaling, and time pedaling will be within 70-80% of actual time. I always go with 80% when calculating my time so I don't cheat myself. That is where the 1 hour inside = 1:15 outside comes from.

As far as elements are concerned: One could argue that isolating yourself from those elements is better for training your cycling muscles. Consistent power, body using calories more efficiently because it's not cold, no choppy pedaling from rough terrain, etc. In some instances that is good, and in others, not so good.
 

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mtbfool said:
Ahhh, well. If you are going to fake it inside, you are going to fake it outside, so that really isn't a factor. My trainer rides are as hard or harder than my outdoor rides. The spin classes I've done are pretty tough. The downside to it is if you want to do some base miles, there is pressure to do what the instructor is doing, which is usually high intensity.

Not so with faking it, if the ride is 40 km and you do it in 1 hour 50 min, average, and today you took 2 hours you just wern't working (or something else is going on wind). No percieved effort with the little knobbby thing.

Go on just about any ride with a computer that calculates time pedaling, and time pedaling will be within 70-80% of actual time. I always go with 80% when calculating my time so I don't cheat myself. That is where the 1 hour inside = 1:15 outside comes from.

Most of my rides computer is 95 % plus of actual.

As far as elements are concerned: One could argue that isolating yourself from those elements is better for training your cycling muscles. Consistent power, body using calories more efficiently because it's not cold, no choppy pedaling from rough terrain, etc. In some instances that is good, and in others, not so good.
Inefficiecies, increase required power, for given miles at given rate.

Wind and other things make you work your core to maintain balance etc alot more when done for real rather than inside.

Spinning is better than not spinning becareful appling your spinning results to outside, I'll bet your slower outside than inside.
 

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jeffscott said:
Inefficiecies, increase required power, for given miles at given rate.
Power is power is power is power. It doesn't vary, and that is what makes it such a good tool to use. However, I did say "one could argue," and, the isolation is good in some instances.

jeffscott said:
Wind and other things make you work your core to maintain balance etc alot more when done for real rather than inside.
Yep

jeffscott said:
Spinning is better than not spinning becareful appling your spinning results to outside, I'll bet your slower outside than inside.
I haven't been to a spin class in years. I do train inside on a trainer a lot. It was an integral part of my success this past year (and previous years for that matter), and I'm certain that this time of year riding outside is not that more beneficial than riding inside. That said, I will chose to ride outside as opposed to inside if the opportunity is there.

I can assure you I'm not faster inside than outside.
 

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I reach my LT at 91% of my MHR. So, for those of you who actually KNOW what both your MHR and LT are, at what percentage of your MHR do you reach your LT? (LT/MHR=%)
 

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To Davey666: Don't obcess over the actual numeric number. The important thing is that now you know what they are, and now have your training zone much better defined. I hope you have the power output at these intensities. That is a much better definition of improvement. For myself, I get the LT test done 3-4 times per year. After racing and training exclusively for 10+ years, I've found that these numbers haven't changed too much. I have noticed a slight decrease in both LT/MHR over the 10 years. That's due to age. As per nc-rider, I'm at about 92% of max at LT. BUT my power output varies depending upon the time of year, and fitness level. This is what I'm looking at. In the off season, like now, I'm putting out about 380 watts at LT. By, and only by, training at LT, can I increase this value. During race season I try to peak about 425-430 watts for my "A" races. This is the key. It's not what your LT is, but how much power are you producing at LT, and how long can you sustain it! Spin classes are OK- heck anything that gets your heartrate up is fine by me! But nothing beats a structured program designed to increase power production at LT. A power meter is mighty helpful, but expensive. Honestly they are worth their weight in gold! But, you can train off of HR. Just be aware of the inaccuracies of HR. Dehydration, sickness, tiredness, all can throw the HR number off. Power never lies. It's just a measure of work being done.
As to exclusively training above LT - well, you may be able to go like mad for 45 minutes, but you'll feel terrible at the end of 3-4 hours! You definitely need the base miles in. Think of it like a pyramid, the larger the base, the higher you can peak! During base training you will be developing the muscle memory that will allow you to be a more efficient cyclist! That means your body won't have to work very hard to go at a moderate pace. Also a key to increasing your power output at higher intensities.
Good Luck !
 

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nc-rider said:
I reach my LT at 91% of my MHR. So, for those of you who actually KNOW what both your MHR and LT are, at what percentage of your MHR do you reach your LT? (LT/MHR=%)
I'm 169/184 = 92%.

Mountain bike action magazine says this ratio is a good indication of fitness; probably the most relevant heart rate number. More so than max heart rate and resting heart rate, in which both really don't predict/measure performance.

Wattage data rules!!! (power/weight, power at LT, etc.).
 

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martinmkd2 said:
what is the cadence for the LT test?
The friel books says time trial cadence. What does that mean?? Probably the cadence where you personally can achieve the most power. For me it's around 90-100 rpm.

I always thought I got more speed mashing (it just felt fast), when in actuality I got more speed spinning. (on flat road on a road bike).
 

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jeffscott said:
220 - 40 = 180
cgee said:
The figure "220" is acceptable for recreational ("normal") people working out at the gym, but it is too high for serious year round endurance training. Try 195 instead. Everyone's body is different so formulas are difficult to apply.
I don't consider that formula worth using. It was based on data from people who were recovering from heart attacks, not exactly the "average" person. For instance, I am 45, and no super athlete. I have a max of 192 bpm, not the 175 bpm the formula gives. I can keep a steady 175 bpm going for 30 min or more.
 

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dcairns said:
I don't consider that formula worth using. It was based on data from people who were recovering from heart attacks, not exactly the "average" person. For instance, I am 45, and no super athlete. I have a max of 192 bpm, not the 175 bpm the formula gives. I can keep a steady 175 bpm going for 30 min or more.
I agree that this formula does not always work.

But this time it did.

So what do you have that is better?

I Iam 49 max about 185 can go forever at 165.

220-49=171 165/185=0.90 but I am best at endurance.
 

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jeffscott said:
I agree that this formula does not always work.

But this time it did.

So what do you have that is better?
The answer is that it is better not to use any formula, but instead to perform an actual test. Max HR is probably the easiest data to test for requiring the least amount of specialized equipment. All you require is the HR monitor, and the apparatus you wish to find your max HR on (max HR on bike may differ from max HR running, etc.) True max HR would be the highest HR you can reach on any apparatus, but since we're discussing training and racing on a specific type of equipment (i.e. bike) the max HR should be the max that can be attained on that apparatus e.g. max HR<bike> = xxx.

There are some protocols for doing a formal max HR test, but you could probably do a decent job of finding max HR by simply doing a solid warmup, then a few hill repeats of about 2-3 minutes in length, at total 100% effort. Record highest value, and it should be very close to your max HR<bike>. Other environmental conditions such as temperature, state of rest/stress will always come into play also with HR testng.

However, as others have already pointed out max HR is not a good predictor of performance anyhow. There are professional riders with seemingly low max HR values who have amazing power output compared to others at a given HR. Absolute power output, and power output vs. weight across time durations that are relevant to the requirements of the focus event or discipline are going to be the best predictors of performance.
 

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Op gets a test wonders if he is normal.

I say yeah not bad according to some basic rules of thumb.

You say they don't work.

Op should get a test.

Somewhere we lost contact with reality.
 
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