Heart Rate Training
for Road Cycling, Mountain Biking and Fitness Cycling
If you use your heart monitor for
cycling, then you know that you are getting the best possible workout in the
time that you are spending riding. If not, then you may be wasting much of the
time that you are spending on the bike and not getting the benefit that you
Cycling is a weight supported activity (the bike
supports your body weight), so you actually need to put in more effort to get
your heart rate up and to keep it up in your zone. That is why you now see so
many people using heart monitors for cycling. With just a quick glance at your
heart monitor, you know that you are in the proper heart rate zone to get the
most out of each and every ride and workout that you do.
If you follow professional cycling,
you have been exposed to the advanced training of these incredible athletes.
Winners of the Tour are using tools like heart monitors for cycling and power
meters to prepare them for the rigors of competitive racing.
The cycling community was the first to
integrate heart rate monitors into their training in the United States. Olympic
cyclists and tour riders have led the way through the eighties and nineties and
into the 21st century.
If you're not using a Polar heart rate
monitor, you probably train with someone who does. You may have resisted until
now, and hopefully that will end here. There are many different thoughts on how
to prepare yourself for competition. But the fact remains, to be prepared, you
need to do different workouts. Endurance workouts, tempo rides and AT intervals
are at the heart of an effective training plan. A heart rate monitor is the one
thing that can lead you through each one of those workouts, and give you the
valuable feedback that can help you turn your weaknesses into strengths.
For endurance workouts, a Polar heart
monitor paces you so you don't overdo it. For tempo rides, it keeps you on
track. And for interval workouts, it makes sure you go hard enough and you
recover when it's time. Nothing else can guide you that way. It can show you
when you're dehydrating, or running out of nutrition, or not recovered from a
previous day's workout. It allows you to analyze workouts and races. Your
titanium frame is great, but if you're not training the right way, it may as
well be made out of lead.
With the advent of the Power meter,
the trend is to integrate wattage and heart rate into training. These two
critical factors together give the competitive cyclist an absolute way to gauge
performance and track progress on a ride by ride basis. (See the related
article Power 101)
Make sure to read
Getting Started With a Polar Heart Rate Monitor
here for a wealth of additional information in the Bicycling Resource