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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All. Two days ago I bought a Polar F6 from my LBS. I used it for the first time yesterday, having done the setup the night before. I haven't set up "ownzone" yet, and am using the "automatic" calculations from the setup. Now there is one big bewilderment.

The way I thought it worked is you ahve the three zones, and you start you ride in the lowest(easy) and then work harder and it goes to the next zone(moderate), then when you put in big efforts it goes to the last zone(hard), and when cycling too easy for the first(easy) or too hard for the last(hard) it lets you know, and also will beep or something when going into the next zone. However, I found out it doesn't work that way. When you want to go to the next zone you have to manually go to the settings and change it, as in one zone at a time. Now on the road(just started base training for XC) this is somewhat managable, but it is still stupid to do. I cannot even imagine trying to do this on the trail, much less in a race....After the ride the file/diary says how long I was in each zone, which is what I expected, but yet it can't do multiple zones during the ride? There is a "basic" zone that is one big zone in from the mid-end of the first(Easy) to the mid-end of the last(hard), but I bought it for the purpose of multiple zones, not just a general one. I'm finding it hard to believe that it is this way, or are all HRMS like this? Also, The Ownzone is the same, just more accurate?

Did I just start out with a mis-conception and how the HRM works is the way it should be, or are my objections valid?

The other thing is at the start of a big hill(long, not terribly steep) I was pedaling pretty easy, but my heart rate started to get pretty high and it was beeping at me because my HR was too fast. I even pedalled in like the smallest gear in an attempt to get it to lower, but it didn't. So how do I get my HR to lower? Does it even matter what gear I am in? I was kinda assuming easier gear=lower heartrate. Why not just get into a comfortable tempo and go up that climb compared to going at a snails pace and not getting anything out of it? Or could this be because I went in to the hill almost at the edge of the zone(moderate) and therefore my heart did have time to recover..?

Someone please help, as this was my grad gift and I was looking forward to it, and how it would be a key training device, and now I am kindof unsure of it all as it has been a sort of a hassle.
 

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I personally find that on hills using an easier gear and spinning faster raises my heart rate at more than staying in a bigger gear. I have a Polar S725X and it has settings for multiple zones as well. However, changing between the zones occurs based on interval timers or key presses, not dynamically based on heart rate. If you want it to switch into the higher zone dynamically when you work harder and lower zone when you relax aren't you effectively just pedaling around in one big zone, sometimes pedaling harder and sometimes relaxing? My suggestion for everyday riding is to set a zone as your target for the ride. Try to keep it in the zone for the majority of the ride, but don't sweat it if you go outside the zone. Turn off the audible alert so it won't beep at you when you leave the zone.

Also give some though to terrain when setting your zones. I've had very little success with going out on a ride with hills and trying to keep my heart rate in the 70-80% max hr zone. It might make sense on a flat course, but not in the hills. I can go out and do a nice long easy ride with the majority of my time in the 70-80% of max hr zone, but I'm still gonna hit the high eighties or low 90's when I hit a big hill.

I'm sure there are people out there that actually use their heart rate monitor for training purposes that could offer much more detailed advice. Personally I just like to see how far I went and get an idea of how my body responded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That makes total sense, but then in racing how does it work? sort of the same deal? try to stay within 70-79%, or up the pace to the "hard" zone?
Also when I just did some nutso pushups, my hear rate went from like 28%(sitting) to like a max of 50%...So that isn't even the start of the easiest zone, yet I was tiring quickly...
Thanks for clearing things up a bit.

Which zone is best for fat burning?

And what zone should I train in? I tried to do most of my ride in Moderate, so it was like 15mins easy(warmup, cooldown), 36 mins moderate, 11 mins hard(dang hills!).

Two quick things: should I go by numbers or percentages?
and I had set it to July accidentally(instead of the current month of june) and so my 1 hour ride is listed as being on july 27th. I haven't bought the soniclink yet(or whichever it is) but plan on doing so and uploading my info to the 'net. Any way to change this on the HRM, or just when it's transfered over?
Thanks all
Arca_Tern
 

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you need this:


Turn off the alarm for starters and you may also be able to set it to just read out heart rate

Then, understand that the zone settings in your HRM are generic for your age and sex, and have nothing to do with YOUR personal level of fitness. Best thing to do is to work with an athletic trainer to find YOUR zones, your max and set some training goals. As long as you are moving, you'll burn fat until you becom anearobic, which is about when you are ready to puke. If you are in shape, the pre set zones can be as much as 20% off.

If you HR is "too high" ( learn what too high is) you need to ease off on effort. One thing I learned training with HRM in spin classes is that it's easy to work way harder than you need to to get certain benefits, like extended endurance work.
 

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I've got an F6, too, and as far as I've seen it's a one zone per workout deal. Some of the higher end ones let you monitor all the zones, but not the F6.

One thing that frustrated me about the OwnZone is that your have to redo it every time you change the intensity level - I don't have 5 minutes to redo it before every workout, so I just leave it on automatic and don't worry if I'm a little above/below where it says I should be. Play around with your OwnZone and see if you're close to the automatic settings and leave it there. Keep in mind any fudge factor (+/- a few beats) you need to apply for your fitness level/physiology - you can set your zones manually, too, if you want to get really precise.

I've been loving mine for my workouts and it's a great tool for making sure your perceived exertion is accurate. It'll also let you know if you're overtrained or sick if your recovery is slow/resting heart rate is high - just keep in mind it's a tool and don't let it run your workouts/life. :)
 
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