Friday, June 3, 2011

Let's do the numbers!

This week we got some crunched results from the coach after last week's field test. I was happy to see that my estimates after playing around with the HRM were very close to the zones that Coach Gaines came up with. She used a slightly modified version of the Coggan Power Level scale, assigning perceived exertion levels and qualitative labels to numbers corresponding with HR and Lactate Threshold. This helps riders to more finely calibrate how they feel with their effort level.

As for my numbers, here are what we are starting with:

Zone 1: Recovery (easy spinning)
AvgHR: 118
Perceived Exertion: Level 2

Zone 2: Endurance
AvgHR: 120-144
Perceived Exertion: Level 2-3

Zone 3: Tempo
AvgHR: 146-164
Perceived Exertion: Level 3-4

Zone 4: Lactate Threshold
AvgHR: 165-183
Perceived Exertion: Level 4-5

Zone 5: VO2 Max
AvgHR: 184+
Perceived Exertion: Level 6-7

After discussing our zones - which seem about right to me, from the limited amount of experience I've had training with the HRM - we did some riding in zones 3 & 4 for long intervals to begin the process of calibrating. It was easier than I expected to find and hold the middle of each zone, and to make fine adjustments to move up or down within a zone too. I was once again reminded of why I like riding better than running. I have no confidence that I can control my effort to stay in Zone 4, for instance, in a running race. And for a 5k, that's probably ok. But in a long race, that can turn out really badly.

This weekend is a big one, though, for riding and racing. On Saturday I'm riding with some VIPs as part of a Tour de Cure event. More on that in my next post. And on Sunday I'm once again racing in the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run 5k event. This will be the third time for that race, and each time I've finished in the top ten in my age group. This year, I've done zero run training. So my expectations are modest. I'll be happy if I can put together 3.2 miles at 8:05/mi or less. Check back for the results!

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