Indoor Training

27 Dec

In the past 3 weeks (since we bought a Lemond RevMaster spinner) I have ridden 180 miles – indoors.  The scenery is boring (except when Mark walks by) but the temperature and wind speed are perfect.

The RevMaster’s (aka the Master) bike computer calculates that thus far I have ridden:

10 Activities

181.21 mi

Avg Distance:
18.12 mi

12:15:26 h:m:s

Avg Speed:
17.3 mph

Avg HR:
109 bpm

I am determined to not lose the fitness base that I gained in 2010.  At the same time, I am cognizant that if I over train during the off-season I will pay for it later in the year.  To safeguard against the latter and to get the biggest bang from my workouts, I have been reading up on fitness and training – particularly in regard to cycling. 

Interestingly what seems like common sense to me – that the more fit you are the lower both your resting and maximum heart rates will be – is not a widely held belief, although it is becoming more common.

A study from Liverpool, England shows that the maximum heart rate for athletes is lower than for aged-matched sedentary people. The maximum heart rate of male athletes was calculated to be 202 – 0.55 × age, and for female athletes, 216 – 1.09 × age. Both weight lifters and runners had similar maximum heart rates, which were significantly lower than the age-matched sedentary people. The athletes have hearts that can pump more blood with each beat than the hearts of sedentary people, so they do not beat as often.

Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

My resting heart rate (RHR) is 40 (update: I’ve been using my Edge and HR monitor to track RHR which gave me the 40, taking it myself first thing in a.m. it’s been 45, 46 and 48), through what is referred to as a field test to calculate my maximum heart rate (MHR), I found my MHR to be 158.  There are many calculations for calculating MHR.  Using Mirkin’s formula my MHR is 154.  Dan Heil, Ph.D., recommends, 210 – (half your age in years) – (5% of your weight in pounds) + 4 for men only = MHR.  Using this my MHR is 175. 

I use a Garmin Edge 305 with heart rate monitor for all of my bike rides.  I upload the ride data and utilize it in setting and tracking goals and fitness.  Based on that data (and my RHR of 40) I believe the MHR of 175 is too high while the MHR of 154 is too low for me. 

I “picked” 165 as my MHR and use it to set my training zones.  From the data I have I believe it is reasonably correct.   Also, I read that the formulas for calculating MHR are based on running and that cycling produces a MHR of usually 3 – 5 beats lower.

Utilizing a heart rate monitor and heart rate zones I can target my training to maximize my cycling (and cross-training) workouts.  I am in the process of uploading preset workouts into my Edge so I can utilize some of the heart rate based workouts I have found.  I also hope to collect data on how long I am in each zone.  I monitor that during the workout, but the Edge doesn’t collect that info.

Years ago I rode outdoors year round – then I got older and wimped out.  The spinner is easy to use and with my technological toys (mp3 player, netbook, portable dvd player and cell phone with Angry Birds app) I have plenty to distract me from the monotony of riding for up to two hours at a pop.

I will monitor and track my average heart rate, cadence, miles, time on the bike as well as monitor and vary the intensity of my workouts.  I will also monitor my RHR at least weekly to guard against over-training.  I plan to post regularly on my progress (or lack of) – in part to guard against under-training.  A little accountability couldn’t  hurt.

I’m curious how others train in the off-season, what do you typically do and how did you arrive at your MHR?


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