Heart rate can be a very beneficial tool for your training. It allows you to measure the effort of your workout and control intensity and quality without overexertion.
All heart rate training zones are based on max heart rate. It is not the easiest or safest test to administer, especially to untrained individuals so a standard equation is 220-age (male) and 226-age (female). Please be aware that this is only a guide. Your Age Predicted Max HR could be up to 25 beats per minute off!
Next thing to consider are your Training Zones. In Spinning, we focus on 5 different rides:
- Race Day
“Relaxation and energy accumulation.”
During Recovery, you are riding at 50-65% your max heart rate. No hills, no jumps, only light resistance is used. The goal of this ride is to focus on breathing, relaxation, and circulating blood and oxygen throughout the body.
“Even application of energy for sustained periods.”
The next zone is Endurance. Heart race increases to 65-75% max heart rate. This should also feel fairly easy and a pace at which you can ride forever. This is where you will ride when focusing on your aerobic base building. It will increase aerobic capacity, oxygen consumption, stamina, and improve fat metabolism. A true Endurance ride is completed almost entirely in the saddle with light to moderate resistance but variations include standing flat, seated climb, and standing climb.
“Heavy resistance to develop muscular endurance and power.”
During the Strength training zone, you will be working hard for 5-8 minutes at a level between 75-85% your max heart rate. The ride focuses on steady, consistent pedaling with heavy resistance to promote muscular and cardiovascular development. While seated or standing, you should be thinking strong and powerful. There will be a point between 75-85% when you are switching over from aerobic to anaerobic activity. This will cause lactic acid to accumulate. A proper cool down and stretching/foam rolling will be very beneficial to your recovery.
“Speed, tempo, timing, and rhythm require a substantial fitness base.”
The goal of the Interval training zone is to develop the ability to quickly recover after work efforts. During intervals, heart rate ranges from 65-92% as you increase and decrease the intensity. There are 3 types of Intervals:
- Aerobic – Work at about 75% / Recovery 65%, 3 to 1 ratio
- Lactate Threshold – Work 85% / Recovery 65%, 1 to 1 ratio
- Anaerobic – Work 92% / Recovery 65% – 1 to 3+ ratio
One important factor to note about Intervals: If heart rate is not dropping to recovery in the usual amount of time, no further intervals should be conducted.
“Peak Performance – sustained “time trial” effort at anaerobic threshold. Requires a substantial fitness base.”
The final training zone is Race Day. Heart rate is 80-92%. Race Day is treated like a time trial. If riders are not 100% physically or mentally ready, they should not participate.
Blog post by Jen Skiba.