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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was curious how much of a typical race are others over their LT. I just started doing LT field testing so last years would races would be estimates for me. I had a few races were I spent 70 % over LT and a few were I spent only 35%, but typically I'm at about 50%.

Last year was my first in Cat 1 and the fasted 5 guys were ussually gone right from the start and I would find myself in no-mans-land, several minutes behind the leaders and several minutes ahead of the rest of the pack. Because I was adapting to the longer races and ussually had nobody to race, I don't think I pushed myself as hard as I could have. The races where I was at 70% were ones where one or more fast guys didn't start and I found myself in third or fourth well into the race and I guess had the motivation to push hard the whole race.

In my first race this year I was again at about 50% over LT, but I've made up over five minutes on the leaders and I'm only a couple of minutes off the podium. I feel if I could stay in contact with slowest of the leaders and push hard the whole race their are some podiums to be had.

Is spending even more than 70% of a 2 hr race over LT even doable?
 

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stillhardtailing said:
I was curious how much of a typical race are others over their LT. I just started doing LT field testing so last years would races would be estimates for me. I had a few races were I spent 70 % over LT and a few were I spent only 35%, but typically I'm at about 50%.

Last year was my first in Cat 1 and the fasted 5 guys were ussually gone right from the start and I would find myself in no-mans-land, several minutes behind the leaders and several minutes ahead of the rest of the pack. Because I was adapting to the longer races and ussually had nobody to race, I don't think I pushed myself as hard as I could have. The races where I was at 70% were ones where one or more fast guys didn't start and I found myself in third or fourth well into the race and I guess had the motivation to push hard the whole race.

In my first race this year I was again at about 50% over LT, but I've made up over five minutes on the leaders and I'm only a couple of minutes off the podium. I feel if I could stay in contact with slowest of the leaders and push hard the whole race their are some podiums to be had.

Is spending even more than 70% of a 2 hr race over LT even doable?
Then you're not using the right LT heart rate. LT means the MAXIMUM HR you can sustain for a 2 hour race. Take your average HR from three good MTB races- that is likly your real LT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cyclingdirt said:
Then you're not using the right LT heart rate. LT means the MAXIMUM HR you can sustain for a 2 hour race. Take your average HR from three good MTB races- that is likly your real LT.
Really? I thought it was your average HR over a much shorter time, like the last 20 min. of a 30 min. TT.
 

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stillhardtailing said:
Really? I thought it was your average HR over a much shorter time, like the last 20 min. of a 30 min. TT.
Yes, but at maximum effort. If you are spending 70% of your race time above your LT then you aren't going hard enough in your 20 minute test TT. At the end of the TT, you should have nothing left, especially not another 90 minutes of racing.

Re-do the TT so that you can't maintain the full 20 minutes at that pace and then go back a week later and trim your effort back just enough to finish said TT - this will be a closer approximation of your true LT and from this number, you can determine your HR zones.
 

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My thoughts, you can always go faster/higher heart rate in a race then in training. My HR for a field test of 20 mins is usually right in line with Average HR for a 2 hour race. This to me means I go harder in many parts of a race (climbs, start etc.) lower HR in some (downhills) and about my field test HR for many portions of the race. In theory it shouldn't be possible to go at your threshold for 2 hours but in practice it seems likely.
 

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Power Data Collected Over the Years

1 Hour XC Race: Win




3 Hour XC: 2nd




6 Hour Marathon Race: 2nd




24 Hour Solo: Win




Hopefully that helps sum some things up (totals might not be 100% due to rounding)

::EDIT:: Uploaded the HR to compare. Interesting how HR doesn't fully capture the pure power demands, but the wise ones are already well aware ;)

-High Zone 1 and Endurance is due to the amount of time not spent pedaling/downhill
-Tempo/LT/Vo2 Max looks to be where the meat of the races are
-Anaerobic efforts are where it's at come xc racing. Surging, climbing, starts, attacking etc
-The longer the race the less need there is to go above LT
 

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Why is Race HR > Testing HR = HR lag


Experiment
-Go out and perform some Tabatha intervals: 10 mins total of 15 sec on at AC level (~400W), and 15 sec off at 0 Watts
-At the end of 10 mins, average power = 200W (much lower than threshold power; NP will be higher though, but doesn't matter to this argument)
-At the end of 10 mins, most probable that workout HR>LTHR……..why?

When pedals are producing no power (15s rest periods), HR will still be very high, from the previous 15 sec effort. The HR continue high (5a-5b level) through the alternating 15 second rest periods.

I believe it is this lag after super high efforts that produces higher HR at races, compared to LT testing.



Characteristics of a good LT test:
-Constant power
-Constant cadence
-No coasting
-Resulting in fairly constant HR

Sounds like the total opposite of what happens in a race!!
 

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Sprocket Jocket's graphics confirmed my understanding: HR during/from XC races is not helpful to understand race efforts. Besides HR lag, I submit that adrenaline and dehydration have much more effect on HR in racing than in training.

Also, on anaerobic efforts in XC races (the 1 hr graphic emphasizes it)--remember that recovery from/between anaerobic efforts is an aerobic process. So, you can have plenty of anaerobic capacity, but if you don't also have aerobic fitness, you won't be able to repeat the anaerobic efforts effectively.
 
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