Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day 2 - LTHR Bike Test

LTHR is some number that tells you where your training zones are. HR means it's a heart rate. LT is (to the best of my knowledge) the barrier between zone four and zone five. LTHR is a level one can sustain for 30 - 40 minutes (maybe more if you're well trained and/or really want it). Above LT some nasty goo starts to build up in your muscles at a faster rate than it gets cleared out. This is why you can't sustain long intervals above LT. (all of this is "as I understand it").

Here's the part I know too much about (a little dangerous knowledge).. various prescribed methods for determining LT. All seem to include something like...

  1. Warm up really well. Including some sprints or efforts which will get your HR going.
  2. Go "as hard as you can" for some prescribed amount of time 30-40 minutes. Note, as hard as you can, still means at a consistent HR (not necessarily pace). If you are "normal" you will be far from comfortable.
  3. Cool down.. gasp, fold, whatever.. Drink something.
Where the tests (I have read) differ is which average HR to take. I have often heard do 30 minutes hard, taking the average HR of the last 20 minutes. Today's workout was "supposed to" be 40 minutes hard, take the average of the entire 40 minutes. I have heard the coaches logic behind the "40 minutes". Something like, "for strong athletes 30 minutes" isn't enough.

What about today's workout? I figured right out, I wasn't one of these "strong" athletes who needs the entire 40 minutes. So, I went with 30 minutes all on my own. I also did the occasional visual on the HRM to see how I was doing. And sure enough the first 10 minutes I was still warming up to my LTHR.. I suspect this brought my entire average down somewhat. Stupidly, I didn't take my HR averages in any kind of interval to provide actual data to said theory.

My final 20 minutes were all easily in the low to mid 150's, with some spikes up to 160. Yet my "average" said 146. Looking at appropriate zone charts for 146 LTHR, I suspect it's on the low side. Also note that my last run LTHR test was more like 170. Incidentally, I felt I had erred high on that one. I am aware the bike and run LTHR numbers can be somewhat different.

I have another LTHR test in 4 weeks. Hopefully I will have improved my biking and pacing significantly by then. Until next time..

Addendum... These tests are supposed to be taxing. You're supposed to take the rest of the day off. But, dang I haven't run since last Friday. And for the first time in I don't know how long, the snow is _gone_ and it's near 70. Tomorrow it will be 40-ish again. I might have to sneak "off plan" this once and get a recovery run in. Also note, I don't ever recall cheating on my plan by adding a run... this must be a new year.

1 comment:

Triteacher said...

Yes, adding a run is definitely a sign that this is indeed your year - GEEK! :)

Keep us posted on the LTHR - I've never done any testing like that... maybe I'll give it a whirl.