TRAINING – Heart Rate Monitor Basics for Cyclists has posted an interesting article by Harry Blackwood of Cycling Plus on the basics of heart rate monitors and training.

Using a heart rate (HR) monitor isn’t rocket science, it’s just a case of getting in the right zone. Here, Harry Blackwood – who finally cracked HR training after returning to cycling at the age of 50 – explains how to do it.

The core themes in the article are:

  1. The Zones
    • Knowing your resting heart rate – easy way to do this is to measure your heart rate when you wake up in the morning. Do this for a week to get your average;
    • Know your maximum heart rate. The suggested way to calculate this is not based on age but by using the formula: 210 – (your age divided by two) – 5% of your body weight in pounds (1 kg = 2.21 lb) + four for a male and zero for a female. Harry also provides the details of a suggested on the road test.
    • Calculate your zones – it is suggested that you use six zones not four or five.
    • Treat your average heart rate after a training session with caution – try to spend 90 to 100 percent of your time in the required zone.
  2. The Sessions
    • Go slower go faster – Interesting idea of staying in zone 1 or 2 to develop speed … takes months it seems;
    • Burn fat, save time – interval training – short sharp intervals
    • Become an endurance monster – A mix of training in zone two and zone three – you need lots of time for this
    • Easy does it – don’t over train
    • Testing testing – Complete a Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) test monthly to determine your progress.

The details can be found in the article at

I have started following some of the sessions and will post on my experience once I have done a bit of it. I can say that early results from the Go Slower Go Faster rides have me getting in from the ride feeling better and with an average speed not much slower than norm; particularly given the frequent 40 to 50 km/h head winds I am experiencing this week.

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