24 May 2016
TRAINING TIPS: RIDING TO THE BEAT
A heart rate monitor can formalise your training, ensuring you maximise every revolution. Here’s how…
Power meters are omnipresent in the professional peloton and are clearly a useful training tool. But despite dropping in price, they’re still expensive. Enter the humble heart rate monitor. These start from as little as €40 and, if used correctly, can transform your riding.
The more you spend, the more features you get, like GPS, notifications and wifi connectivity. This can give you a bucketload of data that can be utilized with one of any number of apps. Strava and Garmin Connect are two of the most popular, where you can upload your session and see how aspects like pace and heart rate oscillate depending on factors like course topography. For instance, if your heart rate reaches 98% maximum when climbing a 100m hill, it’s worth planning a weekly or fortnightly hill session and losing weight so you have less to carry.
And that highlights where the greatest benefits of training by heart rate derive from – namely training to zones. This is a tried-and-trusted method to ensure you peak for your goal race, the idea being that you train at different heart rates to stimulate certain physiological changes.
We’ve given you the zones and their specific benefits below but first you need to calculate your maximum heart rate. This is easily done. Simply ride flat out for 20 minutes and note your peak heart rate. This is your maximum. Now you’re ready to ride to the following zones…